North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun

Scenic drives, amazing hiking trails, waterfalls, mountain views, awesome restaurants, great small towns, and so many adventures can be found in the mountains of North Georgia.

The North Georgia mountains offer plenty of camping, glamping, and luxurious RV spots, as well.

Here are more than 120 amazing ways to have fun in the North Georgia mountains!

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun

Blue Ridge: Your year ’round adventure oasis

Gather your loved ones for an adventure to remember just north of Atlanta. Bring them all to Blue Ridge! There are amazing cabins to fit everyone…and your budget. Take a hike or bike ride. Explore nature. Feast on some delicious food and wine from area wineries. You really can enjoy the North Georgia mountains year round with the whole gang! Now, go ahead and make some memories.

Address:
Blue Ridge, Georgia

 

THINGS TO DO IN BLUE RIDGE GA

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun
Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad
  • Ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. One of our family’s favorite things to do in Downtown Blue Ridge is to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. We enjoy the open-air cars the best. Every ride is amazing, but the fall foliage ride will take your breath away!
  • Hike to a waterfall. Blue Ridge's hiking and waterfalls draw a crowd year round. Fall Branch Falls is an easy family walk off Aska Rd, with an upper and lower level falls. Long Creek Falls is only 2 miles round trip, but it is a tad more strenuous.
  • Rent a cabin. Mountain Top Cabin Rentals is the the group we used when staying in Blue Ridge, and I was very pleased. My favorite things were the wraparound porch with mountain views, the screened-in porch in the master bedroom, the fire pit, the game room downstairs for the kids, and the hot tub with a view.
  • Visit Mercier Orchards. In our opinion, Mercier Orchards is the best option for strawberry, blueberry, and apple picking in the state. The shop and restaurant are worth a stop even if the u-pick is not open. I love the chicken salad served in a tomato for lunch. This is also a fun place to get groceries for a cabin stay.
  • Get out on the lake. If you love the water, then head to Lake Blue Ridge, where 80% of the lake's shoreline is sitting in the National Forest. There are several access points for those with a boat. Without a boat, head to Morganton Point Recreation Area to enjoy a “beach,” camping units, restrooms, and an outfitter with kayaks and paddleboards.
  • Take the kids to Lilly Pad Village. With kiddos, spending some time at The Lilly Pad Village is a must. Enjoy gem mining, mini golf amongst the trees, fishing, and hiking.
  • Visit a swinging bridge. The Toccoa River Swinging Bridge is a fun place to hike. Camping is first-come-first-serve, but worth the effort to grab a place along the river.
  • Go to the drive-in. The family-friendly Swan Drive-In Theatre in Blue Ridge offers a unique taste of the past with current, first run movies. Enjoy a movie outside under the stars or in the privacy of your car. The Swan is one of four drive-in theaters in the state that is still operating.
  • Go fish. Even if you’re not an avid fisherman, everyone has to try their hand at trout fishing in Blue Ridge, Ga. It’s the Trout Capital of Georgia! Find a spot along the Toccoa River for the best chance of catching a prize.
  • Eat along the river. Whether you catch something or not, extend your trout experience by dining along the Toccoa at the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant.  Here you'll find delicious fare and breathtaking outdoor seating options.
  • Enjoy the spa. If you’re tired from the hiking and fishing and shopping, then finish the day at Serenity in the Mountains. Enjoy a massage or any number of treatments, or stay the night and indulge on a Romantic Spa Package or a Girl’s Getaway Package.
  • Hike. If you're looking for hiking trails, Blue Ridge is a must-visit. Most people are familiar with the Appalachian Trail, but did you know it was envisioned by a man named Benton MacKaye? You can hike along the route he originally envisioned on the Benton MacKaye Trail. It starts at the same place as the AT and stretches 300 miles to the northeast end of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Take a tour. A Brew House Tour with Blue Ridge Mountain Food Tours is a must. Enjoy 20-25 minute stops at 5-6 beer-focused restaurants and a brew pub to sample offerings on their menu.  And while you're in the mood, visit the Fannin Brewing Company, a hometown micro-brewery influenced by German style.

