10 Best Places to Visit in North Georgia: All You Need to Know (2023)

Tallulah Falls GA

North Georgia is home to gorgeous mountain views, unparalleled state parks, historic sites, and vibrant downtown scenes. So, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or someone looking for a great place to unwind, consider North Georgia for your next vacation.

Here are the best places to visit in North Georgia and all you need to know about each of them!

10 North Georgia Places to Visit – At a Glance

When choosing the city or town to visit, find out about the beautiful places to swing by and the fun things to do before traveling. This table provides some quick information, but read on below to learn more.

City/TownKnown ForPopular Places to Visit
Blue Ridge, GA– scenic mountain spots
– outdoor and downtown leisure activities
– Mercier Orchards
– Bear Claw Vineyards
– Grumpy Old Men Brewing
– Toccoa Wilderness Tubing
– Blue Ridge Adventure Park
Ellijay, GA– Georgia’s apple capital and lots of apple picking activities
– multiple outdoor recreation parks
– Downtown Ellijay
– Hillcrest Orchards
– B.J. Reece Orchards
– Talking Rock Nature Preserve
– Gilmer County Tabor House and Civil War Museum
Helen, GA– mini-Germany of North Georgia
– Oktoberfest and tourist attractions
– Bavarian village
– Unicoi State Park
– Habersham Winery
– Georgia Mountain Coaster
– Hardman Farm State Historic Site
Dawsonville, GA– the terminus of the Southern Appalachian trail
– historical connections to auto racing and moonshine
– Bradley’s Pumpkin Patch
– Amicalola Falls State Park
– Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
– North Georgia Premium Outlets
– Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery
Blairsville, GA– pristine waterfalls & lakes
– vineyards
– Lake Nottely
– Vogel State Park
– Mountain Life Museum
– Sleepy Hollow Enterprises
– Butternut Creek Golf Course
– Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co.
Dahlonega, GA– site of the first major gold rush in USA
– stellar winery
– great mountain getaways
– Crisson Gold Mine
– Yahoola Creek Park
– Consolidated Gold Mine
– Wolf Mountain Vineyards
– Dahlonega Gold Museum
– Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo
Clayton, GA– the farm-to-table capital of Georgia
– popular destination for hiking and visiting cascading waterfalls
– Chattooga River
– Goats on the Roof
– The Foxfire Museum
– Stonewall Creek Vineyards
– Black Rock Mountain State Park
Hiawassee, GA– Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest point and the centerpiece of the incredible mountain sceneryBell Mountain
Brasstown Bald
Hamilton Gardens
High Shoals Falls
Lake Chatuge
McCaysville, GA– riverwalk shops
– largest entertainment venue in North Georgia
– Toccoa River Outfitters
– Horseshoe Bend Park
– Ducktown Basin Museum
– Deep Roots Orchard
Tallulah Falls, GA– home of Tallulah Gorge – the second deepest gorge in the US– Tallulah Gorge State Park& Tallulah Point Overlook
– Lake Yonah
– Lake Tugalo

1.   Blue Ridge, GA

Located and named after the Blue Ridge Mountains, this mountain city is a favorite among tourists looking for outdoor adventures. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is an excellent first stop to take in the views!

The city brings you closer to the natural beauty of mountain vistas like Springer mountain. And you also get to experience downtown Blue Ridge and the rustic vibe of vineyards and breweries.

Must-see Attractions in Blue-Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge offers plenty of options for local attractions that suit your taste. And speaking of taste, make sure to visit the Bear Claw Vineyards for decadent wine tastings.

Add a tour to the Grumpy Old Men Brewing and sample the locally crafted beers. Then head to the Mercier Orchards for some hard cider.

If you’re coming with family and friends, don’t miss the outdoor activities at the Blue Ridge Adventure Park. Experience the challenge course as well as the zip and climb combo. And if you’re up for a more thrilling activity, try water tubing at the Toccoa Wilderness Tubing.

Read more about outdoor fun and adventures like:

Golfing. If you want to play on a championship golf course, here are 10 of the closest courses to Blue Ridge.

    u003cliu003eAnd if you’re in need of clubs, the courses’ pro shops have clubs, or you u003ca rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022 href=u0022https://amzn.to/3QnG5IZu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022u003ecan find some deals like the Callaway Strata set on Amazon.u003c/au003eu003c/liu003e

Where to Stay in Blue Ridge, GA

There’s no shortage of hotels and motels in Blue Ridge. If you’re looking for affordable lodging, your best option is the Americas Best Value Inn.

