One of the things that makes us one of the best-kept secrets in the Southeast is our fabulous wineries. As an American Viticultural Area (AVA), our area has the same designation and soil quality as prestigious wine communities like Sonoma and Napa Valley. But it’s not just the soil that make Blairsville-Union County’s Wine Country so special, it’s also the hard work and attention to detail of the wineries in providing their guests with unique experiences as well as exceptional wine. Come and see for yourself…
Southern Tree Plantation Inc., a family run business located 5 miles south of Blairsville, is a 60 acre Christmas tree farm located in Union County. Southern Tree Plantation has been growing Christmas trees for over 30 years. During that time many attractions and additional activities have been added to the plantation. Wagon rides, farm animals, a children’s train ride, marshmallow roasting, maze, playground, crafts, and concessions are some of the attractions and activities available for the public to enjoy while cutting or choosing their Christmas trees.
Many families make their annual holiday pilgrimage to choose and cut their own trees at the farm. In addition to finding a Christmas tree, customers enjoy browsing through the “holiday barn,” listening to their favorite music enjoying the sights and sounds of the season while sipping some hot chocolate. The “holiday barn” was created out of an 80 year old chicken house. Families can be found roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, taking the wagon and train rides, playing in the playground and maze or enjoying a variety of other activities available. Even Santa Claus has been known to drop by the “holiday barn.”
From its early roots as a business, the Christmas season is still the highlight and most popular time of year at the farm. Families travel from many miles away to make or continue their holiday traditions at Southern Tree Plantation. Over the years, the Plantation has expanded its services beyond trees and holiday attraction. There are also facilities available for large events to be held on the farm – perfect for company picnics, birthday parties, reunions, weddings, and other events.
Let us help you plan your holiday pilgrimage and other activities while you are in town by contacting the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789 or stop by our Welcome Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road located within the Union County Community Center.
We were nine adults, sitting around the backyard fire pit, drinking real hot cocoa topped with fluffy marshmallows. As the late autumn breeze became chillier, the hostess left us to rustle up blankets for each of her guests. We threw them around ourselves and instinctively wrapped up in them like they were our cocoons.
Someone sighed and said “Oh, this reminds me of summer camp in Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie over 50 years ago.” For the next two hours we exchanged memories of our childhood camp experiences. Though we had raised a dozen children between us, not one of us mentioned the recollections we had of their experiences. Our own camp memoirs were so rich and tangible, even a half century later, we couldn’t stop sharing. Eventually the fire burned to just ambers and we regretfully ended our journey down memory lane.
When deciding to open a business here in Union County, you will ask yourself a myriad of questions. Can I make a living out of what I’m most passionate about? Is this something I think I can be absorbed about for the next several years? Why would people choose to do business with me instead of who they’ve been doing business with in the past? Where can I open my business that is affordable and will draw the most traffic?
All of these are important considerations, yet one of the most important questions seldom gets asked. Will my business make memories for my customers? Because if their experience with you is memorable, they will continue to do business with you and they’ll share that experience with everyone. If your yarn shop is completely off the beaten path, but the alpaca, whose fleece are used to make your yarn, are available to your customers to pet and feed, they will drive miles for that experience. They’ll take pictures, post it on social media, most likely with a link to your FB page, and now they are using these memorable experiences as free marketing for your business.
I know, you are thinking, “I want to open a window washing business. How do I create a memorable experience for my customers?” All recollections don’t have to be pleasant. Taking before and after pictures of some of the worst windows, then sharing them in a “thank you for your business” card will be all they need. After the windows are clean, they might not remember what they looked like before. You can remind them how awful they were and now they can experience sunlight streaming freely through them, once again. They’ll also remember your effort to let them know how much you appreciate their business and will now have two extra business cards you taped on the back of the photos to use when referring you to their neighbors. If you are washing windows on the second or third floor, ask them to use your cell phone take a picture of you up on the ladder. Post this pic to their social media page and yours, thanking them for helping your business “reach new heights.”
The Blairsville-Union Chamber of Commerce offers great think tank sessions throughout the year, where local entrepreneurs, just like you, gather to discuss their ideas. Make us part of your journey to opening your business. Oh, and if your takeaway from this article has you dreaming about opening a camp just for adults here in the mountains, we bet you’d have great success.
