I have to admit that I stumbled upon Blue Ridge, Georgia, quite by accident.
Even though I have spent time in the mountains of north Georgia, until recently I was unaware of this secret little vacation spot. I’m glad I found it, though.
Blue Ridge is a small, touristy mountain town, best described as Gatlinburg before all the commercialism.
While Blue Ridge itself is small, the larger Fannin County offers activities to match the tastes of everyone in your group.
The area is nestled in the lower part of the Appalachian Mountains, and the mountain spirit is alive and well.
You are likely to see trucks and SUVs loaded with canoes, kayaks, or mountain bikes because outdoor endeavors are the key to life in this north Georgia town.
Even if you aren’t into outdoor adventures, the quaint downtown offers a variety of shops and restaurants.
Of course, the area wouldn’t be a modern tourist attraction if it didn’t have its share of local breweries and wineries, and a surrounding metro area with museums and nightlife.
For those looking for a quick guide to some of the more interesting things to do, I present Wil’s Don’t Miss List:
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway (Blue Ridge, Ga.)
Ride the rails through the picturesque Appalachian Mountains in a classic locomotive. It follows the Toccoa River to the town of McCaysville, where you can shop or see the sites before returning to Blue Ridge. The train offers open-air cars and climate-controlled cars.
Expedition Bigfoot (Cherry Log, Ga.)
Opened earlier this year, this museum dedicated to all things Sasquatch is fun and educational for those who have even the smallest interest in the legendary cryptozoological creature. Various forms of “evidence” about the creatures’ existence are on display, but the most fascinating exhibits are those showing the Native American experiences with Bigfoot.
Mercier Orchard (Blue Ridge, Ga.)
In its fourth generation of the same family, this is the largest orchard in the southeast. It features farm tours, cider (including hard cider and wine), a market, special events, and just about every apple-related thing you can imagine.
Tank Town USA (Morganton, Ga.)
Drive tanks, crush cars. For more detailed info, see my last story here.
Trailhead of the Appalachian Trail (Fannin County, Ga.)
The summit of Springer Mountain is home to the start of the famed 2000+ mile hiking trail leading to Maine. Multiple hiking trails and waterfalls can be accessed from this area.
Blue Ridge Ghost Tours (Blue Ridge, Ga.)
Starting from a quaint, old-fashioned book store on Main Street, this relatively new ghost tour is a great way for visitors to learn the history of the area while getting the occasional shudder down their spines.
Outdoor Activity (everywhere)
Hiking, biking, watersports, rock climbing: Fannin County and the surrounding area has it all, and it is all spectacular.