For a luxurious hotel, check out the Spyglass by Escape to Blue Ridge.

But if you want the full mountain life experience that defines Blue Ridge as a perfect place to relax, book a cozy cabin near waterfalls or a treehouse on private property.

Where to Eat in Blue Ridge, GA

For a taste of the local cuisine, you won’t regret dining in one of these fine restaurants:

2.   Ellijay, GA

During fall, Ellijay is the best place in Georgia to experience apple picking and pumpkin patches. But you can visit the city any time of the year for fun activities and tranquil scenery, too!

Start your journey with a road trip to catch the gorgeous Northeastern Georgia Mountains and beautiful scenery.

Places to Eat in Ellijay GA
Restaurant in Downtown Ellijay

Must-see Attractions in Ellijay

Being Georgia’s apple capital, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the apple orchards! They’re some of the most popular local attractions for a reason.

Some best destinations are B.J. Reece Orchards and Hillcrest Orchards, where you can go apple picking between August to October.

If you want a glimpse of Ellijay’s rich history, check out the Gilmer County Tabor House and Civil War Museum for a lesson or two. The main information will be about the United States Civil War historical period.

Make the most of Ellijay’s outdoor scene when your visit the Talking Rock Nature Preserve.

  • try mountain biking, or
  • taking a short hike on stunning trails

Pro Tip: Going on an adventurous hike is no easy feat. But you’ll get the most fun out of it with proper footwear.

    u003cliu003eMake sure to have the proper u003ca rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022 href=u0022https://amzn.to/3Sjita8u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022u003ehiking bootsu003c/au003e to keep your feet protected and comfortable at the same time.u003c/liu003e
    u003cliu003eWhen I hike, I also like to u003ca href=u0022https://amzn.to/3QcX3cTu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003euse hiking poles like theseu003c/au003e. They make a difference on steep terrains when you’re trying to keep your balance.u003c/liu003e

And if you want to take a slower day, spend the day at downtown Ellijay where you can have casual and fine dining in restaurants while listening to live music. You’ll also find places to shop and stroll around the town.

Where to Stay in Ellijay, GA

Cabin rentals are the way to go if you plan to book the full outdoor, mountain experience. Here are cabins you can choose from.

Where to Eat in Ellijay, GA

Whether you want homemade, fancy, or all-American meals and drinks, you won’t be disappointed when dining at these popular restaurants in Ellijay.

3.   Helen, GA

Cityscape of Helen Georgia and people shopping

The best time of the year to visit Helen is during Oktoberfest. The city transforms into a little Germany. People dressin traditional costumes and there is plenty of beer and food to be had.

Outside the Oktoberfest season, you’ll still get a similar vibe reminiscent of Germany’s small towns.

Must-see Attractions in Helen

If you’re into outdoor activities, you can’t miss the Unicoi State Park, where you can go:

  • kayaking
  • paddle boating
  • ziplining
  • mountain biking
  • fly fishing.

You can also go on a mile hike through trails leading to Anna Ruby Falls and Smith Creek.

If you’re into a lighter but equally fun activity, visit the Habersham Winery or tour the Hardman Farm State Historic Site. Finally, ride the Georgia Mountain Coaster for a thrilling experience.

Here’s an in-depth article that covers dozens of things to do in Helen you may want to check out.

Where to Stay?

Hotels and lodging places in Hele are generally clean, comfortable, and near the best visitor center and local attractions. Here are your best options:

Where to Eat?

If you want to sample Southern and other local cuisines in Helen, make sure to book a table at one of these places:

4.   Dawsonville, GA

Dawsonville is a small town rich in historic buildings and stories passed down from generations. So, if you’re a history buff interested in Civil War, Dawsonville may just be the right place for you to take your vacation.

Must-see Attractions in Dawsonville, GA

Exploring the historical landmarks is one of the top things to do in Dawsonville.

Drop by the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, and the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, established in the 1780s. Then, spend a day at Main Street Park and Dawson Forest.

