Big Time Gourmet Treats in a Small Mountain Town

Gourmet Food in Blue Ridge

A while back, the travel and food writer Mary Anne Anderson came to Blue Ridge, Georgia. Her article “Eat Like a King (or Queen) in this Mountain Town” appeared in many papers across the country. It was published by the McClatchy-Tribune News Service. They claim to be the second-largest American newspaper publisher, as of 2006. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, of course, published it as well. Down in Florida, the article got published by the Miami Herald, and it also got published way up in New Jersey by the Press of Atlantic City.

Anderson describes Blue Ridge as “quaint, small-town America where the scenery is only part of the show.” Blue Ridge is 1,800 feet above ocean level, so the temperatures rarely reach above the mid-80s, making Blue Ridge your perfect escape from the summer. Sure, many come up here during the winter for the snow, but during the summer you need to escape from the heat even more.

Did you know we have four world-class chefs up here in Blue Ridge? Harvest on Main gives you Chef Danny Mellman, where the homey atmosphere can only almost overshadow the sizzling food. Chef Mellman studied the culinary arts in France, England and Italy. This has taught him to give your Southern food a European flair, making for some truly unique grits and trout. Anderson describes the memory of his Bramlett Farms Local Trout as making her salivate.

All the way from northern Italy, Chef Isabella Molinari brings you scampi, chicken parmesan, and Rollatine di Melanzane, which Anderson describes as “a to-die-for eggplant and cheese dish.” Moreover, Chef Ron Farber of the Black Sheep specializes in Southern Comfort Food, such as barbecue, chicken pot pie and lasagna. However, he also provides quite the variety of food from outside the South for the adventurous. This includes food from Asia and Europe. If you want to know more about him, please head on over to our Google+ post about him.

Finally, Chef Douglas Olsen of Cabin Cuisine actually delivers food to where you are staying. This isn’t delivery. This is quality food from a four-star restaurant that’s “designed just to your tastes.” Chef Olen does not provide you with your average fried chicken. He prepares chicken cordon bleu, filet mignon and lobster tail. All of that’s served on a “white table cloth complete with candles.” You don’t even have to wash your own dishes. They’ll do that for you.

Want a dessert after all of that? Anderson recommends the Sweet Shoppe of Blue Ridge as they just won the sixth season of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars where four contestants compete against each other with one going some each round. If you want more dessert options, some apples or a souvenir, then you can dash on over to Mercier Orchards, which is the largest orchard in Georgia.

Anderson also discussed the growing trend among vacationers to forgo hotels in favor of cabin rental. We also discussed this. Click here if you missed that blog. So once you’re done having your delicious dinner in town. You can head on over to one of our cabins. Some are quite close to Blue Ridge. Two come to mind: Sweet Retreat at 6-8 minutes from town and High Expectations at 5 minutes. For a full listing, including some remote ones, please visit our homepage.

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Or if you want work all of that off, you can stroll around downtown Blue Ridge to see all of the shops. It’s an easy walk, and you can take your time and visit all of the quaint shops. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could go rafting, horseback riding, tubing, boating or hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Anderson also wrote several articles for Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals and Blue Ridge Rustic Relaxation on this blog, such as “Holiday Things To Do In Blue Ridge, Georgia” and “Winter Time Blue Ridge, Georgia Things To Do.”

PBS “Getting Away Together” in Blue Ridge, GA

PBS’s Getting Away Together comes to Blue Ridge.

Highlighting great destinations around the United States, the PBS reality show Getting Away Together will feature Blue Ridge, Georgia in an upcoming episode, but they have already released some snippets. They have worked hard to present a wide variety of real people going on real vacations all across the United States since their national debut in the fall of 2011.

Okay, many channels are dedicated to travel. What sets this one show apart from the others? It’s all in the title. The show focuses on togetherness, or what the site calls “togethering.” This could be anything from girlfriend getaways to family reunions to milestone celebrations. They are the first realty travel series to focus on this overwhelming trend to travel with friends, kids, grandparents, and the extended family in fully-furnished homes. Nearly all of our guests here at Georgia Mountain Cabins and Blue Ridge Mountain Cabin Rentals are groups wanting to get away from their busy lives in the city, and they want to be enjoy some quite time with their families away from their busy lives in Atlanta. Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals provides that.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Getting Away Together is that all of the people in it are real people. They are not actors paid to be infomercials. This is not a commercial. This is a reality television show. PBS carefully selects all of the groups featured in the series from personal referrals, word-of-mouth research, websites, and social media. The film crew then documents the group as they unwind and behold local sites. It is genuine.

