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Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

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Franklin, Tennessee
posts: 23
Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

We are staying on the north side of Atlanta and plan to drive out to Cleveland, GA to take our girls to the Cabbage Patch Kids Home. We are then heading to downtown Blue Ridge. I was mapping the route, and it looks quite curvy through the mountains. I have a Honda CR-V, can anyone tell me if this is a safe drive? I just want to be sure it is a normal road, etc. It says it is an hour away. Just want to be sure we will be safe with 2 little ones on board :-)

Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
posts: 4,274
reviews: 69
1. Re: Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

Yes, very safe. The roads can be curvy but not a problem at all.

Franklin, Tennessee
posts: 23
2. Re: Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

Thank you! I was born and raised in Illinois, so the mountains are new to me. I am used to straight, flat terrain. I love the mountains, but when I mapped the route, it looked like we were in the middle of nowhere for awhile, but there are towns along the way. I was just looking for a response for someone who has done it to make sure we weren't venturing into an off road area :-)

Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
posts: 4,274
reviews: 69
3. Re: Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

No, not at all. The roads are curvy but you aren't in the middle of nowhere. And the people are some of the nicest people you'll ever want to meet. I have a place up in the mountains and lived there fulltime for a while, and have all sorts of stories about people helping others out. I feel safer up there than I do in the city, by far. A LOT of people from Atlanta, southern Georgia and Florida have second homes up there and many telecommute from home offices. The hospitals are staffed with semi-retired experts from the best hospitals in Atlanta. You may FEEL like you are in the middle of nowhere - but you aren't. Relax and enjoy yourself. If you want suggestions of things to see along the way, just let us know.

Franklin, Tennessee
posts: 23
4. Re: Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

I would LOVE suggestions! We plan to do the Cabbage Patch Place around 10 or 11 and then hit the road towards Blue Ridge. Let me know if there is a good place to stop for lunch and anything else along the way that would be fun for the kids. They are young, 5 and 2. We aren't in a hurry to get to Blue Ridge, so we are happy to explore along the way. Is it fair to say it is about 1.5 hours for that drive?

Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
posts: 4,274
reviews: 69
5. Re: Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

That's about right for the drive. If you stop and see other sites it can easily double that amount of time - but it's one of the prettiest areas of the country (seriously). If you are coming from Alpharetta, etc. via 400, continue on north on Long Branch Road. After a few miles you'll reach a stop sign. Turn right on 115 and go into Cleveland. Just about a mile before the city limits, look to the right for an old log cabin. I LOVE this place. Hearts and Flowers Primitives. A good place to stop and stretch your legs if nothing else. Just a great little shop http://heartsandflowersprimitives.com/

In Cleveland you'll find Babyland General in the old hospital. It's fun and you're great to take your girls on a tour through the cabbage patch.

I highly recommend a stop at Mark of the Potter on 197N after you leave Cleveland. It's an old grist mill. It's a pottery store. It's a working pottery - and they usually have a potter on the wheel. It's on the river and one of the best photo ops anywhere. BUT your girls will LOVE feeding the GIANT trout from the porch over the river. Take some quarters to buy some fish food. It's a great stop - http://www.markofthepotter.com/

Continue on north of 197 towards Lake Burton. It's a very curvy road. If you're lucky there will be a little bit of water running over the road at the "dip". When you get to Batesville (and Batesville General store) you'll be driving past some of Ted Turner's ranch land (most of it is in Montana but he owns quite a bit in Georgia). I really think this is one of the prettiest drives in the state. Stop for lunch at LaPrades. The famous old restaurant burned some years ago but there's a beautiful new waterside restaurant overlooking Lake Burton and the marina. Eat on the 2nd floor pavillon restaurant. Your kids should enjoy it. If you had more time you could rent a boat and take it out on the lake for a few hours. lapradesmarina.com/26/index.php… lapradesmarina.com/26/data/files/lakesidegri…

If you continue on north on 197, you'll reach Hwy 76 and you can head west to Blue Ridge. If you still want more detours, two of my favorite things for kids are to the east, so will add some time to your trip. Kids of all ages love Goats on the Roof in Tiger GA. Yes, it's a tourist stop...but it's goats...on the roof http://www.goats-on-the-roof.com/Welcome.html If you cut over to Hwy 441 and go south for just a little bit you'll reach Tallulah Gorge State Park at Tallulah Falls. It's a great place for a rim view walk - on paths made of the cushy recycled tire material. DON'T try the steps down to the gorge. You don't have time and it's a strenuous walk. But the walk along the rim is easy and gorgeous. http://www.gastateparks.org/TallulahGorge John Travolta and Robert De Niro just finished filming an action adventure movie there and at Black Rock Mountain State Park (a bit further north). Head back to the cute little town of Clayton to get back on 76 west IF you took this detour.

There is another Goats on the Roof in Helen GA. I avoid Helen because I'm not a fan of the kitsch and the traffic. One stop I love in the area is the Old Sautee Store. I've been a fan since Girl Scout days (went to camp in the area when I was little). http://www.oldsauteestore.com/

Not sure if any of the above will be of interest or if you want to spend the time, but they are time-honored favorites in that area of the mountains. Have fun whatever you decide to do!

Edited: 12:21 am, April 02, 2012
Gainesville, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Gainesville
posts: 4,697
reviews: 370
6. Re: Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

piece of cake enjoy!

7. Re: Driving from Cleveland GA to Blue Ridge

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