3 Days in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Northern Georgia is home to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains (part of the scenic Appalachian Mountain range). Blue Ridge is a quaint, picturesque town with a lively, charming downtown. It also has the advantage of being driving distance from many wonderful adventure filled activities and natural attractions, from river rafting through the mountains, to a relaxing train ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. 106,000 acres of the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest lies within the county. Opportunities for hiking, biking, and photography are endless.
Fall is a great time to visit as the mountains are alive with the striking colors of the season and the temperatures have cooled off to the perfect comfort level for almost any activity. The many cabin rentals found throughout the area give you the chance to relax and take in the views in a wonderful rustic setting.
As you plan your fall getaway, be sure to keep Blue Ridge, Georgia in mind. The following 3 day itinerary will give you an excellent combination of fun, relaxing, and scenic activities to enjoy during your vacation.
4:00pm – Your beautiful mountain cabin rental is waiting for you at Mount Laurel Cabin Rentals. A variety of rustic luxury cabins with wonderful wooded and mountain views are available. A cabin is the perfect place to enjoy your Blue Ridge vacation, especially if you want to relax and enjoy nature. I found this cabin company to be a great value for the area. Rentals are available for as low as 100 bucks and they often offer special promotions where you get a night free. The only negative for some may be the presence of a few Christian themed decorations around the cabin.
Appalachian Promise is a great 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath option with fantastic amenities (3 decks, a hot tub, pool table, and a secluded, wooded setting). After checking in, drive over to your cabin and relax for a bit after your long drive or flight. Take in the gorgeous views from the decks or enjoy a soak in the hot tub. After a bit of R&R, head over to Blue Ridge’s historic downtown (about a 20 minute drive) for an easy night of dining and shopping.
6:00pm – Take a walk around beautiful historic Main Street. As you enjoy a leisurely walk back in time, you will notice dozens of charming restaurants, pubs, and shops. Harvest on Main is a great choice for your first dinner. Here you will find a charming rustic setting and a cozy outdoor patio to relax and unwind. The lodge style design is fitting for the area, complimenting your cabin vacation perfectly. Servers are friendly and professional, which is always a great start to any vacation.
After dinner be sure to check out a few shops. There are lots of great choices, including The Bear Store (check out their selection of rustic cabin themed decor and festive Blue Ridge souvenirs). Pet lovers should also check out Love Dogs and Cats Too, a specialty pet retailer with plenty of treat options to bring home to your canine and feline companions.
7:00am – Get up early and enjoy a cup of coffee on the lovely deck. Summertime temps are usually quite enjoyable during the early hours. Plus, the deck is shaded. Get dressed for your hike. Do wear proper workout apparel and hiking shoes.
9:00am – Take the scenic drive over to hike Long Creek Falls, a small section of the famous Appalachian Trail. This gorgeous hike is the perfect option for your trip because it is short enough (2 miles round-trip) to not take up your whole day and easy enough for the whole family (a bit steep, but nothing too strenuous). Bring plenty of water and wear good quality hiking shoes.
Plan at least 4 hours total for the hike (more so due to the driving time to actually get to the hike). It’s only a 20 minute drive, however, about 5 miles of that consists of driving 20mph up a gravel road through the forest (a slow drive, although the views of the creek are wonderful!). Also, I recommend a hiking stick for any trail. A stick has many benefits including giving you better traction & balance, extra protection in the case of a wildlife encounter, and putting less pressure on your joints.
1:00pm – Enjoy a casual lunch at Toccoa Riverside Restaurant. It’s not the best food in town, however, it offers the best view and it is conveniently located on your return route from the hike. The river setting is absolutely beautiful, so be sure to enjoy your meal on the scenic outdoor covered patio. Take a break, relax, refuel and enjoy the views.
3:00pm– Head back to the cabin and take a relaxing break (perhaps a game of pool or a recovery soak in the hot tub) before heading back out again.
4:00pm – Hop in your car and drive over to nearby Blairsville. Enjoy a relaxing shuttle ride up to beautiful Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain in Georgia. The views are absolutely incredible, definitely some of the best views of the Appalachians in the area. Here you are treated to panoramic views of 4 different states: Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
If you feel up to it, you can hike the short, yet steep half mile trail up to the summit. It’s a challenge, but totally worth it for the great workout and sense of accomplishment. Plan at least 3 hours due to the 2 hour total driving time.
