Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Welcome to the Trout Art Trail!

No, you aren't imagining things. Those are indeed giant trout. The Trout Art Trail has arrived in Blue Ridge! The Trout Art Trail is a colloborative public art project between the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Blue Ridge Trout Unlimited, offering a limited edition series of nine five-foot fiberglass trout sculptures presented as a county-wide event. Very appropriate for the Trout Capital of Georgia!

You can help make the Trout Trail permanent by supporting the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and enjoying music by country star Wade Hayes at a Firefly Music concert on June 24th. Tickets are available online at

Sponsorships of the Trout art pieces are also available for pre-sale starting at $3,500.  This includes sponsorship on all print and online media, permanent plaque listing their sponsorship on the statue, and two tickets to the June 24th event. Contact Nichole Potzauf at 706-632-2144.
See all nine of the beautiful trout, each painted by a local artist, by following the map below:

Blue Ridge Beauty
1315 East Main Street
Artist Jennifer Danner
Rainbow of Marbles
The Art Center
420 West Main Street
Artist Larry Minor
Flower Power
Downtown Blue Ridge City Park Playground
Artists: Fannin High School Students
757 East Main Street
Artist: Nancy Barbosa 
Escape to the Trout Capital
Downtown Depot - Depot Street
Artist: Nichole Holt
Sunset Over Blue Ridge
City of Blue Ridge - City Hall
Artist Larry Minor
 Chief Big Creek
sponsored by Trip Martin
625 East Main Street
Artist: Jeanne Matheny 
Lord of the Flies
531 East Main Street
Artist Jeanne Matheny 
Trout in the Sky
Fannin Chamber Welcome Center
152 Orvin Lance Drive
Artist Suzy DesLauriers  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Where Will You Be on August 21?

By Jan Hackett
Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Come to North Georgia to Experience the Eclipse!

On August 21, 2017 there will be a total eclipse of the sun that can be seen in totality in parts of the North Georgia Mountains, including the Blue Ridge area.  In the maps above, the narrow band of totality is shown across the U.S.  Outside this path the eclipse will be visible as a partial eclipse by people in the rest of the continental U.S. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. in 38 year, and the next one won't take place until April 8, 2024. 

What is a Solar Eclipse?

According to NASA, a solar eclipse takes place when the moon casts a shadow on Earth, fully or partially blocking the sun's light in some areas. The total eclipse, when the sun is completely blocked by the moon, will last up to two minutes and 40 seconds, depending on your location. The lunar shadow will enter the U.S. in Oregon and totality begins at 10:16 a.m. in Lincoln City, Oregon. The total eclipse ends in Charleston S.C. at 2:48 p.m., and the lunar shadow leaves the U.S. at 4:09 p.m. 

In Georgia, the shadow of totality will follow a narrow band crossing the northeast corner of the state.
 In Blue Ridge, the partial phase of totality will begin at 1:04:55 p.m., with totality starting at 2:35:07 p.m.  The town of Blue Ridge is on the southern edge of the shadow, so totality, when the moon's shadow fully blocks the sun's light, only lasts for 35 seconds.  However north and east of Blue Ridge in Fannin County, in McCaysville and Morganton, the totality lasts longer up to 1 minute 59 seconds.
You are better off to find a place to watch that is east and north of Blue Ridge.  

Where and How to Watch

Find a clear spot with a good view of the sky.  You can see the sun and the eclipse wearing special eclipse glasses; do not look at the sun without safety glasses.  Here are some examples:

Chamber Visitor Center at 152 Orvin Lance Drive - 55 seconds of totality at 2:34:50 p.m.
Lake Blue Ridge Dam - 1 minute 2 seconds of totality at 2:34:50 p.m.
Morganton Point Recreation Area - 1 minute 8 seconds of totality at 2:34:50 p.m.
Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville - 1 minute 31 seconds of totality at 2:34:15 p.m.
Downtown McCaysville - 1 minute 35 seconds of totality at 2:34:10 p.m
Ocoee Whitewater Center - 1 minute 46 minutes of totality at 2:33:45 p.m.

More Information

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

When do the Wildflowers Bloom?

A short guide to spring wildflower bloom times in Blue Ridge.

Mountain Laurel has small leaves and blooms in May; 
Rhododendron has a larger leaf and blooms in June. 

