Located in the heart of Gilmer County, about 75 miles North of Atlanta, Ellijay is a charming town widely known as the Apple Capital of Georgia. Ellijay offers visitors a variety of outdoor activities including walking and hiking in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, cycling, paddling and fishing. Wine lovers can spend their days visiting several well-known vineyards and wineries located close by. There are at least two apple orchards for you to visit – try some new apple varieties and stock up on farm-fresh produce. September and October are the best months to visit if you would like to share the fun of the grape and apple harvests. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Panorama Orchards and Farm Market

Panorama Orchards and Farm Market
© OlgaDm/stock.adobe.com

There have been apple orchards close to Ellijay for as long as most folks can remember. Production started around 1920, with new orchards springing up all along Talona Mountain. Panorama Orchards are still family owned and run and when you visit them today you can admire a collection of antiques used in the apple farming business since the 1920’s. Today the orchards boast over 20 varieties of apples as well as peaches and a selection of seasonal vegetables. But it does not stop there – you can also buy a selection of mouth-watering apple products and baked goods from their Farm Market, which is open daily.

Panorama Orchards and Farm Market, E. Ellijay, GA 30539, Phone: 706-276-3813

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2.Engelheim Vineyards, Ellijay, Georgia

Engelheim Vineyards, Ellijay, Georgia
© Engelheim Vineyards

Award-winning Engelheim Vineyards was established by the Engel family in 2007. They planted their first vines in 2009 and saw their first harvest in 2011. The vineyard strives to produce the best quality grapes one can find, and then turn them into the finest wines in the region. The multiple awards they have won, including “2008 Georgia Winery of the Year”, is proof that they are successful in their endeavors. Their cozy tasting room is open to the public 7 days a week. If you would prefer a more in-depth vineyard experience you can book a vineyard and winery tour, presented by the owner/winemaker on weekends.

Engelheim Vineyards, 127 Lakeview Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540, Phone: 706-635-9463

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3.Cartecay Vineyards, Ellijay, Georgia

Cartecay Vineyards, Ellijay, Georgia
© Cartecay Vineyards

Located in Georgia’s beautiful and fertile Cartecay Region (Cartecay is a Cherokee word meaning “Bread Valley”), Cartecay Vineyards was established in 2007. The vineyards were planted on farmland which had laid fallow for decades but offered the perfect Terroir required for wine grapes. Today the vineyards produce a selection of varietals including Vidal Blanc, Norton, Traminette, Cabernet Sauvignon and more. Wine lovers are invited to visit their lovely Tasting Barn which offers a combination of indoor and outdoor tasting areas including the Chimney Patio, for which a range of wines has been named. The vineyard hosts and annual Crush Festival in September, when you are invited to visit the vineyards to enjoy stomping, sipping, music and a lot of fun.

Cartecay Vineyards, 5704 Clear Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30536, Phone: 706-698-9463

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4.Ott Farms and Vineyards, Ellijay, GA

Ott Farms and Vineyards, Ellijay, GA
© Ott Farms and Vineyards

Located on what is arguably one of the most beautiful mountain-view farms in Gilmer Country, Ott Farms and Vineyards are family-owned and operated. The vineyard is planted with American-French hybrid grapes including Seyval Blanc, Chambourcin, Lenoir and Traminette, which are skillfully transformed into a range of white, rose and red wines. Wine lovers are encouraged to come and spend a few hours savoring the beautiful countryside as you sip a selection of their wines to find your favorites. There is a large tasting room and a long covered porch to accommodate you even on rainy days. A small selection of finger food is available to enjoy alongside your wine tasting.

Ott Farms and Vineyards, 230 Henry Evans Rd, Ellijay, GA 30536, Phone: 706-273-1891

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5.Red Apple Barn, Ellijay, Georgia

Red Apple Barn, Ellijay, Georgia
© Red Apple Barn

Gilmer County is widely known for offering perfect conditions for growing apples and other fruit. In 1965 the Pritchett family planted the first of many apple trees which would one day be part of their expansive apple orchards. Soon they needed an outlet to sell their apples to the public and the Red Apple Barn was built. Today the Red Apple Barn has been expanded and still welcomes visitors to come and select the juiciest apples and other seasonal fruit and vegetables. They also offer seasonal “pick your own” days for both apples and Halloween pumpkins when the whole family can enjoy wagon rides and other fun activities.

Red Apple Barn, 3379 Tails Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540, Phone: 706-635-5898

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6.Gilmer Arts, Ellijay, Georgia

Gilmer Arts, Ellijay, Georgia
© Gilmer Arts

Bringing visual and performing arts to Gilmer County, the Gilmer Arts Gallery and the George Link Jnr. Gilmer Arts Playhouse are located on Dalton Street. To encourage a love and appreciation of all art forms, Gilmer Arts offers a selection of classes for all ages. Adults can sign up for various workshops including watercolor, pastel and oil painting, mosaic crafting and more. The gallery holds regular exhibitions to showcase the work of local and regional artists. The performing arts are also thriving in Ellijay and visitors are invited to come and enjoy live theatre, music and other performances at the playhouse. If you would like to take part you can check their website for audition times.

Gilmer Arts Gallery, 207 Dalton Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, Phone: 706-635-5605

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7.River Street Tavern, Ellijay, Georgia

River Street Tavern, Ellijay, Georgia
© River Street Tavern

The River Street Tavern is located in the Historic Downtown area of Ellijay, where it is a popular meeting place for locals and visitors. The cozy interior of the tavern offers a relaxed atmosphere and the American pub-style food has won several awards. Regular visitors rave about the burgers – there are no fewer than 8 versions to choose from. Other family favorites include salads, sandwiches and baskets – the tavern is rumored to serve the tastiest wings in the state. The tavern offers a full bar menu including some brilliant locally brewed beers and wines from a selection of local vineyards. On Friday and Saturday nights guests are treated to live music by local performers.

River Street Tavern, 40 River St Suite B, Ellijay, GA 30540, Phone: 706-635-6166

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7 Best Things to Do in Ellijay, Georgia

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