North Georgia’s old-fashioned feel, combined with numerous outdoor excursions, makes it ideal for the most diverse vacationer, and especially families. The rolling mountains, exciting day trips, southern eateries and locally grown goodies give the mountain region it’s unique appeal.
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Cider Tasting at Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge
There’s always something going on at Mercier Orchards, from fall tractor rides to hard cider tastings. Perhaps the biggest draw is their mouthwatering bakery products, especially the plump fried pies oozing sweet fruit filling like blueberry, apple, peach or cherry. There’s even a sweet potato one! Eat one in the cafe or take home a dozen, just be sure to try these indulgent pockets of heaven.
Breathtaking Scenery on Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad
Passengers board this large train, with climate controlled and open air carts, at the historic depot in downtown Blue Ridge. For 26 miles, or about 4 hours, the locomotive whisks through the mountains, offering prime views of foliage and rivers. The halfway point is in McCaysville, Georgia, where passengers will have a couple of hours to shop, eat and sightsee. It’s always a great time to take the ride, but fall’s vibrant colors and the festive Christmas trip with Santa are outstandingly awesome.
Climb Blood Mountain
The hiking trail up blood mountain is steep, a little rocky, but still attainable for most, if taken at a steady pace. It can be intense if you are short on time, but if you start early in the day, there will be plenty of time to soak in the breathtaking views at the top and work your way back down. A secondary trail on the other side takes a good bit longer to hike but is much easier. Some opt to camp at the top; an Appalachian Trail stone shelter welcomes hikers but gets beyond frigid during the winter, when snow typically coats the ground. Stick to a day hike in colder months.
Tasting Natural Milk at Mountain Fresh Creamery in Clermont
This creamery attributes their all-natural practices and love for their cows as the key to their amazing milk and ice cream. They invite dairy lovers to visit their mountain farm for a tour, and to taste their products. You’ll get samples of hormone free, natural milk, and vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Little ones also leave with a bag of treats.
Embracing Nature at Tallulah Gorge
Tallulah Gorge depicts North Georgia’s incredible scenery in just a glimpse. An old country store, Tallulah Point Overlook, sets on the ridge, with a porch perfect for viewing the water features and chill inducing drop to the valley below. Use the stationary binoculars to spot wildlife and foliage. Grab some old-fashioned candy from the store on your way out.
Wine Tasting in Dahlonega
There are several highly popular wineries in North Georgia. Why? Because the soil is quite comparable to Italian wine regions. Yonah and Wolf Mountain Vineyards have great views and a vast variation of wines, from sweet to dry. Habersham Winery is another local favorite; you can’t go wrong with any of the wineries in the mountains.
From Blue Ridge to Dahlonega, most charming old town squares in the mountains have eclectic antique shops full of history. Wood furniture is hard to come by these days, but these Georgia antique stores have plenty of it, plus other knick-knacks that will take you back in time.
Horseback Riding in Helen
Break beyond the car window to view the scenery; horseback riding is prevalent along the mountain trails. Chattahoochee Stables takes riders on a bit more challenging route that will have your horse powering through the rushing river waters. But if you are just wanting to relax, horse-drawn carriage, hay and dinner wagon rides are offered at Golden City Corral and Carriage Company.
Helicopter Rides in Blue Ridge
Short on time but want to see it all? Take off in a helicopter via Blue Ridge Helicopter Tours. Fall is a particularly gorgeous time to take the flight, and you’ll get to observe all of Blue Ridge in one exciting sweep. You’ll only be in the air around 30 minutes, which turns out to be more than enough time to take it all in.
The Consolidated Gold Mine
North Georgia, Dahlonega specifically, is known for gold mining and the historical Gold Rush. This mine was founded in 1896, and now operates as an educational, super fun tourist attraction. Pan for gold, find gems, absorb mining history and descend into the indoor tunnels that set 200 feet underground. It’s the perfect rainy day activity.