Mountain Living Part Three


Ellen here again, with reasons why I love living where I do…and reasons for you to visit.

This time, I’m covering things to do with your family. My kids have flown the nest but at some point, I hope they give me grandchildren. I want to be able to have fun with them apart from my house and garden!

Right down the road from me is Mercier Orchards. They’ve been around since 1943 and are into their fourth generation of management! Like fruit? They grow not only apples (and lots of varieties) but strawberries and blackberries, too. When the season is right, they have U-Pick days where you can go harvest your own fruit. I do this without children – picking my own is so much more satisfying than grabbing a pint at the grocer’s. Around Halloween, they have hayrides, as well as other special events like outdoor concerts. Don’t forget to visit the store (either at the orchard or their satellite store in downtown Blue Ridge) for fruit, baked goods, and other scrumptious items.

Not just for children, there’s the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Starting from the historic rail station in downtown Blue Ridge, the train chugs from there, along the Toccoa River, and up to McCaysville. They have docents on board who will give you a little history of the area as you ride. The thirteen mile ride takes about an hour and is so relaxing! Once in McCaysville, you get a couple of hours to shop and eat before making the return trip.

Then there’s Expedition Bigfoot. If you drive up from Atlanta, you’ll see it on the highway before reaching Blue Ridge. It’s a museum and research facility devoted to Bigfoot and the legends. I haven’t been there, yet, but I understand it’s fascinating stuff.

For the adventurous, there’s a company that provides helicopter tours of the area. Not only would your kids get to ride in a helicopter, you can view the area from a truly unique perspective.

Finally, a treat from my childhood: a drive-in theater! The Swan Drive-In is one of only four left in Georgia and a little over three hundred nationwide (at this writing). They usually have double features, unless they’re showing a blockbuster new movie, in which case it’s only one. They have a concession stand, but you can bring your own popcorn and drinks, too. It’s a relaxing way to be outdoors under the stars and yet have something to entertain the youngsters.

Until next time…



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