Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

I have a thing for visiting the mountains, the scenic views, the fresh, brisk air, and the laid-back atmosphere. So the mountains continue to call my name to return for a relaxing getaway.


I wanted to go somewhere that I hadn't visited before for my birthday, but of course, somewhere in the mountains where I could take a day trip.


I did some searching and came across the Blue Ridge Mountains, just 90 miles away from Atlanta and a little over one hour and 30 minutes from where I live.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


Downtown Blue Ridge is a thriving mountain town community of restaurants, shops, art centers, and the historic Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a heritage railroad in the foothills of northern Georgia.  The family-friendly train takes you on an adventure along the Toccoa River through the North Georgia countryside.


The journey starts at the historic depot in downtown Blue Ridge. Then, passengers are taken on a round-trip four-hour, 26-mile train ride with a two-hour layover at the Stateline of Georgia and Tennessee in MCCaysville, GA, and Copperhill, TN.


I have never been on a real train before and wanted to experience it for the first time.  So, I booked tickets for my girls and me over the phone. (You can book online as well)


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


There are three different seating options, premier coach, open-air car, and closed coach.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Premier Coach- Premier coach is for riders ages 18+, which features air-conditioning, reclining seats, served a small meal and dessert freshly made that morning, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, a complimentary group photo, and a canvas tote bag.  Plus, they have the option to get snacks from the concession stand inside the train. There is also access to the restroom. I would have chosen this option if my daughters were older.  


Open-Air Car- Open-air car is for those that want an up-close look at the mountain scenery. You'll get to feel and breathe in the light mountain breeze throughout the ride as if you're outside along the countryside.  The seating is bench-style, facing the two open windows.  This option works best for those with cameras wanting to take the perfect shot.  Also, you have access to the concession stand and bathroom.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


Closed Coach- Closed Coach is for those who would like to be indoors, similar to the premier coach.  The seating is padded and arranged in a group of four.  It's spaced out for plenty of legroom to fit your legs and cargo.  It's perfect for families and large groups wanting a more peaceful ride while enjoying the views through the windows.  The closed coach is also air-conditioned with access to the concession stand and restrooms.  We chose this option because it was a chilly morning, and Michelle had forgotten her jacket.  We had tickets for the open-air car at first and switched.  The change fee was only five dollars and some change.


The ticket cost varies throughout the year (prices start at $40), being more during the popular fall and winter months.  The views are spectacular during the fall months due to the foliage changes, and during the winter months, the train turns into the Polar Express!


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway 

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


While on the train, of course, we got to see the countryside and river, plus see the beautiful homes, cabins, and friendly, smiling people were waving at us as we passed through.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


And our car attendant was a pleasure, too, cracking corny jokes to liven the mood throughout the ride.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


When we got to our destination for the two-hour layover, my first thought of the twin cities, downtown Copperhill, TN and McCaysville, GA, seemed like a tiny, tight-knit town where everyone who lives there knows each other.

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


Downtown is a walkable town with plenty of shops and dining to visit during the two-hour stop.  The train gives everyone a map and a list of attractions to see while in town.


Everyone seemed to walk to the Riverwalk Shops first, so we followed everyone else. I'm glad we did because there were a couple of specialty shops, Afrika Corner and Meraki Souq, that we loved and got ourselves some International treats from South Africa and the Middle East.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


The Riverwalk Shops Mall has a few dining places too.  We dropped in Burra Burra on the River for lunch; however, the service was slow, so we walked out due to no one taking our order.  I didn't want to waste time because our two hours were quickly dwindling down.


Instead, we found a hole-in-the-wall Mexican Restaurant that had faster service, plus great food.  We should have gone to this place from the beginning. 


After shopping and lunch, we shopped again at a thrift store.  Lauren loves thrifting; there are always fabulous, rare finds to seek.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


Those two hours go by fast; honestly, I wish we had another hour or two to explore more.  Looks like we'll need to catch another train ride again!


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


Before the train ride is over, you get a choice to have your picture taken for $20. But, of course, photos are free with the premier couch.


After our round trip was over, we toured downtown Blue Ridge.  Such a lovely mountain town with a lot of things to do there.  


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


So many shops had me spending all my cash!  I loved the clothing stores since I enjoy the southern girl styles, and there were plenty of those kinds of stores to choose from.


Just like Helen and Dahlonega, Blue Ridge Mountains is now on my list of day escapes from the noise of city life.


Take a Train Ride through the Foothills of Northern Georgia: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway


Make sure to check out Blue Ridge Scenic Railway and book your next train ride!



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