Tag Archives: weekend getaway

paddle boats at vogel smallish

Living for the Long Weekend

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!

Ample Accommodations
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!

Lake Nottely

Blairsville-Union County Lakes

Escape the heat this summer by exploring these lakes and parks in Blairsville. While it is very beautiful, the south in the summertime can be hot, hot, hot. What better way is there to cool off than by boating, swimming, fishing, or enjoying a picnic by the water? So, pack up a picnic and the family, and head out to one of these great lake destinations!

Lake Nottely
Located just north of Blairsville is the shimmering blue waters of Lake Nottely. Surrounding the water are the mountains and valleys of the Chattahoochee National Forest, making it one of the more scenic areas of Blairsville. The water is teeming with wildlife, including the largemouth and striped bass, catfish, and crappie. There are plenty of picnic areas along the lake’s shore, perfect for a family fun outing on the weekend. Utilize one of the many boat ramps available to launch your boat. Looking for an extended summer lake vacation? There are camping areas and an RV park available. Three marinas are available: Nottely MarinaNottely Boat Club & Marina, and North Georgia WaterSports.

Lake Winfield Scott
Ten miles south of Blairsville is Lake Winfield Scott. The lake was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Situated in a beautiful mountain valley, the scenery cannot be beat! This 18-acre lake offers a variety of year round activities that the whole family can enjoy. There are areas to camp, picnic, and of course boat or swim. Surrounding the lake are hiking trails that take you through the recreation area.

Vogel State Park
Vogel State Park is one of Georgia’s oldest state parks. The park is located at the Blood Mountain base in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Perfect for a day of family fun, Vogel State Park features Lake Trahlyta where you can fish or swim. Surrounding this lake are 17 miles of trails, including the Appalachian Trail. On the water you can enjoy lake activities perfect for summertime, like kayaking and paddleboarding.  

Engage Your Senses This Fall

Fall DriveAutumn is my favorite season of the year. There are so many wonderful, fun, exciting ways to engage your five senses right here in Union County and enjoy experiences of which city folk can only dream! Here are a few of my suggestions for great autumn activities.

See – Take a ride along any of our scenic byways or mountain roads and delight in the explosion of autumn color – Richard Russell, GA 180, and US 129 South are a few of my favorites. This is a great time of year to make your way to the top of Brasstown Bald and see unmatched natural beauty. Finally, everyone will be able to enjoy the many scarecrows around town as part of our Scarecrow-Ville event.

Touch – Why not take a trip to an alpaca farm and pet these lovable creatures?   You’ll find a great selection of alpaca fiber clothing and accessories to keep you warm as the temperature drops.

Taste – This will be your last chance to pick up fresh, local produce at the Union County Farmers Market to make your own perfect autumn meal. Contact the Chamber for a list of old time general stores where you’ll find the perfect ingredients to complete your recipe.   Or if you are like me and prefer someone else do the cooking, try one of our many delicious restaurants including our newest Farm To Table restaurant, The Sawmill Place. Stock up on Sorghum Syrup to enhance your morning biscuit or make your way to our local winery or craft beer shop for a sip of the season.

Smell – Stop by a local retailer and pick up your favorite scented candle. The smell of apple or pumpkin pie will lift your mood. Step foot into one of our local bakeries and inhale autumn yumminess!

Hear – This is a great time for music in the mountains. Visit one of our many upcoming festivals – the Indian Summer Festival in Suches, the Sorghum Festival at Meeks Park, and the Fall Hoedown at Vogel State Park. There are concerts each Friday night at the Historic Courthouse on the square or check out our online events calendar for local music events around town.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the North Georgia Farm Trail guide in the Chamber of Commerce/Welcome Center and explore all of the agritourism sites in the area. This is the perfect time of year to get up, get out, and get happy!

For additional shopping, dining, lodging, and attraction information, contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789, online at wwwVisitBlairsvilleGA.com, or me directly at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Spring Itinerary

Helton Creek Falls

Helton Creek Falls

The weather has warmed and the sun is shining over Blairsville-Union County. Spring is finally here! Are you ready to spend time in the great outdoors? Here are a few ideas for putting together a wonderful spring itinerary.

Venture out on one of our three lakes, Nottely, Winfield Scott, or Trahlyta, and choose your activity. Boating, fishing, skiing, kayaking or pedal boats make great lake activities. If waterfalls are more your style, we have plenty of those too. A waterfalls guide can be obtained in the Chamber’s Welcome Center or requested online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.

