Sunset over Ellijay, Georgia. Photo by @stoneyr1ch
6 Enchanting Getaways in the North Georgia Mountains
You might think you know the North Georgia mountains: the views from Brasstown Bald, the beer halls of Helen, and the apple orchards of Ellijay. But, there’s even more to the region than meets the eye. If you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find off-the-beaten-path places to stay and things to do. Whether you get away with loved ones or solo, you’re sure to enjoy your time in the North Georgia mountains. Just be sure to bring your sense of adventure.
Getaway House in Suches
With locations around the country, Getaway House in Suches is Georgia’s outpost, located two hours north of Atlanta. The sleek and modern tiny homes are tucked into the forest and encourage guests to lock their phones away and disconnect during their stay. There are 21 pet-friendly cabins of varying sizes with full bathrooms, kitchenettes, and fire pits as well as large windows to soak up nature. Guests can go hiking at the onsite nature trail or head to another trailhead like the Jarrard Gap Trail. Bring the essentials to enjoy a fireside snack, or purchase from the pantry. Or, if you want to have a meal out, Blairsville, Dahlonega, and Blue Ridge are around 45 minutes away.
In Blairsville, you can get a bird’s eye view of the state from the highest peak in Georgia at Brasstown Bald, see the only place the Appalachian Trail passes through a human-made structure at Mountain Crossings, and go on waterfall hikes like to Helton Creek Falls. In autumn, when the trees start to show off their fiery red and yellow leaves, you’ll love the scenic views as you drive along curvy mountain roads like Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway.
Blue Ridge Treehouse at Bear Claw Vineyards in Blue Ridge
What’s better than sleeping among the trees? Sleeping above the trees in a vineyard! Built by The TreeHouse Guys on the DIY Network, the Blue Ridge Treehouse at Bear Claw Vineyards has cozy rustic furnishings inspired by the surroundings as well as conveniences like a coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, and even WiFi. When you’re ready for a glass of locally made wine, the nearby tasting room has a variety of styles, but don’t miss the Treehouse Chardonnay, named for the treehouse you’re staying in.
If you feel like getting out, you’re only four miles away from downtown Blue Ridge with its many shops and restaurants. Don’t miss a stop at Mercier Orchards for freshly picked apples in the fall and berries in the spring, and spend an afternoon riding the train along the Toccoa River on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
Dahlonega Resort & Vineyard in Dahlonega
The site of the state’s gold rush is now a popular retreat for travelers looking for small-town charm and nearby wineries. Dahlonega Resort & Vineyard has both in spades, set in the hills just 15 minutes from the historic square. The boutique-style hotel has 23 stylish rooms, a suite, and cabins.
Guests can sip their line of Twisted wines on the patio or indulge at the fine dining restaurant, where the executive chef incorporates the best regional ingredients. Unwind at the in-house spa, take a yoga class, or wander through the meditation labyrinth. Everything you need to relax is in one place.
Montaluce Winery Villas in Dahlonega
An Italian-style villa in north Georgia? That’s right! You don’t have to get your passport stamped for a European experience. Montaluce Winery is a great place to grab a glass of the Centurio red blend, but it’s much more than that. There also are four privately owned villas inspired by those found in Tuscany, each sleeping six to 10 people, perfect for a weekend with friends. Amenities include luxurious furnishings, flat-screen televisions, claw foot tubs, and balconies overlooking the vines. Enjoy farm-fresh meals with scenic views of the mountains at the onsite restaurant.
Get out and explore the shops and restaurants in downtown Dahlonega, being sure to stop into Paul Thomas Chocolates or the Picnic Café for a sweet treat. You’re likely to hear musicians playing bluegrass and Old Time music around the square, and you can sample more local wines in tasting rooms. Learn about the rich history of gold in the region at the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site, and you can even go underground to see a real gold mine.
Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way in Ellijay
If your idea of a relaxing vacation is to spend your days traversing the bike trails around Ellijay, Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way will be right up your alley. The rustic retreat offers hearty meals, pet-friendly cabins and campsite lodging, and access to the miles of mountain biking trails. The bathhouse has hot showers to clean up after a day of adventuring as well as two hot tubs to ease sore muscles. An onsite store sells craft beer and bike gear. All you need to bring is your own bike.
When you’re not riding, stop into downtown Ellijay for a pick-me-up at Ellijay Coffeehouse, and load up on locally grown apples and other produce at area farms and orchards. Seek out the area wineries to taste local varieties, and for a little mysterious fun, check out Expedition: Bigfoot!, one of the state’s most unique attractions preserving the tales of the urban legend.
Unicoi Lodge and Cabins in Helen
By day, you can visit Helen’s nearby wineries, but at night, you can sleep in a former wine barrel-turned-cabin. Unicoi State Park is right outside the Alpine town and has these cabins that have a lofted sleeping area, full kitchens, televisions, and balconies overlooking the park. If you need more space, the park has traditional cabins as well as traditional hotel-style rooms inside the lodge. It also has a restaurant, tavern, and gift shop. Within the park, visitors can enjoy activities like archery, hiking, fishing, and zip lining.
Just five minutes away is the Bavarian-style village of Helen, with cute shops and restaurants with riverside views. Take a spin on the Georgia Mountain Coaster, go tubing on the Chattahoochee River, and don’t miss the bakery case at Hofer’s for an incredible variety of freshly made pastries, breads, and desserts.