Blue Ridge, Georgia, is an expansive outdoor playground and a peaceful refuge from the hectic urban lifestyle. At 537 meters above sea level, this humble yet thriving city is nestled deep in the mountains of North Georgia. Its 1,200+ residents have access not only to breathtaking views and top outdoor attractions, but also an array of local shops and lively festivals.
For the discerning buyer, Blue Ridge presents a lucrative opportunity to own a piece of paradise in one of Georgia’s most pristine regions. Whether it’s a vacation house on a scenic ridge or a revenue-generating rental property, your real estate investment in Blue Ridge is more than likely to pay for itself in the long term.
AT A GLANCE:
- Plenty of outdoor attractions
- Low population density
- An array of shopping and dining options
- Charming vineyards and breweries
- An overview of the Blue Ridge, GA, real estate market
- Explore Blue Ridge real estate with Nathan Fitts
Plenty of outdoor attractions
Surrounded by acres of verdant forests and a handful of rivers and waterways, Blue Ridge is an outdoor haven. From this small city at the heart of Fannin County, 300 miles of hiking trails and 100 miles of trout streams are accessible. There’s something for everyone, from first-time tourists and casual outdoor enthusiasts to backcountry explorers.
- Exploring Chattahoochee National Forest. Less than 20 minutes away from Blue Ridge is the 87,000 acre Chattahoochee National Forest. This vast protected area is a backcountry explorer’s ideal playground. Traverse the 40-mile Russel-Brasstown Scenic Byway to see eye-catching wildflowers and stunning landscape views. Go fishing and set up camp on the banks of the Tallulah River, where you can catch some Rainbow Trout.
- Hiking the Appalachian Trail. Stretching across 14 states, the Appalachian Trail is one of the longest hiking trails in the world. And 76 miles of it runs through the state of Georgia. Home to diverse ecosystems and distinct wildlife, it winds through the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area to five more federally designated protected areas within the state. You can access the trail via Springer Mountain.
- Waterfall spotting. There are 16 waterfalls near the city of Blue Ridge. Visit the Anna Ruby Waterfalls, one of the tallest in the area (over 150 feet). Or, go to Turtletown Falls, where awe-inspiring views of the nearby Hiwassee River await. Find more about the other 14 waterfalls and explore them with friends and family.
- Horseback riding. Whether you’re an experienced or novice rider, horseback riding in Blue Ridge is one activity you shouldn’t miss out on. There are a number of horse ranches within and just outside of town that offer horseback rides through scenic mountain trails. For starters, check out Blanche Manor and Hell’s Hollow Adventure Outpost.
- Play sports in Fannin County Recreation Park. Various school programs and summer camp activities are held in Fannin County Recreation Park. Owing to its central location within the city, the park is frequented by families and sports-oriented youth. The park has basketball courts, soccer fields, volleyball courts, as well as walking and bicycle tracks.
- Relax and hold a picnic in Lake Blue Ridge Dam Recreation Area. Aside from being a great fishing spot, this outdoor space has several picnic areas that face the clear blue waters of Lake Blue Ridge. For a simple weekend catch-up with family and friends, Lake Blue Ridge Dam Recreation Area is a suitable outdoor venue.
Low population density
According to the 2020 population census, there are over 1,200 people residing in Blue Ridge. With a low population density (just over 500 people/square mile), residents enjoy high levels of privacy and seclusion. Homeowners who prefer living in quiet surroundings will feel right at home in the city.
Apart from passing through downtown on unusually busy days, it never feels congested in Blue Ridge. While there are spaces where you can congregate and enjoy the company of other people, you always have the option to spend your time as secluded as you wish.
With homes distanced far apart from each other, there’s significant leeway for the would-be investor to purchase large swaths of real estate in Blue Ridge and develop spacious homes — replete with the amenities of your choice.
An array of shopping and dining options
In the early days of Blue Ridge, tourists not only sought out the vast expanse of nature, they also wanted to sample the young city’s pure mineral waters. Blue Ridge has grown significantly since those simpler times.
Today, there’s now an assortment of shops, galleries, and boutiques where visitors seek out a variety of distinct products. Specialty items, hard-to-find antiques, and unique handicrafts can be found throughout town if you know where to look.
Snapshot of shopping destinations in Blue Ridge:
- Canoe – If you’re looking for impeccably handcrafted canvas bags and jewelries, look no further than Canoe. Founded in Blue Ridge, Canoe is a widely successful local brand that has since expanded to over 500 locations across the country. From elegant earrings and necklaces to rugged and stylish bags, there’s something for both men and women.
- Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters – Whether it’s upgrading your gear or pairing your boots with the right color of trekking pants, Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters is a one-stop shop for all things outdoors and then some. The shop also sells a wide range of fashionable shirts, fleeces, and tops as well.
- New Blue Home and Gift – Get settled in your new home in Blue Ridge with a new set of furniture and the appropriate decorations. New Blue Home and Gift sells tables, chairs, artworks, rugs, sofas, and other home decor items that will fit well with any house or cabin.
- Blue Ridge Antiques Mall & Consignment – For a wide range of antique inventory, from glasswares and textiles to shiny trinkets and rare collectibles, pay a visit to Blue Ridge Antiques Mall. The team behind this local favorite is composed of well-traveled artists, crafts people, and avid collectors. You’ll find something new each time you stop by for a look.