Getting Away Together believes that there are two things people love. They want to get away to an awe-inspiring destination, and they want to be with friends and family. The show works to combine those two. People can be happy with their family while going to work. People can be happy getting away for vacation, but we’re happiest when doing both, and this show emphasizes that. Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals agrees wholeheartedly. We provide an escape to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Check out some of the views over on our Pinterest. While you’re there check out the babbling creeks and rivers near our cabins.

If you are unsure about having a Blue Ridge Mountain vacation, or renting a cabin with Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals, then you should definitely check this show out. Getting Away Together provides viewers with takeaway tips and best-kept travel secrets. Experts give out inside information and terrific tips on how to choose the best vacation rental for your situation. If you need the info or the inspiration to help you plan a meaningful trip to Georgia’s breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains, give us a call, toll free, at (877) 656-7368 and we are here to help.

Most importantly, the show focuses on families going to vacation rentals as opposed to more traditional hotels, such as fully furnished homes, villas, condos, and cabins. These were chosen because these kinds of homes are becoming preferred over traditional hotels for offering a more amenities and a more homely atmosphere. This detailed article published on their official site presents statistical data supported by academic studies. The long and short of it is that there exists a steadily growing trend in recent years towards cabins taking some of the ground traditionally held by hotels and the like.

However, if you go that route, you get a room or two. If you choose to stay in one of our homes, you’ll have a whole house to yourself as opposed to being crammed together in some hotel room in the middle of a city. We have cabins that house 14 and another that houses 4. Some of them are secluded, while others are literally five minutes from downtown Blue Ridge. We at Blue Ridge Mountain Cabin Rentals provide much more variety than any hotel can.

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Blue Ridge Mountain Cabin Rental Views!

 

 

 

 

My First Time Ever in Blue Ridge, from an outsiders standpoint

My first time ever in Blue Ridge, Georgia

I was hesitant to come up to the mountains.

Sure, I liked the outdoors but for some reason I can’t exactly put my hands on I did not want to come up the mountains. Regardless, my parents bought land up here, and we were going camping on that land.

Right off the bat, Dad and my brother Blake went off fishing. That isn’t something I’m interested in, so I stayed behind with Mom. That being said if you are interested in fishing, there are literally countless fishing holes up here. You can fish at Blue RidgeLake or the any streams. Follow this link for a list of the best ones.

Later, I heard their story. They were at a random fishing hole when an armed man in camo with a beard that was literally stuffed into his belt came up. Dad was about to hightail it out of there. When the guy starting feeding the fish in order to make them come to the top. He gave them advice on the best fishing holes in the county.

That is the character of the people up there. Want another example? There’s an old man that always walks around the road to our property. If you talk to him, he’s so nice. However, he can go on for literally hours about local history like how the Cherokee chief White Path fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, how he protested white encroachment on traditional Cherokee lands, how he lobbied against Indian removal in the courts, and why he eventually went along with the Trail of Tears—which this road followed. Oh, and here’s why they call this place Devil’s Den ….

If you want to know more about our history, just read the local paper. The columnist Dale Dyer writes in entire articles on that.

Within a couple hours of camping, we knew all three of our neighbors. By the way if you want to just get away, then this is the perfect place for you. I have only three neighbors. Anyway, they just came up to introduce themselves and brought snacks with them.

Finally, the place to go in Blue Ridge is Mercier Apple Orchards. They sell apples in literally every from you could imagine—apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple fried pies, apple bread loaf, fudge covered apples. And no, they don’t just sell apples. They also grow strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches and plumbs. They offer an endless variety of snacks. Want a souvenir? They have the kind of gifts that you can find nowhere else.

The thing I remember most that first time in Blue Ridge is that night. Dad jumped at a pair of eyes—only to find out there were fireflies. In a few minutes, they were everywhere. I’ve camped out a lot, but never in my life have I seen so many fireflies.

Later that night we looked up into night sky. If you leave in town or in a city, many stars will be blotted out by the lights of civilization. In Blue Ridge, you can see them all. I even saw the Milky Way!

Spring is in the air at Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals

Let’s play a word association game. Mountains.

Now, if you’re like me when you think mountains, the first word that comes to mind is winter. Mountains equal high elevation which means snow. Thus, the first thing I think of when I think mountains is winter. Of course, all four seasons come to the Blue Ridge Mountains like any other region not in the tropics (they have a dry season and wet season if you’re curious), but I always associate mountains with winter, despite that simple fact. When I think of mountains, I never think about what I could do in the spring. So, what can you do up here in the spring?

