“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir
There’s something about escaping to the mountains that’s good for the soul. The pace is slower, the scenery is beautiful and there’s always something new to discover — We can’t think of a better place to get away and set your intentions for a brand new year.
Just two hours north of Gwinnett on the Georgia-Tennessee-North Carolina line you will find yourself in the town of Blue Ridge. With luxury cabin rentals, 360 degree views, 300 miles of hiking trails, wineries, craft breweries, apple orchards, kayaking, 100 miles of trout streams, art galleries and boutique shopping (whew!) there is truly something for everyone.
The foundation of any good trip is the perfect place to stay. In Blue Ridge you’ll find traditional log cabins, downtown lofts and even the convenience of a Hampton Inn (set to open in March). Our preference is a true cabin experience. There are endless rentals on popular sites like HomeAway and Airbnb that are easy to book and come at various price points. What are the cabin essentials you ask? Must haves include: a firepit (don’t forget your marshmallows), great views and if your cabin isn’t home to at least one carved wooden bear, is it really even a cabin?
Next on our list is food. Downtown Blue Ridge is home to many great spots including Harvest on Main and The Black Sheep. If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, check out Three Sisters Fudge for delicious hand dipped ice cream, or make the short drive out to Cider House Orchards and pick up the MOST delicious fried apple pie you will ever have (pro tip: heat slowly in the oven, not the microwave). You’re going to need a beverage to wash down that delicious grub, so why not make it an adult beverage? Bear Claw Vineyards offers gorgeous views, live music and a variety of wines, but it’s most unique feature is the onsite treehouse that guests can rent. Other notable destinations include: Chateau Meichtry (near Ellijay), Fannin Brewing Company and Grumpy Old Men Brewing.
If getting outside is on your to do list check out Toccoa River Outfitters for a guided fishing adventure, hike to one of three local waterfalls, kayak down the Toccoa, go trail riding, or catch a round of golf at Old Toccoa Farms. Looking for something a little slower paced? Stroll Main Street and check out the many boutique shops. You might get lucky and catch a downtown parade or an arts festival!
Honestly…we could go on and on about all the fun there is to be had in Blue Ridge, but the best way to find out is to experience it for yourself, so book that cabin and prepare to get away!
Meet the Blue Ridge expert- Lisa Zaken. Lisa is the executive director of Leadership Gwinnett and has owned a cabin in Blue Ridge with her husband for over 10 years. The pair have become quite the experts on the town and Lisa agreed to share some of her favorite spots with us!
Wrapsody In Blue is the best! The owner, Amy is incredible! Other favorites include: Blue Ridge Cotton Company, Huck’s General Store (a favorite spot for the grandkids), The House of Threads and Habitat for Humanity ReStore (best thrift store ever!).
Main Street is where it’s at! There are always parades, holiday celebrations and art festivals going on.
A Cabin rental is the way to go, but be careful you’ll end up wanting to buy!