Conferring with Cupid



I’m often referred to as the “ Santa Claus for Lovers”. I have a little bit of a problem with that. See, the big guy gets to wear a full suit, hat, gloves, boots, and the whole bit on December 25th. I get to fly around, shooting arrows to connect the hearts of couples, which isn’t a bad gig if I didn’t have to perform it wearing barely a loincloth, my chubby body exposed to the elements, in the second week of February. 

This is one of the reasons I’m going to encourage you to cuddle up around the fire in your cabin on Valentine’s weekend.  Yes, the big day falls on a Friday this year, so you and the person you love most in this world get to spend the whole weekend together. And if you’ve chosen to be here in one of the comfy, cozy and romantic cabins in Blue Ridge, you’ve already set the tone for a weekend to remember. So, get the checklist ready.

Majestic Peace Cabin

Plenty of firewood.  Check.

Now we need something intoxicating. That could be wine. Out Of The Blue has you covered. They have an extraordinary selection of the finest wines, beers, and artisan cheeses from around the world. Chocolates are also intoxicating. Try the delectable hand-dipped chocolates at Chocolate Express. They are sure to win any heart. 

Photo Courtesy of Out of the Blue

Intoxicating. Check.

Let’s face it. You aren’t the only romantic out there. It’s a busy weekend and though spontaneity is great in the boudoir, some of the other activities just might need reservations.  I’m going to suggest you make arrangements with a private chef to have that quixotic feast for two, right there at your cabin. Chef Trey Griffith or Chef Jeff Servin can serve up a luscious feast, but they need fair warning. There are also very intimate dining experiences even in public eateries. The porch at The Black Sheep, with it’s towering flame heaters, is a place I’ve noticed lovers getting very starry-eyed over a plate of cold water select oysters.

Photo Courtesy of Chef Trey Griffith

Nourishment. Check

It has been my experience  (my parents are Mars and Venus, so I’ve been around the block a few times) that occasionally destressing from the cacophony of everyday life needs an assist. A Salt Cave Couples Massage at Serenity In the Mountains is an experience neither of you will soon forget. And it might just be your favorite activity away from home, ever. There’s also an opportunity to engage in public intoxication without being unlawful. Imagine indulging in wine with chocolates that have been paired by the connoisseurs at The Vine Wine Bar on Main St. in Blue Ridge.  This only happens on Friday evenings, so call for your reservations quickly. 

Photo Courtesy of Serenity in the Mountains

Destressing mode.  Check

Now. Maybe you’ve been together a very long time, like most of your adult life, and there needs to be more than a spark added to your relationship. You need an eight-cylinder rev to throw complacency out of neutral and into drive. That usually means you need to find a way to depend on one another again. Be a team. Find a new challenge. Like maybe drive a military tank together. 

No, seriously. 

And, why just drive a tank when you can crush a car with one? Get your heart pumping with 25+ minutes of driving excitement which starts with Tank Town USA’s exciting tank driving course and finishes with smashing a car. Yes, they have a couple’s package.  And if that’s a little over the top, you could be locked in a room together for one hour, with only clues as to how to escape. Sound like fun? Make your reservation with Escape Blue Ridge and see if the two of you can figure out how to outfox your captures.

Photo courtesy of Heather Drones

Team challenge mode. Check

If the two of you love these mountains, almost as much as you love each other, why not merge the two and enlist a professional photographer to help? The professional shutterbugs at ZoLu Photography know these landscapes well. They will take you to beautiful places to capture your love in natural light, to be viewed for many years to come. 

Photo Courtesy of ZoLu Photography

Photo memories.  Check

Before I mention the Hot Tub stuff, let’s be sure to talk about the one big event that takes these mountains by storm every February, that happens to fall on Valentine’s Weekend this year!  It’s the 10th Annual Fire & Ice Chili Cook-Off being held Saturday, February 15 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, in downtown Blue Ridge. The cook-off will happen come rain, snow or shine. You’ll enjoy live music, ice sculptures and amazing chili. You can purchase a $10 Tasting Card to sample the competition and vote for the People™s Choice Award. There will also be live entertainment from the Blue Ridge Community Theater actors. You’ll love strolling through an amazing display of individual and unique ice sculptures from the award-winning, National Ice Carving Champion Rock on Ice including several ice carving demonstrations. 

