There are many things to do in the Blue Ridge GA area! Our family loves to spend time in Blue Ridge, enjoying the Blue Ridge Mountains, the rolling Toccoa River, and the beautiful Lake Blue Ridge.
Read on for the best things to do in Blue Ridge, Georgia – a prized small town in Fannin County!
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN BLUE RIDGE
- Best Near Blue Ridge Scenic Railway: The Comfort Inn & Suites hotel is located in Fannin County, just one mile from the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway historic train ride. This hotel is minutes from Lake Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge City Park, and other popular Blue Ridge sites. Breakfast is included!
- Best Near Mercier Orchards: Hampton Inn Blue Ridge, GA in Blue Ridge provides accommodations with a restaurant, a fitness center and a shared lounge. Guests can have a drink at the snack bar too. Located just minutes away from Mercier Orchards.
- Best Near Lake Blue Ridge Marina: Douglas Inn & Suites is located in Blue Ridge, Georgia and offers an outdoor pool and free WiFi access. Lake Blue Ridge Marina is 5 minutes’ drive away.
- Find even more places to stay, including cabins and campgrounds, at the bottom of this article.
RELAXING BLUE RIDGE FUN
Pick Fruit. Known for its apple orchard, Mercier Orchards is the king of the North Georgia Mountains. Families can also pick strawberries and blueberries throughout the year. Head for a U-pick event, eat lunch at the Bakery & Deli, pick up goodies from the Market Store, and try a sample at the Farm Winery (oh, that hard apple cider…yum!)
Watch a Drive-In Movie. Swan Drive-In is one of four drive-in theaters in Georgia that is still operating. It’s been in operation since 1955! Bring cash – no cards accepted.
Swim in Lake Blue Ridge. Head to Morganton Point Recreation Area for simple, old-fashioned fun like camping, picnicking, boating, and hiking — all centered around beautiful Lake Blue Ridge. The boys love swimming here, too. Motorized boats are welcome.
Rent a pontoon boat. Want to explore the water, but you don’t have a boat? Lake Blue Ridge Marina rents pontoons so you can lounge the day away on the lake.
Take the kids on a pony ride. This beautiful ranch offers fun outdoor family adventures where you can let your inner cowboy, cowgirl, or ‘Lil buckaroo shine. Hells Hollow Adventure Outpost offers horseback riding on the trail, pony rides, a pony-go-round, fishing, gem mining, zip-lining, and more.
Mine for gems. Our kiddos had fun at The Lily Pad Village gem mining, playing mini golf, hiking, and fishing.
Tube the Toccoa. Yes, you can camp at Toccoa Valley Campground — but you also don’t want to miss six miles of tubing on the beautiful Toccoa River! The tubing starts mid-May and stops the week after Labor Day.
Play mini golf. Cohutta Cove Mini Golf offers mini golf and gem mining in the mountains.
Axe Throwing Therapy. For some of the best therapy in Blue Ridge — try your hand at throwing axes at Axe Throwing Therapy. Their entire model is designed around having fun, getting competitive, and relieving stress. The targets here are projection based, which means that everything from keeping score to playing different games is done digitally. Fun!
Bike, the easy way. Looking to tour the city on a bike but need a little extra help? Rent an electric bike from Pedego Electric Bikes for a trip around Lake Blue Ridge.
Take a Sunday drive. Head to the Fannin County website for maps and directions of some of Blue Ridge’s best scenic driving tours. Restaurants, waterfalls, country drives, and more. Visiting in the fall? The Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most beautiful views of fall foliage.
Visit the art galleries. This mountain town is home to some great art galleries! Shop in downtown Blue Ridge to find something perfect to take home. Turning Leaf features fine art by local artists, or if locally-made folk art is more your style, the Fat Raccoon Gallery is for you. Multitudes Gallery features blown glass and more. There’s something for every art lover in Blue Ridge.