Check out the Amicalola Falls State Park, where you can go ziplining, take lessons for 3-D archery, and join the GPS scavenger hunt. If you’re up for a hike, take the Appalachian trail rides and trek. Then head to the gift shop for some souvenirs.

During a slower day, stroll at the North Georgia Premium Outlets and shop until you drop for items priced at the lowest rate.

Where to Stay in Dawsonville, GA

You will have a great selection of hotel accommodations and cabin rentals that will fit your budget and expectations in Dawsonville. For some of the best experiences, check out the following:

Where to Eat in Dawsonville, GA

Dawsonville showcases restaurants and food hubs that offer a delicious array of food options. Don’t miss out on experiencing superb dining at these restaurants.

5.   Blairsville, GA

If you want to experience the mountain life during your break, then head over to Blairsville, where you will be treated to pristine bodies of water, fresh mountain air, and all sorts of outdoor adventures.

If you’re coming from Atlanta, it’s a 2-hour drive and makes a good day trip. Those who stay for longer can savor the history of Blairsville and its quaint downtown area.   

Must-see Attractions in Blairsville, GA

In your itinerary, Vogel State Park should be on top of your list. Surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest, you find activities like:

  • hiking 17 miles of trails
  • mini-golfing
  • fishing in the Chattahoochee river

Visit the popular Lake Nottely if you want to spend the day swimming, boating, jet skiing, and picnicing on the white sandy beaches.

Other attractions you could check out include:

Where to Stay in Blairsville, GA

It is easy to find a cozy, relaxing hotel, inn, or cabin with Blairsville’s wide selection of top-rated accommodations. Here are some top choices:

Where to Eat in Blairsville?

Whether you are looking for a taste of the local cuisine, the homey Southern cooking, or simply a delicious meal to remember Blairsville by, you can never go wrong with these restaurants.

6.   Dahlonega, GA

As the site of the first gold rush in the United States and home to Native Americans, you’ll surely enjoy Dahlonega’s fascinating history and family-friendly activities.

Nestled in the heart of Georgia Mountains at the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains, you’re in for a treat with the cascading waterfalls, top-notch wineries, and tons of entertainment.

Must-see Attractions in Dahlonega, GA

Given its rich history with gold, it’s only fitting to check out the gem and gold mining attractions in Dahlonega. Bring your kids to the Crisson Gold Mine for a superb mining experience.

Here’s a list of some other gem mining spots in the area.

Then, visit the Consolidated Gold Mine to see an actual mining site. Cap your day with a tour of the Dahlonega Gold Museum.

Dahlonega is also well-known for its fine vineyards. Taste various wines in the Wolf Mountain Vineyards. And if you want to get in tune with nature, Yahoola Creek Park is the place to be.

Where to Stay in Dahlonega, GA

For accommodations laced with history and comfort creatures in Dahlonega, check out these places:

Where to Eat in Dahlonega, GA

Your visit to Dahlonega is even better when you visit one of their famous grilles. And the best places to visit for a taste are the following:

7.   Clayton, GA

Clayton showcases history, panoramic views, outdoor adventures. It also boasts the honor as the farm-to-table capital of Georgia.

Visit Clayton for a refreshing bed & breakfast experience or bask in the beauty of its stunning views and natural resources.

Must-see Attractions in Clayton, GA

Clayton offers unique experiences for families and solo travelers keen on creating unforgettable memories.

Your first stop should be the Goats on the Roof. This peculiar and hilarious attraction will allow you to meet climbing goats that you can feed. They also serve meals; you really should try their ice cream.

Experience life in the Appalachian Village when you visit The Foxfire Museum. Here you won’t only see artifacts but also learn heritage skills. F

If you want to take it slow, head to the Stonewall Creek Vineyards, where you can taste all sorts of flavorful wines and see the winemaking process – or have another stop at Tiger Mountain Vineyards.

On the other hand, if you are more into outdoor activities, the Black Rock Mountain State Park is your destination.

Check out the overlooks of the Appalachian mountains and trails leading to stunning views. If you’re not into trekking or hiking, go horseback riding with Dillard House Stables.

Where to Stay in Clayton, GA

For accommodations in Clayton defined by historical buildings, comfortable space, and relaxing retreat, choose from the following hotels and inns.