Photo Courtesy of the Fire & Ice Chili Cook Off

Fire and Ice Festival. Check.

Now let’s talk about the hot tub. Well…..

No, I think you already know enough about the hot tub.

The Overlook Cabin

Hot tub. Check.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Football & Festivals



It’s nice that the Super Bowl starts the month of February off with a reason to get out, get away, get inspired, and get involved in all the wonderful things going on in Blue Ridge mid-winter. There’s no telling what the weather may bring. Temperatures are known to surprise us with mid-60s in January, to a more typical mid-40s during the day and chillier as the sun sets in the evening. It’s part of the fun of a Blue Ridge escape! Be assured, however, that festivals like Fire and Ice, dynamic live music in various venues, and a hot new film festival making its Blue Ridge debut, will keep you warm, or guarantee that you’re cool (as in groovy), all month long!

UPCOMING EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Wine About Winter
February 1 – 3
LOCATION: Multiple Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Pick Ellijay

Head to Ellijay for their Wine about Winter weekend event. Enjoy fun Groundhog games and events at Chateau Meichtry, Cartecay Vineyards, Engelheim Vineyards, Fainting Goat Vineyards & Sharp Mountain Vineyards.

Coloring and Smoothies!
February 1
LOCATION: Blend Superfood Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Blend

A new café in town, completely organic and delicious, also hosts a fun time for kids of all ages. Coloring! A lost art, right? And this time you don’t even have to stay inside the lines! Let your free spirit soar! Then turn to your healthy blend of fruits and veggies in a glass and take a sip of sunshine. The event is appropriate for young children (ages 2-5), but is open to older children and even adults. You’re never too old to color.

Alice In Wonderland
February 1 – 9
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater

Follow Alice through the rabbit hole and into Wonderland in this beautiful staging of the famous novel by Lewis Carroll. Filled with all of the beloved characters you cherish, like the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Queen of Hearts and many more, the youth of the Blue Ridge Community Theater have prepared an outstanding show for you!

Music & Hops
February 1 – 29
LOCATION: Misty Mountain Hops

Photo Courtesy of Misty Mountain Hops

If you love eating and music then you will love the laid back vibes of Misty Mountain Hops. Good food and sweet tunes make this Vinyl Pub a must!

February 1 – The Orange Walls
February 7 – Travis Bowlin
February 8 – Dr. Paul Constantine
February 14 – Quinn Leach
February 15 – Lindsay Beth Harper
February 21 – Jess Goggins
February 22 – Daisy Chain
February 28 – Travis Bowlin
February 29 – Gabe Myers

Music at The Blue Coyote
February 1 – 29
LOCATION: The Blue Coyote

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Coyote

The Blue Coyote is known for their live music and entertainment. While you’re there you can enjoy their tasty bar food and a whole bunch of beer! They even have a dog-friendly patio! Stop by, check it out, and enjoy the music!

February 1 – Slickfoot
February 8 – Gregg Erwin
February 14 – Topper
February 15 – Breaking Point
February 21 – Mind the Step Children
February 22 – Donnie Hammonds Band
February 28 – Rick Stone & The Band of Brothers
February 29 – Disciples of Sound

Grumpy Old Men Brewing
February 7 – 28
LOCATION: Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men

Great beer (18 beers on tap), a fun atmosphere and a stellar philosophy (delicious beer, dog-friendly, people tolerated). Plenty of craft beers, including those brewed in the brewery, and lots of live music. It’s one of those places that locals like!

February 7 – Dr. Paul
February 15 – Gerry Herndon
February 21 – Gregg Erwin
February 28 – High Beams Music

10th Annual Blue Ridge Fire and Ice Cook Off Festival
February 15
LOCATION: Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of the Fire & Ice Festival

This popular annual event will happen between 11am to 5pm come rain, shine or snow! Mark your calendars for live music, ice sculptures and amazing chili! Buy a $10 Tasting Card to sample the competition and vote for the People’s Choice Award. Featuring Live Music and entertainment from the Blue Ridge Community Theater actors. Check out the amazing displays of individual and unique ice sculptures from the award-winning National Ice Carving Champion “Rock on Ice” including several ice carving demonstrations.

