20 Things to love about Blue Ridge & the Copper Basin
Top 20 Things to Do
Here are some great ways to make the most of your visit.
1. Get away completely
Wake up to cool, crisp mornings with a cup of coffee on the porch. After a day of fun and adventure, finish the day in the same spot enjoying a glorious mountain sunset with a glass of wine or sweet iced tea. You may never want to leave the porch, but don’t miss out on the fun of exploring the Georgia mountains.
2. Beautiful mountain scenery
Winter, summer, spring and fall, Georgia’s Blue Ridge is simply beautiful. Winter is the quiet season, with occasional snow. Spring is best for trout fishing, wildflowers, blooming dogwoods and native azaleas. Summer brings a profusion of mountain laurel and rhododendron blossoms, along with warmer water for tubing & rafting. Blue Ridge is the perfect place to experience the brilliant colors of fall, or to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Download one of our Scenic Driving Tours here.
3. The town of Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge was once considered an elite health resort because of its pure mineral waters. It was established as a railroad town, with the depot at its heart. Visitors would ride the train to town, eat dinner and take a leisurely walk to the mineral springs after dinner. Today, visitors still ride the train and take a walk along Main Street, enjoying the antique and specialty shops, galleries, restaurants, small town atmosphere and friendly people. First time visitors are amazed at the number and quality of shops and restaurants in downtown Blue Ridge. Download the Blue Ridge Historic Walking Tour here.
4. McCaysville & the Copper Basin
A river runs through the quaint town of McCaysville, twin city with Copperhill, Tennessee. Stand in both states at one time at the Blue Line, which marks the spot where Georgia ends and Tennessee begins. Here the Toccoa River becomes the Ocoee River, flowing northward into Tennessee. Download the Copper Basin Historic Discovery Tour.
5. Fine dining & fun dining
Local food is an essential part of the trip when you visit Georgia’s Blue Ridge. Add five local breweries and two wineries to the mix and you’ve got a pretty eclectic dining experience in a small town setting. Download our restaurant guide here.
6. Blue Ridge's artsy vibe
Blue Ridge has an artsy vibe, with a vibrant arts scene, galleries, live music and great community theater to sweeten your Blue Ridge experience.
Find information about events and exhibits at the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center here.
Purchase theater tickets at the Blue Ridge Community Theater online here.
7. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway along the Toccoa River from Blue Ridge to McCaysville. Board the train at the historic depot in Blue Ridge. The view changes with the seasons. Special trips are planned throughout the year like the Firecracker Special and the Santa Express trips. Open mid March through December.
Call 1-800-934-1898 or visit www.brscenic.com.
8. Hiking & outdoor adventures
Two of the greatest outdoor adventures in the world begin in Fannin County. Both the Appalachian and Benton MacKaye Trails start at the top of Springer Mountain. There are over 300 miles of hiking trails in the area, including short trails suitable for beginning hikers and families. Download our hiking guide here.
There are 16 waterfalls within a short drive of Blue Ridge on our self-guided waterfall map guide which you can download on blueridgemountains.com. Download the waterfall map
10. Playing in the water
The most popular family pastime in the summer is probably tubing the clear, chilly Toccoa River either above the Lake Blue Ridge dam on Aska Road or below in McCaysville. But there are lots of ways to enjoy our rivers, streams and lakes, including rafting, canoeing, kayaking, pontooning and paddle boarding. Click here for a list of rafting and tubing rental companies and guides.
11. Parks & recreation areas
The best waterparks are those created by nature, and there are plenty of options in the Blue Ridge Area, including:
Lake Blue Ridge Dam Recreation Area is located beside the dam, with picnic tables and fishing platform.
TVA Canoe/Kayak Put-in below the dam on the Toccoa River.
Tammen Park on the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge has picnic pavilions, canoe/kayak launch and fishing platform.
Lake Blue Ridge Dayuse Area on Aska Road is a passive park with lake access, a boat launch and hiking trail.
Sandy Bottoms Canoe Launch Shallowford Bridge area on Old Dial Road.
Fannin County Park on Hwy 5 has picnic areas, ball fields, bike and walking trails and a community center.
Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville has picnic pavilions, playground and access to the Toccoa River for fishing and wading.
McCaysville City Park is a river park in town with playground, picnic tables, boat launch and new fitness park.
12. Fish the Trout Capital of Georgia
Fannin County is the Trout Capital of Georgia. There are over 100 miles of great trout fishing rivers, creeks and streams in the area, including Jack's River, Conasauga River, Toccoa River, Rock Creek, Noontootla Creek and Cooper Creek.
Find out more about fishing in Blue Ridge here.
13. Mercier Orchards
Visit Mercier Orchards, largest orchard in the south, located on Highway 5 just outside Blue Ridge. Pick apples off the tree, buy fresh apple cider and the best fried apple pies – a true farm to table experience. Treat the family to a farm tractor tour and u-pick strawberries, blueberries and apples in season. The new tasting room features homemade hard cider from the freshest Mercier grown fruit. Also don't miss Cider House Orchards in McCaysville, an old fashioned apple orchard and fruit market with u-pick apples and more.
14. Wine & brew tours
The North Georgia Mountains are known for the beauty and quality of our farm wineries, not to mention the great taste of Georgia’s mountain wines. A more recent addition are Blue Ridge and the Copper Basin's five outstanding craft breweries, recognized among the best in Georgia. Taste our wines and brews right where they are made, or in tasting rooms, local pubs and restaurants.
Check out our wine and brew tour here.
15. Horseback riding
Our riding stables specialize in family trail rides for kids of almost all ages. Open year round with seasonal hayrides and evening wagon rides with campfire dinners. Call for reservations and to book special group events.
For a list of riding stables click here.
16. Golf at Old Toccoa Farms
Old Toccoa Farm, Blue Ridge's Bunker Hill-designed course is a par 72, links-feel course totaling 6,707 beautiful yards. The course winds through 125 acres of ridges and meadows, featuring over 280 feet of elevation change with spectacular views of the Chattahoochee and Cherokee National Forests and surrounding valleys. Find out more here.
Georgia’s mountain towns are well known for the number and quality of festivals in the fall: the Marble Festival in Jasper, Bear on the Square in Dahlonega, Apple Festival in Ellijay and Sorghum Festival in Blairsville, just to name a few. But there are many more festivals and celebrations to enjoy in the mountains all year long.
Find out more about our annual festivals and events here.
18. Family fun & adventure
Ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Hike on the Appalachian Trail. Go gem mining or geocaching for treasures. See Expedition Big Foot! Pick apples at Mercier Orchards. Go tubing or rafting. Check out our interesting little downtowns in Blue Ridge and McCaysville, jump into outdoor adventures in the National Forests, lakes and rivers that surround us... take the family on adventures they will never forget. Here are some downloads for family fun:
19. Scenic drives
Explore the Blue Ridge mountains and countryside with one of our Scenic Driving Tours by clicking here: Scenic Driving Tours. Drives range from ½ day to full day trips with lots of mountain scenery and attractions along the way.
20. Nearby attractions
Within a one hour drive of Georgia’s Blue Ridge there are so many things to discover … here are just a few:
The Tennessee Overhill including the Ducktown Basin Museum, Ocoee Whitewater Center, Ocoee Scenic Byway, and Hiwassee Rail Adventures in Etowah.
North Carolina - Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy and John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown.
Fort Mountain State Park – near Ellijay, GA
Amicalola State Park – near Dawsonville, GA
Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site – Dahlonega
North Georgia Wildlife Park & Zoo – Cleveland
Helen Alpine Village
Vogel State Park
Blairsville Farmer’s Market