Are you ready to see Union County from a new perspective?  Try taking in the views atop Brasstown Bald or exploring the lovely countryside while horseback riding. Many of the hiking trails that wind throughout the county offer incredible views that just might take your breath away. If history is your cup of tea, Union County has a lot to offer. Have you ever toured the Historic Union County Courthouse or the Mountain Life Museum? Have you seen the Trackrock Petroglyphs up close? How about the Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center or the CCC Museum at Vogel State Park? Here is one you might not have thought of – the historic cannery and interpretive displays at the Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center.   While you are there, you can browse the ethnobotanical and native plant gardens.

There is definitely no shortage of festivals and events to attend this time of year. Weather you prefer arts and crafts, green beans, or bagpipes, you need not look any further than right here at home in Union County. Also, consider one of a host of other local events that offer music, dining, gift items, and educational activities. Those can be found on our online Chamber events calendar or by signing up for our weekly or quarterly events newsletter.

The Chamber is always ready to assist with planning your next weekday or weekend escape right here in Union County.   Check out our preplanned itineraries online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com or call us at 706-745-5789.

Engage Your Senses This Fall

Observation Deck of Brasstown Bald in the fall

Observation Deck of Brasstown Bald in the fall

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. There are so many wonderful, fun, exciting ways to engage your five senses right here in Union County and enjoy experiences of which city folk can only dream! Here are a few of my suggestions for great autumn activities.

See – Take a ride along any of our scenic byways or mountain roads and delight in the explosion of autumn color – Richard Russell, GA 180, and US 129 South are a few of my favorites. This is a great time of year to make your way to the top of Brasstown Bald and see unmatched natural beauty. Finally, everyone will be able to enjoy the many scarecrows around town as part of our Scarecrow-Ville event.

Touch – Why not take a trip to an alpaca farm and pet these lovable creatures?   You’ll find a great selection of alpaca fiber clothing and accessories to keep you warm as the temperature drops. How about Southern Tree Plantation with their petting zoo and pumpkin patch?

Taste – This will be your last chance to pick up fresh, local produce at the Union County Farmers Market to make your own perfect autumn meal. Contact the Chamber for a list of old time general stores where you’ll find the perfect ingredients to complete your recipe.   Or if you are like me and prefer someone else do the cooking, try one of our many delicious restaurants including our newest Farm To Table restaurant, The Sawmill Place. Stock up on Sorghum Syrup to enhance your morning biscuit or make your way to our local winery or craft beer shop for a sip of the season.

Smell – Stop by a local retailer and pick up your favorite scented candle. The smell of apple or pumpkin pie will lift your mood. Step foot into one of our local bakeries and inhale autumn yumminess!

Hear – This is a great time for music in the mountains. Visit one of our many upcoming festivals – the Indian Summer Festival in Suches, the Sorghum Festival at Meeks Park, and the Fall Hoedown at Vogel State Park. There are concerts each Friday night at the Historic Courthouse on the square or check out our online events calendar for local music events around town.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the North Georgia Farm Trail guide in the Chamber of Commerce/Welcome Center and explore all of the agritourism sites in the area. This is the perfect time of year to get up, get out, and get happy!

For additional shopping, dining, lodging, and attraction information, contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789, online at wwwVisitBlairsvilleGA.com, or me directly at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Welcome to Union County!

Blairsville, the county seat of Union county Georgia, has something for everyone and each season you will find something new! Here you will find a town filled with southern hospitality and breathtaking landscape! Blairsville is an idyllic setting to raise a family or enjoy your hard earned retirement. We welcome you to discover “U” in Union county!

For families, vacationers, locals, and retirees alike, Blairsville is host to many fairs, craft shows, and festivals through out the year! The creative spirit soars proudly in this mountain town and you will discover handmade crafts by local artisans, the perfect quilt, and a wide variety of rustic furniture. A special treat in the summer is at the local farmer’s market where you can find a huge assortment of fresh produce, local honey and jellies, and fresh flowers!

Outdoor adventurers and nature lovers will find an abundance of activities to enjoy while you escape the big city hustle and bustle. Take advantage of a wide variety of water sports on one of our three pristine lakes, Nottely, Winifred Scott, and Lake Trahlyta located in Vogel State Park. Enjoy a picnic on top of Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia. Hike the foothills of the Appalachian Trail, or brave Blood Mountain on motorcycles and road bikes. Experience first hand the natural beauty and abundant wildlife while you fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and let go of your everyday stresses!