Stay Here: Hampton Inn Blue Ridge | Read More: 50+ Best Adventurous Things To Do In Blue Ridge GA

THINGS TO DO IN HELEN GA

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun
Photo courtesy of Helen CVB
  • Go Tubing. There is a plethora of Helen, GA, attractions, most notably tubing down the Chattahoochee River. Here you can water tube the Chattahoochee on a one- or two-hour float, or grab a tube for the whole day very affordably. Kids must be 3 years old. You'll also find ziplines and water slides offered for an extra fee.
  • Visit Anna Ruby Falls. Anna Ruby Falls is an easy, short climb to a beautiful waterfall. There are a few steps near the end, but with a paved path, little ones can use a stroller most of the way. Anna Ruby Falls is our family's favorite waterfall to visit!
  • Take a short hike. My favorite short hike is Whitley Gap. The first part is fairly steep -- though my 2-year-old did it -- so bring your hiking poles. At the top of the hill, you'll ascend upon a magical array of rhododendron that creates a canopy, and then it finally opens to great long range views.
  • Visit Waterfalls. More popular hikes in this area include Raven Cliff Falls, which is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest and a family favorite, and Dukes Creek Falls, which is a short 1-mile hike to a loud and roaring waterfall.

    DeSoto Falls is fun because there are actually two falls here, an upper and a lower falls, both are easy and beautiful. High Shoals Falls Trail is another trail with a double waterfall. It’s a tad more difficult that DeSoto, and twice as long, but should not be missed. The two falls are called High Shoals Falls and Blue Hole Falls.
  • Explore Downtown. This darling German-themed town in Georgia includes gift shops, candy shops, and dynamite dining (more below).
  • Take a carriage ride. If you are visiting in nice weather, do not miss a ride around the downtown area in the horse-drawn Alpine Carriage. The kids will love feeding a carrot to the horse afterward.
  • Play putt-putt. Also great for kids -- or kids at heart -- is Alpine Mini Golf. The course is great, and it's a guaranteed fun time. And what makes a putt-putt adventure even better? Knowing there's ice cream right on site at Scoop de Scoop Ice Cream Parlor.
  • Enjoy Oktoberfest. Of course, the can’t-miss event each year in the fall is Oktoberfest. Bring the kids or make it a date night.
  • Visit a Georgia State Park. Get in touch with nature and visit one of the Georgia State Parks near Helen. Smithgall Woods offers upscale cabins; our favorite by far is Creekside Cottage. There are great trout streams, hiking and ranger programs here. Unicoi is adjacent to Anna Ruby Falls, with a lake for kayaking or fishing, hiking and more. Stay in a barrel cabin, or at the Lodge.
  • Stop by Sautee Nacoochee. The town just southeast of Helen is Sautee Naccochee. Visit the Old Sautee Store, a great general store with delicious cheeses and jellies. Next door is the Old Sautee Market. I've eaten here 2-3 dozen times. The grilled cheese is made on homemade sourdough, with the farmers cheese that the Old Sautee Store is known for. It’s in the Sautee Village that you will also find The Lavender Cottage & Garden, a gift boutique offering a variety of unique lavender products.
  • Get some pottery. If you love handmade art like we do, then you’ll also want to treat yourself to a visit to Mark of the Potter. It’s about 12 miles from Helen, in Clarkesville, and it’s worth the trip.
  • Go to the lake. Just a bit north of Helen in Hiawassee, get out on the water at Lake Chatuge.  Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and more are always on the agenda at this beautiful mountain lake.
  • See a Cabbage Patch baby be born. Finally, another place close to Helen, in Cleveland, Georgia, is BabyLand General Hospital. It costs nothing to see a Cabbage Patch baby being born. Kids will love it.

Stay Here: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Helen | Read More: 39+ Best Things To Do In Helen GA for Alpine Fun

THINGS TO DO IN ELLIJAY, GEORGIA (& NEIGHBORING DAWSONVILLE, GA)

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun

ENJOY ALL THE APPLES, SUNFLOWERS, AND PUMPKINS

Ellijay is most notable for its apple season and the Georgia Apple Festival.

We have an entire post of the Best Apple Picking Orchards in the mountains, but one of our favorites in Ellijay is BJ Reece Orchards, because it is one of the only places we have found that offers U-pick during the week.

