My first trip to Blue Ridge started my journey toward uprooting began with a senior trip with my “little one”. She wanted to go WITH me to the mountains. Needless to say I was thrilled that she wanted to spend that time with her mom (even though I am pretty cool;)). The roadtrip is about an 8 hour trip and for us (we drink a LOT of water) so the trip was an all day affair, including a stop for a greasy breakfast in nowhere, GA.
I like to leave early since I’m an early riser and watching the sun rise while I’m driving is a joy for me. Unfortunately, my girl got a cold so she felt puny most of the trip and slept in the passenger seat, but she really was a trooper and we packed a lot into our 3 day adventure.
First of all our Airbnb was a converted barn and it was completely perfect for 3 of us. It was on a creek so we enjoyed the sounds and sights of the location. Very peaceful yet close to everything. Check it out here. We called my oldest in Tallahassee and after about 20 minutes she decided she was going to join us the next day. She got up at 4 am and traveled to Blue Ridge from Tallahassee to hang out with her family. Having both my girls all to myself was pure magic for me!
After we found our digs and took a nap, we ventured out to TOCCOA RIVERSIDE RESTAURANT because we heard it was great. (I am gluten free so sometimes feeding me is tough.) We found it easily, however parking on the side of the mountain was not something I was prepared for. Good thing I’m adventurous. Once we parked on the side of the mountain we were greeted heartily and had a table with a view of the river. The pecan crusted trout was out for me due to my gluten sensitivity. So, I went with the grilled trout which was so tasty! My daughter had the smoked trout pasta which she said was really good. After dinner we walked out back near the river. It was tranquil and just perfect for an after dinner activity.
What to do in Blue Ridge, GA
The next day we hopped on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway which departs at 11 am and takes about an hour to get to Mackaysville, GA which also borders TN so you can stand in 2 states at once (which, of course, I did). It was a fun day out. I think it is probably spectacular with the fall leaves but we enjoyed ourselves and the train car attendants do a good job of pointing out historical sites along the way AND they ask you to change sides of the car on your return trip so you can see both sides. (I thought that was a nice touch).
We tooled around Mackaysville a bit after we exited the train. It arrives there at lunchtime but every place was packed with people and we do like lines. So we popped in several of the shops, and wandered around the town for a bit. I asked one of the shop owners where he suggested for lunch. He told us about 2 places and we decided on Katz Deli. (always love a local’s perspective) and we were not disappointed. It is located in an old house that is cozy and still feels like a home. The food was perfect lunch fare and the staff was friendly and best yet, there was no line by the time we got there. After lunch it was time to return to the train and head back to Blue Ridge where we ventured into a few more shops, had a coffee Das Kaffee Haus.
The next day we got up early, had the buffet breakfast at Mercier Farms (the apple butter is fantastic!) along with doing some shopping for local wine, salsa, bbque sauce and walking around the orchard. It was a nice morning excursion. I recommend getting there early as it gets packed quick (did I mention I’m an early riser;)) After that we headed to find waterfalls. Since my high school senior had a cold, we only made it to one because poor thing couldn’t breath.
Benton Mackaye falls was an easy hike, made with sneakers. There are many places around blue ridge where cell service is an issue and the drive up to the waterfall was one of those, so know the directions in advance. After that we headed back to our converted barn, changed clothes and headed into Ellijay to poke around and have some lunch.
We stopped at Cantaberry for lunch, sat at the bar and enjoyed really yummy food (they had gf bread for me!! I was thrilled). The waitstaff was super friendly and it was just what we needed. They also have a delicious looking cake/pie counter which had our eyes bugging out of our head but we were full and planning to walk around a bit so we didn’t get anything. Ellijay is a sweet little town, less visited than Blue Ridge so we spent a nice afternoon poking around.
I haven’t mentioned dinners much because we like to get out during the day, eat our breakfast and lunch out and come back for dinner. I have always traveled that way for several reasons. 1. My girls are picky and choosing a spot for dinner is a pain in my butt. 2. The food is just as good and it’s less expensive and (bonus) you’re not fighting dinner crowds. 3. Dinner with wine, is my favorite way to eat dinner so having a simple meal in the evening with wine that I can enjoy and not have to drive is ideal for me.
There was a creek that ran outside of our barn so we spent some time in the evening enjoying that. The last evening we spent on the porch, watching the lightening bugs and chatting. For me that was magic (I might have teared up a bit) just chatting with my girls about everything and being present in the moment knowing how quickly it is coming to an end with the transition from high school to college and life as I have known it.
Uprooting is tough. It is exhilarating and I am excited about this next chapter in my life.
Next adventure is Tallahassee for 1 month while I move my 20 year old into a new place and move my new freshman into her dorm.