Early April
Blood Root
Trout Lilly

Blue Violets
Carolina Silverbell
Dutchman's Breeches
Dwarf Crested Iris
False Solomon's Seal
Pink Lady's Slipper
Foam Flowers
Lady's Slipper - Pink and Yellow
Mountain Laurel
May - June
American Ginseng
Flame Azalea
Fire Pink
Sweet Shrub

Flaming Azaleas

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Blue Ridge Spring Break Bucket List

Check out this bucket list of top picks for spring break outings with the family:

Rent a cabin or luxury vacation home for the whole family. There will be lots of opportunities for family fun -- cookouts, firepits with s'mores, and more. To check out the options, click here.

1. Take a scenic drive on Aska Road for beautiful views of the Toccoa River Rapids. Cross the historic Shallowford Bridge over the Toccoa to Sandy Bottoms Canoe Launch, for an up close view of the river.  The perfect place for a family picnic. Here's a link to our driving tours.

2. Hike to Falls Branch Falls, where the upper portion is a series of cascades that lead to a single major drop of some 30 feet, with the water plunging into a deep pool at the base of the falls.

3. Go horseback riding at Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides (319 Hell's Hollow Road). Also onsite, kids will love fishing in the pond, gem mining and wandering the nature trail.

4. Get hearts pounding with two feet off the ground at Blue Ridge Aerial Adventure Park, featuring an obstacle challenge course in the air with suspended bridges, tight ropes, climbing walls, ziplines and other fun obstacles for every age and ability (2087 East First Street).

5. Catch a movie the old-fashioned way at the Swan Drive-In (651 Summit Street), one of Georgia's four remaining drive-ins. Established in 1955, the Swan Drive-in features a full concession stand, including funnel cakes and fried Oreos.

6. Ride the Blue Ridge Railway (241 Depot Street) and chugga-chug down the 13-miles of rails comprising the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The 45-minute (each way) excursion is a generation-bonding adventure that starts at the historic 1905 depot in Downtown. Vintage climate-controlled rail cars or open air rail cars host more than 70,000 passengers each year for a ride that winds alongside the Toccoa River, with a stop in the twin border towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. Copperhill/McCaysville is one town with two names because it is split by the GA/TN state line, where visitors have a two hour layover (Note: layover is 1.5 hours on Sunday) with plenty of time to eat lunch, shop for unique crafts and antiques, snack on ice cream or walk around.

7. Go gem mining, fishing, take a hike or play a round of mini-golf, all at Blue Ridge's destination for family fun--The Lilly Pad Village. Pets are welcome, too.

8. Take a farm tour of Mercier Orchards (8660 Blue Ridge Drive) and stock up the cabin with fried pies, fresh veggies and fruits. Mercier is a family-owned and -operated, primarily apple, orchard. The must-see Blue Ridge attraction will reward your senses with bushels of apples, strawberries and other produce, fresh pressed cider, warm fried pies--but, most importantly, memories. Started back in 1943 by Bill & Adele Mercier, Mercier Orchards is now celebrating more than 70 years of fruitful harvests. Beyond apples, their onsite store serves up a variety of farm toys, pet items, kitchen paraphernalia, home decor and is host to a meat and cheese shop. Visit the tasting room, offering hard ciders and wines, including locally-produced varieties.

 9. Expedition Bigfoot: Make memories at this 4,000-sqaure-foot family attraction featuring the country's largest permanent display of genuine Bigfoot artifacts, life sized exhibits, photos, sketches, large up-to-date sighting maps, and the World's only Bigfoot Research and Tech Vehicle on display. 1934 GA-515, Cherry Log.

10. Take the kids to Huck's General Store. Step back in time with an authentic general store experience in downtown Blue Ridge, complete with barrels of candy from yesteryear. 500 E Main Street

1. Joe's BBQ: For unbeatable hickory smoked meats, including fall-off-the-bone ribs, seek out Joe's BBQ (3365 East 1st Street), featured on TripAdvisor's list of Top BBQ Joints in the USA.
2. Blue Jeans: Find everything you need for a family-pleasing feast, including hand-tossed pizzas, fresh, daily-made pastas, salads and more at Blue Jeans Blue Ridge (11 Mountain Street C).
3. Masseria Kitchen and Bar: Sink your teeth into handmade pizza and pastas, alongside oven roasted chicken, fish and vegetables at Masseria Kitchen and Bar (67 Roberts Way), serving lunch and dinner.
4. La Pizzaria at Cucina Rustica: An extension of the popular Cucina Rustica, La Pizzeria (76 Forge Mill Road) satisfies palates with New York-style pizza, calzones, wings, subs, draft beer, wine and more.
5. Mercier Orchards: The popular U-Pick produce destination features a tasting room offering hard ciders and wines, including locally-produced varieties. Sit for a spell on the deck while enjoying sips and live entertainment on the weekend. Stay for lunch or, come early for a breakfast fit for a king, complete with local sausage, grits, apple fritters and more (8660 Blue Ridge Drive).

