Blue Ridge is one of the coolest towns to visit in Georgia and part of the beloved North Georgia Mountains, 90 minutes from Atlanta. This railroad town still offers a thrilling train ride to soak up the scenery, but there are dozens of things to see and do even without scoring a ticket to ride. Here are 21 things to do in Blue Ridge, Georgia, that I’ve either done or hope to on my next visit to this gorgeous Southern destination.
Browse the Book Store
Blue Ridge Bestsellers is the place to shop for used books in town. The selection is massive, and the prices are reasonable. What sets this book store apart from others is its impressive collection of rare books, many with signed copies. I could browse for hours in this treasure trove.
Eat Fried Pies
A visit to Mercier Orchards is reason enough to make the drive or day trip to Blue Ridge, Georgia. Part specialty market with a bakery, cafe, and wine tasting room, part apple picking orchards and photogenic property, the whole family can find a good time here. I love the peach and cherry pies, plus buying gourmet food products, many of which I’ve never seen anywhere else. Try a cider donut and hot apple cider if you really want a hefty dose of local agritourism.
Ride Electric Bikes
One thing I was so happy to see in Blue Ridge were Pedego bike rentals. You can see a lot of the town by electric bike and try something relatively new and refreshing. I’m 52 years old and have been a fan of them for several years, so don’t be nervous if you’ve never ridden one. Electric bikes make bike riding a possibility for anyone, with the option to use as much electricity (vs. your effort) as you want. You can also get an excellent workout on one, so definitely give it a try.
A unique adventure in the Blue Ridge area is Tank Town USA, where you crush things. Literally, hop inside an excavator or bulldozer and ride around a thrill course as you learn the ins and outs of operating these heavy machines. Crushing a car is one of the options you can choose with your extreme adventure.
Shop Chester’s Provisions
One of the most fantastic shops in Georgia has to be Chester’s Provisions. This store has the finest gourmet food products and everything you need to make a well-stocked bar at-home bar and be envied by your friends. You’ll also find perishable food items, such as specialty cheeses, spreads, craft beer, and such. Need a gift for any occasion? I’m betting you can find it here.
Visit the Vinyl Shop
Shop for all your vinyl (records) needs at the Big Frog Music Co. on Main Street. Browse old favorites, new releases, plus an arsenal of rock and roll merchandise that could easily take you down Memory Lane.
Learn a new craft or just put together a beautiful piece of jewelry at Jumping Mouse Beads on East Main Street. Choose between dozens of elegant beads, clasps, pearls, seed beads, and other pretties as you create your dream piece.
Feast on Amazing Cuban Food
Imagine being able to get authentic Cuban food right in the heart of Blue Ridge, Georgia. Yes, you can, at Rum Cake Lady Cuban Cafe. The menu features all the Cuban favorites, like Media Noches and Cuban sandwiches, rice and beans, fried plantains, and cafe con Leche, plus you can also order the award-winning Rum Cake Lady rum cakes. My favorite is the original flavor.
Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking is where to go for kayak rentals in Fannin County. Get out on the picturesque Toccoa River as you paddle along the beautiful six-mile river. Canoes are also available. Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking closes during the winter months.
Ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Climb aboard the heritage Blue Ridge Scenic Railway for a fun-filled, scenic ride through the Appalachian foothills to McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. Most rides are 4 hours and cover 26 miles. Start your adventure at the 1905 historic depot.
Want the best seats in the house? Check out premier seating ($79 prices vs. $44 for standard), with reclining seats, complimentary photo, a meal on the way up, snack on the way back, and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages. Discounts are available for first responders, seniors, and the military. Book your trip in advance; tickets sell out quickly.
Fun Fact: From the end of November through December 23, take a 1-hour train ride on the Holiday Express.
