Today we wanted to reminisce on a special time that we spent two years ago, before welcoming baby Charlie to the family. In January of 2020 (in our last few minutes pre-COVID) we took a last minute babymoon in the mountains of Blue Ridge, Georgia! We were so excited for our little Charlie to be here, but we needed some adult time away before we had two kiddos on our hands (and now we have three!).
Jordan’s parents were kind enough to offer to watch Parker for a long weekend, so we headed off on Friday morning for a quick flight to Atlanta and then a short drive north to Blue Ridge.
We arrived around noon and couldn’t check into our VRBO cabin until about 4pm, so we drove through the town and then stopped at Mercier Orchards for some cider tasting (for Jordan) and to pick up some of their famous apple cider doughnuts for breakfast the next morning.
Mercier Orchards is a family-owned apple orchard started back in 1943. They have a large market store, tasting room, bakery, and cafe, and we spent an hour or so wandering through the store and checking out all the goodies they had for sale.
Then we headed into the tasting room to check out their hard ciders. Jordan had a flight of four hard ciders, and I had a small taste of each.
From left to right we had the Black Bee, Adele’s Choice, Grumpy Granny, and Sneaky Jack. Mercier Orchards’ descriptions:
- Black Bee – Arkansas Black apples with a touch of clover honey that adds a great smooth back note.
- Adele’s Choice – A crisp dry traditional cider, lightly tart, made from the first apple harvested. Named for our founder, Adele Mercier.
- Grumpy Granny – Made from Granny Smith apples, dry cider with a strong tart apple flavor.
- Sneaky Jack – A hard cider aged in bourbon barrels for a nice rich flavor.
We both found the Black Bee to be extremely tart. Adele’s Choice was also fairly tart, but slightly more drinkable. Grumpy Granny was Jordan’s favorite, and tasted fairly close to your average hard cider. Sneaky Jack was my favorite, much less carbonated due to the aging and with a very sweet bourbon flavor that reminded us of Kentucky.
The orchards aren’t the prettiest this time of year, but the scenery was still pretty great.
After the apple orchard we headed back to Blue Ridge to kill some time wandering around the shops. We checked out Blue Ridge Adventure Wear (we love their dog logo!), Blue Ridge Cotton Company (great t-shirts!), Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company, and Lavender’s Blue Boutique (adorable children’s clothing).
By this time we were able to head towards our cabin, so we drove back towards Cherry Log and checked in. Our cabin was super cute, and a great find for under $100 per night!
We chilled out at the cabin for a little while, enjoying the lovely warm fireplace and coziness, and then headed back into town for dinner at Harvest on Main. Our table wasn’t quite ready when we arrived, so we headed down to the bar to hang out. Jordan got a glass of the 1000 Stories Zinfandel, which is usually my favorite. He let me share a tiny amount (since we’re relaxing this weekend!).
Harvest on Main has some of the best reviews in Blue Ridge, and they definitely lived up to their reputation. We started off with the PEI Mussels and the Mediterranean Sampler, and Jordan had a glass of the Elouan Pinot Noir. He raved about the flavors in the mussel broth, and the garlicky hummus on the sampler was to die for. For dinner I had the Pasta Puttanesca, which was loaded with olives and capers, just how I like it. Jordan had the Smoked Duroc Bone-in Pork Chop, which was served with mashed potatoes and collard greens. He said the pork chop was good, but the potatoes and greens were great, especially mixed together. We shared the apple bread pudding for dessert.
After dinner we were feeling really full and exhausted from our early start that morning, so we headed back to the cabin to go to bed early.
Saturday morning we slept in (such a nice treat!) and once we were up and moving headed south to the town of Ellijay to get some coffee at the Ellijay Coffeehouse. While it looks like a hole in the wall, this coffee house was super cute and reminded us of some of the places we used to frequent in college. The coffee was delicious as well! I had a sugar-free vanilla latte and Jordan had a caramel latte.
After savoring our coffees, we got back on the road to head towards the Toccoa Swinging Bridge in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The 270 foot long bridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi, according to the Blue Ridge Chamber of Commerce. We braved the sub-40 temperatures and a brisk hike in the pouring rain to view the famous bridge.
It was an impressive sight!
Our next stop was the Bavarian town of Helen, which had lots of rainy day activities for us. On the way we passed a marshmallow farm #dadjokeoftheyear
We had a late lunch at Hofer’s Bakery and Cafe, where Jordan tried the bratwurst on a pretzel roll and I had the potato pancakes. From there we wandered the small town, staying out of the rain by ducking into the many shops along the way.
Our favorites included the Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen, where we picked up some chocolate covered marzipan and Bavarian creme truffles, and the Alpine Olive Tree, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar store and tasting room. The town was really cute and a bit reminiscent of Fredericksburg, Texas, where my parents used to take us when I was a kid.
After spending a few hours in Helen, we headed back to the cabin to get cleaned up for dinner.
We made reservations for dinner our second evening at The Black Sheep in Blue Ridge, and it’s a good thing we did because this place was hopping. We started out with the fried calamari, and in an effort to try local beverages Jordan ordered the Scensation from Grumpy Old Men Brewing (Blue Ridge, GA), and we split a glass of the Mulderbosch Faithful Hound red blend. The red blend was delicious!
We turned in reasonably early after dinner as we planned a nice hike for the next morning.
Our last day in Georgia, we headed out to Amicalola Falls State Park. The round trip hike up to the falls and back down was just under 3 miles. It was a long climb though! I definitely recommend doing the stairs on the way down as walking up the incline is a bit easier.
We picked up a t-shirt for Parker in the gift shop before heading back for our last visit to the cabin and catching our flight home. We really enjoyed this quick trip and can’t wait for our next one!