Blairsville is a perfect example of the past meeting the present in perfect harmony. We boast of exceptional schools, a wonderful sense of community, and a thriving local economy. With a rich mountain heritage you will enjoy bluegrass concerts, unique crafts, and a good old fashioned glass of sweet tea!

Union County Georgia is an idyllic environment to live, play, and conduct business! If you are looking to relocate or just need an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, you will discover everything you need right here! There are plenty of seasons and plenty of reasons to explore Blairsville and Union County. Let us help you plan your visit today!

Discovering North Georgia From Beautiful Vacation Rental Cabins

With the lofty Blue Ridge Mountains, cascading waterfalls, and adventurous trails, North Georgia has never disappointed anybody. The luckier ones call it their home and the others love to spend some time in this postcard perfect locality. The existence of several nice and cozy rental cabins, especially in Union County, means only good news for all those who love a generous mix of nature and adventure.

Many who come to the place for hiking, fishing, or simply vacationing, often choose to put up in the rental cabins because it adds an extra dimension to the entire experience. Most importantly, there is hardly a better place than the beautiful locales where the Union County cabins are set, where the flowers and the trees, and the grasses and the clouds come together to create the most mesmerizing symphony of North Georgia.

Often the rental cabins come in one or two bedroom styles and are located at a comparatively isolated area. Bordered by forests or closer to the mountains and streams, staying in these cabins is a great idea for all those who would love to spend some time amidst wildflowers and natural wonders. The cabins are fully furnished, have fully equipped kitchens, and water and electric supply. Covered porches are also very common. The cabins boast of all the modern amenities that would make the stay a unique blend of comfort and convenience. It is like living the new-age life in a setting that is reminiscent of the ancient times.

There is no better way to enjoy the thrill than staying at a rental cabin in Union County, North Georgia. Many of these are just minutes away from the Appalachian Trail and the Vogel State Park. This makes them an ideal place to unwind after a long day of hiking, bicycling, or motorcycle ride. The Chattahoochee National Forest is a place where many cabins and vacation rentals are available. Since this area is also the designated Appalachian Botanical Sanctuary, nature is preserved at its best at this place.

Union County is famous for its hospitality. There is hardly anything that can match the warmth that Blairsville, Helen, and the other hill towns exude. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that apart from the conveniences that have been added to these places with time, the same laidback attitude still atmospheres the place. One of the best places to experience this in North Georgia are the cabins that stand secluded amidst the forests and offer an awesome view especially of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The scenic vacation spots of North Georgia often bring families looking to spend some nice time together. If adventure is particularly not on their list, they can enjoy a drive on the beautiful winding road of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Apart from this, many rental cabins offer such fun activities such as horseback riding, which includes summer horse camps and lessons, fishing, playgrounds, hayrides, and more.

Also, being at a convenient distance from the towns of Union County, North Georgia, these cabins offer an easy access to downtowns of Blue Ridge, Ellijay and shopping malls. What better way to remember this place than buying a souvenir from the local shops?

Checking Out North Georgia and the Appalachian Trail

Step away from the stress of everyday life and take a trip back to enjoy the beauties of nature’s creation by visiting North Georgia in Union County. This area is filled with many gorgeous picturesque areas with many opportunities to enjoy a family vacation or even a weekend getaway. Being one with nature and basking in all of its glory is a true experience especially when exploring the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail that goes through the North Georgia area is only a mere portion of the trail itself. The trail actually crosses over fourteen different states and at least sixty different national and state parks. Over seventy-six miles of the trail goes through Georgia. People who want to hike the Appalachian Trail have many different areas in the Union County area to camp out and take in all of the nature that the trail has to offer.

Not only are there winding pathways, gorgeous trees towering overhead, and mountains in the panoramic view, but there is also opportunities to see several natural species of wildflowers and animals in their natural protected habitat. Winding trails branch off of the Appalachian and the views from different areas of the trail offer views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that are spectacular. Hundreds of smaller nature trails branch off into various directions so it is a good idea to take a map.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia is a paradise and dream excursion. At some points it may even be tougher than the average hiker typically would experience. The hike in itself will be tough work on even the most athletic of all climbers but the up and down peaks on the trail is an absolute site to be seen. There are places on the trail that could bring tears to one’s eye because it can be hard to fathom nature in all of its glory.

There are cascading waterfalls in the depths of the forest. The Appalachian Trail itself even has a rich cultural history from when there was a gold rush so many years ago. There were also several battles of the Civil War fought on this trail, changing history books in the United States forever.

