Perfect Summer Getaway in Blue Ridge GA

Boating, fishing, tubing, paddle boarding and chasing waterfalls, coupled with outdoor waterside sleeping and dining make this North Georgia town one cool destination!

Looking for a summer adventure that's close to home and offers a breath of fresh air? Take to the water in Blue Ridge, Georgia, about 90 minutes north of Atlanta via Interstate 575, where the 3,290-acre Lake Blue Ridge and the Toccoa River beckon visitors to cool off in the North Georgia Mountains. Whether chasing waterfalls, tubing the Toccoa, paddling a kayak or renting a boat, Blue Ridge has numerous waterways paving the path to aquatic adventure.

Aqua adventure

The Toccoa River offers crystal clear, cool flowing waters ideal for trout fishing and also serves as a kayaking and canoe trail, as well as a pathway for tubers. Horseshoe Bend Park offers easy points of access to the river. Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters (15 Black Ankle Creek Road, Cherry Log, Georgia 30522) and Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking (56 North River Road, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513) offer equipment rentals and shuttle service.

Need equipment or extra assistance before diving in? Cohutta Fishing Company (490 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513) offers guided wade trips and float trips on both the head waters and the tail waters of the Toccoa River, as well as private waters. The Cohutta Fishing Company carries the very best fishing gear and accessories and all of their flies are tied by local guides and retired fishing enthusiasts. The outfitter also offers fly tying and fly fishing classes. Other guide services include Appalachian Anglers, Fly Fish Blue Ridge and Fly Fishing North Georgia. Noontootla Creek Farms

Tubing is the best way to "chill." You can float the Toccoa River in a couple of different sections, these outfitters can set you up. A Rolling Thunder River Company, Shallowford Bridge Tube Rental, Toccoa Valley Campground & Tubing, Toccoa River Tubing Company, Toccoa Wilderness Tubing and Van Zandt's Riverwalk Grill & Grocery.

Eventually, the Toccoa River becomes the Ocoee River, crossing the Tennessee state line. Rapid lovers travel from far and wide to paddle these white waters. Choose a local guide company to help you steer the wild currents aboard a raft. Or, If you're a thrill-seeker, journey to Ocoee River where the waters come alive in the warmer months. For a printable copy of Water Sports Adventures–Guides & Outfitters, click here.

Take to the waters of beautiful Lake Blue Ridge. Rent a pontoon boat at Lake Blue Ridge Marina (335 Marina Drive) or let the experts guides you--Capt'n Joe's Lake Adventures offers tours, private and specialty charters. You can also rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards from Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters..

After a day on the water, treat taste buds to lunch or dinner on the lake at the Boat Dock Bar and Grill. Enjoy scrumptious waterfront favorites like loaded nachos, juicy cheeseburgers and shrimp tacos. Adults can wash it down with libations from the extensive beer, wine and fruity cocktail list. On the weekends, indulge all the senses as lively music fills the warm summer air. For Lake Blue Ridge Marina information, visit LakeBlueRidgeMarina.com

Make trails

The hiking trails of Fannin County include some of the most notable in the United States. Two of the greatest outdoor adventures in the world, the Appalachian Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trail, begin in Fannin County at the top of Springer Mountain. Those who prefer adventure on dry land can independently explore area hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, using this easy-to-access guide. Local trail favorites include Fall Branch Falls and Long Creek Falls. Located In the Chilhowee Recreation Area of the Cherokee National Forest, Benton Falls Is a relatively easy waterfall hike, too. Families can select trails that range from easy to moderate to difficult to find the right hike for the whole crew. For a waterfall and trail guide, visit: www.BlueRidgeountains.com/what_to_do.html

Scenic drive

If taking In the mountain scenery from the comfort of your car Is more your speed, explore these six scenic driving routes that let you escape Into the wilderness, experience town and country and drink In mountaintop vistas.

Where to eat: Curbside and al fresco dining

Quell hunger pangs with waterside dining in nearby McCaysville. Try curbside family meals from Burra Burra on the River at 100 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville, Georgia 30555), enjoy great wings, burgers, street tacos, steaks and more with a beautiful view of the Toccoa River.

Next door, Twisted Tomato Restaurant (100 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville, Georgia 30555) offers mouth-watering, brick-oven pizza and Italian food you can pick up to enjoy along the banks of the Toccoa River.

Just 15 minutes outside of Blue Ridge, Toccoa Riverside Restaurant (8055 Aska Road, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513) provides guests with a fine dining experience, complete with award-winning steaks and seafood along with a dog-friendly outdoor bar and patio area, set in the gorgeous natural surroundings along the Toccoa River. For even more casual dining, go below to River Rest for some great appetizers and an assortment of fish, shrimp, veggie or pork tacos while watching the Toccoa River go by.

A day in the sun is sure to work up an appetite for all. Treat taste buds to lunch or dinner on the lake at the Boat Dock Bar and Grill. Enjoy scrumptious waterfront favorites like loaded nachos, juicy cheeseburgers and shrimp tacos. Adults can wash it down with libations from the extensive beer, wine and fruity cocktail list. On the weekends, indulge all of the senses as lively music fills the warm summer air. For Lake Blue Ridge Marina information, visit LakeBlueRidgeMarina.com

About the Author

Katie Reeder
LRC Media

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