Smart Money, Retirement Buying Power

8 Reasons to Retire in Blue Ridge Georgia

North Georgia Cities
Published on January 5, 2015


We discovered last fall, Blue Ridge is one of the most adorable mountain towns in Georgia. Baby Boomers who are anxious to leave the 'city life' behind find it's an easy place to detox and reconnect with nature. In fact, the only shining lights at night are from the million of stars illuminating the night sky. For generations, the folks of Blue Ridge have preserved this beauty by perfecting life in the mountains. The result is a resourceful community inspired by the great outdoors. So, trade in the hustle and bustle of city life for the soft welcoming hue of the Blue Ridge Mountains while exploring Big Canoe real estate. The average home prices in the area are in the $150k's. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy life in Blue Ridge:


At the southern most area of the Appalachian Trail rests Blue Ridge, one of the North Georgia cities. McCaysville is located to the north, which is a sister city to Copperhill, TN and Morganton to the east, all within Fannin County. Blue Ridge is only 90 minutes north of Atlanta, 1.5 hours south of Chattanooga, TN, and, 2.5 hours southwest of Asheville, NC making it ideal for hiking in Georgia. Here are some popular and interesting routes that connect, North Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas making the area a best place to live in GA.

  • Georgia Mountain Parkway: approx.- 65 miles. Via I-575 from Atlanta northward toward the Georgia Mountain Parkway. Exit Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Blairsville, Young Harris, and Hiawassee.
  • Southern Highroads Trail: approx.- 360 miles. Loops through all four states.
  • Fannin County Self-Guided Tours - Seventeen different tours- Driving. Hiking. Trout fishing.  Shopping
  • North Georgia Farm Trail- 


Tour Fannin County through the Blue Ridge Mountains for a scenic adventure on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway and transport back in time on an authentic railway system that began over 100 years ago. In 1990, after many changes of hand, bouts of inactivity, and use as a freight line, the railway system was up for sale, again, and a group of local investors decided to purchase the railway. Doing their best to preserve it, they turned it into the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway as it operates today running from Copperhill and McCaysville to downtown Blue Ridge. The train closes for the winter and will re-open in March. 


Nicknamed the "Antique Capital of Georgia", Blue Ridge has some of the most interesting antique stores you'll find. Discover unique décor crafted by folk who are inspired by the beauty of the mountains. For generations the people of Blue Ridge have undoubtedly been refining their skills and extend this knowledge to you through a series of specialty shops, galleries, boutiques and friendly faces; Blue Ridge has some wonderful treats for you during your retirement in GA. Here are some of our favorite shopping suggestions in three North Georgia cities; Copperhill, McCaysville, and Blue Ridge:

  • Blue Ridge Georgia’s Antique & Thrift Store Trail- 32 stores beginning south on highway 515, then into downtown Blue Ridge and up through McCaysville and Copperhill on highway 5.
  • High Country Arts & Antiques- eclectic art gallery featuring local artists and a wide array of median.  715 E Main St. Blue Ridge, GA 30513.
  • Multitudes Gallery- features the work of 75 worldwide hand blown glass artists and regional artists featuring iron and woodwork, jewelry, ceramic pottery, stained glass.  801 E Main St.  30513. 
  • Posh on the Main- women’s clothing. Country/ Mountain inspired.  721 E Main St. 30513.  
  • Design Refine- Mountain and country consignment décor. 146 Depot St. 30513. 
  • Pezrock- Specialty home décor shop inspired by nature’s unrelenting beauty. 524 E Main St 30513. Call:  
  • Ain’t What It Used to be- specialty shop that uses old stuff and turns it into new stuff.  304 West 1 St. 30513. Call: 706-851-7636


Consider the fact that Fannin County is just shy of 30,000 people, making the array of casual/fine dining choices in one of the best small towns in Georgia a real gem in itself. Tradition meets casual; casual introduces tradition to fine in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here are the top 5 choices we found:

  • Joe’s BBQ- 4.5 stars. BBQ/ Bar 3365 E 1st St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513.
  • Southern Charm - 4.5 stars. Southern/ Comfort/Vegetarian 244 W. Main St. Blue Ridge, GA 30513. 
  • Black Sheep -4.5 stars. Southern/ Traditional/ New. 480 W Main St. Blue Ridge, GA 30513. 
  • The Vine - 4 stars. Wine/ Tapas bar/New 632 E. Main St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513. 
  • Harvest on the Main - 4 starts. New 576 E Main St. Blue Ridge, GA 30513. 


Served up fresh from the farm is everyday life in Blue Ridge. Orchards like Mercier celebrate over 60 years of service to the Blue Ridge area by featuring the best-fried apples you ever ate and the family fun, U Pick Season that begins in May with strawberries and ends in October with apples near Big Canoe real estate. Also, beginning in May on Saturdays is The Downtown Blue Ridge Farmers Market with an eclectic mix of fresh food and handmade crafts from local towns. This adds so much fun to retirement in GA. Here is a list of local farms, markets, orchards & vineyards: 

  • Bear Creek Battle Company. 4989 Gates Chapel Road, Ellijay, GA 30540
  • Blue Ridge State Farmer’s Market. Saturday mornings in Blue Ridge City Park
  • Cartecay Vineyards. 5704 Clear Creek Road, Ellijay, GA 30536
  • Hillcrest Orchard. 9696 Georgia 52, Ellijay, GA 30536
  • Mercier Orchards. 8660 Blue Ridge Drive, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
  • Southern Tree Plantation. 2226 Owltown Road, Blairsville, GA 30512


It’s hard not to be inspired by Blue Ridge; one of the most beautiful best small towns in Georgia surrounded by mountains, living among nature and honing skills crafted from patience.  Art and entertainment are important to the city of Blue Ridge. Many events and exhibits are had throughout the year appealing to local artists, townsfolk, visitors, and, children, alike.  ere is a list of some events and art/entertainment institutions in Blue Ridge:

  • Blue Ridge Community Theatre.  2591 E 1st. St 30513.
  • The Art Center- 420 W Main St. 30513.
  • Swan Drive-in.  651 Summit St. Off Highway 55
  • Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. 1311 Music Hall Rd. Hiawassee 30546
  • Pickin’ in Horseshoe Bend Park- Casual Jam session every Thursday 6:00pm until dusk. Have a picnic, bring an instrument, enjoy the vibes.


A long time favorite for outdoorsmen, there is always something to do in the North Georgia cities. Hiking is among the finest on the Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls for a half- day adventure that is great for all level hikers. Book a horseback ride through Blairsville with A Step Above Stables for a day of travel and dinner by the campfire at night. Maybe being in the rushing whitewaters are more your style; rafting, tubing, kayaking, and fly fishing are fun things to do on the Toccoa and Ocoee River and as well as at Blue Ridge Lake. Cartecay River Experience is where to catch rent tubes and kayaks. All of this makes the region a best place to live in GA.


Grab a book and bundle up with your favorite blanket by the fireplace because relaxation is key for the folks of Blue Ridge. After a long day of fishing, hiking, shopping or however you like to spend your time, remember to relax while doing it!  

Towns like Blue Ridge stay true to their roots and in today’s fast moving world, some people find that comforting.  Whether you are exploring the trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains, eating southern favorites, or, hitching a ride into town on the old Blue Ridge Railway, the friendly faces and relaxing atmosphere will have you thanking yourself again and again. 

To learn more Big Canoe real estate and the area, ask for our free Blue Ridge Relocation Information