Are you searching for the best things to do in Blue Ridge Georgia? We’ve got you covered, with adventures and attractions that run the gamut of the best the area has to offer!
From exciting outdoor excursions to family-friendly adventures to outstanding fine-arts entertainment, there is so much to do in Blue Ridge, you’ll want to extend your stay to make sure you can get to everything. No matter who you’re traveling with or what time of year you find yourself in Blue Ridge, you’ll find that there is something for everyone in every season.
Read on to find out our top picks for the most things to do in, and near, Blue Ridge!
14 Best Things To Do In Blue Ridge Georgia You Shouldn’t Miss
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Looking for a fun family adventure? Check out the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which is one of the best things to do in Blue Ridge with kids! When you depart from the downtown depot, you’ll set out on a mountain adventure unlike any other in the region.
The railway offers specialized rides for all seasons including the Fall Foliage Tour, Holiday Express, and Summer Railway to make the most of your ride, no matter the time of year!
This four-hour excursion takes you through the north Georgia countryside with stops in the charming towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. Guests can view the stunning forest landscape on the train rides, and explore all each town has to offer before returning to the Blue Ridge depot.
The tracks you’ll be riding down were added to the area in 1886, lending a bit of history to your journey! As the railroad connections grew, the depot was built in 1905, making the area a shipping hub between Atlanta and Nashville.
Passenger trains ceased running through Blue Ridge in 1951, and the last freight train left the area in 1987. Determined to revitalize the scenic railway, a group of citizens banded together in 1990 to create passenger excursions on the same tracks laid over a hundred years ago. Purchase tickets online, and come see what it’s all about!
Opened in 1943, Mercier Orchards is one of the most stunning apple-picking sites in Georgia! Still owned and operated by the Mercier family this is a delightful spot to get outside and enjoy their delicious fruit and baked goods. It is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Blue Ridge.
There are a variety of ways to enjoy a visit to Mercier Orchards. For the most classic experience, try their excellent U-Pick excursion. In addition to apples, guests are also invited to pick strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries to make pies and cobblers, or just to enjoy on their own! Make sure to check their website to find out what’s in season during your visit.
If you’d like to explore the orchard, but want to skip the picking, check out the Tractor Tours, which takes guests over the 300 acres of orchards and provides some insight into the history of the area. Looking for an experience indoors? They’ve got you covered there, too! Check out their market, open year-round, for some of the best fresh produce in the area. And, if you’ve come with an empty stomach, a visit to their cafe and bakery will not disappoint! Breakfast and lunch are served Friday thru Monday, with specialty baked goods featuring the delicious fruits grown on the property – we recommend the apple cider donut!
Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association
Blue Ridge has been listed as one of the top five arts towns in Georgia by the Georgia Council for the Arts, and the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association is one of the main reasons why. Promoting a variety of arts-based events and exhibits, the Arts Association should be your first stop for arts-related activities on a visit to Blue Ridge.
Begin your tour of creativity in Blue Ridge by stopping over to The Art Center. Guests can explore a variety of different galleries dedicated to the history, visual, and performance arts of the region. Artists can also take advantage of the Art Supply Station, located in The Art Center, to purchase high-quality art supplies.
The main highlights of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association are the exhibits, events, and classes that are offered throughout the year. The schedule is always changing, so make sure to check their website to see what’s happening during your stay in the area.
Some past exhibits have featured photography, contemporary southern folk art, and quilt and fiber arts. Events range from book signings to arts in the park. No matter how many times you visit there will always be something new to see, making this one of the best things to do in Blue Ridge Georgia!
Lake Blue Ridge
To enjoy a day on the water, a trip to Lake Blue Ridge is an absolute must-do! With camping, boating, and swimming areas spanning the 3,000-acre lake, there is no shortage of fun to be had when you make a visit here.
Lake Blue Ridge is partially situated in the Chattahoochee National Forest, making it one of the most scenic mountain lakes in Georgia. There are a variety of access points and recreation areas to make the most of your time at the lake.
Morganton Point Recreation Area is one of the most popular spots on the lake and offers the most amenities. This area includes camping areas, concessions, paddleboard and kayak rentals, and more! If you’re planning to swim here, bring water shoes to protect your feet on the pebble beach.
For a quieter experience, check out the Lake Blue Ridge Dam Recreation Area. Here you can enjoy a picnic on the shoreline, and if you have a canoe or kayak, experience a peaceful tour on the lake. This spot is handicap accessible and is also a great place for fishing.
Bear Claw Vineyards and Winery
To experience one of the best vineyards in the south, look no further than Bear Claw Vineyards and Winery. With stunning mountain views, and delicious local wine Bear Claw definitely makes our list for the best things to do in Blue Ridge Georgia.
