A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

Why You Need to Take That Road Trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains

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After working on a labor-intensive home renovation projects all year, we were both exhausted. Plus, when you travel for work and your work never ends, it can be hard to find time for you. So a couple summers ago, SVV and I squeezed in a quick little three-day road trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia, beginning moments after we turned our rental house over to its new inhabitants.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

This post was last updated in April 2021.

Living back in Tennessee for nearly a decade has presented us with no shortage of road trip options; destinations we can reach in a matter of hours. We’re bordered by eight states and can be in so many cool cities—Knoxville, Memphis, Louisville, Lexington, Asheville, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Birmingham, the list goes on—in a matter of hours by car. But when I’m stealing away for an actual vacation, I often want to get out of the cities, and a road trip to Blue Ridge had forever evaded me, despite it being in North Georgia just an hour beyond the Tennessee border.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

Reasons we loved Blue Ridge

We loved Blue Ridge for a number of reasons, but what put it up there as a place we’d return to multiples times after this inaugural trip was this.

It’s an easily doable weekend trip from Tennessee

For us, and from the Nashville area, Blue Ridge is just three hours by car; anything longer than that, and I would demand more than a weekend there. It is truly the ideal distance for a three-day getaway, particularly if you are looking for a remote getaway where you don’t see a soul.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

It’s extremely pet-friendly

Our dog Ella, our original road trip buddy, gets pissed when we leave her behind—and we’ve been leaving her behind a lot the last few years. So when picking a weekend destination that’s drivable, taking her along was non-negotiable. I quite literally Googled “pet-friendly cabins in Georgia” and found numerous options where we could stay in Ellijay, just 15 minutes south of the town of Blue Ridge. It was perfect for the three of us.

BOOK A PET-FRIENDLY CABIN IN BLUE RIDGE HERE

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia
A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia
A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

It offers plenty of comfortable vacation rental with space to spread out

SVV and I like to have our own personal space when we travel. A bonus if we can sleep in separate rooms! (Hey, he snores. LOUD.) This house not only had three floors, but two bedrooms on separate levels, three bathrooms, a huge living room and a basement level with games. While I never got around to beating SVV in foosball again (I am a foosball master and I’m not afraid to admit it), we did settle in and make the most of that A-frame living room that overlooked the woods and a pond. Best of all? It cost us less than $200 a night.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia
A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

A trip to Blue Ridge requires very little planning

We booked our cabin three weeks out and our car just three days out and did zero research until we were on the ground. For someone as Type A as me, this spontaneous (in a sense) getaway was liberating. 

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

There’s diversity in activities

I’m glad we picked a cabin near a town, because while the outdoors was our main focus, a tropical storm wound up thwarting our hiking and paddling and waterfall plans. Instead, we spent the afternoons exploring the downtowns in Blue Ridge and Ellijay and the evenings holed up in the cabin.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

And while we technically did work a little, doing so in a cozy cabin with no cell service and plenty of cold beer still made those working afternoons feel like a vacation.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

There are restaurants and breweries nearby

Even though I like the idea of being somewhere remote like the mountains, I still like not having to (make SVV) cook, and the idea that Ellijay has a charming town square with a coffee shop and a handful of restaurants—plus, Blue Ridge and its three breweries being just 20 minutes up the road—definitely factored into the location we chose.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia: Grumpy Old Men Brewing Company
A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia: Grumpy Old Men Brewing Company

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

Blue Ridge has access to the great outdoors

While our cabin was literally surrounded by woodland, we also stayed right on the fringe of Chattahoochee National Forest and were just a half hour’s drive from so many Georgia gems like Fort Mountain State Park, Carters Lake, Amicalola Falls and Blue Ridge Lake. And while it may have been wet out, that didn’t stop us from tracking down lookouts like this one in between breaks in the sky.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

Blue Ridge is extremely affordable

The cost of our three-day car rental and two nights in a massive cabin came in under $600. We could have done it cheaper, too, had we opted for a smaller accommodation. Our total for travel and lodging is what many people spend on a single plane ticket, so I consider that a pretty economical weekend trip for a family of 2.5!

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

Where to Stay in Blue Ridge, Georgia

If you’re planning to travel this spring, due to the nature of people looking for remote getaways during a busy Spring Break period, I would advise getting on your planning now. Here are a few cabins in Blue Ridge and Ellijay that still have availability in the next few months.

Best Cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Best Cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Best Cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Best Cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Best Cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Best Cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia
This three-bedroom, three-bathroom chalet just outside of Blue Ridge that sleeps 8. Someone book it before I do!
Where to Stay in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Where to Stay in Blue Ridge, Georgia
This two-bedroom, two bathroom lodge that sleeps 4 people in Ellijay. Check prices and availability here.
Where to Stay in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Where to Stay in Blue Ridge, Georgia
This three-bedroom cabin on a private waterfall that sleeps 8 people. Check prices and availability here.

