Blue Ridge Mountains Vacation: Apple Barns & A Quaint Cabin (Blue Ridge Vacation Day #1)

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I’d heard people rave about the quaintness of the Blue Ridge Mountains for years. We’d spent the summer rambling around Gulf Coast beaches, East Coast NSB and South Carolina. I decided that we were due for a Blue Ridge Georgia mountain vacation! Apple barns, scenic views, Ellijay Ga, Blue Ridge Ga, Downtown Blue Ridge Ga restaurants and shops were all part of Day one!! Enjoy all the photos, videos and FAQs throughout and the link to each place at the very end

Blue Ridge Mountains apple orchard and mountain view

A Blue Ridge Mountains Vacation

The Blue Ridge Mountains actually stretch all the way to Pennsylvania as a section of the massive Appalachian mountain range. As we made our way from Atlanta, the beautiful backdrop of these “blue mountains” covered by tall trees made us all take notice.

This trip to the Georgia mountains was a bit of a sporadic trip without a lot of research. Blue Ridge, Georgia is known by some as Georgia’s favorite mountain town. And now I know why. There are breathtaking views, hiking trails, waterfalls, beautiful mountains, and the friendliest of people. Here’s what we got into on our first day…..


We neared Ellijay, the “Apple Capital of the World,” and I started to see the tin roofs and redwood buildings of Apple Barns. Our first stop was at Penland’s Apple House, a family-owned store since the 1930s. They had me immediately as I got out of the truck with an old-fashioned red tractor out front and all of the homemade goodies they had inside.

Blue Ridge Mountains Vacation for Families - Our visit to Penland's Apple Barn in Ellijay GA
Jalapeno Dill Pickles – what we left with!

The second apple barn that we visited was The Red Apple Barn. Outside they were boiling peanuts. Inside, there were several varieties of apples, jellies, syrups, and pies for sale. We went home with a peach hand pie.

Apple Barns


I was chomping at the bits to check out the quaint little Downtown Blue Ridge Georgia. We pulled right into a convenient parking space and quickly checked out the Blue Ridge Ga restaurants that were on the main street and the next street over.

Hansens Grill looked really cool but we chose the restaurant on main street, Harvest on Main. A barbecue sandwich with homemade coleslaw, steak sandwich, and a huge caesar’s salad was brought to the table quickly – and they were all incredible!

Hansen's Grill Restaurant and Moose hedge out front - Blue Ridge Mountains Vacation for families

After lunch, we walked around the charming streets of downtown Blue Ridge. We strolled through boutiques, classic mountain town stores with “lodge-style” furnishings, clothes, and gifts. You know what I mean… all the buffalo print with bear and moose accents. My favorites were all on the main street:

  • The Bear Store
  • The Chocolate Express
  • Tupelo Tea
  • Blue Ridge Cotton Company
  • Huck’s General Store
  • Gather

We even found saw BIGFOOT hanging out in a Downtown Blue Ridge store!

Blue Ridge Mountains Store with man and Bigfoot statue
Expedition: Bigfoot! Adventure Outpost

Parallel to the main street downtown is the historic depot for the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. This iconic heritage railroad runs once daily for a four-hour, 26-mile roundtrip journey along the Toccoa River and through the Chattahoochee National Forest. More about this railway in the next post!


Ellijay, Georgia is about 15 minutes outside of Blue Ridge, Georgia. We decided to end our Day 1 exploring with a few shops in Ellijay. This area has all the shopping and restaurants that you could ask for. I was excited to visit “A Taste of Amish,” but was a little disappointed. I’ve been in many Amish stores and to Amish country and I wasn’t too impressed with this one.

Our evening ended at “Bigun’s Barbeque,” a barnlike restaurant between Jasper and Ellijay. There were country touches all around this adorable BBQ joint with license plates on the wall and local homemade jams and jellies for sale. The excellent service and yummy food make up for the priciness. So we returned for lunch another day as well.


Are the Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains the same?

The Smoky Mountains are part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range but are located in Tennessee and North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains run through parts of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Where are the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia?

Across North Georgia – much of it in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Why are Blue Ridge Mountains blue?

They got their nickname from the blue haze that can be seen in the air from a distance.

Are there bears in Blue Ridge Georgia?

Yes. Many hikers report seeing them throughout the year because apparently, those in the Southeast don’t fully hibernate. Incidents are very rare, however, and are more populated further north in the smokies.

What is the elevation of Blue Ridge Georgia?

Around 1700 feet.

What is the best time of year to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains?

It’s beautiful all year round, honestly. September can still be warm. October and November are the favorite months for many visitors. Apple season (what this area is known for) is technically August through December. Tubing and rafting are most popular in the summer months. Most tubing companies close out tubing for the season on Labor Day each year.

Where is the best place to rent a cabin?

Stay tuned for the next posts about our Blue Ridge Mountains trip where I’ll share our cabin rental details and ideas for other Blue Ridge Ga cabin rentals as well.

You may also like…

Blue Ridge Georgia events

Have YOU been to the Blue Ridge Mountains? Share with us your favorite family picks!


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️


  1. Dora Duvisac
    October 23, 2019 / 5:26 pm

    I never even thought about the Blue Ridge Mountains in other states!! I went to college in Virginia, right next to the Blue Ridge Mountains but I guess I didn’t realize how big they are.

    • Shan
      October 23, 2019 / 6:18 pm

      That makes me feel better, Dora! I thought the same thing about Georgia. Be sure to come visit us further south some time!


  2. Tabitha
    October 24, 2019 / 11:47 pm

    Very informative! I have never heard of these mountains. I bet the views are amazing during a hike. I live all the cute smal shops you found as well. Great post.

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