Bear Claw Vineyards is a female-owned business and produces and bottles all of its wine on-site. With a wine list that spans a variety of white and red wines, a tasting at Bear Claw shouldn’t be missed. Enjoy their versions of classics like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, alongside more unique wines like Cayuga and Vidal Blanc.
After you’ve tasted the most outstanding wine in the region, sit down and stay awhile to enjoy special live music events on the weekends. Food trucks join in the festivities on Fridays and Saturdays, though guests are also welcome to bring their own picnic.
Looking to extend your stay overnight? Book a night (or two) in the dreamy Blue Ridge Treehouse, located on the Bear Claw Vineyards property!
Blue Ridge Historic Walking Tour
Diving into the history of the area is at the heart of the Blue Ridge Historic Walking Tour, one of the most fascinating things to do in downtown Blue Ridge.
Begin by downloading a map and tour guide from the Blue Ridge tourism site to set out on your own self-guided tour. Walk at your own pace and choose your own adventure! Learn about Blue Ridge’s history as an elite healing site due to its mineral waters, and find out how the railroad shaped the community into what it is today.
The tour includes 19 historic sites located in the downtown area, featuring spots like the Historic Fannin County Courthouse, built in 1937, which now houses artwork by local artists, and the Hall Building, once a clothing store and one of the oldest buildings in the area.
The tour also takes visitors to some great places to eat! Hansen’s Grill, a former hardware store and boarding house, now serves up some of the best food in the region. Put on your best walking shoes, and step back in time in downtown Blue Ridge!
Blue Ridge Community Theater
For the best performances in town, Blue Ridge Community Theater is a local treasure. Featuring hit Broadway plays, concerts, and some little-known theatrical gems, this is one of the most entertaining things to do in Blue Ridge GA!
With multiple stages and some off-site performances around town, too, there is no shortage of great entertainment to be found here. Check out their Main Stage Theatre series for a Broadway-style play. For a more intimate and experimental theatrical experience, try their Black Box Theatre series.
Want to bring kids along for the fun? The Sunny D Children’s Theatre is the place to be! Shows and performances are always changing, so make sure to check their website to see what is scheduled during your visit!
Hike the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain
Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Springer Mountain is where the Appalachian Trail starts (or ends) depending on which way you’re going! It’s one of the coolest national parks in the state, and is one of the best things to do near Blue Ridge!
Located about an hour’s drive from Blue Ridge, a day trip to Springer Mountain provides visitors with some of the most outstanding natural beauty in the area. Plus, guests can hike one of the most iconic trails in America! The trail in its entirety stretches across 14 states in total, but visitors to this area can find shorter day hikes that will keep you closer to your car.
There are 76 miles of trail that run through the area, and experienced hikers are invited to backpack in and camp along the trail for an immersive experience. To make a quick day of it, we recommend the trail to Preacher’s Rock. It’s a 3-mile hike to stunning mountain views and is an easy path to trek with children or non-experienced hikers.
No matter how you choose to explore, a visit to Springer Mountain will surely bring the fun!
Visit a Waterfall
Being in the north Georgia mountains, Blue Ridge is surrounded by tons of gorgeous waterfalls. You could make a whole trip around hiking to the best waterfalls Georgia has to offer – seriously, there are tons. Read on for our top picks of the best waterfalls to visit near Blue Ridge!
The breathtaking Amicalola Falls is a 45-minute drive from Blue Ridge and is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Georgia. Located in Amicalola Falls State Park, guests are invited to camp or stay at the lodge inside the park to extend their stay in the area. Next up is Fall Branch Falls, only a 30-minute drive from downtown Blue Ridge. This magnificent waterfall is on the Benton MacKaye Trail, which is a short half-mile trek, a great trip to try with kids.
Sea Creek Falls is another 45-minute drive away and can be found in the Cooper’s Creek Recreation Area in Suches, Georgia. This 30-foot waterfall cascades down into a shallow pool at the base – it’s such a tranquil spot to enjoy Georgia’s natural beauty. Finally, Long Creek Falls can be found along the Appalachian Trail on Springer Mountain. Hike in to see the outstanding rushing water falling underneath a canopy of trees in the valley.
Kayak on the Toccoa River
For water enthusiasts, a kayak trip down the Toccoa River should be at the top of your list! It’s the perfect mix of beautiful scenery and a few thrilling rapids to give you the adventure of a lifetime. It’s certainly one of the top things to do in Blue Ridge GA.
Begin the journey at the Deep Hole Recreation Area, and float 13 miles down the trail to the Sandy Bottom Canoe Take Out. Kayakers will see a variety of different landscapes and wildlife that are native to the area. Including the scenic float down the river, the area around Rock Creek Bridge is also an excellent location for fishing.
