5 Reasons to Drive to Blue Ridge, Georgia

It's only an hour and a half away.

Ready to get the heck out of Atlanta? You don’t have to go very far to feel like you’ve escaped the city. Blue Ridge, GA is about 1.5 hours north of the city. Throw on a podcast and drive up, and when you do, you’ll be rewarded with a cute downtown, picturesque orchards, and plenty of hikes. It’s basically a fall wonderland. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an overnight getaway, here are five reasons to drive to Blue Ridge, GA as soon as possible.

There’s no shortage of waterfall viewing opportunities in the Blue Ridge area. You’ll have to hike to get to many of them, but trust us, it’s worth it! If you’re not sure which one to start with, try Long Creek Falls but there’s also Fall Branch and Sea Creek Falls if one just isn’t enough.

Mercier Orchards
Mercier Orchards

Mercier grows many fruits, but what matters most is that they grow apples, and you get to enjoy them. The orchard typically has a U-pick experience but due to unforeseen circumstances they aren’t allowing that this year. That said, you can still don your finest sweater and boots (even if it’s 80 degrees, we won’t judge) and stroll through the orchard. Mercier also sells boxed lunches if you wish to have a picnic. Take home some hard apple cider as a souvenir.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Come aboard the train… and ride down to McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee (each on the state line). This historic line starts in Blue Ridge and heads down for one hour along the Toccoa River. When you reach the towns you’ll have about two hours to explore the area before heading back. This is a really great way to see some fall foliage!

Serenberry Vineyards
Serenberry Vineyards

Just a few miles from downtown Blue Ridge is Serenberry Vineyards. Catch some fresh air in the vineyard and sip some Georgia-grown wine. They have it all: dry white, reds, and sweet dessert wine. If you get hungry, they have some locally-produced snacks on hand (yum, cheese straws), but you can also bring your own food and enjoy an al fresco meal with your purchased wine.

Downtown Blue Ridge

Downtown Blue Ridge is enough of a reason to make the trek. Harvest on Main offers seasonally driven fare in atmospheric setting while Rum Cake Lady Cuban Food has Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, and more. Stroll around and check out the historic architecture as well as the sweeping views of the mountains.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Lia Picard is an Atlanta-based journalist writing about food, travel, and a variety of other topics. Her work appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, and CNN Travel.