Getting to Blue Ridge from Atlanta
Just an hour and a half drive from Atlanta, the cute mountain town of Blue Ridge is the perfect weekend getaway from Atlanta or a stop to make during a road trip around the American southeast. Perfect for outdoors enthusiasts, artsy folks, and anyone who loves traveling to those “lesser-known” gems outside of major cities.
Accommodation – Reid Ridge Lodge
We had no plans for accommodation upon arrival in Blue Ridge, so we drove around looking for a spot for our two nights in the town. Reid Ridge Lodge isn’t the cheapest hotel in the city, but this place was really homey and charming. With a log cabin feel, free breakfast, and a big parking lot, it was a good deal for the two of us.
Grumpy Old Men Brewery
I loved this brewery! We found it with a quick Google search and were impressed by the 5-star reviews so thought it was a must to check out. With a really cool taproom and outdoor patio, it’s a fantastic stop for a few beers before (or after) exploring around the main town of Blue Ridge. Their Choco Blanco White Chocolate Witbier was FANTASTIC – I’d drink that instead of having dessert any day. Head to Grumpy Old Men while visiting Blue Ridge – you won’t regret it, especially if you love beer.
Hiking Aska Trails
Blue Ridge, Georgia, and the Blue Ridge Mountains, in general, are a thriving place for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts. The Aska Trails loop was great – we were basically alone the entire trek, and it was a gorgeous trail winding through the forest. I think the loop we hiked ended up being over just 5 miles, and it was very manageable, not too much uphill nor downhill. The trails were also well-marked and easy to follow, something I really appreciate since I tend to get lost when it’s hard to tell where a path is going.
Stop for a swim – Blue Ridge Lake
So, after hiking for several hours in the Georgia heat, what should you do? Go for a swim, of course! Cool off in Blue Ridge Lake, not far from the trailheads of various hikes around the town. It’s great for a quick swim, and there are picnic points at different access spots around the lake.
Blue Ridge Express
For those less inclined to go hiking to see the scenery of Blue Ridge, there’s the train option! If you want to ride the Blue Ridge Express, you’ll be taken on a journey through the mountains to the Tennessee border, where you’ll hang out and explore Copperhill before making your way back to Blue Ridge through the Chattahoochee Forest. While we didn’t do this since we wanted to hike instead, it’s an excellent option for families with young children or folks who cannot walk long distances but still want to soak in all the stunning nature of this region.
The Boro Inn Irish Pub
We happened upon this place by chance for a few drinks before dinner in Blue Ridge. It’s a classic Irish pub, owned by a REAL Irish person! He moved to Georgia many years ago, but still maintains the Irish accent and overall demeanor. While my Irish friends on Instagram roasted me for drinking a “half and half” (or black and tan), I still think they are delicious. We also tried a variety of whiskey here and enjoyed the tacky pub decor. The Boro Inn also has some bar snacks to order if you’re peckish, but we saved ourselves for our massive meal of southern fare at Southern Charm Restaurant (continue reading below).
Southern Charm Restaurant
You’ve got to eat here if you are in Blue Ridge. This family-style restaurant is a must. The vibe is like eating at a traditional southern house, with cooking done by the southern grandma you never had. It serves up all the traditional southern dishes, from fried okra to mashed potatoes, meatloaf to catfish. It’s old-school and delicious. Southern Charm has earned its name and is a must-stop when in Blue Ridge.
Get your drinks on beforehand though, as this spot doesn’t serve alcohol.
Georgia Treats: Boiled Peanuts & Scuppernongs
Before making our way back to Atlanta, we stopped at a farm stand to get some locally grown snacks. Scuppernongs and Boiled Peanuts were the munchies of choice! I’ve gotta be honest, I thought the boiled peanuts looked disgusting and smelled weird.
BUT… I loved them! Seriously, who would’ve thought that warm, mushy peanuts with just a little bit of chili flakes would be so delicious? Scuppernongs are great too – they are like sweet grapes with a pit on the inside. I definitely recommend trying both if you find them in Georgia.