Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Paint the Town: Blue Ridge, Georgia

Find out first-hand why this North Georgia destination is recognized as a top art town in America

BLUE RIDGE, GEORGIA – APRIL 2016 – Get creative in Blue Ridge, Georgia, about 90 minutes north of Atlanta via Interstate 575, with these top art-inspired experiences.

Did you know? Blue Ridge was recognized as one of five top art towns by “Good Morning America” in 2015!

1. Opening in early May, the Gartrell Gallery (733 East Main Street) is housed in a 1915 building with magnificent architecture alluding to the special treat inside. The Gallery serves as a studio home to eight local artists and showcases a variety of works for sale, in addition to offering high-quality classes and workshops designed for fun and educational art experiences for all abilities. www.GartrellGallery.com  

2. Save the date for the 40th annual Arts in the Park, Memorial Day weekend, May 28-29. A Southern tradition, the event features over 200 arts, crafts and food booths as well as the best in mountain crafts and fine arts, artist's demonstrations, music and dance. Arts in the Park has been recognized as one of the Top 20 Events by the Southeastern Tourism Society. Admission is $5.

3. Plan to visit during the Southern Appalachian Artist Guild Spring Show, May 7-11, a juried exhibit produced by The Southern Appalachian Artist Guild, featureing artisans and craftsmen from several states, including Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. www.SouthernAppalachianArtists.org

4. No trip to this charming mountain town is complete without perusing the talents of artists showcased in Downtown Blue Ridge Galleries Find a souvenir worthy of your artistic explorations at these can’t-miss galleries:

Hunt treasure at High Country Art and Antiques (715 East Main Street). Browse this gallery for traditional and impressionist fine art, folk art, photography, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, antiques and collectibles. www.HighCountryArt.com  

At Turning Leaf Wood Art (651 East Main Street) see works of more than 50 exclusively American artists. www.TurningLeafWoodArt.com

Top off a visit to Blue Ridge with a stop at Multitudes Gallery (801 East Main Street), owned by Michael Lacey and featuring high-end glass work, art and jewelry. Inside, also find Fishbone Studios – home to Betty Wassmer Ceramics, showcasing the original creations of this noted ceramicist.  www.MultitudesGallery.com; www.FishboneGallery.com

If you go
From lake-view with a mountain vista and room for 20 to cabins hidden away and built only for two (hot tub included!), find links to cabin rental companies at www.BlueRidgeMountains.com.

About Blue Ridge, Georgia│Situated about 90 minutes north of Atlanta off Interstate-575, Blue Ridge, Georgia, is all at once, outdoorsy, earthy, upscale, fresh, historical -- a collision of opposites resulting in a picture-perfect getaway for crafting memories, whether seeking solitude, uniting family, gathering friends or igniting romance. Upscale cabins dot the landscape offering time in nature and sweeping visitors a million miles away from "real life" while keeping within close proximity the chic shops, restaurants and multi-generational activities that inspire truly great vacations. Hop aboard a train, sink your teeth into sweet, plucked-fresh-from-the-tree apples at local orchards, titillate taste buds with farm-to-table offerings, shop for worthy souvenirs -- and wardrobe additions -- at chic boutiques, cheat on your diet with sweet treats from the winners of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," and engage the senses at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center. Get back to nature with scenic ventures on the Benton MacKaye Trail, spanning nearly 300 miles through the Appalachian Mountains. Kayak the Toccoa River, boat Lake Blue Ridge or cast a line in the County known as Georgia's Trout Capital. Year-round festivals and events create a lively downtown scene perfect for catching up with locals, many of whom moved here after discovering a vacation spot too special to leave. www.BlueRidgeMountains.com  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Book A Cozy Mountain Getaway at a Special Rate

Happy fall, y'all! The leaves have turned and we have set our clocks back, and that means that autumn is in the air. Book a reservation to get away from it all with your family or the one you love from our specials page to get an amazing deal on the perfect fall getaway while the deals last! Don't forget to pack some warm boots for hiking and your coziest socks for snuggling by the fireplace -- we'll keep your hands warm with a mug of hot cider from the kitchen.

