Free Things to Do in Blairsville, Georgia
Blairsville’s lakes beckon families for old-fashioned summertime fun – those lazy days of lounging on a sunny beach, showing off underwater handstands, and wolfing down a grilled picnic lunch so you can splash back into the lake, only to be told by Mom that you have to wait.
Located deep in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest amidst North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Blairsville beckons families with abundant and affordable family fun at its pristine lakes: crystal clear 18-acre Lake Winfield Scott in Suches; the 4,180-acre Lake Nottely with 106 miles of shoreline, two marinas and public boat ramps; and the 20-acre lake and swimming beach at one of Georgia’s most beloved summer getaways, Vogel State Park. Find your family getaway at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.
On land, families can trek the 300-yard trail to Helton Creek Falls to see twin cascades set in a deep hardwood forest and head to nearby Brasstown Bald Mountain, Georgia’s highest elevation and one that offers a view of four states. They can follow the Misty Mountain Railroad – America’s largest 0-gauge train display with a 3,400-square foot layout featuring 14 Lionel trains – along 5,280 feet of track over 12 bridges and four trestles and through 15 tunnels; and find the unexpected at Sleepy Hollow, an enchanted fairyland of fanciful gardens, gnome homes, gypsy wagons and other dwellings where one might expect hobbits, gnomes and gremlins to live.
Blairsville has an abundance of free attractions, including Lake Nottely and Lake Winfield Scott, Vogel State Park (parking only), Historic Courthouse Museum (including the internationally renowned Margarita Morgan Miniature Collection), Downtown Sculpture Garden, Sleepy Hollow Fairy Houses, Trackrock petroglyphs, Misty Mountain Model Railroad (free for 16 & under), hiking/waterfalls, two alpaca farms and Brasstown Bald. Free summer festivals include Blairsville’s Fourth of July Celebration, the Butternut Creek Festival, which celebrates the arts of the mountain region, and the new Green Bean Festival with pageants, square dance, tractor show, quilting exhibit, storytellers, crafts, green bean pizza eating contest and more.
Blairsville has a charmer of a restaurant scene that includes pizza parlors, scratch-cooking cafés, pull-up-a-stool diners like the fun Aviator Café, palate pleasers like JB Roosters Wing House for its monster burgers, and the place all the locals know: The Sawmill Place, home of the mouth watering 32-ingredient Morning Glory muffin. Its lodging landscape was made with families in mind, with deluxe cabin accommodations with lots of elbow room for everyone not to mention hot tubs, fireplaces, board games, even game rooms with pool table, dart boards and air hockey tucked all over the county and with stunning views of woods and water.
TIP: Misty Mountain Model Railroad is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, May through December. Tours begin at 2 p.m.
ABOUT BLAIRSVILLE-UNION COUNTY
With four distinct seasons changing Blairsville’s rolling landscape – colorful spring, verdant green summer, blazing autumn and white winter, this authentic pre-Civil War community lives up to its promise: “Each Season Something New.” Located deep in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest amidst North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Blairsville-Union County offers hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding; water sports on Lake Winfield Scott and Lake Nottely and at Vogel State Park, one of Georgia’s oldest and most popular state parks; unique attractions at historical Walasi-Yi Center, the Old Courthouse Museum and the Misty Mountain Model Railroad – America’s largest 0-gauge train display; art galleries, arts-and-crafts shopping and artists studios; a variety of restaurants; and mountain accommodations from primitive campgrounds to gourmet bed and breakfasts to luxurious cottages and cabins. This family-friendly burg hosts nearly two dozen festivals and events each year, including favorites Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games in June and the annual Sorghum Festival at Meeks Park in October. Visit www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com for more details.
Special thanks to Kathy Witt for providing this great post to help travelers plan affordable and budget -friendly trips. You can follow Kathy on Twitter @KathyWittLRC.