After apple season, there are sunflowers. Fausett Sunflower Farm in Dawsonville (adjacent to Ellijay) offers 13+ acres of gorgeous flowers for picking or photographs.

Finally, in late fall, head to Burt’s Farm for pumpkin picking, a hay ride and lots of fall goodies.

Read More: Pumpkin Patch Georgia: 15+ Best Patches for a Smashing-Good Time (2023)

EXPLORE AMICALOLA FALLS

Amicalola Falls is just down from Burt’s. You can walk the falls or drive to the bottom, middle and top. The middle falls parking lot allows for a safe short walk to a footbridge that crosses the falls. It’s a great photo.

If you want to take in everything offered at this park, consider the Adventure Lodge package, which includes a stay at the Lodge and a number of family-friendly activities, priced as a package to make it more affordable.

Read More: Amicalola Falls: Everything You Need To Know About Hiking the Beautiful Falls

MORE THINGS TO DO IN ELLIJAY AND DAWSONVILLE

  • Hike to a lodge. Don’t miss Len Foote Hike Inn. You’ll hike 5 miles into the self-sufficient hiking lodge for the stay of a lifetime. It is still one of my most memorable adventures with my kids!
  • Get married. Also just outside of Ellijay is Tate House -- an amazing wedding venue. If a wedding isn't in your plans, it's still worth driving by it just to see this stately mansion built of pink marble.
  • Go shooting. Enjoy two courses with 14 stations at Etowah Valley Sporting Clays. For something more challenging, try the “Clays & Feathers” package. You'll warm up with 50 targets of sporting clays, lunch with a guide, followed by an Upland Bird Hunting experience.
  • Go bicycling. Advanced cyclists will love to take a ride with Northstar Bicycle. Saturday mornings offer beginner and intermediate rides, and Thursday nights are for advanced riders.
  • Visit the Racing Hall of Fame. Dawsonville is also home to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, preserving the history of auto racing in Georgia.
  • Enjoy art. If you’re visiting on the weekend, then plan a stop at Around Back at Rocky’s Place for one-of-a-kind folk art from dozens of local artists.
  • Get lost in a corn maze. Uncle Shuck’s is perfect for fall, with a 15 acre corn maze and pumpkin patch. They also offer pick-your-own pumpkins, a jumping pillow, tire mountain, kids maze, and gem mining
  • Play in the water. Talking Rock Park is perfect for water play.  The park includes restrooms and covered picnic tables.  There is a playground, too.  But the real fun is in the water. Kids can wade in the shallow water, or walk upstream a bit for a deeper section with fun rocks and plenty of shade. It’s difficult to find info on this secret getaway, so plug this address into your GPS: 4573 Georgia 136, Talking Rock, GA 30175

Stay Here: Comfort Inn & Suites East Ellijay | Read More: 31 Sensational Things To Do In Ellijay GA (When You Leave the Kids at Home)

THINGS TO DO IN DAHLONEGA, GA

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun
Courtesy of Discover Dahlonega
  • Hike to the AT. Springer Mountain is sacred ground, the southern-most point of the Appalachian Trail. From the parking lot, it’s a 2-mile hike to the AT.
  • See the gold. Dahlonega is known for its gold history, serving as the nation’s first gold rush town. Visit the Gold Museum first for a super overview of the history and a better appreciation of other attractions in the town.  And don't miss the Gold Rush Days Festival in October.
  • Visit the diving bell. Just around the corner from the Gold Museum you’ll find the Chestatee River Diving Bell, used for mining on the river floor.
  • Go to a gold mine. Dahlonega is also home to a few gold mines, including Crisson Gold Mine. It is home to the only working Stamp Mill in Georgia – 130 years old.
  • Visit the falls. Cane Creek Falls is a lovely roadside stop, but be aware that visitors are not allowed in the water.
  • Go to the zoo. Have fun feeding a variety or rare, mini, and unique farm animals at North Georgia Zoo.
  • Listen to live music. Crimson Moon is an exceptionally intimate live music venue on the square. Some weekend shows are ticketed, but plenty of afternoon and weekday creative opportunities call.

