The city of Blue Ridge is nestled in northeastern Georgia, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city’s small downtown hosts delightful shops, restaurants, and festivals. Most Blue Ridge vacation rentals are situated in proximity to numerous outdoor attractions and activities, including hiking and biking mountain trails, as well as fishing spots and water sports on Lake Blue Ridge and the Toccoa River. Take a look at the top activities in Blue Ridge.

1. Ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Setting out from its historic depot in downtown, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway runs regular four-hour trips in a choice of vintage climate-controlled cars and open-air rail cars. The railway runs alongside the pretty Toccoa River to the sister towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. During the two-hour layover, go shopping, have lunch, indulge in an ice cream treat, take a stroll across the bridge, and straddle the Georgia/Tennessee border by placing a foot in each state. There are also special seasonal trains, such as the Pumpkin Express and the Santa Express.

2. Enjoy the Challenges at the Blue Ridge Aerial Adventure Park

The Blue Ridge Aerial Adventure Park is packed with physical and mental challenges. Courses cater to different age groups and levels of ability. Younger kids with an extended reach of at least 65 inches can have fun on a course with nine different obstacles at or just above ground level and four short ziplines. The most challenging course, aimed at children aged 10 or older, presents 13 obstacles, a 125-foot zipline, and a climbing wall, with some of the activities taking place more than 40 feet above ground.

3. Pick Your Own Fruit at Mercier Orchards

Stock up on delicious fresh fruit at the Mercier Orchards on Blue Ridge Drive. In addition to apples, you can pick cherries, strawberries, and blueberries in a seasonal U-Pick. Kids love climbing aboard the trailer for a tractor tour of the farm, and feasting on beef hot dogs or Apple House burgers in the cafe. Visit the bakery to pick up delicious fried apple pies to take back to your vacation rental.

4. Mine for Gems at the Lily Pad Village

Located just eight miles outside of Blue Ridge, the Lily Pad Village offers kids the unforgettable experience of mining for their own gems. Imagine their excitement as they search through the dirt to find large, colorful stones such as emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and amethysts. They can also watch gem polishing in action, turning rough stones into precious sparkling jewels. Get a day pass to the village and you can also play a round or two of mini golf or spend some time fishing.

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5. Play a Round at Cohutta Cove Mini Golf

Cohutta Cove Mini Golf, just off Highway 515, is an 18-hole course. If you hit a hole in one at the ninth or 18th holes or hit the Plinko free game mark, you could win a free game. Partway through the course, you have to putt across a small river, so you might need to swap your club for a net to fish out any stray balls. Add to the fun with a spot of gem mining, also available on the site, and enjoy drinks and snacks at the Caddy Shack cafe.

6. Tube the Toccoa at Toccoa Wilderness Tubing

From late May through September, you can tube for several miles down the Toccoa River. Toccoa Wilderness Tubing drives you out to the launch area at Sandy Bottom, along with your tubes and life vests. From here, you enjoy up to two hours of floating along the river until you reach Shallowford Bridge, where you return your equipment and can enjoy a picnic or snack. Kids must be at least four years old to join in.

7. Learn about Trout at the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery

The Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery offers a superb opportunity for kids to learn about trout. This free attraction has an informational kiosk with a panel of fun facts for kids. From here, take a self-guided tour along the 46 outside raceways full of fish. If you take your own bait and gear, you can also try your hand at fishing in Rock Creek, which winds through the hatchery and is stocked weekly from late March through early September. Kids age 16 or older need to have a Georgia fishing license and trout stamp.

8. Take a Spooky Blue Ridge Ghost Tour

The Blue Ridge Ghost Tour is a fun way to learn about the history of the city. The tour guide tells spine-chilling stories about local hauntings, and tales of Cherokee and Appalachian folklore. Be sure to make a reservation for this walking tour in advance.

9. Have Some Heavy Metal Fun at Tank Town USA

Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of driving a real tank at Tank Town USA. Drivers must be at least 15 years old and hold a learner’s permit. Each driver can take along two passengers age 7 or above for free. For an extra fee, have fun crushing a car until it’s almost completely flattened. You can also control an excavator to dig a hole and fill it in again. This activity is strictly for one person — no passengers are allowed inside the excavator’s cab.

10. Ride a Pony at Hells Hollow Adventure Outpost

For more gentle family fun, take the trip out to Hells Hollow Adventure Outpost. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a more experienced rider, you and the kids can enjoy setting out along the trails on a pony or in a wagon. Hells Hollow also offers fishing and gem mining. It’s also home to the Blue Ridge Mountain Canopy Adventure, where you can have fun ziplining through the trees.

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