Ironically, I’ve come to the conclusion that nearly every activity that I do in the mountains I do in spring. These include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and rafting and tubing to name just a few.

Let’s start with hiking. I personally prefer to hike in the spring or fall. I’m a person that doesn’t like the cold. Just last week as you can tell from our Facebook page, it snowed a lot up here. It was beautiful, but I doubt many were out hiking in that weather. If you wait until summer to hike, then it gets far too hot for you to comfortably hike in Georgia.

We have two very famous hiking trials locally. There’s the Appalachian Trail, stretching 2,000 miles all the way up to Maine from its starting point at SpringerMountain. Also, starting at SpringerMountain is the Benton MacKaye Trail that ends at Big Creek in the Great Smoky MountainsNational   Park. Other than the two famous ones, there are over 300 miles of hiking in the area, including ones for beginners.

Many of those trails are also used for horseback riding. From personal experience, I can tell you that nothing beats riding up into the mountains just to get away from busy-ness. We’ve plenty of trails to choose from. There are also several riding stables that specialize in family trail rides for kids of almost ages.

Want to fish? Choose from 100 miles of rivers, creeks, and streams. Just to name a few: Jack’s River, ConasaugaRiver, ToccoaRiver, Rock Creek, Noontootla Creek and CooperCreek. Be sure to consult the Georgia Guide to Trout Fishing for all the info you might need.

Finally, there’s rafting and tubing. If you want to float down the Toccoa, put in above the LakeBlue Ridge dam or below McCaysville—but the best is rafting the Ocoee. There’s nothing like paddling hard as your guide navigates through the rapids.

July events that you don’t want to miss!

In the North Georgia Mountains there is a little something for everyone to see or do.  Whether your idea of fun is “shopping till you drop” in Down Town Blue Ridge, or soaking up the scenery from your cabin’s Hot Tub, you are sure to be pleased.  And with all the activities and events going on in the Blue Ridge Mountains this summer there’s no excuse not to make a trip to see us at GEORGIA MOUNTAIN CABIN RENTALS!

Butternut Creek Festival  ~  July 20 – 21

Meeks Park   Blairsville, GA

15th annual festival! Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on both days. The Butternut Creek Festival is one of the finest juried arts and crafts shows in the Southeast. The two-day festival showcases the work of 65 artists and craftsmen in categories from basketry, fine art, fabric art, and decorative painting, to glass, jewelry, metal working, photography, pottery, scrimshaw, and woodturning.
For more information contact: 706-781-1221

Escape to Blue Ridge Tri The Mountains Sprint Triathlon  ~  July 21

Lake Blue Ridge Marina in Blue Ridge  ~  335 Marina Dr., Blue Ridge, GA 30513

The 600 yard swim course in the beautiful, clear waters of Lake Blue Ridge is a one loop affair around a triangular course, which is laid out nicely for a fast first leg of the day. Once out of the water, the athletes run up the boat ramp to the transition area where they will grab their bikes for the 18 mile out and back bike course. Racers will cycle up a slight climb out of the marina to a right on Old Hwy 76, and then enjoy the first of many long downhills. They will cross over Lake Blue Ridge Dam and will be treated to amazing views of the Lake and Mountains to the right, and the Toccoa River to the left. The ride over the dam is flat and then the next 8 miles will be rolling and fun, with a few longer climbs and incredibly fast downhills. Athletes will turn around at mile 9 and head back to the transition area. They will be greeted by a nice downhill to the Marina. Transitioning again at the Marina runners will start their run with a slight climb out of the Marina then enjoy a mile of nice downhill followed by rolling hills and a flat, slightly downhill run into the Historic town of Blue Ridge ending in front of the Gazebo on the corner of Depot and Main St.

Green Bean Festival  ~  July 27

Union County Farmers Market  ~  148 Old Smokey Rd. Blairsville

Third Annual Green Bean Festival! Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. Blairsville celebrates the 2012 Harvest of Green Beans and more… Over 100 vendors including regions top produce, exceptional crafters and artisans, the best in Festival Food, including a Low Country Boil from 4:30 – 7pm, benefiting Alzheimer’s. Farmer’s Market * 5K Race * Bike Ride * Green Bean Pizza-eating Contest * Live Entertainment * Canning and Recipe Contests * Exhibit and Demonstration Area* Petting Zoo* Climbing Wall and Bungee Jumping* Pony Rides* Bushels of Fun for the whole family! Free Parking and Shuttle. There is also a Square Dance on Friday night beginning at 8 p.m. on the Blairsville Square.
The Downtown Development Authority