Blairsville, Georgia is surrounded by Chattahoochee National Forest, near the North Carolina border. It is an outdoor lover’s dream, with countless hikes and activities. It’s also in one of the state’s wine regions. Originally settled in 1835, it was named for a Revolutionary War hero. It was found to have gold like nearby Dahlonega.
Visit during one of the annual festivals like the Sorghum Festival, Butternut Creek Festival, and Scottish Festival and Highland Games, which are held at Meeks Park. And don’t miss the opportunity to stay in one of Blairsville, GA’s cabins in the mountains.
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What to Do
Reece Heritage Farm– Located on Byron Herbert Reece’s family farm, visitors will find a welcome center with a museum dedicated to the writer’s life as well as a gift shop selling his published works. You can see the building where he spent much of his time writing as well as exhibits on life in rural Appalachia, the workings of the farm, and a short film on Reece’s life. 8552 Gainesville Highway
The Mountain Life Museum- This museum in a 1906 home interprets early life in North Georgia. It contains the Mock House, the Civil War-era Payne cabin, and outbuildings like the barn and corn crib. 25 Veteran’s Memorial Parkway
Old Courthouse Museum– Also run by the Union County Historical Society, this museum in the stunning former courthouse from 1899 has exhibits on local history and a collection of miniatures. Town Square
Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center– The University of Georgia facility was established in 1930 and works on agricultural experiments. It’s a working site, but occasionally has events that are open to the public. 195 Georgia Mountain Experiment Station Road
Wineries– This area is a part of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands American Viticultural Area so it has a number of places to drink wine. Paradise Hills Winery and Odom Springs Vineyards are two in Blairsville but there are others in nearby Hiawassee and Young Harris.
Grandaddy Mimm’s Moonshine Distillery– Named for an Appalachian moonshiner, this moonshine distillery opened in 2012 by his grandson, country musician Tommy Townsend, using his original recipes. They offer tours, tastings, and live music. 2743 Pappys Plaza
Hiking- This area has plenty of forests to explore, no matter your expertise level. Brasstown Bald has three trails and Blood Mountain has a few as well. Pick up essentials at Mountain Crossings, which is one of the stopping points for the Appalachian Trail. Vogel State Park is also nearby.
Fishing and boating- Lake Nottely is a TVA lake with over 100 miles of shoreline and public boat ramps. Lake Winfield Scott is an 18-acre lake built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There is also fly fishing through local outfitters.
Where to Eat
The View Grill & Restaurant– Located above the Butternut Creek Golf Course in the community center, the restaurant has sandwiches, burgers, and gourmet foot-long hot dogs and a full bar. 129 Union Co. Recreation Road, (706) 439-6054
Hole in the Wall– The county’s oldest restaurant has been serving since 1931. They offer breakfast all day and world-class pies as well as the Moonshiner Special. The restaurant accepts only cash and check so come prepared. 12B Town Square, (706) 745-5888
Michaelee’s Italian Life Caffe– Using only the finest ingredients imported from Italy, this restaurant has a full-service dining room with heaping portions of pasta and a casual cafe with gelato and desserts. They’re BYO so pick up a bottle of wine before you go. 6C Town Square, (706) 400-5603
The Aviator Cafe– Enjoy the aviation-themed decor at the casual eatery open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pick up a smoothie and sandwich before a hike to one of the nearby peaks. 45 HomeTown Way, Suite C, (706) 781-1043
Jim’s Smokin’ Que– There are plenty of barbecue restaurants in North Georgia, but Jim’s often runs out and is only open Thursday to Saturday. Chow down on ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and turkey. 4971 Gainesville Highway
The Sawmill Place– Southern-style breakfast are the main draw at this restaurant and store, but they also have meat and three. Don’t miss the biscuits and gravy and hand-pattied sausage. 1150 Pat Haralson Drive
Abide Coffee– The chic coffee shop has a minimalist space with board games, pastries, and delicious coffee. 53A Merchants Walk
Cabin Coffee– Another favorite on the town square, this chain coffee shop serves pastries and bagels. They also have small bags of coffee and pods to enjoy at your cabin or hotel. 44 Town Square
A Note on Alcohol: Blairsville is located in a county without any liquor stores, so you’ll need to bring your own if you want to imbibe outside of a bar or restaurant. You can buy moonshine at Granddaddy Mimm’s and wine at The Wine Shoppe in town. But if you want anything else, stop in Hiawassee at Bacchus Wine Shoppe or Discount Spirits of Helen. Ingles has any groceries you might need.
Where to Stay
Best Western Milton Inn– For a budget-friendly hotel experience, stay at this one downtown, which has balconies with mountain views. They also have daily breakfast and WiFi. 201 Highway 515 West
Your Home in the Woods Bed and Breakfast– One of the only inns in the area, Your Home has three uniquely furnished bedrooms with private baths, gourmet breakfast, and access to the grounds. 143 Timber Lane
Copperhead Lodge– The resort has lodge hotel rooms as well as cabins owned independently with their own kitchens and hot tubs. The resort also has a restaurant and bar as well as bike supplies. 171 Copperhead Parkway
Paradise Hills Winery Resort & Spa– Blairsville’s first farm winery also has onsite accommodations on 40 acres, including cabin rentals with one to four bedrooms. There’s also an onsite spa. 366 Paradise Road
Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa– Located in nearby Young Harris, the luxury resort has lodge and cabin rooms. Guests have access to the restaurant, spa, pool, and horseback riding. 6321 Highway 76, Young Harris
Mountain Crossings– Hikers traveling the Appalachian Trail or one of the nearby paths can spend the night at the popular mountaintop store. The 1937 Civilian Conservation Corps building has bunks for $17 per night. They also have showers and towels. 12471 Gainesville Highway
Rentals- Blairsville’s cabins are the most popular way to stay, especially for couples and groups. Look for the rental of your choosing on websites like FlipKey.
Camping- There are plenty of camping options in Blairsville and surrounds. You’ll find traditional campsites for RVs and tents at Vogel State Park as well as cottages. Crossing Creeks RV Resort and Spa has top-notch facilities. Nearby recreation areas like Cooper Creek in Suches also has camping. If you don’t have your own camper, rent one from Outdoorsy.
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I visited Blairsville with Pineapple Public Relations.