THIS IS ELLIJAY, GEORGIA

With heirloom orchards and unparalleled vineyards, exciting outdoors, and endless mountain magic, Ellijay is full of unforgettable adventures for everyone! As 2024 unfolds, Ellijay invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with adventure, discovery, and mountain magic. Whether you’re exploring lush orchards, conquering rugged trails, or immersing yourself in local culture, Ellijay promises an experience like no other. Come and discover Ellijay’s hidden gems and create memories that will last a lifetime.

AGRITOURISM

With over 22 varieties of apples harvested from June – November, Gilmer County is known as the “Apple Capital” of Georgia. Open year round, BJ Reece Orchards, is a family favorite and offers a variety of fun farm activities including a petting farm, giant farm slide, pig races, corn maze, cow milking, pony rides, and apple picking! Stop by their market and bakery for apple cider donuts, fritters, breads, and, of course, their world-famous fried pies. You can’t miss apple picking in the fall to complete your farm experience. 

The first cidery in Ellijay, Reece’s Cider Co, produces their own hard cider from freshly picked fruits at BJ Reece Orchards! Enjoy a flight of farm fresh hard ciders, and savor the Ellijay Apple, Apple Pie, Georgia Peach, and Poppy’s Pick, named after the owner’s late grandfather. 

While many of our orchards and farm markets are open year-round, fall in Ellijay is an experience you can’t miss. Happening on the second and third weekends in October, the Georgia Apple Festival brings two fun weekends and invites everyone to celebrate the harvest with a variety of events including arts and crafts exhibits, live music, and a variety of delicious apple treats.

Beyond the orchard, Ellijay is home to many farm stores that offer fresh foods, and fun activities such as petting farms, and flower picking. Ellijay Mushrooms is a family-owned sustainable farm dedicated to cultivating high quality tasty shiitake and oyster mushrooms. They have recently expanded their offerings to include the delightful experience of flower picking. Visit their farm store to build your bouquet of flowers, and purchase quality mushrooms, and purchase a souvenir to commemorate your experience!

Mountain Valley Farm Store is a family-owned farm featuring the cutest animals and Appalachian grown goods, creating the ultimate farm experience. After admiring their goats, bunnies, chickens, and sheep, make your way to their farm store to load up on butchered meats, cheeses, butter, honey, and delectable ice cream. Savor these treats with a picnic in the vines or beside a cozy fire in one of Ellijay’s charming cabins.

Explore Ellijay’s newest farm: Cress Creeks Farms, where the bounty of nature meets wholesome delights. This sheep farm offers a variety of fresh meats, local honey, irresistible baked goods, blended coffee, and Okra chips- a local favorite. Don’t miss out on the annual fall season corn maze adventure, spanning eight acres of picturesque fields, a timeless family activity brimming with laughter and joy for all ages.

In 2007, Ellijay became home to Cartecay Vineyards – Ellijay’s first vineyard! Since then, Ellijay’s wine scene has become more vibrant than ever, boasting over 15 wineries, vineyards, breweries and cideries in the area. With the infamous chimney patio, Cartecay Vineyards has several Instagram-worthy spots, perfect for a girl’s trip or romantic getaway. September comes alive at Cartecay Vineyards with Crush Fest where visitors can enjoy stomping grapes, vineyard tours, great music, food trucks, and of course, wine!

Located just four miles from Downtown Ellijay with breathtaking, pristine mountain views, is Roo Mountain Vineyards – Ellijay’s newest vineyard! Roo is your destination for comfortable luxury. Taste and savor a curated selection of wines and hard ciders, fresh from the vineyard and made by their team of experienced winemakers. After you have found the perfect glass, sit back, and enjoy the beautiful mountain views, or explore their winery, tasting room, and rooftop garden bar.

Planning a visit to Ellijay Wine Country? The Ellijay Sips Trail Mobile Pass is a free pass to guide visitors through the best of Ellijay area wineries. Earn points with every purchase and redeem for swag or enter sweepstakes for a chance to win an Ellijay getaway. Sign up to begin earning points today!

