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