Blue Ridge


What is so wonderful about Blue Ridge, Georgia?

One word: Everything! It is a wonderful mountain town to explore!

Blue Ridge TulipsToday you know you are going through the outskirts of Blue Ridge by the Tulip gardens at each corner of the Hwy 515 / Hwy 5 intersection. Historic Blue Ridge was founded in 1886 when two railroads meet. It developed over the years and was quite the metropolis and at a time had 5 hotels and several boarding houses in downtown.

Blue Ridge has a total area of 2.2 square miles and 553 households with a 2000 census of 1,210 people. These statistics reflect a small mountain town, but as I leisurely stroll Main Street the town seems much bigger. While enjoying the antique shops, galleries, restaurants and specialty shops, I speculate that a lot has changes since the year 2000.

Blue Ridge Rail StationThe most popular attraction in Blue Ridge is the Blue Ridge Depot which is home of the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The original railroad depot burned and the building you and I see is the one built in 1906. This is a favorite activity among visitors and locals and a great activity for socializing with family and friends.

Blue Ridge ParkAcross the street from the Blue Ridge Depot and in the heart of downtown Blue Ridge is the Blue Ridge City Park. There are a couple of picnic tables, shade trees, water fountain, play ground, and just wonderful place for a picnic. There is usually something going on in the form of a community gathering, carriage ride, or festival on weekends. Even during the week you can find something to catch your attention while in the park. Shoot, I took a little break in my strolling and watched the workers prune a large tree in the middle of the play ground in the park.

Blue Ridge Courthouse MuseumAcross the street from the park is the Historic Fannin County Courthouse. The original courthouse burned in 1936. The present structure was built in 1937 and is now home of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association. Since quilting is not only popular in North Georgia, it is highly likely you will be able to observe some quilts as I do. Sometime more quilts than others but if you are lucky, you will see some beautiful quilts made from local people who compete in the nation quilting competition.

Blue Ridge DowntownSpeaking of quilting, across from the Historic Fannin County Courthouse is the Mountain Holly Quilt store. I really enjoyed going in there, (as out of place as this explorer could be) and was welcomed by the friendly staff. They did not waste much time or attention on me. Let me tell you, there is some serious business going on with all of the sewing machines, cloth, thread and patterns.

The town is mostly centered on Main Street next to and parallel with the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. I just love exploring Blue Ridge and finding new things that I did not see on my last visited. The stores along Main Street and the street on the other side of the track have some unique and interesting shops. There are plenty of food, ice cream, jewelry, paintings, fudge, house ware, chocolate, log/wood furniture, cabin rentals, antique malls, fishing gear, sportsman knives, and art.

A special note for the guys like me who don’t really like shopping, Blue Ridge art is quite often unique. Let me give you two examples of why I like exploring Blue Ridge. First, I came across a very detailed log. Not much from far off but I decided to check it out and found the log really interesting with all kinds of neat stuff. Admiring the art, I wanted to know the name of the artist. I did a little exploring research and found that no one knew the exact name of the artist. Suffice it to say that he was a well know local wood smith who was required (by a judge) to do community service. He did the city proud.

The second find was “something on the wall with a bunch of license plates” said my wife. This was a 4’ by 4’ black 2-inch wide frame that had a map of the United States in it. Each state was made out of an original state license plate. As you can imagine, each state had its name and/or slogan. One state toke TWO license plates. Can you guess which one?

Blue Ridge Railway SignI think you will enjoy strolling, shopping or just exploring Blue Ridge, Georgia. The people and shop owners are nice and easy to talk to. They enjoy helping you find what you need or want. And if you are looking for a hard to find vinyl album or CD, look up Ricky Webb who owns Big Frog Music on Main Street, specializing in hard to find music. Tell him I said “Hi”.

Again, Blue Ridge is a great place to explore. Starvation or dehydration is not necessary. For more information, call 1-800-899-MTNS or click here to visit Blue Ridge and the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce website

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