Blue Ridge, GA is a charming mountain town in the lush Chattahoochee National Forest. It is known for a pleasant atmosphere, unique shopping, fantastic hiking trails, and the wonderful scenic Appalachian Railway Train, which winds its way through the Chattahoochee National Forest to several nearby sister towns. The best place to learn about the town’s history is at the Baugh House Historic Museum. Just outside the town is the exciting Blue Ridge Aerial Adventure Park, offering fun for all ages. You can explore the mountains on horseback with Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides, try local artisanal beer at Two Grumpy Men Brewing, and try sinful cupcakes at the Sweet Shoppe, the winner of Cupcake Wars.
1. Baugh House Historic Museum
© Baugh House Historic Museum
The Baugh House Historic Museum is located in a home that Blue Ridge mason James W. Baugh built for his family in 1890 on West First Street. The house is architecturally significant as a "rare two-story masonry I-house residence with Folk Victorian-style elements." For the construction, James Baugh and his brothers, also masons, made their own bricks on site. The house and the property were deeded by the family to the city of Blue Ridge in 1987. Today, the Baugh House is a history museum managed by the Fannin County Heritage Foundation. Among significant exhibits, the museum has the first “library” in Blue Ridge, quilts and weaving looms in the textile rooms, stage artifacts, and much more.
411 West First Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 706-258-2645
2. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
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A ride on the famous Blue Ridge Scenic Railway begins at the wonderfully restored train depot in charming downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia, constructed in 1905. The trip is 26 miles long and the round-trip takes about 4 hours, slowly winding along the scenic Toccoa River. You can choose to sit in the climate-controlled vintage rail cars or the open-air cars. The trip ends at the Blue Ridge’s charming sister towns McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. Passengers stay about 2 hours in McCaysville/Copperhill, enough time to have lunch, shop for crafts and antiques, enjoy an ice cream, or take a walk across the lovely old bridge over the river.
241 Depot St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 877-413-8724
3. Das Kaffee Haus
© Das Kaffee Haus
Owned and run by a Bavarian guy and his Georgian wife, Das Kaffee Haus, or The Coffee House, is a charming Old World coffee shop in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia, that opened in 2016. Narrow and quirky, it has fun mismatched tables and chairs and is famous for serving the best coffee in town. They serve famous Batdorf & Bronson organic roasted beans and fresh loose leaf tea from Piper and Leaf. Guests can enjoy any of the fashionable beverages, such as a latte, mocha, espresso, cappuccino, frappe, smoothie, and much more. They also serve fantastic European desserts freshly made in-house, such as traditional apple strudel. There is also a nice outdoor space overlooking the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
612 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 706-946-1111
4. Lake Blue Ridge
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Lake Blue Ridge is a 3,300-acre reservoir near the town of Blue Ridge in northern Georgia. The lake was created when Blue Ridge Dam was built in 1930 on the Toccoa River for the production of hydropower. The lake has about 60 miles of shoreline and its clear blue water makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. The lake is surrounded by several accessible boat ramps, a number of campsites, a marina, and nice and clean picnic and swimming areas. Only about quarter of the lakeshore is developed and the rest of it is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The best beach for the kids is at Morganton Point, which is covered in smooth pebbles and is open from April to October. The area also has a boat ramp, a campground, a paddleboard and kayak rental place, showers, and bathrooms.
Fannin County, Georgia
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5. Long Creek Falls
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Long Creek Falls is a 50-foot-high fairly wide waterfall located near Three Forks in the beautiful Three Forks Valley in northern Georgia. The falls are part of the Chattahoochee National Forest and can be accessed from the Benton MacKaye Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Duncan Ridge Trail. Starting at Three Forks, this portion of the Appalachian Trail is one of the most beautiful in Georgia, and the falls are a popular weekend destination for Atlanta folks, especially in October, when the leaves start changing. Whichever hiking trail you choose, walking to the falls is a magical experience, strolling under a dense forest canopy of tulip poplar, hemlock, and rhododendron.
