If you’re looking for a romantic trip off the beaten path this Valentine’s Day, jump in your car and head Southeast on a scenic four hour drive to the small mountain town of Blairsville, GA. Located in the heart of North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is a town rich in history, full of outdoor adventure with plenty of shopping and dining just waiting to be discovered. And as if that wasn’t enough, the famed Appalachian Trail winds through Blairsville on its 2,192 mile journey to Maine. The winter season brings fireplace-cozy and an occasional dusting or two of snow.
Upon your arrival, head to Paradise Hills Winery, Resort and Spa. This boutique farm winery owned by Robert and Ilke Lander offers small batch award-winning wines with views of the cascading hills and scenic vineyard. Get a hot stone massage at the on-premise spa to really get you in the mood.
Check in to The Ridges Resort and Marina, a true, tranquil lakeside escape for a good night's sleep.
Rise and shine for breakfast at Cabin Coffee Company, a renovated Chevron station. And while it's a national chain, owners Wayne and Judy Jolley work to make sure the Blairsville cafe features the best of local makers. Dixie Confexions is another delicious option and a one-stop shop for all things baked.
After breakfast, take a stroll through Meeks Park, considered one of the most beautiful parks in the North Georgia mountains by the Georgia Department of Tourism. Meeks Park is home to beautiful trails along Butternut Creek and Nottely River for leisurely couple strolls. Local artist Al Garnto created various metal sculptures throughout the park that will certainly elicit good conversation.
If you're feeling hungry after your leisurely stroll through Meeks Park, head on over to The Sawmill Place Kitchen & Market, a farm to table destination. A cabin eatery that represents local farmers, growers and purveyors as the source for their breakfast and lunch menus. The Market offers an array of products ranging from honeys and syrups to soy candles and goat's milk soap.
In the mood to meet gentle, fuzzy animals? Then Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm is the place. It's a full-service breeding farm where you will not only pet the sweet alpacas, but will learn about raising them and the fun things you can do and make with their fiber.
Blairsville has no shortage of places to dine. The View Grill overlooks the picturesque Butternut Creek Golf Course as well as the breathtaking North Georgia Mountains. No trip to Georgia is complete without some authentic Appalachian barbecue and if that's what your after, Jim's Smokin' Que is where you'll find delicious ribs, pulled pork, brisket and all the southern sides imaginable. Copeland's Burgers and Michaelee's Italian LIfe Caffe are other wonderful options.
Lastly, take a minute to stop by the Sunrise Country Store, a 1920's general store for everything from the world-famous boiled peanuts to gasoline out of a fully operational antique pump. Locally made honey, soaps and ceramics line the walls of the original building.
Hole in the Wall (1st circle photo)
Union County's oldest diner located in the heart of the downtown Blairsville Square. Order the cheesecake stuffed french toast and pick up a copy of "The Legend of the Hole in the Wall" by Loretta Pistole Durden to learn all about the history of this charming little place.
Artist Al Garnto (2nd circle photo)
A Blairsville native, Garnto is known for his outdoor kinetic sculptures, especially the Appalachian Sculpture Project spearheaded out of Meeks Park. In 1994, he opened the Al Garnto Fine Art Studio where he's made his living for the past 19 years.
Grandaddy Mimm's Moonshine Distillery (3rd circle photo)
Authentic Appalachian moonshine cooked in 100% copper stills using Grandaddy Mimm's recipe dating back to the 1930's.
Track Rock Stables (4th circle photo)
Track Rock began as a farm with cattle, chickens, hogs and crops including Union Country's beloved sorghum. Over the last 50 years, it has grown to 60 horses for trail riding, horse camp and lessons, along with 100 campsites for tents, pop-ups and RVs.
2020 Blairsville Events
Cruise-In on the Square: Classic Car Show
3rd Saturday: April – October
Friday Night Concert Series
Historic Courthouse on the Square
Friday @ 7pm – May through October
Arts and Crafts Festival
Memorial Day Weekend
Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games
June 6 and 7
Butternut Creek Arts and Crafts Festival
July 18 and 19
Green Bean Festival
July 25 and 26
A Taste of Blairsville
Mountain Heritage Festival
Labor Day Weekend - Mountain Life Museum
Indian Summer Festival
October 3 and 4
Blairsville Sorghum Festival
2nd and 3rd weekends in October – Meeks Park
July 4, 2020: Fireworks at Meeks Park
December 1 – 31: Tour of Trees, at the Union County Community Center
December 5, 2020: Holly Jolly Christmas and Breakfast with Santa at the Union County Community Center