Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Remembering the Good Times in Blue Ridge

A ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway brings back
simpler times and sweet memories to many who remember
when the railroad was the way to travel.

Blue Ridge, Ga.
A wonderful blog on a first time rider's experience on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway brought to mind some of the things we take for granted here in Blue Ridge.  People like Lana, who wrote the blog and took wonderful pictures of her experience, love the railroad and other small town pleasures here, because they bring to mind a simpler time.  We sometimes forget that the small town "Mayberry-ness" of Blue Ridge brings back some very poignant memories for those who come here and experience small town life once again.  For Lana, the railway brought back thoughts of her childhood, her parents and grandparents, and the way they lived back "in the day."

One of three remaining drive-in theaters in
Georgia, the Swan plays first run movies.

There are those of us who spent lots of nights at the drive-in movie as kids and teenagers (maybe in the back seat or hiding in the trunk to sneak in?)  Yesterday in our Fannin County Chamber Welcome Center, one of our visitors got really excited because we have a drive-in movie theater called The Swan here in Blue Ridge.  Well, it's pretty special to have a drive-in movie theater that plays the top movies every week, and those of us who live here probably don't appreciate it enough.  People take their picnics and lawn chairs and really enjoy an evening under the stars, not to mention the funnel cakes.  It's an experience you simply can't have anywhere else.  This weekend "Toy Story Three" and "Prince of Persia" are playing on the double-feature.  Adults are $6 and kids are $3. So pack the kids in the car and head over to The Swan about "dark-thirty" for a little nostalgia under the stars.

 Sometimes it's just a simple view, a country church or a field of cattle, that can bring us a connection with the past and a feeling of quiet joy.
Sometimes the simplest sights, like a field of cattle, can stir up the most powerful sense of well-being.  We take for granted that these soothing and beautiful sights are ours to see every day, and keep forever.  If you come to Blue Ridge, be sure to take the time for a scenic drive along our rural countryside. The beautiful landscape and the peace and quiet will remind you of what matters in life.

People bring their kids to the
mountains, because they want them
to experience the outdoors, catch a fish
or pick an apple. 

These days kids are raised in subdivisions and spend their play time with scheduled activities 9 to 5.  People bring their kids here to hike in the woods, catch a fish, pick a strawberry or an apple -- things we take for granted are very special for kids with very little unstructured time at home.  A family trip to the mountains gives new meaning to the term "quality time."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trout Fishing & Gourmet Lunch in Blue Ridge, GA

Blue Ridge, Ga
How do you get a beautiful day of trout fishing the tailwaters of the Toccoa River and a fabulous gourmet lunch at the same time?  The answer: go fishing with Natalie Sharp at Sharper Bites in Blue Ridge, Ga.  Our Welcome Center staff had a blast on a recent flyfishing excursion with Natalie and her sidekick, Joe DePietro.  Kristy Lindstrom, Press Secretary for Speaker David Ralston, and Mike Holloway, president of the Blue Ridge Chapter of Trout Unltd, went along to celebrate Blue Ridge as the Trout Capital of Georgia!
Pictured:  Kristy, Jan, Joe, Natalie, Elaine and Jode

The setting was a gorgeous mountain home on the Toccoa River below the Lake Blue Ridge Dam.  The tailwaters of the Toccoa are stocked for year-round fishing, and have become one of the five best places to fish for trout in the Southeast.

Let me tell you about the "Big Daddy" that got away!!  No really.  The fish I caught might have been a little on the small side, but you should have seen the one that got away! It was at least 27 inches long - don't know why my husband doesn't believe it :)

Although we all didn't catch fish,(not our experienced guides' fault) it was enough being on the Toccoa River on a beautiful spring day in the mountains. Wait til next time -- Big Daddy here I come!

The perfect end of a perfect day, a wonderful alfresco  lunch prepared by Natalie.  Trout dip appetizer, summer salad, shrimp pasta alfredo, followed by a yummy strawberry dessert.  It just doesn't get better than that.

Pictured from left/front:  Natalie, Mike, Kristy, Jan, Jode and Elaine.

Thank You Natalie and Joe!!
See more about Sharper Bites at

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What's New in Downtown Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge, Ga. 
Three great new events are beginning in Downtown Blue Ridge, GA during the month of June.  First is the Blue Ridge Farmer's Market, which kicks off its 2010 season on June 12.  The market will be held each Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, across from the Fannin County Courthouse on West Main Street.  Fresh produce, farm fresh eggs, herbs, flowers and locally made arts and crafts will be available at the market. New this year will be classes on using local herbs, cooking with fresh herbs and vegetables and more...  You can find more info on the Blue Ridge Farmers Market at

Fishbone Studio participates in the West Side Block Party

The Downtown Blue Ridge West Side Block Party will take place every second Saturday through December, beginning on June 12 from 6 to 9 p.m.  Store owners and restaurants along the way sponsor entertainment, refreshments, prizes, evening shopping and an art show.  They include The Gnarly Bear, Just Judy, Kristina Lee's Boutique, L & L Beanery, Blue Ridge Brewery, Gatewood Hall and Fishbone Studio.

High Country Art & Antiques is open late for The Art Walk

A brand new event is The Art Walk, which will take place the third Saturday of the month from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Gallery sponsors include Multitudes Gallery, High Country Art & Antiques, Turning Leaf Wood Art and Abreu Fine Art Gallery, all located on East Main Street in Downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia. 

Eclectic shops, galleries and fabulous restaurants and attractions like the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway make Downtown Blue Ridge a great place to visit, shop, eat and play.  Special events make it even more special.