Our Secret Gems


Welcome to the Blue Ridge mountains of North Georgia! Your mountain adventure is about to begin and we can't wait to share with you some of our most favorite places and secret local tips to help you get the very most out of your mountain experience. Adventure is good for your soul, so let's get going!

Explore 190 acres of Biking and Hiking

Fightingtown Creek Nature Park has over 190 acres of land to explore, including 12 miles of hiking and biking trails. Prefer to take things slow and soak in the beauty of Mother Nature? They also have picnic areas and ample opportunities for birdwatching as well. Nature lovers will just love spending their time in such a beautiful and peaceful place. Find directions here.

Local Tip: There is beautiful mountain laurel all throughout the trail. It blooms in May/June and you'll also find local artists create unique hand rails and art pieces from the wood.

Stand in Two States at Once!

Photo courtesy of  @aamanda.brooke

Have you ever wanted to be in two places at once? Well now you can! Pay a visit to the twin cities of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee where the GA/TN state line is located! Here you can stand in two states at once and then explore the great shops and restaurants, breweries and live music venues, plus the rich history of the Copper Basin. There’s so much for you to enjoy! CLICK HERE to see all the fun things to do on the state line:

Local Tip: The painted blue line runs from the IGA grocery store parking lot and diagonally across Toccoa Avenue/Ocoee Street. It even runs through the middle of some restaurants and shops, and across the old steel bridge.

Jump on the Swinging Bridge

Photo Courtesy of @nannert31

The Swinging Bridge over the Tococca River has become a kind of landmark for Blue Ridge. Located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County, this bridge is an experience you won’t want to miss. Spanning 270 feet long, this makes it the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. When you walk the bridge look down below and keep an eye out for kayakers floating down the peaceful river. Need directions? CLICK HERE.

Local Tip: If you do decide to jump in the middle, make sure you are faster than your travel buddies or you might get thrown off!

Fuel Up To Explore Blue Ridge at Mountain Momma's!

Photo Courtesy of Mountain Momma's Coffee Lounge

Mountain Mama’s Coffee Lounge is a trendy coffee house and lounge located next to the Blue Ridge Inn. As you step through the doors you’ll immediately notice the warm & cozy atmosphere, with an adorable sitting area with books to read while you sip on your coffee, a large fireplace in the back, and a beautiful mountain mural on one of the store walls. Once you’ve taken it all in step up to the counter and order your coffee, and be sure to pair it with a tasty treat like one of their homemade bagels. Not looking for a caffeine boost? No problem, Mountain Mama’s also offers hot teas and mushroom steamers. Make sure to drop by Mountain Mama’s for a good drink and a relaxing time!

Local Tip: We recommend you try Banana's Foster: An enchanting blend of espresso, house made banana peel syrup, cinnamon, and caramel. YUM!

The Dogwood

Photo Courtesy of The Dogwood

Delicious food and incredible drinks come together in perfect harmony at The Dogwood. Enjoy your meal from the comfort of their huge outdoor patio that’s nestled under 100 year old trees and a gorgeous hand painted mural. The Dogwood offers a unique dining and drinks experience, with a select menu of only 10 items and customizable drink options. Some of the scrumptious, southern, comfort foods that you can expect from The Dogwood are BBQ Deviled Eggs, Sticky Ribs and Shrimp & Grits. Yum! Don’t forget to pair your meal with a drink from either their extensive wine list, craft cocktail menu, full bar, or beer garage that has over 70 options of beers to choose from! The Dogwood is a great place to spend an evening with friends and if you come on the weekends you can expect amazing live music from local artists as well.

Local Tip: Wednesday - Saturday breakfast is served and you won't want to go home without trying a Bigfoot Biscuit!

Grab a dozen Wings at Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar & Grill

Photo Courtesy of Chester Brunnenmeyer's Bar and Grill

Chester’s is one of our favorite places to eat Downtown. They serve both regional and seasonal high-quality dishes, like their Blackened Ribeye Steak or Pimento Cheese Chicken Sandwich. And be sure to ask about their current specials and new cocktails, because they’re always adding new dishes and drinks for a limited time. Having a night out with a few friends? Try Chester’s famous wings! You’ll also love their regional craft beers and impressive wine list. Before you go, stop by next door to Chester’s Provisions where you can stock up on unique food & drink items perfect for souvenirs or gifts!

Local Tip:  Order the Escape to Blue Ridge-themed drink which includes- Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Macerated blueberries, and lemonade; yum!

Hike Flat Creek on the Aska Trail System

Map Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Ranger District Office of the US Forest Service

Because of its mountainous terrain, hiking is one of the main reasons that travelers add Aska to their must-visit list. The Aska Trails Area consists of a 17-mile trail system where hikers and mountain bikers of all skill levels can explore. This trail system highlights the landscapes of North Georgia by revealing mountain peaks, shorelines of Lake Blue Ridge, and a series of hardwood trees among thickets of Mountain Laurel and Rhododendrons.

A few of our favorite hiking and mountain biking trails include:

  1. Flat Creek Loop (6 miles round trip)
  2. Long Branch Loop (2.3 miles round trip)
  3. Stanley Gap Trail (9.5 miles round trip)
  4. Green Mountain Trail (2.8 miles round trip)

 Local tip – Pets are welcome to eat with you at the nearby Toccoa Riverside Restaurant and Fido can even enjoy some canine cuisine from the Pooch Porch Goodies menu!