When you rent an Above the Rest luxury cabin, mention "chamber10" to receive 10% off any stay of three nights or longer.

Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals is offering a 10% discount to all military, law enforcement, firefighters and teachers.

When you stay six nights with Black Bear Cabin Rentals, your seventh night is free.

At the Reid Ridge Lodge, you can stay your first two nights at rack rate and then pay only $89 per night for the rest of your stay.

Check out our specials page for all the other bargains available this season!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Take A Scenic Train Ride During the Height of Scenic Leaf Season

Our number one must-do this fall is taking a scenic ride through the north Georgia mountains
Photo by Gary Knight
between Blue Ridge and McCaysville during the height of leaf season. It's the perfect romantic adventure and a treat for you, your honey, and the whole family! Snuggle in comfort in a climate-controlled enclosed car or enjoy the crisp fall breeze in an open-air car as the train snakes alongside the Toccoa River. It's the perfect way to relax and enjoy the fall colors! Book a trip from October 1 through November 14, or on the ever-popular Pumpkin Express October 25. Scenic train trips going from Blue Ridge to McCaysville/Copperhill, Tennessee, depart most weekdays in October at 11:00 am, and twice on Fridays and Saturdays, at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. All trips include a two-hour layover, giving you time to explore Copperhill's shops, sights and restaurants. Call the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway for more information at 877-413-TRAIN (8724), or check out their website for more information.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Cultural Mecca in the Mountains

Arts and culture abound in Blue Ridge, Georgia, a haven just 90 miles outside of Atlanta via I-575. Blue Ridge is recognized one of the top arts towns in Georgia, and the creative community is "nothing short of remarkable," according to a recent Georgia Council for the Arts case study. The natural beauty of the area draws artists, potters, musicians, creative enterprises and the people who appreciate them. 

Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association & The Art Center

With over 1,000 members, the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (BRMAA) has provided the foundation for the development and growth of the arts in Blue Ridge for 35 years. The Art Center, located in the historic Fannin County Courthouse, houses studios, a pottery and kiln studio, five artistic guilds, five galleries and an artist in residence program. BRMAA produces two Arts in the Park festivals each year, Memorial Day and the second weekend in October. The Art Center also has changing exhibits throughout the year. For a complete schedule of events, see the website www.blueridgearts.net 

Blue Ridge Community Theater

Our beautiful new playhouse is located at 2591 East First St., across from The Swan Drive-in. In any given year, the theater has 23 stage productions, 114 performances and 33 weekends of entertainment. Call 632-9223 or visit 

Live Music Venues
The Blue Ridge Community Theater sponsors the Live Music is Better series of concerts by acoustic musicians throughout the year. You can find our more and book tickets at the website link above. 

Pickin in the Park is a weekly series of free casual jam sessions for acoustic musicians held under the trees along the Toccoa River at Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville every Thursday evening from 6:00 til dusk, beginning the week of Memorial Day through the end of September. Bring a picnic supper, a lawn chair and your own instrument and join the fun. 

Live Music Downtown 
Live Music Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Blue Ridge Brewery; Most weekends at Christy Lee's Courtyard Grille, The Vine of Blue Ridge, Whistle Stop Grill, Copperhead Lodge and Cartecay Vineyards. Some weekends at Fannin Brewing Co. and Blue Ridge Community Theater. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Self-Guided Experiences

When you visit Blue Ridge, Georgia, you'll find that there's so much to do, you can hardly schedule it all out. When you find yourself with some unscheduled time, check out our Self-Guided Experiences page, chock full of printable maps with detailed descriptions to make your ambling around much easier. Whether you're looking for a drive down country roads, biking routes and hiking access points, a map of all the waterfalls in the area, or a comprehensive guide
to dining or antiquing, you can find a wealth of easily accessible information all right here. Check out all the water access points in the area! Or maybe learn about the Benton McKaye Trail, the lesser-known cousin of the Appalachian Trail
(which also begins right here in Fannin County). Take a day trip to Dahlonega through "apple alley." These go-to guides will lead you right where you want to go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blue Ridge, Georgia's Top 5 Dining Experiences

TripAdvisor.com is an incredible tool for anyone trying to plan a vacation. What better testimonial is there than reviews written by travelers just like you? For the skinny on where to eat, what to do, and where to sleep, TripAdvisor rankings can't be beat. That's why we've selected the top five places to eat in Blue Ridge according to reviews left by vacationers on TripAdvisor and featured them here to give you a little more information on why other visitors think they're awesome. But if none of these tickle your fancy, check out our dining page for the skinny on all the rest of the incredible dining experiences to be had in Georgia's Blue Ridge.

