You know I love Blue Ridge and the whole Copper Basin area — and that’s because there is just so much to do and see in these awesome Blue Ridge mountain towns.
During my frequent visits to Blue Ridge and the surrounding area, I’ve found a few quirky and oh-so-cool places, that I’d love to share with you. These are the types of places that draw me in, and keep me coming back again and again. I know you’ll feel the same way!
PIC N VINE
Pic N Vine is in McCaysville, GA. And it’s in Copperhill, TN. Say what?!
It is so much fun for SO MANY reasons! First, the blue line delineating Georgia and Tennessee runs smack-dab through the shop!! Take hold of the “I walked the line” sign you see above, with one foot in each state, and the owner will snap your photo! Everyone will love this – from the kids to the grandparents!
Next, take in the art from the owner, Melissa Winstead. She uses kudzu to create gorgeous baskets – and you can too. Either sign up for one of her premium classes or take her mini-class right on the spot. She’ll teach you how to make the mini basket pictured above for only $5…and you get to take it home with you! You can also get dressed up, step back in time, and take a vintage photo. This souvenir shop is an amazing stop!
Head over to Aska Road and walk across the Shallowford Bridge. This steel truss bridge that crosses the Toccoa was built in 1918. I think this is the coolest thing, because the bridge forms part of the Benton MacKaye Trail!
Not only can you go over the bridge…you can go under it, too. Check out Blue Ridge Tubing for the details.
THE BORO INN
A piano, a banjo and a guitar walk into a bar…The Boro Inn as an authentic Irish pub located in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge. An Irish pub in the mountains of Blue Ridge? Yes, indeed!
The owner is a former Irish Catholic Priest…and oh the stories he can tell. There is no room for pretense here. The lighting is dark, the pours are generous, and the tales from behind the bar will have you belly rolling. Don’t miss the paintings and artifacts lining the walls…there’s even a Confessional.
They also host the Blue Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year. (It hasn’t been held recently, due to COVID concerns, though.) It is fantastic, hilarious and informal…people just show up and join the parade! The owner and a couple of his friends (The Ne’er Do Wells – lol) bring surprises every year, like the inaugural year when they walked with a lime green Shamrock Septic Service tank and threw out tootsie rolls!
MYSTIC MOUNTAIN PIZZA
If you’re looking for a quirky dinner option for your quirky tour of Blue Ridge, then head into Mystic Mountain Pizza. The vibe is straight out of Woodstock (New York – not Georgia), and you’ll find yourself wishing you had donned your tie-dye duds. No worries – check out the gift shop up front.
As for the food – there is nothing quirky going on here. It is down-right delish! The salads are perfect and huge…the pizza is amazing. The Mystic Pizza is my fave, but she always has specials going on, too. Also – unexpectedly – the hot dogs are DIVINE. She makes a Chicago dog, a New York dog, a Deep South dog…and more.
LAKE BLUE RIDGE MARINA
Even without a boat or jet ski, there are two reasons to head to the Lake Blue Ridge Marina. First, you can’t miss the great views and laid-back lake vibe of Boat Dock Bar and Grill. Grab some lunch or dinner and a few beers…it exudes everything that summer on the lake is all about.
Second, peek inside the Marina (above) and see some gems that look like they came right off an episode of American Pickers. Life-size (real, but stuffed) bears, a huge Big Boy, Ronald McDonald…and if the owner has her office door open, ask for a look inside. She collects oversized, gorgeous old-fashioned cash registers. Seriously, they will blow your mind!
TOCCOA RIVER SWINGING BRIDGE
The USFS built a 270-ft long swinging bridge in the 1970s, spanning the Toccoa. It is the longest swinging bridge this side of the Mississippi. You can take a short walk to the bridge to explore and play in the water, or if you’re a little more adventurous, plan the gorgeous 7 mile hike that originates here.
Finally, our family’s favorite way to enjoy this location is by camping here along the water’s edge. There’s no fee, and it’s first-come, first pick for your camp spots.
Have you ever gone to the zoo and wanted to take an animal home with you? Now you can! (Sorta!) The Zoo is a tongue in cheek zoo that is home to over 25 species of animals. But they’re not just any animals. These animals are artistic renditions composed of various mediums such as metal, aluminum and wood. As visitors walk around the art installation, information panels provide interesting facts about all of the animals, many of which have cartoon characteristics.
All of these unique artistic renditions may be purchased. A few of the features of The Zoo are 19-foot tall giraffes, along with recreations of bears, roosters, elephants, horses, airplanes, velociraptors, and dragons that blow smoke!
BLUE RIDGE BOOKSELLERS
Last but not least, head into Blue Ridge Booksellers on Main Street. This unassuming used bookstore is filled with unique finds. They are known for their rare historical military books, and they showcase that specialty with a display housing medals, head gear, weapons, and other 20th century war relics.
The bookstore also boasts a wine collection (bottles – not just books) with dozens of vinos from around the world.
MORE BLUE RIDGE FUN:
- CABIN RENTALS: 33 Dreamy Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals
- WHERE TO EAT: These 27 Blue Ridge Restaurants Showcase Culinary Delight In The Mountains
- SCENIC RAILWAY: Spring and Fall on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
- LAKE BLUE RIDGE: The Essentials for a Perfect Lake Blue Ridge Getaway
- ADVENTURE IN BLUE RIDGE: 50+ Best Adventurous Things To Do In Blue Ridge
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