Take in a movie at Swan Drive-In

Did you know that Blue Ridge has its own Drive In movie theater? Well that’s right we do, Swan Drive In Theater! They’ve been showing movies here since 1955! Turn back the clock and live life like you’re in the 1950’s by watching movies the old-fashioned way. Just tune your car to the radio and munch down on some delicious classic movie theater snacks; all from the comfort of your own vehicle! It’s a perfect way to spend summer nights! Check their website for movie showings: https://www.swan-drive-in.com/now-showing.php 

Local tip – Bring a portable radio/boombox. You don’t want to be the one who’s battery dies from running the radio!

Best Photo Ops at Fall Branch Falls

Photo Courtesy of Vinny Crocitto

Only 20 minutes from Blue Ridge, Fall Branch Falls is a location where you can spend a half-hour or a half-day! The adventure begins with only a 0.5-mile shaded path that leads visitors to a series of cascading waterfalls reaching 30 feet. The area below the falls is great for a picnic or water break. The mist from the side of the cliff and the water at the base of the falls make for a perfect place to cool down from a hot summer’s day. But watch your step because the rocks can sure be slippery! The observation deck at the falls can be used to snap a picture or to admire nature’s beauty.

Local Tip: A great hike to bring your four-legged friends along for! 

Sip Like a Local at Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Grumpy Old Men Brewing is a great hangout for any age. This is a no frill joint. They don’t mess around: “If they don’t like it, they don’t drink it, and if they don’t drink it, they don’t sell it.” Doesn’t get much simpler than that!  

Family friendly, kids will love the GIANT JENGA outside and the games inside, plus there’s craft soda on tap. Open seven days a week. Big screen TV’s throughout. Thursday night is Karoake night and it is well attended and lots of fun. Always 18 different craft beers on tap. On Friday, Saturdays and Sunday’s there is often live music and a food truck or two.  So, if you are looking for a dog friendly business that tolerates people and specializes in delicious beer, this is a must stop

Local Tip:  We suggest the Aska Pale Ale

Old School Candy at Huck's

Photo Courtesy of Huck's General Store

The whole family will love all that Huck’s General Store has to offer! Here, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back into a time of small mountain town shops complete with old school candies, artisan goods, canned & pickled fruits and vegetables, soaps, and more. The kids will love picking out their favorite candies and games; while the adults stock up on snacks, funny signs, and nostalgic gifts. This is also a great place to pick up a Blue Ridge hat or t-shirt! Once you’re finished shopping grab your goodies, an ice cold drink,  and relax on the back porch rockers while you watch the train pass by. 

Local Tip: Pick up a jar of pickled okra and enjoy! Trust us, they’re delicious!

A Sunny Spot for Shady People - Lake Blue Ridge Marina

Photo Courtesy of the Boat Dock Bar & Grill at Lake Blue Ridge Marina

Eat delicious food, sip on great cocktails, listen to live music, and take in the views of the beautiful Lake Blue Ridge! That’s what’s in store for you at Boat Dock Bar & Grill, a part of the Lake Blue Ridge Marina. There’s no better way to unwind after a long day on the water than by visiting the grill for a relaxing evening.

When the weather is warm Boat Dock Bar & Grill is always ready to have some fun and serve up some great dishes! With classic bar options to choose from like Smoked Wings, Shrimp Tacos, and Grouper Baskets; you really can’t go wrong. Bring a group of friends along to share appetizers and entrees with because you won’t be able to choose just one. Have some more fun and get a specialty cocktail like ‘Blue Ridge Boat Wreck’ or ‘Michael’s Mango Tango’. Sip on your fruity beverage, laugh with your friends, and enjoy weekly performances from local artists. It’s always a blast at The Boat Dock Bar & Grill! 

Local Tip: Try the Smoked Chicken Sandwhich

Pan for Gold at Aska Gem Mining

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Williams

Kids love to interact and use their hands, so Aska Gem Mining is just the place for them. The gem mining experience is fun, interactive, and educational. Dig through the trays to find beautiful gemstones and the staff will even provide you with educational information on what you’ve found. Your kids will come home with a full stash of rocks and gemstones!

Local Tip: Stop by our office or download a copy of our Kids Activity Book for more unplugged fun!

Indulge in a cupcake at the Sweet Shoppe

Photo Courtesy of the Sweet Shoppe of the South

For the best cupcakes you’ve ever eaten The Sweet Shoppe of the South is the place for you! Their cupcakes are so out of this world delicious that they actually won on the show Cupcake Wars in 2012 for their PB&J, S’mores, Lemon-Raspberry, and Carrot Cake flavored cupcakes. The show helped bring so much business to the shop that today there are even more delicious flavors to enjoy like Moosetrax, Hot Fudge Sundae, Chocolate Cream Pie, and so much more. And it’s not just cupcakes they offer either; you can order full cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and pies. The Sweet Shoppe should be a must see (and eat) on your list, for sure! 

Local Tip: Pick up a dozen Macarons to take back to the cabin with you for a late night snack!


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