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Things to Do in North Georgia: 10 Best and Ultimate Guide

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Find the 10 Best Things to Do in North Georgia for Families, Couples, and More

We’ve been visiting the North Georgia mountains and the Blue Ridge area for years. Since we’ve been there so many times, we’ve created a list of things to do in North Georgia that is nearly perfect! So whether you are visiting with a family, on your honeymoon, or visiting with friends, this is a great list of the ultimate things to do in Blue Ridge and the North Georgia area.

things to do in North Georgia

1. Hiking in North Georgia

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do on any vacation. But in the North Georgia mountains, this is really special! I’ve made a list of my favorite trails in the area. And any list of things to do in North Georgia should include hiking.

Things to Do in North Georgia
Fort Mountain State Park

Trails within 30 miles of Blue Ridge, Georgia:

  • Long Branch Loop
  • Green Mountain Trail
  • Fall Branch Falls and Toccoa Riverside Restaurant
  • Lake Blue Ridge Loop

Outside of Blue Ridge area:

There are so many great hiking trails all around this area. Depending on where you are staying, be sure to use AllTrails.com to find the closest to you!

Things to Do in North Georgia
Fall Branch Falls

2. Experience the Quaint Downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia

When you’re talking about the North Georgia mountains, there are several different small towns in this area. But our favorite is Blue Ridge, Georgia. The downtown area of Blue Ridge is so cute! There are lots of little shops and amazing restaurants. And this town is so welcoming and inviting.

Where to eat in downtown Blue Ridge?

Harvest on Main is our favorite restaurant. Reservations are recommended at nearly all times of the day. Snag one early when you know you will be visiting!

Southern Charm Restaurant is also a favorite! Check out their website for their full menu.

Downtown Blue Ridge mural
Downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia

3. Things to Do in North Georgia? See a Drive-In Movie

Did you know there’s only five drive-in movie theaters left in the state of Georgia? Going to the Swan Drive-In feels like the best type of blast from the past. We saw Hocus Pocus last year in October. What an amazing experience! There’s not many more ways to experience all the fall feels than snuggled up with your family while watching a Halloween classic. It’s affordable for families and a unique Blue Ridge mountains experience.

Blue Ridge drive in movie theater
Swan Drive-In Movie Theater
Swan Drive-In movie theater
Blue Ridge Drive-In Movie Theater

4. Ride the Rails on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Talk about iconic experiences! The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a very popular downtown Blue Ridge experience, and for good reason. It’s not cheap, but it’s something that’s definitely worth doing at least once. Be absolutely sure to buy tickets early, especially during peak travel times. Trains will become completely sold out. So buy your tickets early!

There are different trip options. But the most popular train ride is a 4 hour, 26-mile roundtrip journey along the Toccoa River through the North Georgia countryside. You will pass through several quaint small towns and see a lot of beautiful scenery. There are both outdoor train cars and indoor train cars. We chose an indoor train car so that we didn’t need to worry about the weather. I would recommend that to families!

Blue Ridge scenic railway

5. Rent a Boat on Lake Blue Ridge or Lake Nottely

This is something that we did last year for the first time. And it’s now an absolute must do! Lake Blue Ridge is a very popular choice for many reasons. It’s centrally located and absolutely gorgeous.

But for a more affordable and less populated option, Lake Nottely is also a wonderful choice. We rented a boat for 4 hours and had a wonderful time. It was straightforward to book a rental, and the kids loved being on the water!

6. Kayak on the Toccoa River

Again, this is something that we’ve done many times in North Georgia. Even with small kids, this is a manageable option for families. And if you’re a couple exploring this area, what a romantic way to spend time together! The Toccoa River is dam controlled. So at certain times, the river is much more fast flowing than at other times.

In order to understand your options, and when is best for your family to kayak, I recommend Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking. They will be able to send your group or family safely down the river. There’s a shuttle service that will bring you right back where you’ve parked your car. It’s a great way to be in nature and have a unique and relaxing experience on the water.

North Georgia kayaking

7. Tubing on the Toccoa River

So we’ve already talked about boating and kayaking, but tubing is a classic North Georgia experience!

Things to do in North Georgia with kids?

Don’t miss tubing! Depending on the time of year that you are visiting this area, tubing is so fun with families or couples. For clean, safe tubes, my choice is Blue Ridge Tubing. No reservations needed! Just show up and have fun!

8. Mercier Orchards and more fresh fruit experiences

What’s more quintessential than an apple orchard, especially in Fall? But no matter when you visit the North Georgia mountains, Mercier Orchards is a great stop! We visit this apple farm and store every year, and it’s amazing to see how much they’ve grown.

Depending on the season, they don’t always have U-Pick apples available. But they are open to walk around and take pictures, and they even have a pond where you can fish for catch and release. It’s just a great family stop!

Things to do in North Georgia Mercier Orchards
Mercier Orchards

There are many other local farms in the North Georgia area as well. B.J. Reece Apple House and Orchard is a really fun choice! Check out this list of activities they have, in addition to their U-Pick Apples!

Included in $5 Admission:

  • Admission to both U-pick Orchards (Orchard behind the Apple House & Orchard acrossthe street from Apple House)
  • Pig Race show
  • Giant Farm Slide
  • Wagon Ride
  • Cow Milking (YES! You get to actually milk the cow!)
  • Viewing of our Exotic Animals (in U-pick 2)

9. Drive a Tank

That’s right, you heard me! There’s not too many places in the world where a civilian can drive a real tank. But in the North Georgia mountains, you actually can. This was a perfect 40th birthday gift for my husband, and we all really enjoyed it. It’s certainly not something that we won’t forget for a long time.

Drive a Tank in Blue Ridge, GA full review

drive a tank in blue ridge

10. Relax at your cabin

To be honest, this is actually one of my favorite things to do in Blue Ridge and North Georgia. There are so many perfect places in Georgia to relax. And sitting on your porch, overlooking the mountains, is one of the best things to do in North Georgia.

I’ve rented from many different rental companies. But hands down, our favorite rental company is Escape to Blue Ridge. They have unrivaled customer service and selection. You won’t go wrong with their company.

Cabins in North Georgia

Free Things to Do in North Georgia

We’ve discussed many things to do in North Georgia. And many of these are free or no cost. But if you’re looking specifically for things that are free, check out this list:

  • Hiking
  • Mercier Orchards
  • Window shopping around Downtown Blue Ridge
  • Relaxing on your porch
  • Blue Ridge City Park

Things for Couples to Do in North Georgia

So what are the most romantic things to do for couples in North Georgia? That’s tough! Even though my husband and I have always gone as a family, we find it to be one of the most romantic places we’ve visited. There’s something about just being in the mountains and being more relaxed that makes your relationship more romantic.

Here are my top picks for couples:

  • Dine at Harvest on Main in Downtown Blue Ridge, GA
  • Pick some apples together
  • Kayak down the Toccoa River
  • Go for a hike
  • Visit a spa

Can’t Miss These Things to Do in North Georgia

You can see that there are more things to do in North Georgia than you’ll have time for in one trip! So don’t worry about doing every single thing on this list. Enjoy every minute and take time to just enjoy the mountains. But when your trip is done, book your next visit right away! The mountains are never too far away.

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