See a Drive In Movie
Swan Drive-In didn’t need a pandemic to build an incredible attraction for everyone in the family; it has provided a place for drive-in movies since 1955. Movie sound comes through your car radio on channel 105.5 FM. Besides coming to see the latest movies, you’ll also find an old-school snack bar with candy, nachos, funnel cakes, soft pretzels, popcorn, and more. Movies run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Eat at Harvest on Main
One of the cutest restaurants in downtown Blue Ridge is Harvest on Main. This cute multi-level space has an impressive menu with farm-to-table ingredients and creative dishes. The cocktail list and wine choices are superb. Think a bowl of Three Onion and Apple Soup, a Caesar salad, or the Blue Ridge Hot Brown plate for lunch. At dinner, the Candied Bacon starter, with peanut dipping sauce, is a must. The Tortellini Puttanesca sounds heavenly.
FYI: Reserve a table on the front porch for great people-watching opportunities.
Soar through the trees and reach for the stars at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge, with 13 zips reaching up to 40 mph. There are several different challenges throughout the course, three sky bridges, and 165-acres of North Georgia mountain property to admire. One and two-hour zipline tours are available. Try Aerial Adventure Park for a challenging obstacle course.
Pro Tip: Stairs and a some hiking are involved.
Stay in a Cabin
Make it an overnight or a weekend getaway with a romantic cabin nestled in the North Georgia Mountain woods. Cabin choices vary in the number of bedrooms, baths, pet and not-pet friendly, waterfront properties, and price ranges. No matter how big your party is, chances are there is a cabin to fit your needs in Blue Ridge. Two unique features to look for are properties that have hot tubs or game rooms.
Drink Great Tea
Tupelo Tea, in downtown Blue Ridge, you’ll find a place to get a delicious cup of tea and learn the differences between the varieties of loose tea. Some include black, green, oolong, chai, white, rooibos, and herbal. The store is warm and welcoming, and the possibilities for tea combinations are endless.
Bring family and friends out to Cohutta Cove Mini Golf for some putt-putt action. The well-maintained 18-hole course is fun for all ages, and the prices are reasonable, $8 for adults and $6 for ages 3 to 12. A refreshment bar is available for snacks, smoothies, drinks, and espresso. Cohutta Cove is closed on Sundays.
The Caboose Visitors Center at Train Depot is not only a place to meet for your Blue Ridge Scenic train ride but also an excellent photo opportunity. During the fall, the yellow and orange maple trees set the landscape for postcard-perfect scenes.
Fun Fact: The Fannin Chamber of Commerce also operates in this space.
Fannin County is the trout capital of Georgia, but you can also catch walleye, white and smallmouth bass, and yellow perch in Lake Blue Ridge. The Toccoa River is your best bet for trout fishing or even some of the smaller streams in the area, like Rock and Cooper Creeks. If you’d like to charter a fishing excursion, Capt’n Joe’s Lake Adventures gets excellent reviews about the boat, fishing experience, and customer service.
Blue Ridge has class 3 and 4 whitewater rafting rapids, perfect for those who desire high thrills. The Ocoee Whitewater Center is where you’ll begin this adventure, the site of the 1996 Olympic Games Kayaking competition. The experiences are grand, and the scenery spectacular. Tubing is another popular outdoor activity on the Ocoee River Gorge.
Go Gem Mining
On Appalachian Highway, stop by Huck’s Lost Mine for a super fun and profitable gem mining experience. This activity is great for families and those of all ages, plus a whole lot of fun. Choose from a 2-pound bag to a 3-gallon bucket and sift your way to finding treasurers like amethyst, emeralds, and topaz. You can also crack open your own geode. If you haven’t tried gem mining, caution…it is addictive, even for adults.
Taste Blue Ridge’s best craft beer at Grumpy Old Men Brewing, a dog-friendly taproom— fun for all ages. The taproom is open seven days a week, and the beer menu features sours, stouts, porters, IPAs, and others. Bring your own food, or walk next door to Jeff’s Hot Dogs and bring it in.
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