Whether your idea of family fun is a horseback ride through the mountains or a scenic train ride on a vintage rail car, Blue Ridge, Georgia is bound to have something everyone in your family will enjoy.
Seriously, there’s something for all ages, but the kiddos in your crew will have a blast if you can squeeze in a few of these suggestions the next time you visit Blue Ridge. And if we’ve forgotten something that you consider a ton of fun while you’re in this Georgia mountain town, be sure to send us a note so we can add it for others!
Ready to get started? Here are 17+ family things to do in Blue Ridge GA that you and your crew are sure to enjoy.
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COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN BLUE RIDGE GA
- Best Downtown. With an ideal location in downtown Blue Ridge, Hampton Inn Blue Ridge is the place to be in the heart of all the fun. Kick back with food and drinks at their rooftop bar, overlooking the town and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Free breakfast.
- Best Near The Railway. The Comfort Inn & Suites hotel is located just one mile from the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway historical train ride. This hotel is minutes from Lake Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge City Park, the Baugh House historical home and Mercier Orchards, a popular family-owned and operated apple orchard. Free breakfast.
- Private Home Rental. Featuring a hot tub and a game room, the Blue Ridge Barn Retreat is set in Blue Ridge. Guests will love the free WiFi throughout the property, and the privacy. This home has three bedrooms and sleeps 7.
COHUTTA COVE MINI GOLF AND GEM MINING
Cohutta Cove Mini Golf is much more than your run-of-the-mill putt putt golf course. This one also has a chance to do a little mining for gems, too.
There are 18 holes of miniature golf, and that’s definitely what draws most people in to play. The course is located just south of the city of Blue Ridge and is open Monday through Saturday from Noon until 6pm, as long as the weather is nice. They’ll be open if it’s just a light rain, and even in the snow, as long as the ball can still roll. And they play in the cold, too.
There’s a concession stand where you can get snacks (coffee for mom and dad, and smoothies, chips or candies for the kids). And if you think the kids will like gem mining, too, you can buy a combo package and save a few bucks. Gem mining is open even on rainy days because the mining area is covered.
Vertigo Pinball is the place where adults with a passion for pinball will find their idea of heaven, and even potentially convince the younger kids to get hooked on the games.
The owner is someone who fell in love with pinball as a kiddo in his basement, then at his local bowling alley. He collected machines and stored them in his Atlanta home for years before moving them all to Blue Ridge. Now, they’ve become the backbone of his business, Vertigo Pinball.
Add in some fun food and craft beers and ciders and you have a great way to spend a few hours in Blue Ridge. You’ll find it directly on Main Street in downtown Blue Ridge, along with all the shops.
Read More: DOWNTOWN BLUE RIDGE GA: 17 BEST SPOTS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
If your crew would prefer a more natural way to spend the day, hiking the trails is ideal, but it’s possible the kids may not be up to the challenge of a long walk. Well, why not consider horseback riding in Blue Ridge? You can cover a ton of terrain, see the beautiful landscapes, and enjoy an adventure trail ride.
There are several areas where you can do this, with horses available for people of all skill levels. No matter which one you go with, make sure you wear long pants (even in the hot summers). And it’s best if you have boots on, or at least something with a heel to keep your foot in the stirrup.
If you have a lot of experience with horses, the Cohutta Stables offer a half-day or full-day trail trip, crossing rivers, creeks and covering about 13 miles of mountains and valleys. If your crew isn’t as skilled, you can take them to Daffodil Hill Farms. That’s more like a carriage ride with a restored 1800s wagon ride. You’ll ride out to an 80-foot tall waterfall, feed chickens and hold a goat.
Families might also like the Appalachian Trail Rides with their dinner ride option. You can ride for an hour and then stop at the ponds on the property where you can do some fishing while they prepare dinner of ribs, smoked turkey or pulled pork.
Cowgirl Up Stables is another possibility if you don’t have riding experience. You can enjoy a picnic or even go on a sunset ride. Brasstown Valley Resort is another option available, and this one can host both experienced or beginner riders.
Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides has a deal for a ride that lasts about an hour and then is followed up with a massage (maybe save this one for the weekend you don’t bring the kids!).
If the kids are old enough to go white water rafting, the Blanche Manor folks have the perfect adventure! You ride for about 75 minutes and then head to the Ocoee Adventure Center where you’ll do a three hour rafting trip. Every teen I know who’s taken a similar trip could not stop talking about that fun for years to come!
Read More: HORSEBACK RIDING BLUE RIDGE GA: 9 BEST SPOTS FOR FUN IN THE MOUNTAINS
LILLY PAD VILLAGE
Another spot where you can go fishing and have a lot of other fun is the Lilly Pad Village. You’ll find it in the Aska Adventure Area. They also have mini golf and gem mining, along with picnic tables to make an entire afternoon of it.
