Top Things To Do in Ellijay

Located where the Cartecay and Ellijay rivers meet to form the Coosawattee River, Ellijay, Georgia, has a lot to offer. This small mountain town in North Georgia has the Blue Ridge Mountain range of the Appalachian Trail providing a gorgeous backdrop wherever you turn. Outdoor adventures and activities are at the top of many visitors’ lists when they vacation, with hiking trails, mountain biking paths, lakes, state parks, natural springs, waterfalls, kayaking, and canoeing being many of the favorites. 


Fort Mountain State Park
Sitting at 2,850 feet above sea level, Fort Mountain State Park is located near the Cohutta Wilderness at the southwestern edge of the Cohutta Mountains around 18 miles from downtown Ellijay. With 27 biking trails, 25 hiking trails, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and geocaching available, you can spend all day exploring its 4,000 acres of land and 17 acres of lake. 

Amicalola Falls State Park
Located in Dawsonville, Amicalola State Park is about 20 miles from Ellijay and is worth the short drive. It is within the Chattahoochee National Forest and is only 8 miles from the Appalachian Trail. Amicalola is a Cherokee word meaning “tumbling waters” named after its most visited area, Amicalola Falls, a 729-foot waterfall making it the 3rd highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Walk along hiking trails, visit waterfalls, and explore all the Aerial Adventure Park has to offer with suspension bridges, zip lining, a GPS scavenger hunt, a 3D archery course, and survivalist training programs. 


Whitepath Golf Course
Providing a picturesque backdrop, the Blue Ridge Mountains make this golf course that is only 5 miles outside of Ellijay one of the most enjoyable in North Georgia. Boasting itself as a hidden gem, this meticulously maintained course is highlighted by Whitepath Lake and other small creeks and ponds along the course. This course is challenging for low handicap golfers and quite friendly to those with higher handicaps.

1156 Shenandoah Drive
Ellijay, GA 30540

Cartecay River Experience

Tubing and kayaking make a day at Cartecay River Experience possible for all ages to enjoy. There are two options for your adventure, one that is family-friendly for all ages and one best suited for children 5 and older. Tubes and kayaks are available for rent with all of your accessories and safety gear included. A shuttle is provided for those renting as well as the ones who bring their own tubes and kayaks. 

2400 Georgia-52
Ellijay, GA 30536

Carters Lake and Marina
This lake offers 3,200 acres of deep, clear water surrounded by 65 miles of undeveloped shoreline to enjoy. Rent a pontoon or tritoon boat and stay out with your group on the lake all day long. The marina has a ship store to allow you to stock up on snacks and drinks for a day on the lake, and the rental includes life jackets for safety out on the water. 

575 Marina Road
Chatsworth, GA 30705


Ellijay is also the apple capital of Georgia, with one of its claims to fame being the perfect area for growing apples. There are orchards all around Ellijay proving this statement as true and providing lots of produce from their orchards and farms as well as fresh eats and goodies made straight from the fruits grown on their farms.  

R & A Orchards
Family-owned and -operated in Gilmer county since its beginning in 1947, R & A orchards has a vast variety of apples. They have tours available and weekends set aside to pick apples or visit their Roadside Market full of goodies like jams, jellies, preserves, soups, salad dressings, salsa, honey, spices, and of course, apple cider. Located just 4.5 miles east of Ellijay with the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding, a trip here would make for a fantastic day. 

5505 Highway 52 East
Ellijay, GA 30536

Hillcrest Orchards
There is so much to do and see at this farm from wagon rides, giant slides, cow milking an apple tree maze, a petting farm, picnic areas, and an enchanted forest trail. Go apple picking, watch animal races, play a round on the mini golf course, or listen to live music from Bluegrass Bands. Visit the Cafe, Grill, and the Farm Market to find wonderful homemade fall foods like fried pies, ice cream, jellies, jams, cider, apple fritters, and candied and caramel apples just to name a few. 

Highway 52 East
Ellijay, GA 30536

Red Apple Barns Orchard
With apples, pumpkins, wagon rides, and a variety of ciders including apple, peach muscadine, and blackberry, a visit to the Red Apple Barn Orchard will not disappoint. U-pick your own apples and then visit their Farm Market and take home some delicious goodies like doughnuts, fritters, fried peanuts, fudge, mulling spices and delicious apple butter, and more. The next stop is the Family Fun Barn to enjoy some games with your group and eat some of your incredible acquisitions from the market at a picnic area with a beautiful covered bridge, all with the North Georgia Mountains providing a spectacular backdrop. It’s fun for the entire family. 