Stay Here: Holiday Inn Express & Suites

THINGS TO DO IN BLAIRSVILLE, GA

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun
  • Hike to a waterfall. Helton Creek Falls is a dynamic family-friendly waterfall. It is a short walk from the parking lot, and kids can play in the shallow water at the base. Mine will play here for hours at a time.
  • Visit a state park. One of Georgia’s more popular parks, there is plenty to do at Vogel State Park. Take a hike, play putt-putt, enjoy a canoe ride on the lake or hike to the falls. We adore the refurbished cabins, as well.
  • Hike to amazing views. Blood Mountain is a challenging but incredibly rewarding hike along the AT. It is probably one our top 5 favorite hikes in Georgia, with fantastic views at the peak.
  • Stop at Mountain Crossings. We never go to Blairsville without a stop at Mountain Crossings, a gorgeous stone building that marks the only covered part of the Appalachian Trail.
  • See petroglyphs. Tucked into the mountain side at Track Rock Gap, you can see rock carvings, or petroglyphs, in the soapstone. They mark a story told by Cherokee Indians over 1,000 years ago.
  • Tour a poet's farm. Byron Herbert Reece is a respected Georgia author from the early 1900s. You can tour the The Byron Herbert Reece Farm to learn about the poet and mid-twentieth century farm life.
  • Visit alpacas. Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm is free (donations appreciated) but you’ll need to make an appointment. The tours are best for older children or adults.
  • Visit Brasstown Bald. The tallest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald. Interestingly, it has a micro-climate similar to Massachusetts. Take a shuttle or walk the (nearly vertical, but paved) 6/10-mile hike to the top.

Stay Here: Paradise Hills Winery Resort & Spa | Read More: Blairsville Ga: A Stunning Mountain Town Filled With Family Adventure

THINGS TO DO IN RABUN COUNTY, GA & THE NE MOUNTAINS

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun
  • Visit a state park. Black Rock Mountain State Park is the highest state park in Georgia. Hike Ada-Hi Falls or the loop around Black Rock Lake. Take a seat on the rocks by the visitor’s center and soaking up the view.
  • Explore the Foxfire Museum. On the way into Black Rock you’ll pass a sign for Foxfire Museum. This is an outstanding living-history museum that kids (and adults) will love. There is a superb self-guided tour.
  • See Minnehaha Falls. Minnehaha Falls is another family-favorite. The hike is short and the falls are ideal for kid-play.
  • Visit Tallulah Gorge. Tallulah Gorge State Park offers something for all levels of hikers. The short rim trails are great for beginners. More advanced hikers can hike to the swinging bridge or the bottom of the gorge.
  • Visit a great waterfall. Our favorite waterfall is not a popular one. It’s a drive, and then a hike through a secluded forest. But you won’t be disappointed at Denton Branch Falls.
  • Get fresh produce. Visit Jaemor Farms for sweet produce treats like peaches, berries, pumpkins and more.
  • See more waterfalls. Moderate terrain over 1.75 miles along Lake Rabun Beach will lead you past two beautiful falls, Angel Falls and Panther Falls. Another moderate 2-mile hike in the county is Hemlock Falls at Lake Burton.
  • Explore the Dillard House. When you visit the Dillard House Restaurant you might expect just a meal, but it's a true Southern culinary event that awaits you. You can also stay overnight at Dillard House, at the Inn, in a cottage or at a secluded cabin. Try the spa or the horseback riding package.
  • Visit the railroad museum. The Tallulah Falls Railroad Museum contains a fascinating collection of artifacts and photographs preserving the history of the railroad, and houses a full-size two-foot gauge locomotive, passenger car, flat car, crane, hand pump car, caboose, and a motorized car.
  • See Toccoa Falls. Just south of Rabun County, but still along the South Carolina border, you’ll find Toccoa Falls tucked behind Toccoa Falls College. It's awesome to see, but no water play is allowed.
  • Visit Don Carter State Park. Don Carter State Park is the state’s newest park, with cabins, a beach on Lake Lanier, and plenty of water fun.
  • Stay at the Lake Rabun Hotel. Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant allows you to relax in a completely natural setting. Wake in the mornings to a gourmet breakfast in the dining room or al fresco on the deck.
  • Golf at Brasstown Valley Resort. Visit Brasstown Valley Resort and hit a few balls on the golf course. Or maybe a visit to the spa is more your speed?