7:00pm – Enjoy a fine dining experience at The Black Sheep, the best restaurant in the Blue Ridge area. This wonderful fine dining establishment features an eclectic, accommodating menu sure to please everyone. Classy service and an elegant setting make this the perfect dinner date destination. Note: The Black Sheep is open until 9:30 pm on Friday and Saturdays, however, weekday hours end at 9pm.
9:00am – Enjoy a delicious home cooked breakfast at Serenity Garden Cafe in downtown Blue Ridge. The quaint garden like setting, friendly service, and tasty omelets are sure to put you in a good mood for the rest of the morning.
11:00am – Get ready a day of excitement, adventure, and fabulous views of the southern Appalachians! Just a half hour away on the Tennessee border, you will find Wildwater Ocoee, one of the top places in the country for whitewater rafting and also home to the 1996 Olympic Whitewater competitions.
The Class III and IV rapids provide an exhilarating setting for rafters of all levels (no experience required, however, you must be at least 12). Be prepared to get soaked, learn the ins and outs of maneuvering the raft, and most of all, have a once in a lifetime adventure! (Bring a change of clothes, you will be completely soaked after 3 hour adventure). Tip: Scan Groupon for promotions.
2:00pm – Head back into the downtown area for a casual lunch at Fightingtown Tavern, a great local sports/bar pub featuring an excellent menu and a beautiful outdoor patio. Great fresh selections (no microwaves or freezers here), allergy friendly options (check out the large gluten-free menu), friendly servers, and a classy sporty setting make this the perfect casual lunch choice.
3:00pm – After lunch head right downstairs to the Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company. Here you can sample dozens of locally made Olive Oils in a wide ranging assortment of flavors. A unique experience for anyone who loves Olive Oil. The Baklouti Green Chile Pepper and Herbes de Provence are both fantastic!
4:00pm – Head back to the cabin for a few hours of rest and relaxation. You will need it after your rafting adventure, which is a fantastic all over body workout. This is when your hot tub really comes in handy! Unwind and take in the picturesque wooded views. The gorgeous rustic setting provides the perfect year round setting, especially during the colorful fall season.
6:00pm – Visit the lovely downtown area one last time. You will never get enough of this quaint setting. Pick one last restaurant for dinner. Christie’s Courtyard Grill, Southern Charm, and The Vine Wine Bar and Bistro Restaurant are all great options which provide a casual, yet classy setting.
All provide nice outdoor seating to enjoy the nice fall weather, while taking in some of the action on Main Street. If you are craving a sweet, head over to The Sweet Shoppe, a local cupcake shop and winner of Season 6 of Cupcake Wars. After dinner pick up any last minute souvenirs. I always pick up my souvenirs last after I have had time to look through all options.
9:00pm – Head back to your cabin and get ready for check out the next day. Pack up all your suitcases so everything is ready. Leave out only what you will need in the morning. You will want time in the morning to complete all check out procedures and enjoy the views one last time. After packing up, have a nice relaxing glass of wine on the deck. Enjoy one last quiet night in the mountains!
Address & Pricing Info for Attractions
Mount Laurel Cabin Rentals. Cabin check in is located at: 1844 Old Highway 76 Blue Ridge, GA 30513. After reserving your cabin, you will receive address, terms and conditions, and check in information for your rental.
Downtown Blue Ridge. Main St. Blue Ridge, GA 30513-7153
Harvest on Main. 576 E Main St, Ste A, Blue Ridge, GA 30513-7153
L & L Beanery Coffee Cafe. 260 W Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Long Creek Falls hike. Refer to the step by step instructions on the Fannin County Welcome Center website.
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant. 8055 Aska Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Brasstown Bald. There is no physical address. Enter the following coordinates into your GPS: N34.847894, W83.798567
The Black Sheep. 480 W Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Serenity Garden Cafe. 657 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Wildwater Ocoee. 4596 U.S. 64, Ducktown, TN 37326. To make reservations, check pricing and schedules, and choose your rafting adventure (Middle Ocoee, Upper Ocoee, or a combo trip) visit the Wildwater website. Rafting prices range from $35-90 per person, based on day of the week and length of trip.
Fightingtown Tavern & Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company. 511 E Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513