Last year I took a trip over the 4th of July through Georgia and South Carolina. I visited Congaree National Park as well as Savannah. On my way back from South Carolina, I drove through the Georgia mountains and spent my afternoon in the town of Blue Ridge in the very northern part of Georgia.
The day I drove through Blue Ridge there was some type of arts festival happening. The town was PACKED. I paid to park in an overflow parking lot and walked toward downtown to explore. There’s quite a few shops on both sides of the main street as well as restaurants and a train depot at the end of the street.
There’s gift shops, outdoor stores, fine leather good stores, as well as very unique stores like one focused on bigfoot. I’ve listed a few of those places and links below.
- Blue Ridge Adventure Wear – Outdoorsy clothing
- Big Foot Adventure Outpost – Closed permanetly.
- Blue Ridge Cotton Company -Books, gifts, and clothing,
- Oar – Fine leather + other goods
- Blue Ridge Scenic Railway – 2 or 4 hour trips throughout the year as well as specific event trips
- Huck’s General Store – Old time country store.
I had well balanced lunch downtown at Hansen’s Grill (fries and a salad), but browsed a few menus before picking where to eat. Below are some well reviewed places for food, coffee, and beer.
- Mike’s Trackside BBQ – The outside of this place just screams “best bbq inside”.
- Hansen’s Grill
- Harvest on Main
- Blue Smoke Barbeque
- Das Coffee House
- Fannin Brewing Company
- C-Bolts Restaurant
Since my first visit, I’ve dreamed of going back there and spending a long weekend or even a week in the mountains. I’ve looked at more Airbnb’s than I can count in the area and checked tickets and pricing for the train rides. I will absolutely be visiting this place again and spending more time here because it’s got my favorite things: train, small town, and mountain views.
In the meantime, if you want to check out the curated list of Airbnbs I’d stay at while in the area, click on this link. I only listed Airbnbs I’d personally stay at which, if you know me well, you will know I’m very picky about where I stay. Traveling is an experience, but where you sleep is an experience too. To meet my expectations it has to have a few things which you’ll find in the places on the list.
- A view, of really anything, but a place I can sit outside and enjoy what I see. Sometimes this is mountains, or a lake, or creek, or even a forest.
- A deck or patio or outdoor area to enjoy view mentioned above.
- Clean plain bedding. If it looks like the comforter was on clearance at Kohl’s — sorry but no thanks. If it has weird animals on it, also passing on that. Stick with white or grey or something plain – I don’t care what, but purple striped with red fleece pillows is a no go.
- Aesthetically appealing – outside and inside. I love beautiful spaces, so the furniture and decor doesn’t need to be new or fancy, but it needs to be intentional and go together. Again, for me it’s about an experience.
- A writing space. Most often when I go on trips, I am working on blogs during that time so I look for a place with natural light near a window. This could be a kitchen table, an outdoor patio table, a desk in a bedroom – I’m not super particular but I need a writing surface.
After writing this, I am realizing it may be fun to do a blog on “What to Avoid When Listing an Airbnb” so stay tuned for a blog like that in the upcoming weeks. Here’s a sneak peek – avoid putting a photo of the baby crib in the bathroom and posting it. I’m now concerned about the baby sleeping in the crib and why that was the first place it felt like was a good idea for a crib in general.
Hope you enjoyed this blog and if you end up travling to Blue Ridge, let me know what you do and where you stay!