1.) Mercier Orchards
Did you know the scenic Mercier Orchards has a cafe? In addition to rolling hills covered in apple
trees of all varieties, Mercier Orchards has a variety of other fruits available to be handpicked throughout the year, as well as a very special cafe serving up the literal fruits of their labor.

2.) Joe's BBQ

Not only is Joe's BBQ rated the best in Blue Ridge, it's rated the best in the country. You read that read, the best in the entire U.S. of A. That's saying a lot about how good this barbecue is, folks. Make sure to get some while you're visiting!

3.) The Sweet Shoppe

This award-winning cupcakery not only creates such fantastic confections as French toast and bacon cupcakes (a personal favorite), but they serve up cheesecake, fudge and more, as well. And they won The Food Network's Cupcake Wars. Try key lime,
strawberry lemonade, orange dreamsicle, fluffernutter, Moosetracks...

4.) Cantaberry Restaurant
Cantaberry Restaurant is a local eatery known for its soups and sandwiches in a cozy, relaxing cafe atmosphere. One reviewer says, "The prices are average, but the food is WAY above average! Get the large sandwich, as you will wish you had more if you only get
the half portion!" There you have it folks: delicious food at a great price. What's not to love?

5.) Harvest on Main
Harvest on Main is a Blue Ridge destination. Foodies come from far and wide to see what chef and owner Danny Melman is serving as his special each day, and they always enjoy a delicious farm-to-table meal with excellent service. In this rustic atmosphere, conveniently located in the heart of downtown, you're sure to leave the table satisfied.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Unique Lodging Opportunities

Georgia's Blue Ridge is only 90 miles south of Atlanta, but a million miles away from it all. Filled with romantic options for a getaway for two, a family vacation, and girlfriends' getaway, guy's fishing trip, family reunion, or a business retreat, Blue Ridge and Fannin County can offer tons of alternatives to accommodations available in other destinations. Below are some of the highest rated accommodations on TripAdvisor; check out our accommodations page for all the information on our many unique lodging opportunities.

  • Comfort Inn & Suites: If your idea of "getting away from it all" doesn't necessarily mean getting away from all the comforts of brand standards and nationally-ranked accommodations, our lodge-themed Comfort Inn & Suites may be for you. The hotel's massive stone fireplace, stone columns and huge lobby filled with overstuffed furniture for maximum comfort provide the perfect place to enjoy the wide windows overlooking a panorama of the Blue Ridge Mountains, all while providing a free breakfast, fitness center, and other amenities you're used to.

  • Aska Lodge B&B: With 233 reviews, and 228 of them giving Aska Lodge the best possible rating, you know this is a property you simply can't miss (the remaining 5 reviewers rated the B&B 'Very Good,' and no one has rated it any lower than that). It's the ultimate mountain getaway! Tucked away on a mountain ridge, but only two miles from downtown, it's close to all the activity but also quiet, serene, and relaxing. Kick back on porch swings and rocking chairs to enjoy the hummingbirds and fresh mountain air. 

  • Blue Sky Cabin Rentals: We have quite a few cabin rental companies here in Blue Ridge, all of them top-notch, but TripAdvisor has been getting some great reviews of Blue Sky's Change in Altitude cabin lately. This gorgeous home is perched high in the mountains with stunning views, but it easily accessible with a paved driveway. Featuring three bedrooms, three bathrooms and enough space to sleep 6, this luxurious getaway will have you feeling as far away from the real world as you could possibly be.

Visit our website for more information on what to see, do, eat, and where to stay in beautiful Blue Ridge, Georgia!