It’s a lot more remote than some of the other fun outings, but that’s part of the appeal. You’ll be greeted by some music that they promise will make you smile. And they have ice cream. Enough said.
I can honestly say no trip to Blue Ridge is complete without a stop at Mercier Orchards. It doesn’t matter if you just want to pop into the shop for some fresh baked goods and a gallon of cider, or you want to spend hours apple picking. There is something everyone will enjoy.
Bill and Adele Mercier started the orchard back in 1943 and the family has kept it going since then. They have Tractor Tours and U-Pick sessions on weekends. For U-Pick you get to pick your own fruit, depending on the season. Apples are what they’re known for, but they also have blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries growing on the 300 acres of land they own.
You can go fishing here, too. Or, take a sip at the winery on premises. Just know if you buy some wine for later, the kids are also going to want to pick a snack too, and the candy kitchen is packed with delicious sweets. (You really shouldn’t leave without buying a fried pie!)
Read More: YOUR ESSENTIAL APPLE PICKING GEORGIA GUIDE
BLUE RIDGE ADVENTURE PARK
The Blue Ridge Adventure Park is also known as the Aerial Adventure Park and this one is going to be another that the kids will never forget. It’s an obstacle challenge course designed with various levels of difficulty. There are suspended bridges and tight ropes from 15 to 50 feet in the air, though you will be secure the whole way, clipped onto a safety line. You do need to be 10 or older.
The obstacles have names like “Hang on Sloopy”, “Crying the Blues” and “Truth or Dare”. They say you’ll know which is which once you’re up there.
The hours are adjusted based on the time of the year, and you do need to make a reservation either online or over the phone. Having done this, I can say it’s helpful to be in pretty good physical shape.
ZIPLINE CANOPY TOURS OF BLUE RIDGE
The Adventure Park is going to challenge your fitness, but the Zipline Canopy Tours are going to challenge your courage. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, the two-hour tour will be ideal. If you’re not so sure how the kids will handle the thrill, maybe start with the one-hour option.
The longer version has 13 ziplines with 12 canopy decks and 3 sky bridges. The one-hour tour is 7 zips, 6 canopy decks, and 1 sky bridge.
The course is located about six miles from downtown and it’ll give you great views of the North Georgia Mountains.
HUCK’S GENERAL STORE
Huck’s General Store is situated directly in downtown Blue Ridge and has been around since 2008. It is a must-stop for kids in Blue Ridge.
The owners fell in love with the North Georgia mountains and decided they wanted to open a business in the area. Huck’s General Store is their brainchild. Their goal: Create a place “where people could feel good for a while; a place that had something for everyone”.
You’ll step foot in the store and good luck getting out without the kids begging for something. It may just be one piece of candy from their massive barrels, or the stuffed animals they’ll forever connect with Blue Ridge. It’s a bit of a blast into the past, but still plenty of fun for all ages.
Now THIS is a different kind of adventure, and you’ll get something different out of it based on how you get there.
The Swinging Bridge is a 270-foot-long hiking bridge. It’s actually the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River. It’s located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail over the Toccoa River in Fannin County.
When I went, I was with my 80-year-old mother, so we took the drive in, which was adventure enough for us that particular day. It’s a three mile drive down a mostly one-lane gravel road through the mountain. The entire drive I was hoping another car wouldn’t come our direction and make us pull over a tad to let them through. Three cars did in the three miles, and that was a challenge enough.
Once we got to the parking area, it was just about half a mile to the bridge. Worth it. The drive out, for whatever reason, felt much easier on my low-rider car. Others get there by hiking the Benton MacKaye Trail. And kayakers and canoers will see it while coming down the Toccoa River Canoe Trail.
Read More: 50+ BEST ADVENTUROUS THINGS TO DO IN BLUE RIDGE GA
TROUT ART TRAIL KIDS GAME
This one is perfect for the littlest kids in your family. The Trout Art Trail Kids Game is like a scavenger hunt for fish.
Essentially, you just go to the link and print out the game sheet that shows the different trout statues around town. Your kiddos will collect the names of the fish on each statue. Once all the names are filled in, they’ve succeeded in the game!
This adventure will take you from Blue Ridge Adventure Gear to the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce. Here’s to hoping you can hook them all!
FAMILY FUN ADVENTURE GAME BOOK
The Trout Trail game is fun, but there’s an entire Adventure Game Book to keep them busy, too. You can go to the link and print one out, or stop in the Visitor Center for a copy, along with some crayons.
The Adventure Game Book showcases 7 family-fun spots around the county that they can learn about while they color. They’ll learn about a lot of the spots we’ve mentioned here, plus places like Horseshoe Bend Park, the Morganton Point Recreation Area, and Sandy Bottoms on the Toccoa River (take your water shoes)!
BLUE RIDGE SCENIC RAILWAY
Just go ahead and make reservations to ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway right after you set up the dates of your stay. In fact, make sure there are slots open on the train before you book the place you stay, especially if you want this to be part of your adventure when the leaves are turning in the fall.
