Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Ellijay, GA

  • Published 2022/06/12

You might have been to Georgia’s big cities, but have you checked out Ellijay?

If not, you’re missing out on a lot.

The city has many tricks up its sleeves.

You probably already know about Georgian peaches, but have you heard of Ellijay’s special apples?

Besides Ellijay’s local delicacies, its waterfalls and the rivers look like they were taken straight out of a painting.

The Amicalola Falls State Park has some of the best hiking options for adventure lovers, too.

Sound interesting to you?

Find out more through this list of the best things to do in Ellijay, Georgia:

Take a Walk around Downtown

Aerial view of Downtown Ellijay

Tamparitus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ellijay is a mountain town, and life here is exciting on a different level.

To know more about the local flavors and tastes, you need to take a walk around the liveliest part of town: the downtown area.

The downtown area is always in high spirits.

All kinds of events or festivals are held here throughout the year.

Regardless of when you come to visit, you’ll see many people downtown.

There are a lot of souvenir shops where they sell beautiful and locally made art and crafts—handmade soaps are among Ellijay’s local specialties.

You can also enjoy a freshly prepared meal at one of the many restaurants that line the area.

Taste Ellijay’s Local Fruits

Since Ellijay is a mountain town, their local fruits are juicy and of the best quality.

You can find many orchards on your way to Ellijay and even around town.

You must have already heard about Georgian peaches—you can try some of those here.

Ellijay also holds an Apple Festival every year.

The city has the perfect setting for orchards, as the weather is favorable and the soil is excellent.

There are a lot of orchards that allow tours.

You can join one of them and check out their specialties.

Did you know that these orchards also make delicious fruit-based desserts like pies and ice cream?

When in Ellijay, visit an orchard and eat to your heart’s content!

Enjoy the Rivers of Ellijay

The waters of Coosawattee River

Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The name Ellijay literally means “many waters.”

So, you can expect to have some fun in the water here.

There are three major rivers in Ellijay: Ellijay River, Coosawattee River, and Cartecay River.

These three are the city’s main attractions.

People training on Cartecay River

Brian McInturff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The best thing to do in the rivers is to glide along.

The Ellijay waters are incredibly refreshing.

There are no strong currents here, so you can sit back and float down the river.

Tubing is one of the best river activities in Ellijay!

Stay in Town During the Lovely Apple Festival

Many of you might not know that peaches aren’t the only fruits that rule Ellijay.

The city is famous worldwide for its apples—it’s actually considered the Apple Capital of Georgia!

Ellijay has hosted Georgia’s annual Apple Festival since 1971.

A lot of locals come to sell their delicious apple-flavored goodies here every year.

But that’s not all—many artists come to perform, and there’s always a parade, too!

If you are in town during October, you might get to enjoy this quirky festival.

Check Out the Local Gilmer County Fair

If you are not in town for the Apple Festival, Ellijay has another festival just for you.

Similar to a carnival, the Gilmer County Fair is one of the best events in all of Georgia.

The famous Ellijay Lions Club hosts this festival to raise funds.

The fair is packed with games and exciting activities.

You and your family will surely enjoy it.

There are a lot of rides here, along with food stalls selling delicious food.

Enjoy the Scenes at Carters Lake

Sunset at Carter’s Lake

Theron Stripling III /

Ellijay is home to some of the most beautiful rivers and lakes.

The lakes draw a lot of attraction, and Carter’s Lake is the most prominent among the Ellijay Lakes.

Aerial view of Carters Lake

ScottyJ3785 /

With the Blue Ridge Mountains as its backdrop, the lake offers some of the best sceneries.

There is no other reservoir as deep as this one in the city.

You can go fishing in the clear waters.

Shop at the Local Farmers’ Market

Are you looking to shop for organic produce?

The local farmers’ market, Ellijay Farmers Market, is one of the best places to visit in the morning and look for some fresh products.

The market has a lot of vendors from all over the town.

They set up stalls and sell homemade goodies.

If you plan on dropping by in the morning, try not to eat anything before you go there, as breakfast stalls sell freshly-made waffles and pancakes.

The market doesn’t operate during the winter season, but you can check out the New Ground Market if you are here during those months.

Go Camping Ellijay-Style

Camping is fun to do anywhere, but Ellijay is a particularly excellent place to enjoy this activity, but the locals like to call it glamping.

Elatse’Yi is the ideal place to check out if you want to go camping Ellijay-style.

Not many people know about this spot as it’s one of the city’s hidden gems.

The ambiance here is beautiful, and it’s filled with natural treats.

When you’re here, make sure to watch the sunset and try to stay up to catch the beautiful stars in the night sky.

Admire Some Art at Gilmer Arts

Gilmer Arts is one of the finest art galleries in Ellijay.

If you are looking forward to appreciating some of the works of art in the city, this might be the best location for you.

They offer educational classes and workshops on water painting and oil painting.

They have got some of the experts teaching.

They even hold a lot of exhibitions throughout the year, where they feature works of local talents.

