Scenic drives with breathtaking views, hiking trails leading to cascading waterfalls, small towns filled with Southern charm, plus cozy cabin rentals with hot tubs welcome you to plan a memorable getaway in the peaceful North Georgia Mountains.
Above Atlanta, a stretch of rolling foothills and rising peaks make up the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northeast Georgia — commonly referred to as the North Georgia Mountains. Outdoor activities in Georgia state parks, a lush national forest, vineyards, historic sites, and local farms, plus mountain towns with events, shops, entertainment, and eateries await. Let our travel guide help you plan fun things to do with family and friends among the mountains in Georgia. Plus, we’ll lead you to the best cabins with mountain views, games, theaters, fireplaces, and resort extras!
Top 10 Things to Do in the North Georgia Mountains
North Georgia mountain towns are filled with things to do for all ages. Outdoor activities include ziplining, horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing, gold panning, geocaching, whitewater rafting, paddleboarding, and boating. You can check out fairgrounds, play escape games, visit museums, roam lavender gardens, shop for mountain gifts, and dine at the best restaurants in North Georgia. The list goes on and on!
Browse our top 10 things to do in the North Georgia Mountains for an easy start to your vacation itinerary.
1. Hike to Brasstown Bald — the Highest Peak in Georgia!
Start off your North Georgia Mountain vacation with a gorgeous hike to the tippy top of Brasstown Bald, the highest point in the State of Georgia at 4,784 feet above sea level. Along with a general store, museum, and picnic areas, you can continue your trek to the Appalachian Trail or other hiking trails.
2. Ride the Blue Ridge Train — River, Forest & Mountain Views
Hop aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway and ride through the Chattahoochee National Forest from downtown Blue Ridge to McCaysville and Copperhill — sister mountain towns bordering Georgia and Tennessee. You’ll see the Toccoa River, forests, and mountain vistas along the way. And you can add a meal or snack to your train journey.
3. Check out Seasonal Events — Live Music, Southern Eats & Local Crafts
From parades, mountain festivals, and fireworks shows to rodeos, craft exhibits, and music fests, North Georgia offers loads of family-friendly events for every season. Enjoy live entertainment, mouthwatering food, stuff for the kids, and souvenirs. A few of our favorite North Georgia events include the following.
- Fire & Ice Chili Cook-Off & Craft Beer Festival in Blue Ridge | Feb
- Spring Arts in the Park in Blue Ridge | May
- Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival in Ellijay | Jun
- Kiwanis Rodeo in Blue Ridge | Aug
- Sorghum Festival in Blairsville | Oct
- Bavarian Oktoberfest in Alpine Helen | Oct
- Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega | Oct
- Mountain Country Christmas in Lights in Hiawassee | Nov-Dec
4. Explore the Aska Adventure Area — Trails, Mini-Golf & Toccoa River
Home to Lilly Pad Village, Lake Blue Ridge, the Toccoa River, and the Aska Trails, the Aska Adventure Area offers mountains of fun in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Putt-putt with friends, sunbathe lakeside, kayak the Toccoa, and walk among wildflowers in spring. And check out one of the oldest stores in North Georgia, a mom-and-pop shop called Van Zandt’s Riverwalk Grill & Grocery.
5. Visit Appalachian Wineries — Wine Tasting with Vineyard Vistas
With 26+ wineries in Northeast Georgia alone, you’ll have plenty of wine-tasting options in the North Georgia Mountains! Sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the fresh air with mesmerizing views of rolling vineyards set on a mountain backdrop. Appalachian wineries are fantastic whether you want to turn up the romance or hang out with friends!
- Buckley Vineyards in Ellijay
- Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris
- Engelheim Vineyards in Ellijay
- Frogtown Cellars in Dahlonega
- Kaya Vineyard & Winery in Dahlonega
- Serenberry Vineyards in Morganton
- Sharp Mountain Vineyards in Jasper
- Yonah Mountain Vineyards in Cleveland
6. Take a Blue Ridge Food Tour — North Georgia Bites & Brews
Want a taste of North Georgia restaurants without much thought? Consider Blue Ridge food tours! You can choose a foodie tour or dessert tour with a group or opt for a private experience. They’ll take you to 4-5 local eateries to sample a diverse range of menus. And you can try sips from local breweries along the way!