OUTDOORS

Known as the Mountain Biking Capital of Georgia, Ellijay is home to renowned mountain biking trails waiting to be explored. Cartecay Bike Shop Brewery is a full-service bike shop, offering rentals, group rides, performance gear, maps, and even a backyard bike park for all skill levels! New in 2024, Cartecay Bike Shop Brewery offers craft beer passionately micro brewed onsite.

Did you know that Ellijay serves as a gateway to the Appalachian Trail? The southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is Springer Mountain in Gilmer County! Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a memorable hike that offers breathtaking vistas and a sense of adventure that is unparalleled. Bear Creek Trail is a fun trail with creek crossings that leads to the Gennett Poplar, Georgia’s second largest tree! Tumbling Waters is one of our family favorite hiking trails located in Ellijay’s Carters Lake. This trail winds along the banks of Carters Lake and features scenic views of cascades and the North Georgia Mountains.

With three rivers, endless creeks, and Georgia’s deepest lake, Ellijay is full of opportunities to explore waterways! One of the easiest ways to experience Ellijay’s rivers is by booking an experience with a local tubing company. Cartecay River Experience allows river rats to book either a kayak or a tube, be shuttled to the inlet, and be picked up at the end of their route.

If you prefer boating, Carters Lake Marina offers a selection of boat rentals in various sizes and occupancies to fit your crew’s needs. Try your hand at fly fishing and catch largemouth bass, catfish, and more in the lakes surrounding Gilmer County. Be sure to book a guided experience with a local fly-fishing guide like Reel ’em In Guide Services to get access to some of the area’s best fishing holes.

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

Known for its breathtaking scenery, downtown area, and warm hospitality, Ellijay, Georgia has become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. However, what truly sets Ellijay apart is its vibrant festival scene, which brings the community together in celebration throughout the year. As we dive into 2024, here is a glimpse into the exciting festivals that await visitors in Ellijay this year.

Woofstock Ellijay

Get ready for a doggone good time in Downtown Ellijay as a plethora of partying pets’ promenade in apparel for a paws cause! Enjoy vendors, food trucks, and pet contests to benefit shelter animals in Gilmer County.

Georgia Mountain Needle Arts Festival

Delight in a weekend filled with vendors, enriching classes, and endless crafting inspiration. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of needle arts in the heart of Georgia’s stunning mountain scenery.

Georgia Apple Blossom Festival

Mark your calendars because the awaited Apple Blossom Festival is back and better than ever! Set to take place from May 25th to 27th, from 9-6 pm, this vibrant celebration showcases the very best in arts, crafts, and foods, offering free admission and complimentary kids’ activities. Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-time visitor, there’s something enchanting for everyone here over Memorial Day weekend.

Ellijay Farmers & Artisans Market

Are you a fan of fresh produce, unique crafts, and a vibrant community atmosphere? The Ellijay Farmers and Artisans Market is your go-to destination for a delightful experience. Running every Saturday from May through September, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, at the Gilmer County Courthouse parking lot, it’s conveniently nestled in downtown Ellijay, right behind the Downtown Ellijay Welcome Center. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to soak up the local charm and take home some treasures.

Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival

Blue Ridge Wine and Jazz Festival is bringing great music, great wines, fine art, and delicious cuisine, to beautiful Ellijay, GA. Offering a diversity of wines from around the world and the local area, enjoy delicious food prepared locally while listening to top jazz performers also from the region.

Ellijay Bacon Fest

Get ready for sizzling excitement at the 3rd Annual Ellijay Bacon Fest! Indulge in mouthwatering bacon-themed dishes, groove to live music, join in the bacon eating contest, and enjoy a variety of games and activities. Best of all, your participation supports a great cause, benefiting the Gilmer Community Food Pantry.

Georgia Apple Festival

Join us on October 12-13, and 19-20 for the Georgia Apple Festival! In its 53rd year, this Arts & Crafts festival features over 300 vendors bringing you the South’s finest handmade goods, festival food, and apple goodies. The countdown is officially on for the most anticipated festival in North Georgia.

Apple Arts Festival

This sister festival is located behind the Downtown Ellijay Welcome Center and adds fun arts & crafts and food to the downtown scene on the same times and dates as the Georgia Apple Festival. Apple Arts is pet-friendly, accessible, and admission is free!