Fannin County, Blue Ridge, GA 30813
6. Mercier Orchards
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There is nothing like spending a day with the family picking apples. Now almost 70 years old, Mercier Orchards is one of the most beautiful orchards in the North Georgia mountains. A visit to the Mercier Orchard combines picking ripe mountain-grown apples with a hot country breakfast, their award-winning pies, and home-made apple cider. Mercier Orchard is a family-owned farm that has been in operation since 1943. Be prepared to wait in the line for the heavenly hot apple pies and cider. There is also a spacious store in the back, where the candy-coated apples are a kids’ favorite. The orchard often organizes public events and is even a popular venue for weddings.
8660 Blue Ridge Dr, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 706-632-3411
7. Tank Town USA
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Always wanted to drive a tank? You can do it at Tank Town USA near Morganton in northern Georgia. This fantastic heavy equipment playground will put you straight in the driver's seat of a military truck or on top of a tank and let you navigate a 5-acre course that has been designed to allow you to find out what these vehicles can do. This is an fast, exciting adventure for adrenaline junkies of all ages, even kids as low as 7 years old. Imagine what a birthday party that would be! A birthday ride includes a target shooting paintball competition, where both the winner and the birthday boy or girl get to ride around the grounds in a super-fast tank. Unless there is a special occasion, Tank Town USA is open Saturday and Sunday from April to November.
10408 Appalachian Hwy, Morganton, GA 30560, Phone: 706-633-6072
8. The Sweet Shoppe
© The Sweet Shoppe
The Sweet Shoppe is a charming little shop on Main Street in Blue Ridge where two ladies show their customers how it's done in the South: Sweet delights of all kinds and colors combined with a large dose of Southern hospitality. They have a large range of chocolates, award-winning delicious pretzel bark, amazing truffles, and hundreds of flavors of cupcakes. Choosing just one might prove to be impossible: S'mores, chocolate lava fudge, peanut butter cup, banana pudding, and new ones coming all the time. All you see in the shop is made from scratch from the best possible ingredients. Their cupcakes are famous – they won Food Network's Cupcake Wars, so if you are passing through Blue Ridge, treat yourself to a sweet treat and enjoy some true Southern hospitality.
721 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 706-632-6886
9. Toccoa River Swinging Bridge
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The 270-foot-long swinging bridge over the Toccoa River is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River. The bridge can be reached via hiking two fun trails in Fannin County – the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail. The bridge was constructed in 1977 by the USDA Forest Service and the Appalachian Trail Club as part of the extension of the Blue Ridge Parkway towards the Kennesaw Mountain. Hiking towards the bridge is a short and easy trip from both sides of the river through lovely Wilscot Valley, past historic Skeenah Falls and Mill through the pleasant shady canopy of the old trees.
10. Blue Ridge Adventure Park
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Located less than 6 miles from the town of Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge Aerial Adventure Park is a challenging obstacle course that features suspended bridges, climbing walls, tight ropes, ziplines, and other obstacles for any age and skill level. Participants are clipped to a safety line during the course. There are four obstacle courses of various difficulty levels, nine ziplines, and two quick jumps. For the little ones between the ages of four and five who can reach at least 65 inches, there is a ground level course. The obstacle courses are designed to challenge participants physically and mentally. A helmet and a harness are obligatory on the course.
2087 E 1st St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 800-251-4800
11. Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides
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If you love horses, you will love to join the Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides for some adventure on horseback. Their very experienced guides will match you with the right horse, so you might find yourself paired with Cupid, Diesel, or Teaspoon. There are also ponies for the kids. You can choose the Valley Trail, an easy trail for the beginners or families, the Fairy Cross Trip, which combines riding with hunting for the famous fairy crosses, a ride that comes with a picnic by a cool creek, or the sunset ride. There are even special proposal and romantic rides. When you come back to the barnyard, you can take a wagon ride with the kids, feed the many chickens, relax in a comfortable rocking chair, or fish in the pond.
