A Peaceful Retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains
I’m not sure what we were thinking when we planned this trip, but we were in Florida a whopping 3 days before we were packing our bags for our Georgia/Tennessee road trip with Charlie’s parents. Actually, let me rephrase – we hadn’t even unpacked from Thailand yet. So we were unpacking, washing clothes and repacking while still recovering from hellacious jet lag that only seems to get worse every time we cross the ocean. And while those Prestige seats on our Korean Air flight definitely helped ease the pain of a 28-hour flight, jet lag still ensued!
Luckily, our first stop on our road trip was the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, the kind of place where time seems to stand still. The air was cool and crisp, the roads are nearly desolate, everything and everyone just seems to move in slow motion and it was just the kind of place we needed to unplug and unwind while we acclimated ourselves to life in the US again. Plus, we knew we would be heading to Nashville the following weekend where we would be picking up the pace a bit so we needed to conserve our energy.
Where to Stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains
We hit the road without a place to stay for the evening, but leave it to me and my handy dandy Airbnb app, I landed us an awesome cabin smack dab in the center of the mountains equipped with everything we needed for the next 4 nights! It slept 6, had a jacuzzi tub, back porch with a hammock and a grill, fireplace with unlimited firewood, plus smart TV’s in every room with Netflix, HBO, Wiis and Rokus. Yeah…we were spoiled. This is what $140/night got us compared to the $140 we had to pay later in the trip for 2 dark and musty motel rooms in Maggie Valley, NC…
Things to Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains
The cozy cabin, also known as The Dogwood, was situated in Blairsville so it was not far from all of the quaint mountain towns and State Parks we wanted to visit, including Helen, Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, Elijay, Vogel State Park, and Unicoi State Park.
Antiques, Boutiques & General Stores
A few of our days were spent driving through the mountains and enjoying the views while visiting all of the adorable towns that time forgot. They are full of antique shops, boutique stores and local eateries. Every little town has its own “General Store” with the old time candy and locally made jams and jellies, pickled vegetables, salsas, and soaps and of course we stopped at every single one of them and made some sort of purchase. I could have spent days in Blue Ridge and Dahlonega just perusing the shops and window shopping had Charlie given me the opportunity. But if you know Charlie, then you know his window for shopping is about 13 minutes and he’s ready for the next activity, particularly something in the great outdoors. Luckily, the Blue Ridge Mountains has so much to offer in terms of hiking, waterfalls, and adventure activities.
Anna Ruby Falls
Brasstown Bald is the highest point in the state of Georgia, so naturally, we had to pay it a visit for a chance at some amazing scenic views. The elevation is 4,784 ft above sea level and on a clear day you can see the Atlanta skyline. Unfortunately, we were not able to see that far, but we were still presented with pretty magnificent views for a short time before an afternoon thunderstorm rolled in. This is definitely worth a visit, especially for those that prefer to skip the hikes. You can take a shuttle all the way to the top!
Tubing in Helen, GA
Helen is a charming Alpine Village in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Driving through town (and its a pretty quick drive), you start to wonder what country you are in. Its definitely a little kitschy but I can’t help but love it and I’d love to see it during the holidays. Its situated along the Chattahoochee River and one thing you can’t miss is the number of tuber’s making their way along the river. Tubing is a huge draw to this somewhat sleepy little town and it looked like tons of fun! It was one thing we were really wanting to do while we were there but the weather just didn’t seem to want to cooperate. Next time, Helen…
There was a lot more we wanted to see that we didn’t, partly because we got a lot of rain that week and mostly because we were too busy enjoying the balcony at our cabin, swinging in the hammock, grilling hotdogs and just hanging out with the family. And to be honest, we were actually kind of enjoying the rain. Our week in the cozy Dogwood came to an end too soon and before we knew it we were loading up the truck again and heading off to Nashville…
Stay tuned for more on our GA/TN road trip… 😉