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

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ 

http://www.eclipse2017.org









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. 


Trillium
Early April
Blood Root
Trout Lilly

April-May
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
Mayappple
Mountain Laurel
      
May - June
American Ginseng
Flame Azalea
Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Fire Pink
Rhododendron
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:

WHERE TO STAY
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.

WHAT TO DO
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

WHERE TO EAT
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.