The mountains are calling and we must go! Our happy place has always been the mountains, especially in the fall. There’s something magical about the fresh air, the splashes of reds, yellows, oranges, and the outdoor adventures. I mean, even the coffee tastes better!
Every year, our family takes the 6.5-hour drive to Blue Ridge and Ellijay, Georgia and rent a cabin with Blue Sky Cabin Rentals. We have rented a different house every year and have had a wonderful experience. Although it is a long trip, we have figured out best times to travel with the boys, and for us, it is worth it! We usually rent a 2-bedroom cabin and cook our own breakfast and some dinners. We’re out and about for lunches and have found a hole-in-the-wall pizza place that we LOVE! (I’m a pizza snob from the North and this competes with my favorites from home!)
Our trip is centered around the outdoors. There are so many places to hike and we’ve discovered so many trails and waterfalls, but one of our favorites is Amicalola Falls State Park. The falls are simply beautiful! It costs 5 dollars/car to enter. There are a variety of trails of different lengths and difficulties and it’s dog-friendly! Scattered throughout the park are picnic tables/areas to stop and enjoy a packed lunch.
Georgia is filled with apple orchards and we have visited during its annual apple festival, which occurs over 2 weekends in October. If you miss the festival (which is totally ok!), there are many orchards for apple picking and places to get your fill of more varieties than you can imagine! (As well as every kind of delicious apple pastry you can imagine, including fritters, donuts, breads, pies, and jellies.) The most popular is Mercier Orchards, a family-owned and operated gem that includes U-pick, bakery, cafe, and store. We visit every year and leave with something new each time.
Blue Ridge is a quaint little town. Main Street is bustling with stores, restaurants, and sweet shops, from artesian boutiques to olive oils and breweries. The people-watching is the best! You will also find the Blue Ridge Railway, which has history dating back to the 1800s for the history buffs among us. There are several different rides available, including a 2- and 4-hour excursion. We chose the ‘Out and Back’ 2-hour fall tour and picked an open-air car to get the full experience. (We gambled with the weather but got lucky with a perfectly crisp late afternoon.) PRO TIP: Tickets need to be purchased at least a month in advance, as they sell out quickly! (Learned the hard way 2 years in a row.) Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase and the bathrooms are super clean!
Every single year, we end our trip wishing we had just one more day. We’ve never checked out
the mountains in the summer or winter, but maybe that will be next on our list! ‘Til next time, Georgia!