Go Wine Tasting

Cartecay vineyard at Ellijay

AnanaMarley /

There are many luxurious things to enjoy in Ellijay, and wines are one of them.

Some of the best Georgian vineyards are located in Ellijay.

Want to take a break from sightseeing?

Or perhaps you have some extra time on your hands?

The most relaxing way to enjoy those is to head over to a fantastic winery, join a vineyard tour, and taste their lovely wines.

Some wineries even have in-house restaurants, so you can enjoy a fancy dinner while sipping on their wines.

Try Out Kayaking on Cartecay River

Cartecay River has some great kayaking options that you do not want to miss out on.

If you want to try out canoeing or kayaking, Ellijay is the best place to enjoy these activities.

The waters are incredibly calm and provide some excellent views.

If you go kayaking, you’ll get a surreal view of the river and the shorelines.

Learn about History at Tabor House & Civil War Museum

Are you interested to know more about America’s Civil War history?

Tabor House & Civil War Museum can surely help you.

The museum is located in an old house that has experienced some of the peaks in history.

Did you know this is one of the oldest museums in town?

Ellijay is a place of historical significance, and Tabor House & Civil War Museum makes it better.

They have an impressive book collection filled with important stories on the local history.

Do check out the museum and learn about all the things that helped shape Ellijay.

Have a Retreat at Mulberry Gap – Adventure Basecamp

Bike trail at Mulberry Gap

mick ferraro /

For thrill-seekers and nature-lovers, the Cohutta Wilderness Resort is a paradise.

Mulberry Gap is a great option if you’re looking for a tranquil spot in Ellijay.

You may get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and relax in this peaceful haven surrounded by spectacular surroundings.

Even better, guests at the resort may enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities such as swimming, bicycling, and hiking just outside their door.

The resort’s famous breakfast will get your day off to a great start.

Try out the local outdoor activities for a few hours after that.

After a long day of outdoor adventures, wind down at the resort’s campground with friends old and new.

Go Fruit Picking at B.J. Reece Orchards

This family-run orchard, located in the stunning North Georgia Mountains, is open from July to December.

Visiting B.J. Reece Orchards in Ellijay with children is a definite must-do.

There’s a U-pick orchard here, but there are plenty of other family-friendly features.

Fried apple pies and other freshly baked treats are also on the menu.

This orchard has apple cannons, a corn maze, pony rides, and petting zoos to keep you entertained for hours.

Enjoy a choice of delectable desserts, like apple cider donuts, slushies, coconut fried pies, and coffee and tea.

Have a Family Day at Mountain Valley Farm

This property has been in the same family since 1840 and is located in the beautiful Clear Creek Valley.

Ellijay’s Mountain Valley is one of Ellijay’s lesser-known attractions.

Ellijay’s rural life may be seen here in all its glory, with various farm animals roaming freely.

There’s a strawberry cheesecake shop and an ice cream parlor on-site.

Meet Elsie, the milk cow, and Old Red, the horse, who live on the farm.

For a pleasant experience, recline on the porch overlooking the green hillside meadows and cherry trees.

Swing Your Club at Whitepath Golf Course

The 18-hole course, which is open to the public, was beautifully designed by Rocky Roquemore and Joe Lee.

Whitepath is a golfer’s paradise.

It has been drawing golfers for decades because of its undulating landscape and stunning vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Then there’s the fact that it’s complicated.

Play a game of golf in the mountains and enjoy it to the fullest.

You may also practice your swinging at this school if you’re a beginner.

Grab a Souvenir from Ellijay Marketplace

Vintage products and bargains may be found at the Northside Square market, open on the weekends.

The Ellijay, GA weekend market is an essential part of any list of things to do in Ellijay.

This flea market, vendor co-op, and auction house have many things.

In addition, I can assure you that this market is chock-full of bargains.

Shop to your heart’s delight without hurting your wallet at this marketplace.

Handmade lace, home furnishings, vintage apparel, artwork, and antique furniture are some of the good finds featured here.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Check Out Amicalola Falls State Park

Majestic view of Amicalola Falls State Park

JayL /

Ellijay is like the gateway to Amicalola Falls State Park.

A trip to Ellijay without visiting this park is incomplete, so make sure to add this spot to your itinerary.

It isn’t exactly in Ellijay, but it’s about a 20-minute drive away from the city.

Amicalola Falls State Park is vast and almost has 830 acres of land.

Did you know that Amicalola means “tumbling waters”?

Welcome sign of Amicalola Falls State Park

Jason Sponseller /

The falls at this park are indeed a sight for sore eyes.

There is also a lodge resort inside, and there are tons of ways by which you can have fun.

You can go zip lining here, too.

The scenes and adventure options are excellent.

You might even want to stay for a whole weekend!

Forest trail at Amicalola Falls State Park

TaylorMorgan97 /

Final Thoughts

Aside from a plethora of orchards and wineries, lake and hiking paths await you in Ellijay, Georgia.

Experience Ellijay, the outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true in North Georgia.

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