Planning a day trip or fun vacation to North Georgia? In the Blue Ridge Mountains north of Atlanta, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly things to do, outdoor activities in Georgia state parks, 30+ local wineries, and North Georgia mountain towns brimming with Appalachian culture. Sure, you could mosey around and find hidden gems on your own. Or check out our list of top cool places in North Georgia for an insider’s scoop to make your getaway in the Peach State the best one yet!
1. Downtown Blue Ridge
Our list of cool places in North Georgia has to start in downtown Blue Ridge. It’s one of the most popular small towns to visit in the area, and here are a few reasons why. You can go wine tasting and visit 3 craft breweries in town. Shop for antiques, outdoor gear, and unique souvenirs. Hang out at seasonal mountain festivals. Follow the historic walking tour. Check out local arts and crafts. And take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway that takes you to twin mountain towns, one in Tennessee.
2. Toccoa River Swinging Bridge
Amazingly, this 45-year-old suspension bridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River! At 270 feet long, it’s a cool place to cross the Toccoa River. Plus, you can cast a line for trout, snap a selfie by the hidden waterfall, paddle along the Toccoa River Canoe Trail, and more. The Toccoa River Swinging Bridge is also pet friendly, so you can bring your fur babies for a gorgeous outdoor adventure.
3. Rhododendron Garden in Hiawassee
Located at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hamilton Gardens in Hiawassee features the largest collection of rhododendron blooms in the southeast. Follow the mulched trails through troves of flowers, trees, and other native plants. The walking trail also takes you along the edge of Lake Chatuge. For the best views of the blooms, we recommend visiting in April or May. However, this scenic walk is beautiful year-round.
4. Apple Capital of Georgia — Ellijay
Another cool place to visit has to be the Apple Capital of Georgia, aka Ellijay! Surrounded by apple orchards, vineyards, and farms, Ellijay offers baked goods, Appalachian wine, and fresh produce. Plus, it’s home to the Apple Festival — featuring a parade, an antique car show, a 5K, local crafts, art exhibits, live music, play areas for kids, apple treats (like pies, fritters, and jellies), apple ciders, and apples of all kinds
5. Helen’s Bavarian Village
For a super unique experience in the North Georgia Mountains, visit Helen, GA. This alpine-style village boasts all things Bavaria. Cobblestone streets lead to a variety of boutiques and eateries with authentic German cuisine. You can even take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Plus, for the past 50 years and counting, Helen hosts Oktoberfest, which is a classic event that offers live performances, Bavarian food, and plenty of German beer!
6. Tallulah Gorge State Park
Nestled at the edge of Northeast Georgia is the Tallulah Gorge State Park — home to Tallulah Falls that pours into the 2-mile-long, 1,000-foot-deep Tallulah Gorge. Stroll across the suspension bridge hovering 80 feet above the canyon floor, explore mountain biking trails, and check out more ravine overlooks along the rim. There’s on-site parking, picnic areas, public restrooms, and even a gift shop.
7. Dahlonega Gold Mine
Venture underground to discover Dahlonega’s Consolidated Gold Mines, a real adventure in a real gold mine. You’ll journey 200 feet down to explore an old gold mine that was mined during the gold rush days over 100 years ago! Afterward, you can pan for gold yourself. You can also mine for genuine gems that can be turned into jewelry to wear before you leave.
8. Moonrise Distillery in Clayton
Eager to try award-winning Georgia moonshine in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Check out the Moonrise Distillery in Rabun County’s Clayton, GA. Instead of setting a deadline and stopping the distilling process to put a product on the shelves, the distillers at Moonrise age their white lightning by taste, not time. While it often takes longer to develop a finished product, using the old ways helps create a complex craft spirit you’ll appreciate.
9. Big Canoe Resort
Welcome to Big Canoe, GA! Inside this 8,000-acre resort straddling Jasper and Dawsonville, there are loads of fun things to do with family and friends. Go boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing at the lakes. Play tennis, bocce, pickleball, or racquetball. Hit the championship 27-hole golf course. Bike and hike miles of trails with mountain views. Unwind in the sauna or hot tub after a massage. Swim at the pools, wine and dine, or take the kids to the playgrounds. And that’s not all!
10. Brasstown Bald in Blairsville
As the highest point in the state — 4,784 feet above sea level — Brasstown Bald is a neat place in North Georgia. There’s a visitor center at the top of the mountain that features an observation deck, views of 4 states, plus a museum. You can hike or take a shuttle to the top. There’s also a picnic area, public restrooms, and a gift shop that features locally crafted goods.
11. Chattahoochee National Forest
Last but not least, and perhaps our favorite cool place in North Georgia, is the Chattahoochee National Forest! Here, you’ll find many outdoor activities for all ages and endless natural beauty. Beginner and advanced hikers will love the miles of hiking trails that lead to breathtaking views, waterfalls, and historic sites dating back to the first Creek and Cherokee tribes. If you visit Springer Mountain, you can even trek part of the Appalachian Trail! You can also go mountain biking, fly fishing, picnicking, ziplining, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, river tubing, and geocaching.
Cool Cabins for YOU
Keep the cool vibes up on vacation when you stay with Georgia Cabins for YOU. Our variety of vacation rentals offers families, friends, and groups a comfortable and fun place to stay in North Georgia. Plus, our cabin rentals and condos feature cool amenities to make your mountain retreat unforgettable.
Gaze at mountain views while sipping wine on the deck. Read stories and drink cocoa next to a roaring fireplace when it’s cold outside. Soak tired muscles in the steamy hot tub. Play games in the rec room. Roast marshmallows around the firepit. And enjoy unique resort amenities. We also have pet-friendly cabins!
Book your cozy cabin today and explore the many cool places in North Georgia for a memorable vacation experience!