7. Discover Dazzling Waterfalls — Picnics, Snapshots & Swims
Cascades spilling into reflective pools with moss-draped stones, lofty trees, and wandering wildlife is an enchanting experience in the North Georgia Mountains. Within the national forest, there are many North Georgia waterfalls to find and explore. Bring a picnic lunch or a swimsuit to splash around or roll up your cuffs and dip your toes in the cool water on a hot day. Our recommended places to start are below.
- Tallulah Gorge State Park — 6 splashy waterfalls!
- Amicalola Falls — tallest waterfall east of Mississippi
- Anna Ruby Falls — double tumbling waterfalls
- Helton Creek Falls — hemlock valley with a double waterfall
- Minnehaha Falls — multi-tiered waterfall near Lake Rabun
8. Shop for Antiques — Unique Gifts with Appalachian Charm
Downtown areas of many North Georgia mountain towns offer Georgia antique shops of all shapes and sizes — with loads of trinkets, old books, vintage signs, toys, clothing, ceramics, and furniture. Whether you’re in the market for a unique piece to add to your home or a growing collection of figurines, or if you want to find a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special in your life, shopping in the North Georgia Mountains is for YOU!
9. Stroll Through Gibbs Gardens — Manor, Sculptures & Water Features
Featuring 7 terrace levels of gardens and a manor house, Gibbs Gardens in the North Georgia Mountains invites you to take a stroll. View sculptures, water features, and 1,000s of blooms while crossing bridges, meandering through trees, and walking beneath vine0-wrapped pergolas. You’ll also see ponds, a rose arbor, waterfalls, butterflies, a gift shop, and a cafe.
10. Go Apple Picking — Baked Goods & Fresh Cider
Along with the Georgia Apple Festival in October, there are a variety of apple orchards to visit in the North Georgia Mountains. Plan for U-pick events to pick your own apples and grab fried apple pies, cakes, loaves, jars of applesauce, apple salsa, apple butter, and bottles of apple cider to take back to your cabin rental or friends back home.
- B.J. Reece Orchards
- Hillcrest Orchards
- Mercier Orchards
- Panorama Orchards
- R&A Orchards
Fun Facts — North Georgia Mountains
- The North Georgia Mountains are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains plus the greater Appalachian Mountains — and home to the start of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain.
- Approximately 60% of the land in Rabun County contributes to national forests and state parks in the North Georgia Mountains.
- There are 12 counties in the North Georgia Mountains.
- You’ll find 11 state parks in the North Georgia Mountains: Amicalola Falls, Cloudland Canyon, Fort Mountain, James H. Floyd, Moccasin Creek, Red Top Mountain, Smithgall Woods, Tallulah Gorge, plus Black Rock Mountain State Park, Unicoi State Park, and Vogel State Park.
- As the Blue Ridge Mountains are 1+ billion years old, the North Georgia Mountains are the oldest in the state.
- Natural tree insecticide and sunlight contribute to why the Blue Ridge Mountains are blue!
North Georgia Cabin Rentals
Elevate your North Georgia Mountain vacation at a cabin rental in Blue Ridge, GA! At Georgia Cabins for YOU, we also have properties near Morganton, Mineral Bluff, Ellijay, and even Big Canoe. You can choose from 1-7 bedrooms, fun amenities, as well as wooded, river, or mountain views! Pet-friendly cabin rentals and large group vacation rentals are also available. And we have everything from budget to luxury lodges for your mountain retreat.
Browse some of the best places to stay in the North Georgia Mountains and book confidently. Can’t wait to visit? Check our current weekend availability.
Plan YOUR North Georgia Mountain getaway and make everlasting memories today!