Explore a Yard Art Zoo. The Zoo is home to thousands of “animals” that would make an incredible addition to your yard art collection. The animals are artistic renditions crafted from metal, aluminum, and/or wood. No poop, no feeding, no walking…just enjoyment. Some of the things we saw were 19-foot tall giraffes, along with recreations of bears, roosters, elephants, horses, airplanes, velociraptors, and dragons that blow smoke! It’s truly a unique experience.
Go Geocaching. Log onto Geocaching.com (or download the app), put in Blue Ridge’s zip code (30513), and find more than 250 geocaches in the area, plus some in a few unexpected places. Fannin County even lists its top caches for you! Not sure how to get started? Check out this post on geocaching.
Stand in two states at once in Downtown McCaysville. You can stand in two states at once if you have one foot in McCaysville, Georgia, and the other in Copperhill, Tennessee! How cool is that?! McCaysville is also a fun place for window shopping and catching views of the train.
Learn about trout. Tour the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery to see rainbow trout in their various life stages, hike the grounds, or even take on a camping excursion. Annual activities include the Family Fishing Festival and fishing rodeos. You can even fish in Rock Creek, which runs through the hatchery. Orvis has a great beginner class for fly fishing!
Catch a play. Blue Ridge Community Theater offers play performances for adults and children, as well as live music productions. It’s a great way to introduce the kiddos to theater!
Track Bigfoot. Explore Bigfoot artifacts, exhibits, sketches and much more in the country’s biggest museum dedicated to Sasquatch — Expedition Big Foot. The museum is in Cherry Log, right outside Blue Ridge, but they have an outpost Downtown that you can also enjoy.
Take an Olympic tour. Explore the 1996 whitewater venue for the Summer Olympics — Ocoee Whitewater Center. Now, visitors enjoy hiking or biking historic or forest trails, playing in the water, picnicking along the river, or strolling through the native gardens and walkways.
Picnic at Horseshoe Bend Park. Horseshoe Bend Park is a relaxing escape, with a playground and a great view of the Toccoa River. Fishing here is encouraged, and sometimes you can even catch a glimpse of the train!
Relax in a cabin. Nothing is as relaxing as waking up to the peaceful sounds of the mountains. Grab a cup of Joe and hang out on the balcony of a luxurious cabin before you start your Blue Ridge adventure.
Listen to live music. Blue Ridge Community Theater‘s Live Music is Better series is an excellent music option. The theater participates and collaborates with other organizations and supports the arts in the area. They use the resources of the theater to work with the Art Center in the Spring and Fall for Arts in the Park and other special programs.
Visit a Classic Car Museum. Memory Lane Car Museum has an incredible collection of classic cars on display for the automobile-lover in your group. This private collection is now open to the public, and visitors can enjoy seeing cars and memorabilia from the past nine decades!
Ride the train. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway might be our family’s favorite mountain adventure! See the leaves of fall, visit with Santa on the Polar Express, or watch spring break forth — all from the rails. The open-air car is a sure bet for fun! The fall train is one of the best adventures in the state.
Zip through the trees. 165 acres – 13 zip lines – 50 obstacles – and an 80-ft free fall tower? What’s not to love about this adventure mecca in the mountains?! You must reach 70 inches (65 for the youth-level tour) to play at Blue Ridge Aerial Adventure Park.
Ride horses through the mountains. If you are looking for a family excursion, a romantic getaway, or an outdoor adventure guaranteed for ideal memory-making, head to Appalachian Trail Rides. 250+ acres of gorgeous land featuring creeks, wildlife, and lush trees are your backdrop for trail rides and lessons.
Stay overnight in a treehouse. This real treehouse was built by The TreeHouse Guys from DIY Network, and their impeccable craftsmanship and creativity shine! Stay with the kids, or enjoy a date night escape. Read More: 7+ DREAMY BLUE RIDGE TREEHOUSE RENTALS YOU’LL LOVE
Earn your trout badge. Blue Ridge is the Trout Capital of Georgia, so don’t miss the opportunity to do some trout fishing and hiking. And don’t be fooled – the Trout Adventure Trail is a Top 10 wintertime adventure! We especially love these teaching points! When you hike, you are eligible for a free adventure patch!