3379 Tails Creek Road
Ellijay, GA 30540

B.J. Reece Orchards and Apple House
A family-owned and -operated orchard tucked right into the majestic hills in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, B.J. Reece Orchards is one place you will love to spend your time. U-pick orchards with 20+ varieties of apples from Gala, Pink Ladies, Mutsu, Red Delicious, Gold Rush, and more. Young or old, large groups, families or couples, Reece Orchards is the perfect place for you. While here, visit the petting zoo or go to the bakery and shop for gift baskets, butter, peanut brittle, salsa, syrups, salad dressings, and more. 

9131 Highway 52 East
Ellijay, GA 30536

If your getaway to North Georgia happens to be in October, in addition to visiting one of our apple orchards, plan to attend the Georgia Apple Festival and enjoy all of the fun things this small town makes big! The Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, Ellijay Lions Club, and the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay produce a spectacular festival 2 weekends out of the year. There are over 300 vendors selling crafts and homemade items at the Apple Arts and craft show. Other activities include a classic auto show, a 5K road race, as well as an Apple Festival Parade for all ages to enjoy. 


Having the perfect soil and weather for apples means that grapes grow well here as well. Ellijay has a few incredible 10 – 20+ acre vineyards that produce a variety of grapes, which in turn, allows the vineyards to make a variety of delicious wines. Come visit the tasting rooms and enjoy the surrounding beauty at each of these locations.

Cartecay Vineyards and Winery
Located in the Cartecay region of East Gilmer County, the Cartecay Vineyards were established in 2007 from a farm and property circa the 1890s. They have rebuilt a barn with much of the original wood including a chimney still standing from the 1890s structure. Their Tasting Barn features a tasting bar, a sitting area, a covered porch, a deck, and an events room. All of their wines are made 100% from the grapes they grow at Cartecay Vineyards. Wine varieties are made from grapes planted on 14 acres of land from Vidal Blanc, Chardonel, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, just to name a few. Enjoy musical entertainment from local and regional artists every weekend. 

5704 Clear Creek Road
Ellijay, GA 30536
706.698.9463 (WINE)

Engelheim Vineyards
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, this vineyard is a beautiful place to spend some time. This vineyard was established in 2009 but has already won quite a few awards for its incredible wines, all of which are made completely from the grapes grown on their estate. A gorgeous tasting room invites a sampling of wines, cheeses, and desserts. Take home a bottle of two of your favorites and feel free to bring your furry friends to enjoy the day and the spectacular views that surround. Wine tastings on the weekend here are accompanied by live music from 1:30-5:30.

127 Lakeview Road
Ellijay, GA 30540
706.635.WINE (9463)

Ott Farms and Vineyard
Boasting a 180-degree view of the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains, this vineyard has a lot to offer. Tasting room seating indoors as well as outdoors so the vineyard and mountain views pair nicely with the wine that is offered. They are open 7 days a week with live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as well as an open mic night on Tuesday. Shop for local artwork and handmade crafts in their gift shop and enjoy food trucks every Saturday and Sunday. 

230 Henry Evans Road
Ellijay, GA 30536


Tabor House Museum
The Tabor House is an 1870s Victorian-style home that happens to be the oldest family home in Ellijay. It was donated to the Gilmer County Historical Society and was turned into a historic Civil War museum filled with artifacts as well as donated items that are related to the area’s military history from the Civil War up to WWII and historical pieces of history related to the Cherokee people and much more. You can tour the house by yourself or have a volunteer walk you through the rooms sharing tidbits of history. 

138 Spring Street 
Ellijay, GA 30540

Gilmer Arts Playhouse

Located in historic downtown Ellijay, the Gilmer Arts Playhouse provides entertainment from various types of artists. Come hear concerts and musical groups perform, as well as, watch plays all year long. Check out the schedule to see what is going on at the Playhouse while you are visiting. 

135 North Dalton Street
Ellijay, GA 30540

Expedition Bigfoot Museum
Visit the world’s largest bigfoot museum, whether you are a believer or not. Explore all of the pictures, exhibits, and information that has been collected from people who have seen Sasquatch. Some of the exhibits are even interactive in this 3,700-square-foot museum. It is a self-guided tour, so go through as slowly or quickly as you want. Then visit the gift shop for some one-of-a-kind treasures and souvenirs. 

1934 Highway 515
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Food and Drinks

There are so many local places to enjoy Ellijay’s local food, wines, and beer. From Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant to the River Street Tavern, you will find what you were looking for and more. Visit our Cabins for YOU blog on all the best places to eat and drink in Ellijay to find the perfect place to eat tonight. 

Just in case you are planning your trip and haven’t booked your stay yet, here is a list of all of our Cabins for YOU Rentals in Ellijay. Plan your trip now!