- Fishbone Gallery – Blue Ridge is a thriving art town. Fishbone Gallery is one of the many impressive art galleries that you’ll find in this part of northern Georgia. Here you’ll find a variety of locally made artworks on display and for sale. Additionally, Fishbone Gallery is famous among art circles as the home of the works of renowned ceramicist, Betty Wasmer.
While people come to Blue Ridge for the outdoor attractions and charming local shops that line its streets, it’s usually the food that makes people stay for longer than they initially planned. You’ll find a range of dining options throughout the city, but regardless of which establishment you choose, the passion for flavorful local ingredients and excellent customer service shines through in every dish.
The local restaurant scene in Blue Ridge:
- Carroll’s Barbeque – This beloved local restaurant specializes in classic Southern Style barbeque and sandwiches. Start off with fried pickles and smoked nachos for appetizers. Then, order in some tasty three-bone ribs or pulled-pork sandwiches. Owned and operated by the Carroll Family for years, Carroll’s Barbeque delivers BBQ perfection every time.
- BumbleBee’s Cafe Blue Ridge – BumbleBee’s is a great spot if you’re looking for excellent breakfast and lunch selections. Serving customers daily from morning until early afternoon, this restaurant is famous for its tasty smoked bacon and delicious homemade side dishes. Additionally, the restaurant has a private function room for business and family luncheons.
- Black Bear Bier Garten – This German-inspired bar and grill offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Playfully touted as a husband daycare center, Black Bear Bier Garten is a great place for friends to catch up and for visitors to get to know the locals better. Some of the town’s nascent and established talents also perform live music as well. Enjoy a wide range of sausages and local craft beers while listening to good music.
- Blue Ridge Mountain Food Tours – Can’t decide on where to chow down exactly? Check out Blue Ridge Mountain Food Tours to experience guided walking (and eating) tours. You can choose either the Fabulous Foodie Tour, Sugar High Tour, or the Brew House Tour. Each tour makes a stop at four or five restaurants, where you get to sample some of the finest dishes in town while talking to the chefs and owners of each establishment. A tour guide will also give you in-depth insights into the local food scene and help you fully appreciate the history behind some of the community’s favorite cuisines.
Charming vineyards and breweries
Blue Ridge is also known for its fine wine and beers, which are some of the best in the entire state of Georgia. Venturing out to find these picturesque vineyards and breweries is a quintessential part of the Blue Ridge experience.
- Bear Claw Vineyards – At Bear Claw Vineyards it isn’t just about fine wines and tasty cheeses. This vineyard takes pride in transporting patrons to a slow-paced and beautiful environment that helps everyone reconnect with the people they care about most. Just a few miles west of Blue Ridge, Bear Claw Vineyards is a must-visit for both oenophiles and casual wine lovers. You can hear live music from Fridays to Sundays as well.
- Mercier Orchards – This family and veteran-owned farm winery has a long history dating back to 1943, when it was founded by Bill and Adele Mercier. Four generations later, the expansive Mercier Orchards is still going strong, providing Blue Ridge and nearby towns with some of the best wines and fresh produce in the region. There is also a bakery on site, producing fried pies, apple cider donuts, cinnamon bread, and a host of other baked products. Only weekend visits to the orchard are available as the weekdays are reserved for farm work.
- Grumpy Old Men Brewing – You can find an assortment of beers on tap at Grumpy Old Men Brewing. From Cascadian Dark Ales and Stouts to Hard Seltzers, there’s a drink for every occasion. The brewery also has a funny backstory. Legend has it that a couple of retirees, who initially began brewing in an outdoor shower, decided to enter the beer business in October 2012. The following year, they officially shipped their first legal brew, which the locals quickly became fond of. In 2018, they transferred ownership of the brewery to a friend and his wife so they could continue enjoying good beer without doing all the work.
An overview of the Blue Ridge, GA, real estate market
According to November 2021 information from Realtor.com, median home listing price of homes in Blue Ridge is just over $570,000. Median home sales price is approximately $520,000.
Blue Ridge home prices have increased by about 23% year-over-year as city dwellers in other parts of the country continue to seek out larger homes and greener surroundings — usually away from urban centers. With the pandemic’s irreversible impacts on the real estate industry, this upward trend will likely continue in the foreseeable future.
In terms of housing stock, the vast majority are single family detached homes that usually have two to three bedrooms. Approximately 70% of houses were constructed either before or during the 1960s. The rest of the existing housing inventory was built during the 2000s, at the turn of the new century.
Overall, Blue Ridge presents the savvy real estate investor with exciting opportunities. One the one hand, the city is excellent for home buyers who are seeking a quiet mountain retreat while still retaining access to convenient amenities. On the other hand, the tourism industry in Blue Ridge is growing — making the city a superb location for a rental property.
Explore Blue Ridge real estate with Nathan Fitts
There’s so much more to Blue Ridge than meets the eye. Get to know the city better with Nathan Fitts & Team of RE/MAX Town and Country. Composed of experienced and top-producing real estate agents, Nathan Fitts & Team will help you search for and secure top-tier property investments in Blue Ridge and elsewhere in North Georgia.
The team is led by Nathan Fitts, a highly accomplished Realtor who has been serving the North Georgia market for over 20 years. He is Georgia’s #1 Realtor in terms of closed transactions and is frequently featured on HGTV’s Log Cabin Living and Mountain Life series. Growing up in Blue Ridge, Nathan knows the city like the back of his hand — making him more than qualified to advise you on the best residential or commercial properties to purchase.