Most of the articles I write are all about my international destinations, but deep down, I have always been an all-American girl.
The United States has so many amazing places to explore and experience, along with some of the most breathtaking scenery. Put me in an RV and I would travel all the nooks and crannies of America. I have visited all 50 states except Utah, and I will get there at some point.
Recently, I took a road trip to northern Georgia, and let me tell you, they have some of the most incredible little mountain towns – those little towns tucked away that you never hear about. They are wonderful to explore.
I took a day and walked the streets of Blue Ridge, Georgia. During the fall, there can be up to 80 busloads of people coming in to get on the scenic train ride, explore the shops, boutiques, art galleries, eat some ice cream or maybe stop and sip some peach iced tea.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is the busiest weekend of the year, when they have what they call, “Light Up Blue Ridge.” Like a Hallmark movie, the entire town comes to life with thousands of twinkling lights as they prepare for Christmastime. Nearby is Mercier Orchards, where you will find award-winning fried pies, apple cider, country breakfast and “you-pick-fresh” mountain-grown fruits.
You can easily spend a day in Blue Ridge, but just down the road is Helen, Georgia, the state’s third most visited city. Surrounded by wineries, artisan tours, festivals and more, it is a Bavarian village that gives you a glimpse of Germany, right there in Georgia.
If sampling regional wine is what you enjoy, then a trip to Dahlonega, Georgia, would be in order. Not only will you be met with several wineries, but you’ll fall in love with the breathtaking mountain views. A drive through the Chattahoochee National Forest is a nature lover’s delight. Waterfalls, hiking trails, tubing and white-water rafting are plentiful.
If you can set aside just a few hours, you can explore the little downtown of Blairsville. It’s worth stopping at Cabin Coffee Co. for your morning coffee, biscuits and gravy, or a breakfast sandwich on a toasted croissant. If a bigger breakfast is in order, then you will not want to miss “Hole in the Wall” diner. It’s been a local staple since 1931, and, as they say, “Food so good, you’ll swear your grandma made it!”
Georgia is known for peaches and pecans, but they also know how to do barbeque. If smothered chicken fried steak and fried okra is what you have a hankering for, then “Brothers” in Young Harris, Georgia, is the place to go.
Lodging is available in any of these locations, making it easy to take daytrips to all the other nearby mountain towns.
Most of these towns are within an eight-hour drive from Northern Virginia. Take a long weekend, hop in your car, and go explore the good ‘ole U.S.A. You will not be disappointed.
Alesia House is a local travel concierge who can plan and orchestrate all the details of your vacation. Her goal is to help clients have stress-free vacations that will create lasting memories.