10 Fun Things to Do in Northwest Georgia | Recommended by Locals

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Looking for fun things to do in Northwest Georgia? Perfect! With country shops and Southern eateries in small towns plus seasonal events and tons of outdoor activities nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s something for everyone. From hikers, artists, and anglers to historians, wine connoisseurs, and families, book your mountain cabin, pack your bags, and take a road trip north of Atlanta. To get started, check out our local guide on some of the best things to do in Northwest Georgia. 

1. Hop on a Scenic Train Ride

Journey from downtown Blue Ridge to the twin cities of McCaysville and Copperhill on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. You’ll have a 2-hour layover to check out local shops and restaurants plus snap a picture on the border between Georgia and Tennessee. Then, hop back on the train for another relaxing ride through the gorgeous national forest, spotting wildlife, mountains, and the sparkling river along the way. 

2. Explore the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the Chattahoochee National Forest in Northwest Georgia. From horseback riding, ziplining, and mountain biking to whitewater rafting, fly fishing, and picnicking, there are so many things to do! Plus, there are North Georgia state parks and hiking trails with scenic overlooks, dazzling waterfalls, wildflowers, and mountain views. A few of our all-time favorite spots to check out are below.

  • Brasstown Bald | highest point in the Peach State
  • Springer Mountain | start of the Appalachian Trail
  • Amicalola Falls |  3rd-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi

3. Sip Wine, Moonshine & Craft Brews

One of the best things to do in Northwest Georgia is try locally made wine, Appalachian moonshine, or craft brews. There are many wineries, distilleries, and breweries worth checking out in the area — many offer free tastings, mountain views, live music, and food pairings, too! Our favorites below are a great place to start.

4. Visit Historic Sites 

Once the land of the Creek and Cherokee people and turf of the Civil War, Northwest Georgia is steeped in history. The Peach State aims to preserve pieces of our heritage and culture, offering unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else in the world. We highly recommend taking a day trip to visit the following historic sites. 

  • Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville | sacred native burial grounds
  • Chief Vann House in Chatsworth | 1790 home of Cherokee leader James Vann
  • New Echota in Calhoun | where the Trail of Tears began 

5. Pick Fresh Apples at a Mountain Orchard

Apple picking is a traditional pastime in the North Georgia Mountains. There’s even an entire festival dedicated to apple everything — the Ellijay Apple Festival! Our favorite places to pick apples in Northwest Georgia are R&A Orchards and Mercier Orchards. Both offer tractor tours plus markets with baked goods, homemade jams, apple ciders, honey, and much more!

6. View 7 States at Rock City Gardens

Follow the Enchanted Trail — featuring ancient rock formations, wondrous caves, and stunning mountain views — to reach the top of Lookout Mountain. From Rock City Gardens, you can spot 7 states: Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and Georgia. Afterward, explore the Fairyland Caverns and peruse the gift shops for a memento. 

7. Shop for Antiques & Appalachian Crafts

Antique shopping in Georgia offers loads of collectibles, hidden gems, and treasure troves of fun in the North Georgia Mountains. In Northwest Georgia, you’ll find plenty of antique shops in charming towns that feature everything from old books, signs, and toys to restored furniture, pottery, and knick-knacks. 

Plus, many antique shops feature local arts and crafts as well — including handmade candles, wood carvings, jewelry, quilts, baskets, and paintings! You’ll also find one-of-a-kind Appalachian pieces at seasonal events in the area. 

8. Cast a Line in the Toccoa River

Splashing through Northwest Georgia toward the Ocoee River in Tennessee, the Toccoa River offers loads of water fun year-round. Go kayaking, canoeing, or river tubing. You can go fly fishing for trout or stop for a freshly caught fish dinner at the Toccoa River Restaurant. There’s even a famous swinging bridge on the Toccoa River — the longest east of the Mississippi — worth checking out on your outdoor adventure!

9. Tap to Bluegrass, Gospel & Country Music

Some of the best bluegrass, gospel, and country beats in the Southeast await in Northwest Georgia. From live music venues hosting concerts throughout the year to seasonal events with toe-tapping tunes, you’ll be singing and dancing in no time! A few of our favorite places to enjoy live music are listed just below. 

  • Cold Creek at North Oaks in Dalton
  • Misty Mountain Hops in Blue Ridge
  • TOONEYS Music Venue in McCaysville

10. Unwind at a Cabin in Northwest Georgia

Sip wine with spectacular Blue Ridge Mountain views, soak tired muscles in a steamy hot tub with massaging jets, play arcade games with friends, and kick up your feet in front of a crackling fireplace at your North Georgia cabin rental — with Georgia Cabins for YOU. From romantic weekends and fun family vacations to getaways with friends and memorable group retreats, we have vacation rentals of all shapes and sizes with loads of amenities in Northwest Georgia and beyond: Blue Ridge, Ellijay, and Big Canoe

Cabin Amenities

  • River, wooded & mountain views
  • Swimming pools
  • Hot tubs
  • Indoor jetted tubs
  • Fireplaces & wood stoves
  • Firepits & fire tables
  • Home theaters
  • Game rooms: pool table, foosball, air hockey, arcade classics, etc.
  • Wet bars
  • Decks for days
  • Rocking chairs & porch swings
  • King & queen suites
  • Fully equipped kitchens
  • Free & fast Wi-Fi
  • Keyless entry
  • Community extras: pools, golf course, tennis courts, trails, playgrounds, etc.

Plan YOUR mountain retreat today and explore all Northwest Georgia has to offer!