Where to Eat in Clayton, GA

Clayton boasts plenty of quality Southern cooking, showcased in these places downtown:

ðŸ½ï¸Clayton Cafe

ðŸ½ï¸Fortify Kitchen and Bar

ðŸ½ï¸Rumor Hazit

ðŸ½ï¸Grapes and Beans Cafe

ðŸ½ï¸Universal Joint

8.   Hiawassee, GA

Hiawassee is site for Georgia’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald. It’s also a popular destination for sports and outdoor activities.

Hiawassee makes a great retreat for a summer vacation. You can go fishing on the Hiawassee river which is a hidden gem of trout fishing. If you’re interested in fly fishing in Georgia, check out these spots too.

Hiking on the Southern Highroads Trails is worth visiting too.

Must-see Attractions in Hiawassee, GA

Enjoy the most stunning views when you the Bell Mountain. The mountain vista and view is unrivaled. During April, feast your eyes on the vibrant burst of blooms at the Hamilton Gardens.

Explore the High Shoals Falls and Lake Chatuge, where you can go swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, andpaddle boating. Bring the family together at the picnic table or camp in the designated area. Don’t forget a picnic basket and food too!

Where to Stay in Hiawassee, GA

The most recommended places to stay in Hiawassee are mostly located near Lake Chatuge. That way, you will immediately access the local attractions and best spots for outdoor activities.

Where to Eat in Hiawassee, GA

Whether it’s barbeque or steak, Hiawassee restaurants have a good variety. Below are some popular recommendations:

9.   McCaysville, GA

Known as the other half of the Copper Basin, McCaysville shares multiple attractions with its twin, Copperhill, Tennessee. And it brings something unique to this list.

Whether you want to go water tubing or stroll on the Riverwalk, you’ll have a great time.

Must-see Attractions in McCaysville, GA

If you’re into fly fishing, you better check out the Toccoa River Outfitters, where you don’t simply get to rent the equipment but pick the brains of experts in the field. And if you’re looking for a more thrilling activity, try water tubing with the Rolling Thunder River Company.

You can also spend some quiet time or have a picnic at Horshoe Bend Park. Curious about the city’s mining history? Then visit the Ducktown Basin Museum. Finally, don’t miss out on some of the most delicious apples when you swing by the Deep Roots Orchard.

Where to Stay in McCaysville, GA

You’ll have an array of options when it comes to accommodations in McCaysville. But the best ones to book are as follows:

Where to Eat in McCaysville, GA

It will be a terrible mistake if you don’t sample the local cuisines in McCaysville, especially the barbeque. Plus, you’ll find other equally tasty food on the menu when you visit these restaurants.

10.     Tallulah Falls, GA

Tallulah Falls GA

If you want to see a breathtaking gorge and ethereal waterfalls, your destination is Tallulah Falls. Just two hours northeast of Atlanta, this North Georgia town is home to five cascading waterfalls, the Tallulah Gorge State park, various hiking tails, and stellar rock formations.

Must-see Attractions

Getting into Tallulah Falls, visit the Tallulah Gorge State Park, where you can walk on the gorge floor. The best part is you can just secure a free permit at the Interactive Park Center. Make sure you have the proper footwear, though: closed, sturdy, and made for hiking.

You can also pursue different trails leading to stunning waterfalls: Bridal Veil, L’Eau d’Or, Tempesta, Hurricane, and Oceana. Collectively, they make up the Tallulah falls.

Suspension Bridge. Plus, don’t miss the famous suspension bridge – a photography hotspot for many tourists.

Other places you can visit are the Tallulah Point Overlook for viewing the stunning vistas and

Lake Yonah, as well as Lake Tugalo. You can swim, fish, paddleboat, kayak, or have a picnic in these water bodies.

Where to Stay in Tallulah Falls, GA

Tallulah Falls is a short drive to Clayton, GA. So, you can choose to stay in Clayton and visit Tallulah Falls, or you can book a reservation at the following places:

Where to Eat in Tallulah Falls, GA

After a day of outdoor activities, don’t forget to try best-selling meals, teas, and barbeques at these eating spots.


Choosing a place to visit in North Georgia will set the trajectory of your vacation. So, when preparing your itinerary, check out the local attractions first by visiting their website and find out about the best cabin, restaurants, and unique spots you can include on your list.

Whichever place you choose, just have a great time in the best places to visit in North Georgia!

Recent Posts