12. Grumpy Old Men Brewing
© Grumpy Old Men Brewing
Grumpy Old Men Brewing is a small brewery located on Main Street in Blue Ridge, Georgia, that specializes in small batches of hand-crafted ale and beer. Owned and run by two retired beer enthusiasts, the taproom is attached to the brewery and the guests can taste their eight beers on tap and chat with the owners, who are anything but grumpy. One of the favorite brews is the Grasshoppa IPA. The taproom is quirky and cozy, with fun furniture made of everyday objects such as bats, plungers, ladders, and sleds. There is plenty of outdoor space with a number of tables and games, such as cornhole and ring toss. The guests get complimentary glasses when they come for the tasting.
1315 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 770-331-8870
13. Cartecay Vineyards Wine and Craft
© Cartecay Vineyards Wine and Craft
Located just outside Ellijay, in the scenic Southern Appalachians, Cartecay Vineyards is a must-visit attraction for visitors to Blue Ridge. The winery welcomes visitors to come and spend some time soaking up the beautiful views as you sip a glass or two of their very special Cartecay wines. All the estate wines are made using exclusively Cartecay grapes, grown in the 14-acre vineyards that surround the winery. The winery produces a variety of French-American hybrid grapes including Vidal Blanc, Traminette and Chardonel as well as a few Native American cultivars. You can enjoy a tasting in the renovated 1890’s barn or relax outdoors on the Chimney Patio.
Cartecay Vineyards Wine and Craft, 5704 Clear Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30536,
14. Vertigo Pinball
© Vertigo Pinball
For pinball fun like you’ve never experienced before, you can make your way to Vertigo Pinball, an all-new concept in adult pinball entertainment, located in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge. At Vertigo Pinball you can not only have hours of pinball fun but you can also enjoy local craft beers, ciders and soft drinks. When hunger strikes you can choose something delicious from the food menu which includes a variety of dogs, Panini’s and mouth-watering grilled cheese delights. There are many brilliant vintage pinball machines to choose from – all of which belong to a private collection owned, restored and maintained by Mr. Vertigo himself.
Vertigo Pinball, 500 E Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-946-1416
15. Daffodil Hill Farm and Carriage
© Daffodil Hill Farm and Carriage
You can spend a wonderfully relaxing day out in rural Blue Ridge at the Daffodil Hill Farm and Carriage, where the whole family will enjoy meeting the farm animals and strolling through the scenic grounds. The farm offers private family horse-drawn carriage tours of the property where you will get to play with the fainting goats, groom the miniature donkey, ride the pony and even feed the chickens. You can take a walk through the mini-farm to see the abundance of flowers, admire the waterfall and marvel at the fruit orchards and vegetable and herb gardens. Tours must be arranged in advance. The property also offers a romantic private suite ideal for special occasion getaways and weddings.
Daffodil Hill Farm and Carriage, 53 Fox Run, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-851-4430
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16. Morganton Point Campground at Lake Blue Ridge
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You will find the Lake Blue Ridge Recreational Area conveniently located just 5 minutes drive from Blue Ridge. The large lake and adjoining recreational area offer a variety of facilities for day use visitors as well as for campers. The lake has more than 60 miles of shoreline to explore – kayak rentals are available onsite. There is a swimming beach and you can also enjoy fishing, boating and picnicking. The area has a boat ramp and kayak and SUP tours are offered by Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters. If you would like to linger for a few days you can book one of the 43 serviced campsites which are suitable for tent and RV camping.
Morganton Point Campground at Lake Blue Ridge, 478 Lake Drive, Morganton, GAS 30560, 706-374-1645
17. The Lily Pad Village
© The Lily Pad Village
If you are looking for some fun outdoor entertainment for the children, the Lily Pad Village is hard to beat. The village is located just 8 miles from Blue Ridge in a picturesque mountainous setting in the heart of the Aska Adventure Area. The village offers a range of activities for families to enjoy and most visitors bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy on the deck. Gem mining and learning all about the various uses of the gemstones is usually the highlight of your visit. You can also enjoy exploring the hiking trails, fishing and playing mini-golf. You will find everything you need for a fun day out at the Store.
