Your Mode of Transit: A Steam Train
Seeing the scenery is just one reason to take the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway (877/413-8724)–the train also visits the charming towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee, along the way. If it's lunchtime when you arrive in McCaysville, make your first stop Georgia Boy BBQ (706/964-6336) for some of the area's best ribs, baked beans, and coleslaw, seasoned with a little pineapple. After lunch, head west down Toccoa Avenue. When its name changes to Ocoee Street, you're in Tennessee. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring both towns' shops and art galleries. Watch Rip Mann create hand-carved wooden works of art in his Handhewn Bowls at Christmas is Here! shop (423/496-1166) in Copperhill, or browse the decorative trout-fishing flies at J&M Trout Flyz in McCaysville before boarding the train and heading back to Blue Ridge, Georgia.
More Local Color
On October 23, the train leaves Blue Ridge for Farmer Brown's Pumpkin Patch, where you can pick your own. Tickets are $18 per person (ages 2 and up).
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway trips leave from the Blue Ridge Depot, 241 Depot St., Blue Ridge, Georgia. The trips fill up fast, so reservations are strongly recommended. Call 877/413-8724 for departure times. For more information on McCaysville and Copperhill, visit ocoeeinfo.com.