Remember the eclipse? It’s hard to believe that Blairsville-Union County got national news coverage and had thousands of people flock to our area for a once-in-a-lifetime lunar event, but here we are! For many of us, August 21 probably felt a little chaotic with all of the visitors and events going on. Now that the moon dust has settled and no one can find the eclipse glasses that they scrambled to buy at the last minute, we can take a step back and see just how big this experience was for our community. Here’s a quick look at the Blairsville Eclipse Experience by the numbers:
- Over 15,000 visitors
- 18,655 Glasses Sold
- 2,820 Shirts Sold
- 4 events Hosted by the Chamber: Astronomy Night, Totality Tailgate, Moon Over Meeks & Viewing at the IP
- Nearly $4,000 raised for Civic Clubs and the Recreation Department
- Estimated economic Impact: $200,000+
Who knew that a couple of minutes in total darkness would have such a bright impact on our community?
We may be nearing the end of the season, but there are still a few weeks left to experience the Union County Farmers Market! Check out this awesome video about our fabulous Farmers Market:
Upcoming events at the Union County Farmers Market:
September 19th – Beans, Greens & Cornbread
September 23rd – Butternut Creek Vegetable contest
September 30th – Celebrate Youth & Agriculture
October 7th – Blue Ridge Sweetness
October 17th – Simply Soup Night
October 21st – Biscuits & Jam
October 28th – Pumpkin Carving Contest
Everybody loves a good, long weekend! With Labor Day coming up, we thought we’d give you a roadmap for how to maximize your fun and relaxation right here in Blairsville-Union County! Just a couple of hours from major Southeastern hubs like Atlanta, Greenville, and Chattanooga, Blairsville is the perfect place to unplug and unwind for a few days. Let’s get started!
There is a wide variety of options when it comes to staying in Blairsville, from traditional hotels and camping options to resorts and cabins. Whether you want a rugged outdoor weekend of “roughing it” or a luxury experience complete with wine tastings and spa days, we’ve got you covered!
Explore The Greater Outdoors
Get outside and do something fun! Blairsville has more outdoor activities to offer than we have time to talk about, including hiking, exploring Brasstown Bald (Georgia’s Highest Peak), horseback riding, making a splash in our amazing lakes, playing in some of the best parks in the South (including Vogel State Park), and so much more. There is truly something for everyone to explore, from families, to couples, group trips, and beyond! Learn more about all of the outdoor fun you can have in Blairsville-Union County here.
Eat Better in Blairsville
We aren’t your typical little mountain town with two restaurants that both close at 6pm. Dining options here include some of the best Barbecue and Southern cooking you can find, but our thriving food scene also includes Cuban cuisine, Seafood, Italian, American, Greek, farm to table, and much more! If you like to eat, you’ll never want to leave. Find a complete listing of restaurants in the area here.
Celebrate with Us
There’s always something going on in Blairsville-Union County, with fun festivals and special events happening all year long – like the Mountain Heritage Festival happening over Labor Day weekend. Check out our Festivals and Events pages for the latest scoop on what is happening and where.
What are you waiting for? Stop by visitblairsvillega.com/tourism to start planning your trip to Blairsville-Union County today!
This weekend, we are celebrating a truly historic and exciting time for our area, and nobody knows how to celebrate better than the fine folks of Blairsville-Union County! There are going to be activities all over the county to keep you and your family busy all weekend long. Here’s a quick rundown of just a few of the special events happening this weekend:
Friday, August 18
Start your day at the Union County Farmers Market for Trash & Treasures and end your evening by enjoying the old-time mountain music of Butternut Creek and Friends playing at 7pm at the Historic Courthouse on the Square. There is NO admission charge for this evening of old-time mountain music, Celtic and English folk songs, contemporary folk tunes, standards, and blues, but voluntary donations to the maintenance fund are always welcomed and appreciated.
Saturday, August 19
Fun continues Saturday morning at the Farmers Market with the Honey Bee Jubilee from 7am-1pm. Saturday evening there is an outdoor Corner Concert on the Square featuring the Tom Floyd Band.
Sunday, August 20th
A special Astronomy Night event will be held at the Union County Fine Arts Center at 3pm featuring junior Astronomer David Hearn. Mr. Hearn will be providing a well-rounded scientific overview to educate and prepare you for everything you will experience on Monday during the Eclipse. Admission is $3 per person or $1 with a Union County School ID. Tickets are available at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce.