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

 Wonderful Winter Weekends in Blue Ridge GA

For the ultimate adults-only weekend getaway, Blue Ridge, Georgia is the go-to destination for enjoying couples weekends and girlfriends getaways, sports gatherings with friends, adventurous outings, brewery tastings and outdoor fire pit relaxing. A hiker's paradise with nearby waterfalls and the famous Appalachian Trail, nature sets the scene for good times. Wind down with sudsy sips at local breweries and tasting rooms. Then top off the day with unbeatable Blue Ridge eats, from down home cooking to casual elegance. Get away completely in Georgia's Blue Ridge!

Get away for a relaxing weekend

Rent a cozy cabin and curl up by the fireplace with a good book then soak in your hot tub in the refreshing mountain air. Book a massage, romantic couples massage or spa treatment at one of our great spas. After a long nap, come into downtown Blue Ridge for a leisurely stroll and dining experience at one of our many fine restaurants.

Go for a winter walk

Winter hiking is spectacular with crisp mountain air and sunshine revealing long-range vistas of the gorgeous Appalachian mountains, farms and valleys. Some of the most famous trails in the world start in Georgia's Blue Ridge so you will never run out of choices!

Dine in comfy Blue Ridge restaurants

You don't even have to cook while you're on your getaway! Downtown Blue Ridge has some of the region's best restaurants. With a wide range of cuisine there's one to fit every taste from rustic lodge style, to elegant dining to the USA's #1 barbeque restaurant.

Check Out our Brewpubs & Taverns

After a day in the outdoors come on into town, pull up a stool and and quench your thirst at one of Blue Ridge's unique taverns, craft breweries, tasting rooms, local vineyards and apple orchard cider house. Our local brew houses are as warm and friendly as the people you'll meet there.

Cabin Rental Winter Specials

Winter is a great time for good deals on cabin rentals. From lake-view with a mountain vista and room for 20 to cabins hidden away and built only for two (hot tub included!), mountain cabins are perfect for the ultimate escape. Or choose a romantic B & B, a downtown Blue Ridge loft or hotel suite. Check out our specials here.

January Events

Check out our up-to-date Calendar of Events with details of all the happenings this winter, including links to more information, websites, dates and details and a full calendar of future events for your travel planning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Beat the Winter Blues in Blue Ridge

Shop, dine and wine with a three-day weekend that screams,
“Girls just want to have fun”
BLUE RIDGE, GEORGIA--DECEMBER 2016—Gather the gals for a three-day getaway with this easy-to-follow itinerary to guide explorations of Blue Ridge, Georgia, about 90 minutes north of Atlanta via Interstate 575:

Day 1: Rent a luxury mountain home with lots of room, a beautiful view and a hot tub—the ideal home base for the ultimate girls’ weekend. Then, head downtown to discover the area’s Appalachian heritage and historic areas. The town of Blue Ridge was founded in 1886, when the Marietta and Northern Railroad came to Fannin County. The rail line at Blue Ridge, with an altitude of 1,751 feet, was reported to be the highest in Georgia at that time; Fannin County was called “the Switzerland of the South” in promotional brochures. Learn about historic buildings in Downtown Blue Ridge by following the Historic Blue Ridge Walking Tour map guide. When you return to your cabin, savor the sunset with a glass of wine on the deck of your cabin. And, don’t forget to stargaze while roasting s’mores by the fire pit.

Day 2: Get moving! Spend the day exploring Blue Ridge's major trail systems, including access to the Appalachian Trail which extends for more than 2,000 miles to Maine through many of the states on the Eastern Seaboard. The most popular of the waterfalls in Fannin County is Long Creek Falls, which can be seen by hiking down a short side trail from the combined Appalachian/Benton MacKaye Trail.