The Lily Pad Village, 24 Adelaide Drive, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-534-1317
18. Serenity in the Mountains
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You can add a whole extra layer of pampering and indulgence to your Blue Ridge visit by booking a session at the Serenity in the Mountains Day Spa. The spa offers a wonderful range of rejuvenating and relaxing treatments including Facials (tailored to your needs), Aromatherapy Massages and deeply-relaxing Salt Cave Sessions. For something altogether different you can book one of their unique Treehouse Massage Experiences or share the bliss with your partner or best friend by choosing a Couple’s Massage Treat. The spa also specializes in hair removal and Laser Resurfacing. Even if you just need a simple manicure or hair cut, Serenity in the Mountains is the place to go.
Serenity in the Mountains, 59 McKinney Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-268-2244
19. Willow Creek Falls Lodge
© Willow Creek Falls Lodge
Blue Ridge visitors who would like to add another dimension of health, peace and serenity to their vacation should consider checking into Willow Creek Falls Lodge. The beautiful lodge is located just 1.2 miles from the center of Blue Ridge but you will feel as though you are deep in the heart of the countryside. Formerly a popular wedding venue, the lodge has been transformed into a retreat-like wellness destination where you can totally immerse yourself in tranquility. The lodge offers a variety of suites and cottages to suit couples and families and offers a Medical Spa, Yoga and Fitness classes and more.
Willow Creek Falls Lodge, 35 Trackside Lane, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-7008
20. Bear Claw Vineyards
© Bear Claw Vineyards
Perfectly nestled just 4 miles from Blue Ridge, where the higher altitude and fertile alluvial soils offer the ideal growing conditions for grapes, Bear Claw Vineyards and Winery is a must-visit attraction. The welcoming wood and stone tasting room and patio is the ideal place to relax with friends and family, while admiring breath-taking views and enjoying some very special wines which are created onsite. The vineyards are open daily and are child and dog friendly. There is live music on the weekends and, if you care to stay on, you can book the unique TreeHouse rental which was built by the TreeHouse Guys from the DIY TV Network.
Bear Claw Vineyard, 2281 Tennis Court Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-223-3750
21. Southern Charm
© Southern Charm
Striving to bring all the charm of the Deep South to your dining experience, Southern Charm Restaurant is located right on Main Street, where it is a favorite meeting place for local Blue Ridge residents and their visitors. Promising to deliver the best finger-lickin’ southern comfort food in the region, the menu kicks off with Fried Green Tomatoes and Fried Pickles, two of the most popular starters. These are followed by a selection of mouth-watering salads, sandwiches/burgers and entrees including everyone’s favorite Southern Fried Chicken, Fried Catfish and Popcorn Shrimp. Other delights include Grandma’s Biscuit Chicken Hot-Pot and a choice of irresistible southern desserts.
Southern Charm, 224 W. Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-9090
22. Zip Line Canopy Tours Blue Ridge
The Zip Line Canopy Tour will expose you to some of the most outstanding Blue Ridge Mountain scenery as you zip your way from tower to ground. Set on over 165 acres of stunning landscape, the outfit offers two different zipping packages. If you have never tried zip-lining before you will probably be most comfortable choosing the 1-hour Zip-line Tour which includes 7 zips (covering a half mile in distance), 6 canopy decks and a sky bridge. For the more experienced zipper, there is a 2-Hour Zip-line Package which doubles the fun and exposes you to higher zip-line platforms. All tours are guided and you need no experience to join in the fun.
Zip Line Canopy Tours Blue Ridge, 891 Old Cashes Valley Road, Blue Ridge, GA 30513,
23. 2nd Story Entertainment
© 2nd Story Entertainment
It’s not often that you find an indoor mini-golf and entertainment center where the entire family can have fun on inclement days. 2nd Story Entertainment offers a full 18-hole mini-golf course set across 8 rooms and a 2-room games arcade. Located on the upper level of an historic 112-year old hotel, 2nd Story Entertainment is an ideal children’s birthday party venue but is also perfect for an afternoon of family fun or a group outing. Included in the cost of your mini-golf game is a round of Checkers and a Giant Connect game. When hunger strikes you can fill up on soft drinks and Mayfield Ice Cream.