Stay Here: Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa | Read More: Clayton GA: 29+ Things To Do For Family Mountain Fun

THINGS TO DO IN ROME & THE NW MOUNTAINS

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun
  • Visit the cemetery. Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome is a beautiful resting place worthy of a visit. You can also take the self-guided Tree Tour. The site boasts over 35 different species of trees.
  • Explore the Rome Labyrinth. Did you know there is a Labyrinth in Rome?
  • Stop by the Visitor Center. Right up the hill from the labyrinth is the Rome Visitor Center where you can learn about several other places to visit, like the beautiful campus of Berry College, or Ridge Ferry Park.
  • Explore a railroad tunnel. Native Americans, early settlers, the railroad and Civil War soldiers all left their mark in the land of Tunnel Hill. Visit the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center and then tour of what is left of the Western and Atlantic Railroad tunnel.
  • Visit Prater's Mill. Built in 1855, Prater's Mill is a water-powered mill originally fitted with the latest in grain cleaning, grinding and sifting machinery, all powered by the Coahulla Creek. During the Civil War, the mill was used as a campsite by soldiers from both sides.
  • Explore Fort Mountain State Park. If you're looking for Georgia State Parks with cabins, especially for a fall getaway, then head to Fort Mountain State Park. We visited one of the cabins, but you might also enjoy camping here at the campground or in the forest at a backpacking site.
  • Stay in a yurt. Stay in a yurt at Cloudland Canyon State Park, and hike down to the canyon floor for a look at two incredible waterfalls.
  • Visit Lula Lake and Falls. Lula Lake and Falls and the Land Trust is open to the general public on the first and last weekends of each month during their Public Access Dates -- also known a their Open Gate Days. Reservations are required to visit. Hiking, picnics, fresh air, and sunshine can be found here.
  • See Paradise Gardens. Howard Finster was a folk artist of “sacred art.” He began building the Paradise Garden in the 1940s, and continued with Paradise Garden which is available for tours
  • Visit Red Top Mountain State Park. At Red Top Mountain State Park you can connect with the natural beauty of Lake Allatoona and explore the iron mining tradition & history of the Etowah Valley.
  • Hike the Pine Mountain Trail. The West Trail Loop + Summit Overlook trails of Pine Mountain Trail total almost 2 miles. The scenery & the view from the top are very rewarding.
  • Enjoy a getaway at Barnsley Resort. Barnsley Resort blends a charming and romantic history with nature, outdoor sports, food, wine, and a healthy dose of pampering.
  • Visit the New Echota Historic Site. New Echota is one of the most significant Cherokee Indian sites in the nation, and was where the tragic “Trail of Tears” officially began. Today, visitors can see 12 original and reconstructed buildings and take trails leads visitors to New Town Creek and a small beaver pond.
  • Hike the Lake Loop at Sloppy Floyd State Park. Surrounded by rural countryside and the Chattahoochee Forest, Sloppy Floyd State Park offers outstanding fishing on two stocked lakes. Visitors can hike along three miles of lake loop trails and relax in swings while watching for the many bluebirds that live in the park.
  • See the flowers at Gibbs Gardens. Gibbs Gardens is one of the nation’s largest residential estate gardens.  It's beautiful all year long!
  • Snorkel in the Conasauga River. One of the most fun times we’ve ever had? Snorkeling in the Conasauga. Clear mountain waters are home to over 70 different species of fish! This is the most biodiverse river basin the world!!

Stay Here: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Rome | Read More: 1 Free 0R Cheap Things To Do in Rome Ga You’ll Love

GENERAL FUN IN THE NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS

North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun
Engelheim Vineyards offers fantastic views with your tasting.
  • Camp in a yurt. There are several places in the mountains to experience this unique glamping overnight.
  • Camp at Georgia State Parks. Spend your time camping at one of the Georgia State Parks -- we've got 52+ essential things you need to know about it.
  • Enjoy a tour of the Georgia Wine Highway. Seventeen wineries stretch from Jasper to the border. Visit during Wine Weekend in March, or take your own tour.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO NORTH GEORGIA

OUR FAVORITE NORTH GEORGIA RENTALS

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North Georgia Mountains: 120+ Amazing Ways To Have Fun