Morganton is a small mountain town located along the northern end of the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. It’s approximately two hours from downtown Atlanta and just minutes from the Appalachian Scenic Highway. The area is well-known for its fishing, swimming and boating on Lake Blue Ridge. There are also several vineyards including the Serenberry Vineyards for wine tasting. Morganton vacation rentals include cabins with all the modern conveniences and beautiful single-family homes away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.

1. Toccoa Cove

lake blue ridge
Source: Flickr/Thomson20192

Located on the northeast side of Lake Blue Ridge, the Toccoa Cove is a Bay near Morganton that is ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking. Vacation rentals on the north side of the Lake offer serenity for those seeking peace and quiet away from the city. Pack a picnic lunch with the kids and spend the day at Morganton Beach, or spend the day hiking along the Morganton Point Recreation Area Trail.

2. Mineral Bluff

mineral bluff
Source: Flickr/atlbike

One of the most popular spots to visit in Mineral Bluff is the Mineral Bluff Depot. This quaint train depot is a common spot for photographs. Take the kids to Tank Town where they can decorate a vehicle and watch it get crushed. The Lily Pad Village is a beautiful park with hiking, fishing and mini golf. Stop by the Big Foot Museum and learn more about the sightings of the infamous creature. If you are ready for adventure, you can spend the afternoon zip lining through the trees.

3. Blue Ridge

blue ridge georgia
Source: Flickr/opus2008

One of the largest cities in Fannin County, Blue Ridge is a busy mountain city with a variety of things to do and see. Pack up your kayak or canoe and spend the day on the Toccoa River. There are also a few places for tubing and whitewater rafting. Visit Mercer Orchards where you can pick your own apples and then stop by the store for fried apple pies. Cross the Toccoa River on the swinging bridge, or schedule a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.

4. Aska Adventure Area

aska adventure

The Aska Adventure Trail area of Blue Ridge is located on Blue Ridge Lake in the center of the wilderness. Vacation rentals include remote cabins and homes far away from the crowds. The trail provides 17 miles of hiking and biking on National Forest Lands near Deep Gap. Rent some horses and go horseback riding along the riding trails with the children, or sign up with a local outfitter and go kayaking or tubing down the Toccoa River.

5. Cherry Log

pink pig
Source: Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Cherry Log is a tiny town in Gilmer County near Blue Ridge. Chat with locals at the iconic Pink Pig barbecue restaurant, and afterward, you and the family can hike up to Jack River Falls to swim off your meal. Go rafting on the Cartecay River, or take the kids to the Aska Mining Company to mine for jewels and gold in the river.

6. Blairsville

blairsville
Source: Flickr/LookoutBelle

Enjoy the southern atmosphere of the small city of Blairsville. Located to the east of Morganton, Blairsville offers picturesque parks, several vineyards, and several stables for horseback riding. Hike the half a mile summit to the top of Brasstown Bald, the highest point in the state, and shop in the gift shop at the top. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Atlanta. Pack a picnic lunch and visit Vogel State Park where kids can play on the playground, or you can go swimming and boating. There are several falls in the region to explore, including Desoto Falls and Helton Creek Falls. In the summer, stop by the Union County Farmer’s Market where you can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to take back to your vacation rental.

7. Lake Nottely

lake nottely

Lake Nottely is a 4,180-acre lake located in Blairsville with over 106 miles of shoreline dotted with waterfront vacation rentals. If you like being near the water, the lake offers boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and picnicking. There are also two marinas, so you can rent equipment if you didn’t bring any with you. Dry your feet and hike up Blood Mountain with the family. The kids will love the boulders. You can also provide a history lesson by hiking up Track Rock Gap and discovering the Native American petroglyphs.

8. Garren Cove, Morganton

blue ridge parkway
Source: Flickr/Matthew Paulson

Garren Cove is located on Lake Blue Ridge on the eastern side of Morganton. Travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway for stunning views of the region, or spend your days lounging by the lake. Sign up for a Lake Blue Ridge Outfitter tour, or stop by the Star Lodge and rent some horses to ride along the trails. There’s also a restaurant for when you are ready for a bite to eat. To learn about the wildlife of the region, take a wildlife tour with Dewar Wildlife Tours.

9. Toccoa River, Fannin County

toccoa river
Source: Flickr/JR P

The Toccoa River is a 93-mile river that runs from the southern Appalachian Mountains all the way down to the southeastern part of the state. There are many vacation rentals along the path of this river. The Toccoa River Canoe Trail is ideal for families looking for a few rapids to traverse. Sign up for tubing with a group, or go zip lining through the trees near the water. On days you want to head inside, the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association offers a host of exhibits from local artists.

10. Hemptown Creek, Morganton

hemptown creek

Hemptown Creek is located along the northern part of Morganton and runs just to the south of Nottely Lake. This small creek is ideal for hiking and fishing. For a challenging trek, take the family along the Hemp Top Hiking Trail where you will enjoy mountain views, hardwoods, and various wildlife. There are a couple of Vineyards nearby to explore, including the Odom Springs Vineyard. Meeks Park has a playground for young children and a dog park.

11. Suches

suches
Source: Flickr/Possum1500

Suches offers small-town charm, friendly people, and plenty of activities for those who like to stay busy. Take the children to the North Georgia Petting Zoo to feed and interact with a variety of animals. Mine for gold at the Consolidated Gold Mne, or drive along the curvy roads of the Blue Ridge Scenic Parkway which comes alive with color in the fall.

12. Morganton Point, Appalachian Trail

morganton point

The Appalachian Trail runs through Morganton on its way from Georgia to Maine. If you’ve ever dreamed of walking on part of the trail, this stretch of woods is the perfect place to start. There are several vacation rentals conveniently close by, so you don’t have to travel far to get started. Along the trail, you’ll find several shelters, and you’ll hike straight through the Standing Indian Campground. There are plenty of places to stop for photographs, and you can chat with others along the trail and share experiences.