18 Special Places To See Near Blue Ridge
Any or all of these unique stops are worth a visit while you're in Blue Ridge.
1. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Downtown Blue Ridge
All aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, a 3 ½ hour ride along the Toccoa River from Blue Ridge to McCaysville. Call 1-800-934-1898 or visit www.brscenic.com.
2. Mercier Orchards
Southern Living Magazine’s favorite roadside apple market and more – best fried pies and apple cider anywhere. (706) 632-3411 or www.mercier-orchards.com.
3. Swan Drive-In
One of three remaining drive-in theaters in Georgia, the Swan offers first run movies year round. To see what’s playing, call (706) 632-5235.
4. Ducktown Basin Museum
Tour the grounds of the historic Burra Burra Copper Mine and see exhibits on the mining heritage of the Copper Basin. (423) 496-5778.
5. Ocoee Whitewater Center
Built for the 1996 Olympic Whitewater Slalom Races, the center includes the Olympic race course, native gardens, paved walkways, hiking and biking trails, pools of water for wading or feeding fish and more.
6. Apple Orchard Alley
Eleven of Gilmer County’s apple orchards are spread across this picturesque valley along Georgia Hwy. 52.
7. Southern Tree Plantation
Blairsville's Southern Tree Plantation has lots more than Christmas trees. Visit during October for Fun on the Farm, with pumpkins, hayrides, a petting farm, marshmallow roasting, kid's train and pony rides and much more. (706) 745-0601, www.southerntreeplantation.com
8. Misty Mountain Train Museum
The largest privately owned O-gauge model train collection in America depicts scenes in Georgia. Open May through December. (706) 745-9818
9. Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site
Located in the old county courthouse, this museum tells the story of America’s first gold rush. Also in Dahlonega, pan for gold at the Consolidated or Crisson Gold Mine. (706) 864-2257
10. Northeast Georgia Wine Trail
Crane Creek Vineyard, Young Harris; Frogtown, Three Sisters & Wolf Mountain Vineyards, Dahlonega; Habersham Winery, Helen
Explore the wines of North Georgia from Young Harris to Helen.
11. John C. Campbell Folk School
A national resource for traditional mountain music, dance, art, crafts, nature, gardening and folk lore. John C. Campbell is “A School to Bring Folks Together,” with classes, concerts, contra dances and an annual Fall Festival. (828) 837-2775, www.folkschool.org.
12. Fields of the Woods
A Bible park 18 miles west of Murphy, Fields of the Woods features Prayer Mountain, a gigantic Ten Commandments and more. (704) 494-7855.
13. Nantahala Outdoor Center
Observe kayaking, rafting and canoeing on the Nantahala River at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Also a stop for the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (Bryson City, N.C.)
14. Georgia Mountain Fair
Home of the Fred Hamilton Rhododendron Garden, annual Bluegrass Festival, Georgia Mountain Fair and many other concerts throughout the year. The fairgrounds and campground are located on beautiful Lake Chatuge in Towns County Georgia in the north Georgia mountains.
(706) 896-4191, www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com/.
15. Crystal River Ranch
Llama Treks, Hiawassee
Lunch with Llamas in the Chattahoochee National Forest. (706) 896-5005, www.southerncomfortcabinrentals.com/.
16. Helen Alpine Village
Re-creation of an alpine village, nestled in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, Helen features over 200 specialty shops. Visit during Oktoberfest in September-October. (800) 858-8027, www.helenga.org.
17. Burt’s Farm
Pick a pumpkin and take a hayride from September to November each year. (800) 600-BURT, www.burtsfarm.com.
18. Kangaroo Conservation Center
Wildlife conservation and exotic-animals breeding facility with the largest kangaroo collection outside of Australia. Guided tours Tues – Sat. by reservation only. Call (706) 265-6100, www.northgeorgiazoo.com.