A Family Adventure in the Mountains
Words by Lucy Zuppardo
Nestled away near the Georgia-Tennessee-North Carolina line sits the town of Blue Ridge—a lush Georgia gem and one of the South’s best mountain towns. The blue ridges of the mountains are haloed by fog, a scenic backdrop for the adventures the city holds. It’s just 90 miles north of Atlanta, but when you arrive you feel a world away—the ideal place to get away from it all!
Driving into Blue Ridge, the first thing you’ll notice is the scenery. You could completely fill your camera roll with photos just from the view of your car window, but nothing compares to the moment when you set foot into the mountains. Life’s day-to-day rush feels like a distant memory as nature surrounds you—the trees in the foothills sloping into the mountains, cardinals and blue jays flitting from branch to branch. It’s a landscape unlike any other.
Embrace the Blue Ridge experience by booking a cabin—there are over 3000 rental cabins to choose from with views from the river to the lake. Cozy and quiet, it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with your family. Enjoy morning coffee and breakfast on the back porch as the sun peeks its first golden rays over the treetops—or the spattering of stars glowing across the night sky, perfect for the kids to find constellations. Imagine gathering around a family bonfire, roasting marshmallows to the perfect char for a before-bed s’more. The cabins are where life’s magic moments are created.
During the day, there are endless activities to choose from. Take the family on an Appalachian Trail hike to Long Creek Falls—it’s one of the region’s most beautiful hikes, with a cascading 50 foot waterfall as the prize view at the end of the trail. Make a splash with a tubing trip down the Toccoa River, or rent a pontoon for a leisurely afternoon on Lake Blue Ridge. You can spend an entire day at the Mercier Orchards exploring the farm, fishing in the ponds, grabbing a bite to eat at the cafe, touring the cidery, and shopping in the market. Step back in time with an old-fashioned film experience at the Swan Drive-In, or unleash your inner equestrian with a horseback-riding trip through the mountains. And that’s just the beginning!
One of the can’t-miss adventures is the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. This family-friendly journey is a nostalgic train ride through the mountain foothills. The four hour trip starts with a scenic one hour ride from Blue Ridge to the sister towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. Upon arrival, you have two hours to explore the towns with your family before the one hour return trip. The Lilly Pad Village is another destination that families love—kids can mine for gems, filling their cups with treasures sifted from the dirt. Their catch-and-release pond is stocked with catfish, bass, and brim. The village also features a mini-golf course where you can play the day away.
This summer, do vacation a little differently and make your escape to Blue Ridge. Plan your trip at www.blueridgemountains.com.