Blue Ridge Welcomes you Back!
Here are some things you need to know to make your visit fun and healthy.
We are so happy to be welcoming visitors and part time residents back to Blue Ridge, McCaysville and the Copper Basin. Summer in the mountains is good for the soul, and a recovery getaway can help you restore balance, refresh yourself and clear your mind. It's nature's remedy for the quarantine blues.
Georgia's Governor has reopened the state, but it's not quite business as usual. Guidelines are still in place to help discourage the spread of Covid-19, and the health and well being of our visitors and residents are top priority. Below are some basic things you need to know before you come back to Blue Ridge for a recovery getaway or summer vacation.
Traveling in Georgia
Find current information about travelling in Georgia from Explore Georgia at this link: Covid-19 Travel Information.
Read the most current copy of Governor Brian Kemp's emergency orders on the Governor's webpage.
The Georgia Safety Promise
Covid 19 is currently on the rise in almost every state, and Georgia is no exception. Please follow these safety guidelines:
- Wear a face covering in public or crowded spaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth/nose when coughing and sneezing, preferably with your elbow.
- Avoid handshakes.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
Please Wear a Face Covering in Public Places
In Georgia's Blue Ridge there are lots of places to distance and lots of wide open spaces where social distancing is easy and face coverings may not be necessary. Most businesses, shops, restaurants and attractions have reopened, following specific guidelines provided by the CDC and Georgia Governor's office. Lodging providers, shops and restaurants are committed to vigorous disinfection and sanitation procedures. Some shops and attractions, including our Chamber Visitor Centers, will ask you to wear a face covering and use hand sanitizer upon entering. For those without a mask, the Chamber Visitor Center will provide you with a free one.
Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person.
Groceries and Supplies
It is a good idea for you to bring some of your own special foods and supplies to be certain you have what you need for your second home or vacation rental. Although local grocery stores are restocking often, the availability of some meats, poultry and fresh vegetables can sometimes be hit or miss. Also bring your own cleaning and sanitizing supplies, hand sanitizer, face masks and paper products if you can, just to be sure. Both Ingles and Walmart grocery stores require face coverings to enter.
Many restaurants are open for indoor seating, but it's a good idea to check in advance; there are still some restaurants with pick-up only and modified hours. There is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together inside a restaurant, but tables are spaced six feet apart. Workers at restaurants are required to wear face coverings when interacting with guests, and local restaurants are following both CDC and Safe Serve practices. Check with individual restaurants for open hours.
Trip Planning - Local Attractions
As you plan your trip, make sure that the attraction you are planning to visit is open, and consider choosing less crowded options. This website offers lots of ideas for trip planning, including downloadable self-guided experience maps. Be sure to download our Visit Blue Ridge GA app -- it is amazing!
- The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is back in operation on weekends only.
- Most other local attractions, like Mercier Orchards, horseback riding, kayak and canoe rentals, whitewater rafting, tubing, guided fishing are open and perfect for distancing in the great outdoors.
- The Chamber's Visitor Centers in Blue Ridge at 152 Orvin Lance Drive, and in McCaysville, 53 North Market Street, are open. The Caboose Visitor Center in downtown Blue Ridge is closed.
- Georgia State Parks are open.
- Most of the Chattahoochee National Forest trail heads, recreation areas and waterfalls have opened.
- Follow this link for a message from the US Forest Service. To keep up with the status of trail closures and openings: Chattahoochee - Oconee National Forest
- The Ocoee Whitewater Center trails are back open with great trails that follow the river as well as the Chilhowee Recreation Day Use Area.
Even though things are not quite normal, the magic of Blue Ridge is always the same. Welcome back to nature, to good times, fresh air, clean water and wide open spaces.