If you’re looking to avoid the rapids, it is possible to do that on the Toccoa River. There is a 5-mile stretch around Butt Bridge that includes a high concentration of rapids, but kayakers looking for a more peaceful float can get out before they arrive at that location. Campsites are also available around the Butt Bridge location for the opportunity to spend the night on the banks of the Toccoa.
Fish the Trout Capital of Georgia
Blue Ridge is the official Trout Capital of Georgia and is a hub for fishermen (and women) around the state to enjoy the best fishing excursions the state has to offer.
Fannin County is home to at least 13 bodies of water that offer excellent experiences for fishing at all levels of ability and interest. This is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Blue Ridge.
Fishing is open all year in Blue Ridge, so you are sure to make a great catch no matter which season you visit. The Toccoa River is the main source for some of the most outstanding trout fishing around (which you can do from your kayak as you float the river), but the area is also home to quieter fishing spots in Rock Creek, Noontoola Creek, and Cooper Creek.
In addition to trout, bass and walleye can also be found in abundance in the 100 miles of streams in the area. If you’re looking to fish out of the water, try fishing off the Shallowford Bridge which is part of the Benton MacKaye Trail. Make sure to check ahead of time before fishing this area though, as they have strict catch and release rules during certain seasons of the year.
Union County Farmers Market
If you’re visiting the area from summer into early fall, the Union County Farmers Market is a great place to shop handcrafted local items and produce and provides guests the opportunity to explore the quaint town of Blairsville. The market’s motto is “Homegrown and Handmade,” so you know you are shopping the true local flavor when you shop here.
Only a 30-minute drive from downtown Blue Ridge, and features vendors selling the freshest of produce. Alongside the local farm-to-table fare, you will find folks selling items like rustic wood decor, hand-painted signs, soaps, candles, and clothing – all produced locally.
Admission to the market (and parking in the area) is always free, and the market is always in service even if it’s raining. Please be mindful that pets (with the exception of service animals) are not allowed in the market area. If you’re looking for the perfect souvenir from your trip, this is one of the best attractions near Blue Ridge.
Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site
Located about an hour’s drive from Blue Ridge, the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site is a history lover’s dream. Housed in one of Georgia’s oldest standing courthouse buildings, the Dahlonega Gold Museum takes visitors on a journey of gold mining in the north Georgia mountains, long before the Gold Rush made its way out to California.
In 1829, prospectors made their way to Dahlonega, mining the area for all the gold they could find. A U.S. Branch Mint opened in 1838, and the rare coins produced during this time are on full display at the museum. Visitors are also treated to exhibits featuring a hydraulic cannon used to blast soil from the mountainside, and a film dramatizing the prospecting history of Dahlonega.
Additionally, the Dahlonega Gold Museum is a great central location to further explore the lovely town. Plenty of great restaurants and antique stores are within walking distance of the museum. Not to mention the Dahlonega Fudge Factory is right next door, to help you curb your sweet tooth! Hankering for a tasty beverage? Head over to Spirits Tavern for a delicious drink after your museum tour. With so much to learn and so much to experience nearby, the Dahlonega Gold Museum is certainly one of the best attractions near Blue Ridge.
North Georgia Wildlife Park and Zoo
For another spectacular day trip attraction, the North Georgia Wildlife Park and Zoo is one of the best things to do near Blue Ridge with kids! The North Georgia Wildlife Park is about an hour’s drive from Blue Ridge, located in Cleveland, Georgia.
Offering a variety of animal-based experiences, the little ones in your life will love a trip to the North Georgia Wildlife Park. The park is notable for including up close and personal animal experiences for visitors. That’s right! If you’ve ever wanted to hang out with a sloth or hop with a kangaroo, this is the place to do it. Tickets for these specialized animal experiences must be purchased in advance.
If you’re looking to admire the wildlife from a distance, the park also includes a Safari Drive-Thru option. See creatures like camels, warthogs, and zebras right from your own car! After your driving safari, you can check out the farm animal exhibit to view rare farm animals and even participate in a petting zoo.
The North Georgia Wildlife Park offers many other programs and experiences throughout the year, and park hours are also subject to change seasonally, so make sure to check their schedule before your visit.
Blue Ridge is a place that truly celebrates its natural landscape and its history. While there is no shortage of outdoor adventure in the area, visitors can also expect to find a robust fine arts community and plenty of kid-friendly activities to keep everyone in your travel group smiling.
With so much to do, and such a variety of attractions that change throughout the season, you’ll find that one visit to Blue Ridge isn’t enough – you’ll want to come back to experience the wonder of this magical place again and again!