If the scenery alone doesn't draw you to Blue Ridge, you'll quickly find reasons to get away to this North Georgia town with these things to do, places to stay, great restaurants and events.
Blue Ridge, Georgia, is a beloved mountain getaway first settled in the 1800s as a railroad stop. Downtown features shops and art galleries, restaurants and breweries. Further afield, visitors can enjoy the outdoors, including hikes, whitewater rafting, trout fishing and wildlife spotting. Spend the night in one of the area's rental cabins or a traditional hotel.
Things to Do
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Downtown Blue Ridge has plenty to see, including antique stores, art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and other attractions. Start with a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which winds through the Chattahoochee National Forest along the Toccoa River. The restored train takes passengers on a four-hour trip between north Georgia and Tennessee with a layover for lunch.
Mercier Orchards is a Blue Ridge landmark that grows more than 50 varieties of apples. Visit the orchard in the fall to go apple picking, and you'll also find cider (alcoholic and non), jam and baked goods. Other times of year, you'll find peaches, cherries and strawberries. The farm also has U pick and tractor rides.
Vineyards & Breweries
There’s no shortage of wineries and breweries around Blue Ridge. Bear Claw Vineyards offers mountain views to enjoy while sipping their red and white varieties, including the popular Cayuga White. They also have a treehouse where you can spend a night or longer. Another favorite is Serenberry Vineyards, which offers tastings of their sweet whites and rose.
Spend time on the water, including Lake Blue Ridge, which was formed by a hydroelectric dam. Lake Blue Ridge Marina is a place to put in your boat or rent one, along with paddleboards and paddle boats.
Lay your head at one of Blue Ridge's cozy accommodations.
Hotels & Inns
The Hampton Inn Blue Ridge is located in the heart of downtown, just steps away from restaurants, retail shopping and the Blue Ridge Scenic Depot. Comfort Inn & Suites has standard hotel amenities like a large fireplace in the lobby, free breakfast, a fitness center, laundry facilities, and a business center. There are also several places to stay intown, so you're as close as possible to downtown Blue Ridge's shops and restaurants.
Settle into one of Blue Ridge’s beloved restaurants for just about any type of cuisine.
Black Sheep Restaurant Bar & Patio
Black Sheep Restaurant Bar & Patio is a full-service eatery that combines Southern fare and fuses it with other styles. Favorites include the Asian tuna nachos, elk chops and fresh pasta, which can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio.
Harvest on Main
Nationally recognized Harvest on Main incorporates the best of local ingredients in Southern dishes with global influences. They proudly list their vendors in dishes like the Georgia-caught shrimp and Logan Turnpike grits, pan-roasted Springer Mountain chicken and Bramlett Farms trout BBQ.
Old World Italian food is the draw at Cucina Rustica, covering many regions of the country. The menu includes wood-fired pizzas, seafood and pasta. Come on weekends for veal osso bucco, which has limited availability.
Masseria Kitchen & Bar
Another pizza hotspot is Masseria Kitchen & Bar, but it’s not all about the pies. They also serve house-made pasta, brisket and polenta, and salads.
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant
Come by Toccoa Riverside Restaurant for a glass of wine or beer on the river’s edge. Their menu features fresh local trout, steaks, seafood and pasta. They even have a menu for your four-legged friends!
As the name implies, Southern Charm is all about hospitality with famous biscuits and apple butter, fried catfish and slow-roasted prime rib. Share a plate of fried green tomatoes with the table.
Chester Brunnenmeyer's Bar & Grill
Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar & Grill is a rustic American restaurant that serves wings, sandwiches and entrees like steak, pork chops and rainbow trout. It’s located inside a 1920s hotel.
A favorite local hangout, Fightingtown Tavern makes almost everything from scratch, down to the condiments. Sandwiches and burgers are enjoyed with craft beer and cocktails on the patio or in front of one of the flat-screen televisions, showing sports at all times.
There’s no shortage of events year-round in Blue Ridge.
Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off
In February, the Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off combines chili made by local organizations and restaurants along with ice sculpting by professional carvers. There’s also live music and entertainment.
Arts in the Park
More than 100 local artists and vendors come together at Spring & Fall Arts in the Park every spring and fall. There are also local food vendors, live entertainment, and proceeds benefit a local arts organization.
Troutfest & Outdoor Adventures
Every spring, Troutfest & Outdoor Adventures celebrates Blue Ridge’s great outdoors with conservation talks, local outfitters, vendors selling fishing gear and gifts, and fishing seminars. Fuel up at their Food Truck Alley and Beer Garden.