Then, rejuvenate with a trip to the spa. A full service spa located in the heart of Blue Ridge, Serenity in the Mountains promises the R&R every woman craves (59 McKinney Rd.) and draws guests from both around the corner and around the country. Choose from restorative options like the Neuromuscular Massage, Body Scrub or the Refresher Facial. Whether in search of a hot stone facial, a relaxing massage, a haircut or just a manicure, this is the go-to destination to get away from it all. For in-town pampering, try Teatrees Boutique Spa (3293 East 1st St.). Indulge in a Vanilla Lavender Sugar Scrub or a French Rose Body Wrap. Book a "spa party" for four or more girlfriends and enjoy complimentary refreshments as well as 10% off lunch at Harvest on Main.

In the evening, sample a Georgia Wine Tasting at The Vine, A Wine Bar and Bistro Restaurant (632 E Main St) where they also serve local wines and craft beers alongside simple, delicious and fresh food best enjoyed to the tunes of the bar's live entertainment on the weekends. Tip: Each Friday at 6 p.m., Paul John Kearins of Chocolatasm guides guests through a six glass, six artisan chocolate pairing at The Vine. Chocolatasm chocolates are handcrafted in Blue Ridge using only natural and organic ingredients. The program consists of three white wines and three red wines, originating from the USA and South America, paired with one-of-a-kind ganache bonbons and infused couverture pieces. Make reservations before the preceding Thursday afternoon; 706-946-8463.

Day 3:  Round out your Blue Ridge adventure with a shopping excursion. First stop: a visit to Blue Ridge's very own Canoe (624 East Main Street) where Lynn Kemp showcases wearable art. What began as GawdyBobbles, the name of the company for the majority of the 11 years it has been in operation, is now Canoe--and Kemp's business has grown from primarily jewelry to a complete line of leather bags, totes and accessories. Kemp's products, all of which are handmade in Blue Ridge, can be found at nearly 700 independent retailers nationwide. Visit her Blue Ridge retail store, where she can be found helping customers pair leather totes with jewelry for a one-of-a-kind look. Stop into the Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company (511 East Main Street, Suite 100) and treat yourself to a gourmet selection of more than 65 varieties of olive oil and balsamic vinegars--such as roasted walnut or blood orange infused oil--and the opportunity to taste these remarkable innovations from around the world. Hunt treasure at High Country Art and Antiques (715 East Main Street). Peruse this gallery for traditional and impressionist fine art, folk art, photography, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, antiques and collectibles. Find more treasures at 3 Monkeys Antiques (2380 East First Street), featuring the works of local artists among vintage finds. At Turning Leaf Wood Art (651 East Main Street) see works of more than 50 exclusively American artists. Pop next door to Wrapsody in Blue (652 East Main Street) for home furnishings, accessories and gifts that emulate the beauty of the mountains, lakes and rivers the area.  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. 

If you go
Savor bites with breakfast at The Vault (260 West Main Street). Built in the town's historic bank building, it's no surprise that in the original bank's walk-in safe you find an ample supply of their valuables: coffee. Start the day right with the Banker’s Choice Breakfast featuring eggs, biscuit and a choice of bacon, ham or sausage—serve with hash browns or cheese grits. Enjoy lunch at Harvest on Main (576 East Main Street). Harvest on Main uses seasonal products whenever possible to support the local economy, farmer and artisan. Another great mid-day option: Christy Lee's Courtyard Grille (588 East Main Street) welcomes guests with outdoor fire pits, live entertainment and a menu with temptations like Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Thai Chicken Wraps.  Linger longer over dinner at Black Sheep (480 West Main Street), serving Southern comfort food in a historic residence once visited by Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone with the Wind." End a perfect Saturday by satisfying a sweet tooth with confectionaries from The Sweet Shoppe (576 East Main Street D) where owners Nikki Gribble and Susan Catron can boast of their win on the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars." TIP: Book a guided three hour Blue Ridge Mountain Food Tour or Brew House Tour at, 678-697-1120. Each tour will make five to six stops to various eateries offering a wide variety of food and beverage tastings from artful appetizers, decadent desserts, to local craft beer and wine. Get an insider's view from a local tour guide who will provide you with fun facts and tidbits of history about the quaint mountain town.

From mountain cabins with lake-views and room for 20, to cabins hidden away and built only for two (hot tub included!), find links to cabin rental companies at

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.  

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.

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.  

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

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.;

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

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.