Camp the wilderness. There are several places to camp in Blue Ridge, but our favorites include Three Forks and Toccoa Swinging Bridge. This 270-foot-long bridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River.
Take on the Ocoee River. Half and full-day trips are available for kids as young as seven. Tubing is also available. Find more info here about Rolling Thunder and other white water rafting locations.
Drive a tank. Drive a tank, crush a car, or wrestle an excavator! Tank Town USA offers a true, heavy metal experience.
Mountain Bike Aska Trails. Seventeen miles are yours to explore, with mountain biking trails ranging from 30 min long to 5 hours. Trails range from 1.0 miles to 5.5 miles and are open to the public year around. Trails ascend to nearly 3,200 feet, providing vistas of mountain ridges, and descend to the shores of Lake Blue Ridge.
Explore the river. The Toccoa River Canoe Trail is an adventurous way to explore the river. From Deep Hole to Sandy Bottoms is just under 14 miles. This is not guided – you’ll need someone to pick you up, and you’ll need to head to an outfitter for a canoe if you don’t have one.
Fox Mountain Camp & Artist Retreat. Relax at one of the many natural campsites found at Fox Mountain Camp & Artist Retreat. Hike the trails, enjoy the beauty of the Chattahoochee National Forests, cool off in the nearby Toccoa River, and sleep under the stars!
The women-focused space is a break from traditional “women-only” spaces. You can also camp in the gender-mixed camp areas. Kids under 8 (and pets) are free.
HIKES AND WATERFALLS
Toccoa River Swinging Bridge. Take a hike over this 250-ft suspension bridge in the Chattahoochee National Forest. You can even camp below on the water’s edge. This is one of our family’s favorite places to adventure in Blue Ridge.
The USFS built this 270-ft long swinging bridge in the 1970s. It is the longest swinging bridge this side of the Mississippi. You can explore the bridge and surrounding areas any number of ways. Our family took the easy route — driving there by car!
We drove the 3-mile Forestry Service Road (which is pretty rough and took about 20 minutes) to the parking lot, where we walked .25 miles to the bridge. I recommend setting your odometer because the terrain makes it difficult to judge how far you’ve come. We have an old beat-up minivan, so it isn’t so horrible that it takes a Jeep. I wouldn’t bring your new Mercedes, though.
If you’re a little more adventurous, park at the Benton MacKaye Trail’s parking area on Ga. Hwy. 60 and take the 3-mile trail (and 3 miles back) to the north end of the bridge.
Finally, the way that I CAN’T WAIT to take advantage of the swinging bridge — you can camp here! It’s primitive camping; first come, first served.
Jacks River Falls Trails. Jacks River is a difficult 9-mile round-trip hike along the water. It’s not for beginners or kiddos, so leave them at home, but do hike this Cohutta Wilderness Trail for a glorious waterfall. It makes for a great fall hiking adventure.
Long Creek Falls. Long Creek is just under two miles and not too difficult. Our boys made it just fine. It’s located at Three Forks, which is an idyllic camping location.
Fall Branch Falls. This is a great family-friendly hike. Even young kiddos can make it to at least the lower falls section. We love the seclusion offered here. It’s 1 mile up and back.
Sea Creek Falls. You’ll need a 4-wheel drive to get to this area, but if you’ve got one, use it! It’s gorgeous.
Hike The Appalachian Trail. OK, so you can’t hike the whole thing…but you can start! Did you know that Springer Mountain is located in Fannin County (home of Blue Ridge)? It is!
Benton MacKaye Trail. Blue Ridge, GA is the official Benton MacKaye Trail town in Georgia. You can catch the trail at Springer Mountain where it intersects with the AT, or choose from several other trailheads in Fannin County. The 300-mile trail can take you all the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park if you’re up for it!
