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. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
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
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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
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
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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.
576 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 706-632-6886
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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
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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.
933 Cashes Valley Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30522-2010, Phone: 706-408-7433
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
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13.Toccoa Wilderness Tubing
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Located about 8 miles from Blue Ridge, Toccoa Wilderness Tubing offers a fun and relaxing family day out. They will pick you up from the parking lot in their comfortable van and drop you, your life vest, and your tube at the Sandy Bottom launch area. Once in the water, just relax and let the river take you, with just a few strokes with a paddle when needed. There are a few spots of rushing water and a few large rocks, which you guide will warn you about. Stay clear of trees and logs. After about 1.5 hours you will float under the historic Shallowford Bridge, close to the end of your journey. Change into dry clothes and enjoy a snack at the picnic tables on the river bank.
B, 8436 Aska Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, Phone: 706-455-6496
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12 Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge, GA
- Baugh House Historic Museum, Photo: Baugh House Historic Museum
- Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, Photo: Courtesy of Andrea Izzotti - Fotolia.com
- Das Kaffee Haus, Photo: Das Kaffee Haus
- Lake Blue Ridge, Photo: Courtesy of johndwilliams - Fotolia.com
- Long Creek Falls, Photo: Courtesy of zyoma_1986 - Fotolia.com
- Mercier Orchards, Photo: Courtesy of yevgeniy11 - Fotolia.com
- Tank Town USA, Photo: Courtesy of OlegDoroshin - Fotolia.com
- The Sweet Shoppe, Photo: The Sweet Shoppe
- Toccoa River Swinging Bridge, Photo: Courtesy of alenazamotaeva - Fotolia.com
- Blue Ridge Adventure Park, Photo: Courtesy of WavebreakMediaMicro - Fotolia.com
- Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides, Photo: Courtesy of Philipimage - Fotolia.com
- Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Photo: Grumpy Old Men Brewing
- Toccoa Wilderness Tubing, Photo: Courtesy of Colin - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Laura Ballard - Fotolia.com
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
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