2nd Story Entertainment, 733 E Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-633-0466
24. Escape Blue Ridge
Carefully planned to test your Houdini skills, Escape Blue Ridge offers excellent entertainment for families, groups, corporate team-building or birthday events. The various escape rooms are suitable for all ages and everyone in the room will have to contribute their unique problem-solving skills in order to solve the riddles in the allotted time. In case you are worried, participants are not really locked in the room and can leave if they feel uncomfortable at any stage. The themed escape rooms are watched over by the Game Master, who can give you clues if you and your team are stumped or increase the difficulty of your mission if required.
Escape Blue Ridge, 389 W 1st Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-258-3803
More About Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway, starts in North Carolina, at Great Smoky National Park, ending up in Virginia, at Shenendoah National Park. The parkway is famously named: “America’s Favorite Drive”, and is driven annually by thousands of people. With plenty of hiking trails, diverse recreational opportunities, and natural beauty set to awe, driving any length of the parkway is a fun, historic, and nostalgic activity.
The park, originally known as the Appalachian Scenic Highway, was built during President FDR’s administration. Construction began in June of 1936 and was only 2/3rds of the way completed by 1942. It wasn’t completed entirely, from end to end, until 1987. One major factor of building the parkway was to try to jump start to economy by creating jobs through the construction, engineering and architecture related needs this type of project would require.
Although the Blue Ridge Parkway is a road, it is also so much more than that. The road stretches 469 miles and visitors, no matter how long drivers stay on the parkway, they will experience history, culture, and fun!
Visitor Center - There are a few visitor centers, positioned along to the parkway to provide convenient access in both Virginia and North Carolina. Each center offers a glimpse into the history of the region, any local activities, as well as allowing visitors to get out of the car and stretch.
Fall leaf viewing - The most popular draw of visiting the parkway is coming during the autumn to experience the beauty of the leaves. The first thing to know is that the leaf changing season depends on the elevation - leaves at higher elevations tend to change faster than those at lower elevations. However, the leaves in general tend to peak in terms of color in October, usually from the middle to the end of the month. The best plan, for visitors who have time and plan ahead, is to try different elevations and just drive some.
Golfing - There are a handful of golf courses to try out for guests who enjoy the sport of golf and want to stretch their legs some during their drive! Check out Mountain Aire, Skyland, Olde Beau, and/or Blue Ridge courses, located throughout North Carolina and Virginia.
Hiking - Besides taking the scenic drives, the parkway offers a diverse selection of hiking trails for visitors who want to experience the scenery in a more direct way. There are at least one hundred different trails to try, of varying degrees of difficulty. The trails run alongside and occasionally cross the parkway itself, so they are easy to access. Some of them even lead visitors to historic sites. Guests should make sure to follow the marked trails to avoid crossing into any private land.
Fishing - For guests who enjoy fishing, there are many points where they can stop and check out the rivers, streams and ponds along the parkway. Be aware that a state fishing license is required, so visitors should be aware what state they are in before fishing. The majority of the bodies of water are considered “game fish’ waters, which means federal regulations apply.
The special events are nearly endless on the parkway, due to the expansive nature of the parkway itself and how many miles it encompasses. The website maintains a complete database of events, including date, time, location, and any cost associated. It is recommended to check the calendar before a visit. Events can be anything from seasonally related (there is a national gingerbread house building competition in December, visits with Santa Claus, and rides on “The Polar Express”), to nationally recognized events (a favorite is the celebration of National Trails Day in June - originally dreamed up by the American Hiking Society) and musical events (featured every Friday is free bluegrass music, with a frequently changing line up of artists). There are also arts and craft shows, car and motorcycle shows (cruise ins are common up and down the parkway), and food festivals. Many of the events are offered free of charge.
Dining and Shopping
There is a large interactive map maintained on the website that links guests directly to the diverse variety of restaurant and dining options located along the parkway. From delis, to barbeque, to coffee houses, there is truly something for everyone. It is similar with shopping options. There is a nearly endless supply of gift shops, galleries, art shops, and general stores.
Blue Ridge Parkway, PO Box 2136, Asheville, NC, 28802-2136, Phone: 828-670-1924
More Places to Visit in North Carolina
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