Blue Ridge/Fannin County, Georgia
Situated about 90 minutes north of Atlanta off Interstate-575, Blue Ridge, Georgia, is all at once, outdoorsy, earthy, upscale, fresh, historical–a collision of opposites resulting in a picture-perfect getaway for crafting memories, whether seeking solitude, uniting family, gathering friends or igniting romance. Upscale cabins dot the landscape offering time in nature and sweeping visitors a million miles away from “real life” while keeping within close proximity the chic shops, restaurants and multi-generational activities that inspire truly great vacations. Hop aboard a train, sink your teeth into sweet, plucked-fresh-from-the-tree apples at local orchards, titillate taste buds with farm-to-table offerings, shop for worthy souvenirs–and wardrobe additions–at chic boutiques, cheat on your diet with sweet treats from the winners of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” and engage the senses at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center. Get back to nature with scenic ventures on the Benton MacKaye Trail, spanning nearly 300 miles through the Appalachian Mountains. Kayak the Toccoa River, boat Lake Blue Ridge or cast a line in the county known as Georgia’s Trout Capital. Year-round festivals and events create a lively downtown scene perfect for catching up with locals, many of whom moved here after discovering a vacation spot too special to leave.
- Fire and Ice, Downtown Blue Ridge, February
- Arts in the Park, Downtown Blue Ridge City Park, Memorial Day Weekend
- Pickin’ in the Park, Horseshoe Bend Park, every Thursday evening beginning in May through September
- Old Timers Day Parade, Downtown Blue Ridge, Saturday Closest to July 4th
- Lake Blue Ridge Fireworks, Blue Ridge Marina, on or near July 4th
- Old Fashioned Fourth in McCaysville, Downtown McCaysville, July 4th Weekend
- Blue Ridge Kiwanis Rodeo, Kiwanis Fairgrounds in Blue Ridge, August
- Copper Basin River Fest, Downtown McCaysville/Copperhill, August
- Labor Day Barbeque, Downtown Blue Ridge, Labor Day
- Ride the Rails Festival, Mineral Bluff Depot, September
- Blue Ridge Blues & Barbeque, Downtown Blue Ridge, September
- Smoke on the River, Downtown McCaysville, September
- Pumpkin Express Train, Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad, October
- Fall Arts in the Park, Downtown Blue Ridge, October
- Blue Ridge Fall Fest, Blue Ridge Farmer’s Market, 3rd and 4th weekend in October
- Paws in the Park, Downtown Blue Ridge City Park, October
- Halloween Safe Zones, Downtown Blue Ridge and McCaysville, October
- Light Up Blue Ridge, Downtown Blue Ridge, Saturday of Thanksgiving Weekend every year
- Holiday Art Show & Sale, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Assn., November & December
- Hometown Christmas, Downtown McCaysville, December
- Santa Trains, Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad in downtown Blue Ridge, beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving and continuing through Christmas Eve each year
Fast Facts and Trivia
- Go To the Swan Drive-In, one of three remaining drive-in theaters in Georgia, offering first run movies on weekends.
- The charming mountain towns of Blue Ridge and McCaysville each have a distinct character and history. Downtown Blue Ridge offers eclectic shopping and dining in a quaint small town setting. With the historic Blue Ridge Depot at its center, Blue Ridge is a center for arts and galleries, antiques, unique shopping and eateries.
- The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is one of the “must see” attractions in the north Georgia mountains. The railroad connects the towns of Blue Ridge and McCaysville and offers a journey along the beautiful Toccoa River.
- Take the family to the Ocoee Whitewater Center, site of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Canoe/Kayak/Slalom events. There are great spots for wading and sliding on rocks at this natural water park.
- Buying local fruits, vegetables and homemade goodies is a big part of the Blue Ridge experience, especially when it includes a visit to Mercier Orchards, one of the largest orchards in the southeast and family farm for 65 years.
- Two of the greatest outdoor adventures in the world begin at the southern border of Fannin County. Both the Appalachian and the Benton MacKaye Trail start at the top of Springer Mountain. The Appalachian Trail, better known and longer of the trails, begins a 2,000+ mile journey to Maine through many of the states on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The Benton MacKaye, more remote than the Appalachian, begins a 286 mile trek along the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, rejoining the AT in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
- Mercier Orchards, one of the largest apple orchards in the southeast, grows 50 varieties of apples.
- As the Toccoa River slows, Lake Blue Ridge is formed by the TVA dam. Here boating and fishing are popular pasttimes for the outdoor enthusiasts. Once the Toccoa River leaves Lake Blue Ridge the river begins its journey down the wide valley known as the McCaysville Basin. Trout fishermen frequent this area of the river, as settlers and Native Americans did before them.
- West of the valley the Cohutta Mountains rise so high that the Cherokee Indians considered them to hold up the sky. Waterfalls, remote backpacking, hiking and camping are some of the recreational opportunities here.