Summer is made for family vacations and Blue Ridge is the perfect destination to explore, relax, and create memories. The area has a diverse array of indoor and outdoor activities for even your littlest adventurer. The rich history of the area and scenic getaways allow for family experiences that you cannot find at an amusement park. Here are 15 popular attractions and activity ideas for families visiting this season!
The Lilly Pad Village is the perfect vacation retreat away from your non-stop weekly routine. Described as a “piece of Heaven, away from highways, parking lots and traffic,” there is a focus on calmness and restfulness. With activities like gem mining, fishing, mini golf, and family-friendly hiking, the Lilly Pad Village describes itself as a “destination for laughter and smiles where you can spend an hour or an entire day, leaving stress behind.” There are even a few cherished pets on the property who love welcoming new guests to the pristine grounds to enjoy the beautiful mountain views.
For kids over the age of 12, whitewater rafting in the Blue Ridge Mountains is an exciting way to spend the morning or afternoon. You can choose between several outfitters (click the link above for more information about locations, directions and pricing) on the Toccoa, Occee, and Hiwassee Rivers. Did you know the rapids in the Blue Ridge Mountains are a favorite destination for rafters worldwide? Adventure writer Kim Urquhart calls it “a paddler’s paradise …loved for its size and power, constant flow rate and continuous waves and holes”. More than 300,000 people experience the excitement of rafting each year — and it’s one of the safest ways to explore the waters.
Family-owned and operated by the fourth generation of the Mercier family, the orchards have been a fantastic way to create memories with your family and enjoy the local produce of Georgia for over 70 years. The Mercier Orchards offer U-PICK events with fresh strawberries and other in-season fruits, have an on-site Bakery & Deli featuring fruits from the orchards, a Market Store, and even have a new Farm Winery!
The easiest way to cruise on the lake with younger children, pontoon boats require little to no experience and allow for kids to move around, unlike kayaks, tubes or paddle boards. You can even take the pontoon boat out and park it to enjoy lunch on the lake. Holding up to 8 guests, these are ideal for larger families or who want to keep everyone together on the same boat (something you can’t do with tubing or kayaking). Make your reservations ahead of time to ensure that a boat will be ready for you and your family, pack a bag with sunscreen and snacks, and bring a cooler!
If you want the full relaxation experience, tubing down the river is absolutely the way to go! Depending on where you’re staying in the Blue Ridge Mountain area, we’d recommend you find the tubing company that’s most convenient for you and your family! There are six popular tubing spots on the river, run by: Cool River Tubing, Rolling Thunder River Tubing, Toccoa River Tubing Company, Toccoa Valley Campground, Toccoa Wilderness Tubing, and VanZandt’s. Some tubes offer closed-in bottoms or ways to attach tubes together for younger children, but others do not, so be sure to choose the tubing itinerary that best meets your needs!
New and inexperienced riders will feel comfortable riding horseback (or on ponies) at this one-stop adventure outpost. The grounds are well-kept and safety is always the first priority, making it a prefered stop for families in the area. If you have more experience and would like to trot or try a more advanced ride, horseback tours through the hillsides of the Cohutta mountains are also offered, where you’ll even pass by “bubbling creeks and streams.”
Located only six miles from downtown Blue Ridge, the Blue Ridge Zip Line and Canopy Tours adventure course will build confidence in adults and children alike. With a mile of zipline and a series of in-air obstacles (they have different levels of challenges), this go-at-your-own-pace adventure in the trees is something your family will remember for years to come. Choose to do the zipline tour or the challenge course and feel the fresh air of the Blue Ridge Mountains in your face!
Visit one of America’s oldest copper mining communities in a museum that includes over 150 years of history. The hour-long tour is ideal for kids who love minerals, geology, or seeking out interesting historical artifacts. They also host a kids carnival each spring, along with pancake breakfasts, summer gatherings, and fall crafts festivals. The mining community is all about family, and they invite your family to discover more about the long-standing history of the industry.
There’s a new museum in town called Expedition Bigfoot and its calling upon kids who are interested in the legend of Bigfoot to help crack the case. The museum is North Georgia’s “biggest” family attraction that focuses on both entertainment and education. They display genuine Bigfoot artifacts, life sized exhibits, photos, sketches, large up to date sighting maps, and the World’s only Bigfoot Research and Tech Vehicle. They even have a Bigfoot reference library! Can you solve the mystery?
Take a journey back in time to the days of drive-in theaters and watching films from your car (and we don’t mean on your smartphone or tablet). At the Historic Swan Drive-In, which has been in operation for over 60 years, you’ll feel like you’re in another decade while watching movies under the stars. Yes, you even tune your car radio to a specific station for the movie audio! They also have a full concession stand with comfort food and treats. Visit their website for directions and movie schedules.
No matter what your family is interested in doing when on vacation in Blue Ridge, Georgia, there is an experience or adventure that is sure to meet your needs and create memories for you and your children that will stay with you for years to come!