Canoe with help from Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters. Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters is a family-run business offering rentals for kayaks, paddle boards, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, fishing poles, and tubes. It’s the perfect place to stop before heading to the lake!
SHOP, EAT & DRINK
Trout Art Trail. Want to explore downtown Blue Ridge but need to keep the kids occupied? Try this adorable Trout Art Trail Kids Game. Around Blue Ridge you can find trout statues whose names have fallen in the fish bowl, and we don’t know who is who!
Download the map at the link above to help, and then return your sheet to the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center for a prize!
Canoe. Find the perfect memento to memorialize your getaway with jewelry and bags at Canoe where Lynn Kemp showcases wearable art. Kemp’s products, all of which are handmade in Blue Ridge, can be found at nearly 700 independent retailers nationwide.
Mystic Mountain Pizza. Delicious pizza, huge salads, crazy-awesome desserts…all in a fun “hippie” atmosphere. We love Mystic and stop in on the regular. This may sound unusual, but you also MUST order one of their hot dogs…or three. When you see the menu — and taste the treasures — you’ll know why. Old-fashioned video games, tie-dye, a gift shop, and good food. It works for date night as well as bringing the family.
Fightingtown Tavern. This is our family’s favorite Blue Ridge lunch stop. We make a point to head here if we’re anywhere near Blue Ridge. The patio is a great place to relax, and the food is DIVINE. It’s all scratch-made. Get the pork rinds (they are best when they’re warm) and the burger or the OMG salad!
MooBears Ice Cream & Hotdogs. They’ve opened another location, this time on Main Street in Blue Ridge. Ten different hot dogs and 20 flavors of ice cream are a kid’s (and grownups’) dream!
Blue Ridge Mountain BBQ. From corn fritters to chicken salad and, of course — smoked chicken, pork, and ribs — this is a can’t-miss stop for lunch or dinner. You’ll even find Piglet Meals for the kids. Pick up or drive-thru…but we say you should get your hands messy right here, with both indoor and outdoor seating options.
Def Man Vinyl. This is North Georgia’s newest record store! You’ll also find turntables, band tees, music-themed books, artwork, rock merchandise, and fun gifts. Everything for the rock ‘n’ roll soul — including an upstairs “listening room”! There is a second location in McCaysville.
Grumpy Old Men Brewing. Started by two retired guys who love beer. In 2018, the guys decided it was becoming too much work, so they passed over the taps to a Grumpy Old Man & his Crabby Old Lady. Now the two founders enjoy the bar as regulars. They have tons of events from karaoke to food trucks, and live music.
Blue Ridge Mountain Food Tours. Get the locals’ perspective on where to eat and drink. Blue Ridge Mountain Food Tours offers three themed guided walking tours: The Fabulous Foodie Tour, The Sugar High tour, and The Brew House Tour. Each tour is about three hours long and features several stops along the way.
Hucks General Store. My boys love a stop here every time we are in Blue Ridge. Old-fashioned barrels of candy fill the front, and toys are in the back – with a view of the train!
Chocolate Express. Gourmet chocolate? Yes please! It’s hand-dipped – and Blue Ridge’s only location for handmade fudge.
The Vine of Blue Ridge. Ready to sample wines from all around Georgia? The Vine offers this (and beers) with salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. Local wine tastings are offered daily.
The Sweet Shoppe of Blue Ridge. The Sweet Shoppe of the South’s heartfelt campaign “Eat Sweet, Be Kind,” serves as the company’s platform for anti-bullying. The Sweet Shoppe was included in GA’s 100 Top Plates Locals Love and was also the winner of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” in 2014. Needless to say, their cupcakes and handmade candies are incredible.
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant. The best river-side view for dining – ANYWHERE. We love drinking a glass of wine on the back porch overlooking the river. It’s especially beautiful at night. The stuffed trout is divine.
Black Sheep Restaurant Bar and Patio. Located in the Historic Butt House, Circa 1914, the Black Sheep offers locally-sourced and great cocktails and wine selections.
Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods. Oyster Bamboo is a great spot to check out! This family-owned business is set in the most classic scene. They offer custom bamboo fly rods, bamboo rod-making classes, and a complete assortment of traditionally styled reels, lines, and accessories,
FESTIVALS WORTH THE DRIVE
Springtime fun. Don’t miss Spring Arts in the Park, held over Memorial Day Weekend. There are more than 200 juried art, craft and food booths and the best mountain crafts and fine art, artist’s demonstrations, music, and dance. Troutfest and Outdoor Adventures is held during the last weekend in April. Great exhibits by outdoor organizations and businesses, education on trout fishing, entertainment, food trucks, and more in downtown Blue Ridge City Park.
Summer in the Mountains. There is so much going on in Blue Ridge during the warmer months! There is the Independence Day Parade and the Lake Blue Ridge Fireworks, both held on the Saturday closest to July 4th. There is also the Labor Day Festival. There is also a Wine and Jazz Festival held each June!
Fall for Blue Ridge. The annual Mountain Moonshine Festival & Car Show is one of the largest car shows in the Eastern US. Held over a weekend each October! You will want to check out Fall Foliage Train Rides during October and early November. Also, check out Fall Arts in the Park (held the second weekend in October), which features hundreds of regional artists and craftsmen, and juried art, craft, and food booths.
Christmas in Blue Ridge. Don’t miss the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway holiday train excursions, Light Up Blue Ridge, or the Holiday Art Show.
Come see these and many other annual events here!
You might also enjoy cabin rentals or a luxury vacation home rental in the North Georgia Mountains.
WHERE TO STAY IN BLUE RIDGE
With hotels, campgrounds, and vacation rentals, there are plenty of great places to hang your hat in Blue Ridge.
BLUE RIDGE CAMPGROUNDS
Our favorite RV camping spot near Blue Ridge is actually located in the quaint and friendly town of Murphy, North Carolina. About 26 miles from Blue Ridge, J&J’s Getaway welcomes guests to explore the beauty of the North Carolina Mountains and all its natural glory. With babbling creeks and mountain views all around, this is a great spot.
BLUE RIDGE CABIN RENTALS
Cozy for Couples. Gorgeous mountain views from every room! Chasing Fireflies -a new modern-rustic cabin with two master suites and a downstairs entertainment deck- this is perfect for one or two couples to relax and play. No children under 18 are allowed on site.
Details: 4 guests · 2 bedrooms · 2 beds · 2.5 baths · Rental Info
Family-Sized Cabin. This gorgeous three story Blue Ridge Treehouse called “INN THE RAVINE” is located in the Aska Adventure Area and is unlike any property you’ve ever seen. Meticulous architectural and designer details abound in this 750 sf property with decks from every view, sitting on 4 private acres overlooking National Forest with direct hiking access to the Benton MacKaye Trail right outside your door.
Details: 5 guests · 2 bedrooms · 3 beds · 1 bath · Rental Info
Plenty of Space for Large Groups. Enjoy a ridiculously luxurious vacation on Lake Blue Ridge in this newly renovated lakefront lodge is HGTV’s Kristy Petrillo’s latest project. Featuring an all-new expansive lakeside, covered party deck with a huge fireplace, this 7-bedroom (5 master suites) 6.5 bath cabin has everything you could need for your perfect getaway. With a private covered dock, plenty of water toys on hand, a BBQ grill on the deck, private hot tub, a game room with full arcade-size video games, pool table and indoor shuffleboard, upscale furnishings and Kristy’s signature contemporary rustic design throughout, you’ll wish you could stay here forever!
Details: 25 guests · 7 bedrooms · 16 beds · 6.5 baths · Rental Info
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO BLUE RIDGE
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- DOWNTOWN BLUE RIDGE GA: 17 Best Spots You Don’t Want To Miss
- CABIN RENTALS: 33 Dreamy Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals
- WHERE TO EAT: These 27 Blue Ridge Restaurants Showcase Culinary Delight In The Mountains
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