The Blairsville Eclipse Experience is presented by North Georgia Technical College – Blairsville Campus in partnership with the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce. To learn more about the eclipse and to locate viewing parties, please go to www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com/solar-eclipse-1017 for up to date information.
On Monday, August 21st, a once in a lifetime experience will occur in the US. For the first time in 99 years, a Total Solar Eclipse will be crossing the country from central Oregon through South Carolina in a 70-mile-wide path. Fortunately for us, Blairsville is in the path of totality and we will experience 1 minute and 58 seconds of totality! Don’t settle for less than 100% coverage for this incredible lunar experience!
We’ll be celebrating this incredible event all over Blairsville-Union County leading up to the eclipse, with several viewing parties and other events that will be taking place on August 21. Here’s just a taste of what we have in store (you can find the totality of our eclipse events here).
Sunday, August 20th
3 – 4 pm, Union County Fine Arts Center
Admission is $3 per person or $1 with a Union County School ID.
Learn about the Total Solar Eclipse and everything you will experience during the totality. Astronomer David Hearn will be providing a well-rounded overview to educate and prepare you for the Eclipse.
Event sponsored by North Georgia Technical College, Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, and UC Schools.
Monday, August 21st
Meeks Moon Party
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Meeks Park
Spend the day at Meeks Park with your friends and family. Bring your chairs or blankets. Food trucks will be onsite for your dining pleasure.
Sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of Towns/Union, Union County Recreation Department, and the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce.
Viewing @ The IP
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT, Blairsville Industrial Park
Enjoy a clear unobstructed view of the sky surrounded by stunning mountains. The Viewing at the IP will feature plenty of parking, food trucks, music and a perfect location to enjoy this once in a lifetime event! Bring your chairs/blankets.
Sponsored by the Union County Rotary Club and the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce.
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT, Union County Schools Fine Arts Center
Join your friends and neighbors for a viewing party at the Union County Fine Arts Center. This is a fun way to experience this once in a lifetime event with your community! Bring your chairs/blankets or tailgate from your vehicle. Food trucks will be available for your dining pleasure.
Sponsored by United Community Bank Junior Board, Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, and UC Schools.
Have a boat? Lake Nottely, with its 4,180-acres will be an ideal place to enjoy the eclipse. Three marinas, which will all host events, will have boats and jet skis available to rent. With ¾ of our county protected by US Forest Service land, almost every location you can find in Blairsville-Union County offers wide open spaces for viewing with a stunning mountain backdrop.
The Blairsville Eclipse Experience is presented by North Georgia Technical College – Blairsville Campus in partnership with the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce. To learn more about the eclipse and to locate viewing parties and other local events, visit the official Blairsville Eclipse Experience website. Blairsville Eclipse Experience safety glasses and commemorative t-shirts are available at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce. Glasses are $2 each and shirts start at $13.
The first day of school is approaching fast in Blairsville-Union County, which presents new challenges and opportunities for both families and businesses. While many parents welcome the return to a “normal” schedule and a consistent routine for their children, others lament the loss of a more open schedule that allows for fun trips and activities. For businesses, depending on the type of business, it can mean the beginning or the end of a busy season and – with the return of extra-curricular activities like sports and band – increasingly hectic schedules for both employers and employees.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to remember to be patient with not only our kids, but also our colleagues and co-workers. Let’s cherish the time that we have with our families and make the most of opportunities to interact with our kids in between school and practices and lessons and all of the other things that go on during this busy season. There are also opportunities for some businesses to get creative with their customer base, like a back to school parent “pick-me-up” discount at coffee shops or “school night meal deals” for restaurants. There are lots of ways for your family and business to hit the ground running this school year!
For those who enjoy the occasional drink, the kind that’s a bit stronger than good ole’ sweet tea, there are a number of fantastic wineries and distilleries in the Blairsville-Union County area. Establishments like these are uniquely suited to thrive here, as our area was recently named an American Viticultural Area (AVA) – a distinction carried by regions like Napa Valley and Sonoma. Most of the vineyards frequently host fun events and live music, so there’s plenty to do while you visit. From whiskey with deep roots in the area’s history to luxury vineyards & resorts with European flare, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. Here are a few of the vineyards and distilleries close by: