Blue Ridge is one of my favorite mountain towns…but it might be in for some stiff competition. I recently went up for a few days to see what’s new…and WOW!
There are some new things happening in Blue Ridge (more on that in a sec) but the real news is McCaysville!! This border town is on fire with exciting changes.
Not familiar? It’s the little town at the “end” of the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad….where the layover occurs. And if you’re not riding the rails, it’s just a hop, skip and jump from Downtown Blue Ridge.
The change that you’ll probably notice most is Riverwalk Shops...this is the complex that sits on the Toccoa/Ocoee River just over the bridge (after you get off the train.) It’s received a COMPLETE facelift…with new shops and restaurants you have to see for yourself!
Start with lunch at Burra Burra — the seafood, burgers and salads are delicious! And there are specials every week (ie. deep discounts!) Try a burger on Monday, tacos on Tuesday, wings on Wednesday and oysters on Thursday!
After lunch, peruse the shops…Blue Ridge Adventure Wear, The Pasta Market, River Laurel...and new ones opening up regularly. It’s all indoors – ideal for a rainy day or a respite from the humidity.
Before you leave, grab coffee and a snack from Concetta’s Riverside (opening soon) and make dinner reservations at Cowanee if you love steaks and seafood. (Need more ideas about where to eat? Look here!)
Other new shops in McCaysville that we love include second locations of Blue Ridge Olive Oil – you MUST step in for samples and a nice loose leaf tea….and Rum Cake Lady – one of Georgia’s “100 Plates Locals Love.” You NEED a mini (or full size) rum cake and some Cuban coffee.
Across from the train you’ll find Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters, with clothing, gear and the like!
Finally – in case you haven’t been for a while, you can now find brews in McCaysville. I have an affinity for Buck Bald...it’s a renovated gas station with the perfect patio for enjoying a pint (or growler).
See what I mean? McCaysville is growing, growing, GROWING…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is more just over the border in Copperhill…more on that tomorrow!
Now, let’s talk Blue Ridge.
You know the list of why we love Blue Ridge is looonnnggg … and the hits just keep coming! This is what’s new in Blue Ridge:
Mercier Downtown has taken over the old bank building (you know, the one with a vault!) Now you can enjoy breakfast and lunch with your favorite biscuits and apple butter right in the heart of Blue Ridge.
The Cellar at Treo is right next door to the main Treo Restaurant on Main Street, and it is ideal for hanging with friends (in fact, that is exactly how I enjoyed it!) It’s a wine cellar/full bar with gorgeous woods, deep leather chairs, large TVs, and a cozy atmosphere. You sit back and enjoy your drinks with a few tapas, or order from the Treo menu like we did…incredibly delightful food in a more casual (but gorgeous) setting.
Pedago Electric Bikes is the perfect place to visit for those who want to see all that Blue ridge offers. Rent a premium or specialty bike to cycle about town OR (love this!) take to the falls! In fact, they even offer bike tours at Fall Branch Falls, the Ocoee Whitewater Trail, and more.
Finally, I was blown away with all the amazing new hotels and overnight options going up right in the middle of Downtown! So many – that are so cute – that I’m writing an entire post on that for you on Friday! Stay tuned!
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.
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