If none of these options work for your Blue Ridge vacation, here are plenty of other dreamy North Georgia vacation rentals you can browse through, as well.

Preparing for a road trip to Blue Ridge

Because we had planned to paddleboard while there, we opted once again to rent a Nissan truck from our Enterprise neighborhood location in Tullahoma by my parents’ house so we could take our boards along, plus also have space in the cab for our bags. Our old family truck has long seen better days, and renting a truck usually puts us back no more than $200 for a long weekend, which beats putting the miles and wear and tear on my own Jeep.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

Pro tip: It’s always more affordable to rent a car from a neighborhood or non-airport locations as you save on airport taxes.

Our road trip to Blue Ridge was just the break we needed before entering our busy season. We loved Blue Ridge and Ellijay so much, we wound up going back a few months later for Christmas with my family, staying in the very same cabin, too.

After all, you can’t beat a retreat like this one that’s just over two hours down the road!

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia: Grumpy Old Men Brewing Company
A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia: Grumpy Old Men Brewing Company
For more travel tips to Northern Georgia, check out this comprehensive site on the Blue Ridge Mountains region.

A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia


 

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A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia
A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia
A Weekend Vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia
COMMENTS
  • June 14, 2018

    Looks like a beautiful place to relax

    • June 22, 2018

      The prettiest! I think we’re going to go back for Christmas!

    • February 20, 2021
      Eula Barbara Hoel

      I don’t want to sound rude but the reason people come here is for the beauty and small town if people keep moving here it won’t be anymore and all that makes this place so wonderful will be gone n then people will move on to another beautiful piece and consume that to I’ve lived here many many years and have seen n experiencing the sad growth and congestion n more trees gone on mountains replaced with houses I’m worried that soon it will look like california mountains nothing but houses and the gorgeous beauty gone , sad in blue ridge 😕

      • April 24, 2021
        Rebecca peeler

        Believe it or not its called wasting its the mountains not Atlanta we dont need more stores they ruined Ellijay why 4 banks next to each other.

        • April 25, 2021

          I love Ellijay just the way it is! Hope it stays the same, but I definitely see your concerns.

  • June 14, 2018

    Ella is the most camera-ready pup I’ve ever seen 🙂 A lot of my family is from Elijay and I haven’t been back in years. The town looks so cute; local beer helps too!

    • June 22, 2018

      That rapid-fire feature is a must 😉

      And I think we’re going back for Christmas, so that would be a GREAT time for you to reconnect with your family (*wink, wink*).

  • June 15, 2018

    This looks like our kind of trip! We love it when we can tae the dog too. That cabin is incredible!

    • June 22, 2018

      Definitely! Bring the pup, and we’ll meet you there. Our dogs can ignore each other on opposite sides of that huge cabin.

  • June 25, 2018

    I’ve been thinking about trying to take more smaller trips like this – I’m in the middle of the state, but I feel like I could pop down to Raleigh or up to Maryland with pretty minimal effort. And maybe even take my wolfies.

    • June 25, 2018

      Take the wolfies! They deserve a vacay 😉

  • July 5, 2018

    That’s a gorgeous small-cation destination! Unfortunately, I’m not so lucky to have mountains close to my home so I would pick a destination in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany or France (which all also have beautiful nature). I’m actually planning a smallcation with a friend in August and we don’t know where we are headed yet 🙂

    • July 6, 2018

      You’re so lucky to be so close to many cool countries! Funny to think in the time it takes me to get out of Tennessee, you can be in three different nations.

  • January 18, 2020
    Jodi Jackson

    Hi! I ran across this article by total accident! I am from nashville and I a thinking about a quick getaway to the maintains for my husbands birthday/Valentine’s Day. Is there any way you can share this cabin name and how to rent! I love it!

    • January 18, 2020

      Hi Jodi!

      Try this link to the cabins in Ellijay where we booked. We stayed in the same place again for Christmas that year and they replaced the awesome sectional, which was a bummer for lounging, but they have a TON of units in that same development that look amazing:

      http://bit.ly/ellijaycabin

  • February 19, 2021
    Ycho

    Wow, that’s cool, the information and tips made available. Nothing is better than traveling, resting the body, relieving the mind and freeing our soul from the activities of our day to day.

  • February 20, 2021
    VICTOR MARRERO

    I hope you checked to see if that lake ever had any sightings of alligators. Alligators have made their way into New York sewers from what I understand. So what’s to keep them from somehow making their way into lakes and waterways in Georgia.
    Personally I wouldn’t allow Ella at the water’s edge like that.

    • February 20, 2021

      I’m pretty sure we don’t have alligators in our part of the South, and this was just a tiny pond with Scott standing three feet away from her so no worries 🙂 She’s not a swimmer, she just likes to get her paws wet!

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