Holiday Lights of Ellijay

Get ready to be dazzled by the magic of the season as Holiday Lights of Ellijay returns. Watch as the town comes alive with an enchanting display of shimmering lights, festive decorations, and heartwarming festivities for all. Join us in celebrating the spirit of the holidays and creating cherished memories at Holiday Lights of Ellijay!

Light Up Ellijay

As the holiday season approaches, the charming town of Ellijay transforms into a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, festive decorations, and heartwarming community spirit. Light Up Ellijay 2024 promises to be a magical experience for locals and visitors alike. From enchanting displays to joyful events, here’s a guide to what you absolutely can’t miss at this year’s celebration.

Downtown Light Nights

Experience the enchantment of the holiday season with the inaugural Downtown Night Lights! As you stroll through the festive streets of Downtown Ellijay, adorned with a dazzling array of festive lights, you’ll be immersed in the spirit of Christmas. Twinkling lights adorn storefronts, and trees, creating a magical atmosphere that’s perfect for a leisurely evening walk. Whether you’re seeking a romantic outing or a family-friendly activity, the walking tour promises an unforgettable holiday experience for all.

DOWNTOWN ELLIJAY

Begin your journey in North Georgia in Downtown Ellijay, where charming boutiques, antique shops, and eateries line the Square waiting to be explored. Discover the latest trendy pieces at Rustic Roots Boutique and Beauty Barre or peruse the eclectic offerings at Little Apple Mercantile and Antiques on Main to go treasure hunting. While strolling through Downtown Ellijay for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, don’t miss the chance to participate in the Ellijay Antiques Trail—an opportunity not only for fun antiquing but also for winning exciting prizes!

When you visit, don’t forget to bring your furry friends on your trip to Ellijay- a pet-friendly paradise, with a plethora of pet-friendly activities. After hiking one of Ellijay’s trails, strolling through a riverside park, and walking through the vines, bring your pet to Downtown Ellijay. For pet pampering, schedule a visit to Pets on Main for grooming services before hitting the town. Along with pet-friendly patios to enjoy dining with your friendly companion, enjoy shopping at Mountain Hounds – a pet boutique specializing in nutrition for dogs and cats alike, Mountain Hounds offers bird supplies and pet-related gifts.

After a leisurely day in Downtown Ellijay, there are a variety of dining options to choose from that will fill all cravings. For authentic Southern cuisine, Cantaberry Restaurant offers homemade soups like tomato basil, chicken and wild rice, and a popular Rueben, and comforting chicken salad. The Roof of Ellijay is a rooftop restaurant and bar offering gourmet Southern dishes while overlooking the picturesque town square. While the Roof’s impressive menu features exquisite steaks and regionally caught fish, you can’t go wrong with their signature bologna sliders. For International cuisine, The Shack of Ellijay is an Asian fusion restaurant serving Birria Ramen, a twist on the classic chicken noodle soup.

Along with a variety of dining establishments, Ellijay offers many tasting rooms serving Ellijay wine. Cartecay Wine & Craft is a tasting room of Cartecay Vineyards’ serving local wine and craft beer. Support talented artists at 29 North‘s unique tasting room and art gallery, Downtown Ellijay’s newest tasting room addition, where wine and art unite.

APPALACHIAN GOTHIC

Explore the unsolved! For those intrigued by the mysterious and the unknown, a visit to EXPEDITION: Bigfoot! is an absolute must. Dive into the cryptids world as you explore the museum dedicated to the legendary creature known as Bigfoot. With exhibits featuring the country’s largest permanent display of footprint casts, life-size and interactive displays, and even a Sasquatch theater, this immersive experience is sure to spark your curiosity and ignite your sense of adventure. Don’t forget to pick up exclusive souvenirs and other one-of-a-kind items to commemorate your experience. Who knows, you may just leave believing in the existence of the elusive Sasquatch!

Explore local galleries and studios, or even check out Gilmer Arts to see if a show or concert is happening while you are in town! Those looking to showcase their artistic skills can even book a sip and paint party at BEAU-tiful Creations painting class together. If you love cozy home decorations, consider booking a time slot at Color My Nest where your whole crew can pick your own bird houses and decorate them to your hearts’ content.