Amazing Alcohol Inks: Paint on Silk or Acrylic Art Pouring: Express Yourself
February 22
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Even those of us who don’t consider art as a strength can appreciate art classes that encourage that you come “come dressed for a messy, fun time”. That’s our kind of art! Acrylic Art Pouring is an exciting, yet relaxing form of intuitive art with infinite outcomes. Alcohol inks is a form of art that involves art you can wear, when all is said and done. Inks are being applied to a silk scarf and you select the colors, apply the ink and set the colors. No experience necessary and all supplies are provided.

Loose Shoes Duo
February 22
LOCATION: Bin 322

Photo Courtesy of Bin 322

Unique and different is fine, but there’s something comfortable about hearing songs you know. The Loose Shoes Duo, comprised of Ric and Pam Cushenan, have their complement of original songs, but their bread and butter is songs along familiar genres that include The Beatles, Cheryl Crow, Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Janis Joplin and others. It’s easy to tap your feet when you know the beat. And it’s especially fun, when the backdrop is the elegant environment of the Bin 322 Wine and Tapas Bar.

Bringing the Blues to Blue Ridge
February 22
LOCATION: Mercier Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Snack in a Backpack

This 9th Annual music event, with a Mardi Gras Celebration, is for a good cause benefiting “Snack in a Backpack”. The event features music group the Crossroads Band, Cajun food, masks, dancing, auction, and door prizes. Tickets are $60 per person or $90 per couple for main dining and include appetizers, dinner, dessert and non-alcoholic drinks. Cash bar will be available.

Joe Gransden, Jazz Trumpetist and Vocalist
February 22
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of joegransden.com

Let it be known far and wide, trumpeted, if you will, that Joe Gransden plays a mean horn. His vocals have been compared to Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra and even Clint Eastwood. Yes, THAT Clint Eastwood. He says “Joe is a young man with an old soul and a classic voice.”

Youth Art Month
February 27 – March 26
LOCATION: The Art Center – Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

It’s a leap year, so we get an extra day of Youth Art Month this year, starting in February. This is a nationally celebrated event, supporting young and talented emerging artists, who display their artwork inside the Richard Low Evans Gallery. The theme this year is “Take a Journey Through Art” and there’s sure to be images of places seen and places you want to see. Opening reception is February 27.

Blue Ridge Film Festival
February 21 – March 1
LOCATION: Swan Drive-In, Blue Ridge Community Theater, Blue Ridge Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Film Festival

Talk about a great place for a film festival! What better than a community with one of the few remaining classic outdoor movie drive-ins! Perfect! And this first time out, the Blue Ridge Film Festival will take advantage, showing independent films at a variety of locations, including the Swan Drive-In, weather permitting. The film festival will include events and workshops throughout and entries will be judged and prizes awarded.

NEW HOMES ADDED TO OUR PROGRAM

High atop Crockett Mountain on three pristine acres in a gated community in Cherry Log, a one-of-a-kind property with stunning long-range, year-round mountain views provides the backdrop for a magical vacation. It’s called Unforgettable for a reason, and you’ll know why from the moment you arrive, take in that view, and step inside. It’s the perfect setting in which to relax, unwind and detach from the stresses of daily life in the company of family and friends.

If your dream mountain vacation has the luxury, privacy and high-end amenities of an exclusive resort, but none of the crowds, lines, and noise, you’ll find it and much more at Falcon’s Lair. Boasting phenomenal 180-degree long-range multilayered mountain views stretching from Georgia to North Carolina and Tennessee, with cathedral ceilings and enormous windows to frame them, this tri-level showplace truly has the wow factor!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

365 opportunities await you to get out and explore the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to enjoy your 2020 Escape to Blue Ridge!

Top 20 Things to Do In Blue Ridge for 2020