If an avid fisherman is in tow, there are also several areas where people can cast a line and wait to get a bite in one of the many lakes and streams on the Appalachian Trail. The Blue Ridge Mountains are near Lake Conasauga and it is the highest lake in Georgia, resting at least 3,000 feet above sea level.

Throughout the year, one great draw to the area of Blairsville, Georgia, are the numerous hikes on the Appalachian Trail that encourages hikers to come and go on various hikes in groups. These are typically put on by the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club. There are also accommodations and camping sites that are nearby so that everyone can get geared up for the experience of their life on the North Georgia Appalachian Trail.

Big Things Happening In Tourism

I have great news to share this week for all those who appreciate the impact of tourism on our local economy.  We are off to a great start.  Lodging tax revenue, which is one of our best gauges of tourism impact, was up in the first quarter of the year.   The traffic through the welcome center has increased considerably in the last month, and the Scottish Festival just wrapped up a very successful 10 year anniversary event.  The following items are a few additional brag-worthy happenings.

The Chamber is proud to announce that we now have copies of the North Georgia Farm Trail brochure available to our guests.  The North Georgia Farm Trail is a collection of agritourism destinations along the Georgia Mountain Parkway – a four county territory along Highway 515 from Ellijay to Hiawassee.  The brochures are packed with agritourism activities including working farms, u-pick orchards, wineries, farmer’s markets and farm to table restaurants.  Pick up your copy today!

Six travel writers from across the Southeast recently toured the Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center as part of the state’s Travel Media Marketplace.  A great article on the farm appears in the summer edition of Northeast Georgia Living.

The Chamber and local business partners hosted a well respected travel writer, Doc Lawrence, during the month of June.  We expect great publicity for our community to be forthcoming.  I would like to thank Paradise Hills Resort & Spa, Noontootla Creek Farms, the Union County Historical Society, FATZ Café, Rib Country, GnG Bakery and Café and the Union County Community Center for helping make his trip a success.

Union County will be featured in the July issue of Georgia Trend magazine.  Georgia Trend is a statewide publication focusing on all aspects of economic development which will serve as a great avenue for sharing the story of Blairsville-Union County.

All in all, things are looking good in 2013.  We invite you to be part of the network of businesses that are the driving force for economic prosperity in Union County by becoming a member of the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce.  For more information about our Chamber call 706-745-5789 or email me directly at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Popular Weekend Getaways in Union County North Georgia

A weekend in Union County means an opportunity to know the place even better. Walk down the lanes of history and be a part of the fun celebrations that take place almost throughout the year. A nice place to begin exploring the past is the red brick courthouse, a nineteenth century Romanesque building that stands proudly on the center of the town square in Blairsville. It has a white clock tower on its top and is visible from any part of the city. It is also home to the Union County Historical Society and Museum and offers a glimpse into some of the important events of the past.

The history of Union County is incomplete without the Pulitzer Prize nominated poet Byron Herbert Reece who lived and died in this beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains county. His achievements were many and his poetry inspired a number of things including the State of Georgia’s official drama ‘The Reach of Song’. His birthplace homestead, now listed as a registered historical site, and the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Park located near Neel’s Gap, shed light on the life of the poet.

The Blairsville downtown adds a dash of lively entertainment to the region. Many events that can be enjoyed by the entire family take place here. During the annual Blairsville Scottish Festival, which celebrates Scottish tradition with great food, live music, and workshops, the Meeks Park transforms into a fun zone.

Bagpipes and drums hold the main essence of the festival. Kids enjoy it with a lot of activities including miniature golf and train rides. People love to watch Scottish history being brought to life by live demos and re-enactments and those who are interested in knowing about their family heritage can do so at the free genealogy tents.

The connoisseurs of art and culture can have a nice time watching some of the finest exhibitions and art events that take place throughout the year in Union County, North Georgia. The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center organizes many such events in keeping with their mission of transforming the place into an ‘art town’. The lovers of golf can take a break from every day routine and tee off some exciting time at the 18-hole Butternut Creek Golf Course.

The Union County Farmers Market is a nice place to buy not only fresh farm products but also to enjoy some ‘green’ time. Events such as the Green Bean Festival, beauty pageant, and more are organized by the association throughout the year and provide a good source of family fun.

It is difficult to point out one best thing about Union County, in North Georgia. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the fascinating festivals and the warm hospitality, everything comes together to create an experience that have won the hearts of so many people and will continue doing so in years to come.