The train is a pivotal part of downtown. After all, railroads played a vital role in the region’s development between the 1800s and the early 1900s. They contributed to the growth of small towns like Blue Ridge, connecting them to other towns along the tracks. Well, that is still the case in downtown Blue Ridge, with the historic Scenic Railway.
You can climb aboard and make your way to McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. When you stop off in those towns, you can check out the local scenery, including eateries, breweries and shops. The Fall Foliage tour often sells out.
If you’re in town without the kids, you can take a Premier Class car, but when the family is with you, the other cars will be a better fit. A ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway with kids is a must!
Read More: YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SPRING AND FALL ON THE BLUE RIDGE SCENIC RAILWAY
TWO STATES AT ONCE
When you get off at the railway stop for McCaysville, be sure to jump on the unique opportunity of having your feet in two states at the same time. It’s right on the Georgia and Tennessee state line, and literally painted blue on the street and sidewalks to make it obvious to all just where you stand (see what I did there?).
On one side you’ll be in McCaysville, GA, and on the other is Coppherhill, TN. Kids (and adults) always think this is a super fun thing to do.
LONG CREEK FALLS
If your kids are up to the challenge, lace up your hiking boots and go for a hike. You can go up a scenic stretch of the Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls. It’ll take you through the Three Forks Creek Valley in the Chattahoochee National Forest, four miles from its Georgia start on Springer Mountain.
At Three Forks, there’s a two-mile out-and-back hike that’ll allow you to explore one of the most beautiful stretches of the Appalachian Trail in this state. There are trout streams that converge and form Noontootla Creek at Three Forks (thus, the valley’s name). It’s a fabulous place to hike, fish, and camp if your crew is up for it!
Do know there are slippery rocks and fast moving water to be careful of. Don’t let the kids jump from the waterfall.
Read More: 33+ BEST WATERFALLS IN GEORGIA YOU’VE JUST GOT TO SEE
LAKE BLUE RIDGE
Besides the downtown area, Lake Blue Ridge is what attracts tens of thousands of people to this area each year. The lake is peppered with million dollar homes around its shores, as well as campsites. There are many places you can rent if you want the waterfront vacation this area is famous for.
Campsites are a fit if you prefer the more adventurous side for your time off. Or, you can just make it an afternoon stop on your trip to the north Georgia mountains.
At the Lake Blue Ridge Marina you can rent anything from motor boats to kayaks. The lake is almost 3300 acres and has several boat ramps and 65 miles of shoreline. Not all the shoreline is developed, though. In fact, only about a fourth is. The rest is land in the Chattahoochee National Forest, managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Read More: THE ESSENTIALS FOR A PERFECT LAKE BLUE RIDGE GETAWAY
THE SWEET SHOPPE OF THE SOUTH
With all the outdoor activities, you’ve likely earned the right to some sweets while you’re visiting. There’s one place in downtown Blue Ridge that you’ll definitely want to put on your list of must-do’s. It’s called The Sweet Shoppe of the South and is as much about friendship between two women as it is about the delicious treats they whip up each day.
They sell fresh, made from scratch, gourmet desserts. And they’re a little bit famous after being on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. You can get much more than cupcakes, though. In fact, if you’re celebrating any special occasion, they’ll whip you up a custom cake or dessert.
SWAN DRIVE-IN THEATRE
If you want to really take the family on a blast from the past, you should add a night at The Swan Drive In Theatre to your list of must-visits.
The Swan Drive-In is one of four drive-in theaters in the state of Georgia still operating. It was built in 1955, and they say the drive-in theater was the beginning of the real growth of Blue Ridge. People came from miles around to see movies on a large screen.
Now, it’s easy to watch movies on your phone, but that’s never going to provide the experience the family will get at an old-school drive-in. Cash only.
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The North Georgia mountains are well-known for trout fishing and you can find a ton at the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery. It’s located off of Highway 60 between Morganton and Dahlonega. It’s operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and raises a million rainbow trout each year to stock the tailwaters, streams and lakes of northern Georgia. If there’s a place where it’s easier to catch a fish, I don’t know where it is.
You can go fishing there, hiking, enjoy a picnic and even camp close by. You do need a Georgia fishing license, though. Oh, and they’re only open weekdays from 8am-3pm, so keep that in mind, too, and plan accordingly.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO BLUE RIDGE
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- HOTELS: 5 Best Blue Ridge GA Hotels And Bed & Breakfasts You’ll Love
- TREEHOUSES: 7+ Dreamy Blue Ridge Treehouse Rentals You’ll Adore
- CABINS: 33 Dreamy Blue Ridge Cabins
- RESTAURANTS: These 27 Blue Ridge GA Restaurants Showcase Culinary Delights In The Mountains
WHERE TO STAY IN GEORGIA
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