Ellijay Enhanced By Downtown Renaissance

Monday, September 23, 2019 - by Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce

"Georgia's Apple Capital" is known for its natural sweetness. Between the many orchards, rows of peaks and valleys, and its three flowing rivers, Ellijay provides a breathtaking outdoor escape for city visitors.

While its beauty may take centerstage, Ellijay is further enhanced by its newly updated downtown. Stroll through the brick laid sidewalks and you'll notice familiar favorites, along with freshly added storefronts, all raising the retail bar. You'll hear the changes, too. Live music fills the mountain air, heightening this already elevated destination's appeal. 80 miles north of Atlanta and 65 miles east of Chattanooga, getting to Ellijay is as simple as it is enchanting. Shop, dine and revel in this downtown renaissance.

What's new
First stop--the brand new Downtown Welcome Center! This historic and freshly renovated home invites you in to get a feel for the city you are about to explore. It's located at 10 Broad Street in the heart of Downtown. Before you leave, be sure to take a picture with the giant apple! If scrapbooking or Instagram is your thing--this is also a great time to snap a photograph of Ellijay's famous Coca-Cola mural for a photo keepsake. Facebook.com/EllijayWelcomeCenter

Step into a modern-day general store at Live the Trail. This unique spot in downtown Ellijay is full of one-of-a-kind handmade and homemade items all with a natural vibe. Need a gift for the camper, hiker, mountain biker or trail runner in your life? At Live the Trail, you will find the most ingenious and practical items for the outdoorsman or woman on your list. Also shop home décor, jewelry and more at this adventure inspired shop where all items are either made in the USA or through Fair Trade. LiveTheTrail.com

Looch and Quiqley is the mountain town boutique experience you've been searching for. Shop witty graphic tees, cute coffee mugs, handmade jewelry, leather goods, locally made candles, imported soaps, handcrafted hot sauces, fun trucker hats and a variety of other gems. Find the perfect gift or treat yourself at this adorably fun shop. Facebook.com/LoochAndQuigley

Take time to explore Artful Ellijay. This family-owned and -operated business helps patrons turn their homes into the restful retreats they deserve. Shop chic and purposeful metal art, wall décor, lighting, home accents, accessories and furniture. This cozy storefront gets creative juices flowing, inspiring visitors with unique pieces for the home. Psst! Don't miss the Instagram-worthy photo opportunity outside the building. Kelsey Montague, made famous by her stunning wing mural in Nashville, Tennessee, created a whimsical balloon painting outside Artful Ellijay. Strike a pose and keep this memory alive for years to come. ArtfulEllijay.com

Downtown Ellijay is known for its friendly vibe and that hospitality is also extended to friends of the furry variety. Whether bringing Fido to Ellijay or just bringing him home a special treat, sniff out Paws & Claws and Mountain Hounds for the perfect gifts and accessories he will shake his tail over. If your furry one needs a little sprucing, stop by Pets On Main for a full-service grooming experience.

Rest tired feet at The Willows of Ellijay Day Spa. Upon entering this serene oasis, the focus is on pampering and relaxation. Choose from a variety of massages, facials and enhancements. Butlers are on-hand to assist with refreshments or any needs during a stay. TheWillowsOfEllijay.com

Familiar favorites
The great outdoors is the heart of Ellijay. Don't leave without stopping by mother nature inspired staples. Ellijay is the "Bike Capital of Georgia" with over 50 trails and growing. With over 45 years of experience, Cartecay Bike Shop will get you up and cycling with a new bike to bring home or a rental for your stay. CartecayBikes.com

Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters motto is, "There is no bad weather, only bad gear." Gear up properly for outdoor needs, including kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping and everyday fashionable clothing. BlueRidgeMountainOutfitters.com

A trip to Downtown Ellijay isn't complete without a stop in Mountain Treasures. Eyes light up when gazing at elegant rustic furnishings, ladies' apparel, Kavu bags, Sanuk sandals, jewelry, scented candles, local art and very unusual finds. Don't leave without a free local wine tasting! Facebook.com/DowntownEllijayGA

Antique lovers will enjoy perusing longstanding finds inside Antiques on North Main. Charles and Frances Reddick import beautiful English furniture, fine porcelain and majolica potter, flow blue china, stained glass, old bottles and tools. Also, shop estate jewelry and rustic finishes for your home. Facebook.com/AntiquesOnNorthMainEllijayGa

End shopping adventures on a sweet note at Fudge & Co. Choose from a variety of delicious treats made from scratch, daily. Savor unique sweets like Peach Moonshine Truffles, Chocolate Caramel Apples and Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows. Facebook.com/FudgeCompany

Eat, drink and be merry
Sit and sip at Cartecay Wine & Craft. This new tasting room in downtown Ellijay delights both palate and ears. Tap toes to live music while enjoying Cartecay and other Georgia wines, local beers and appetizers in this modern indoor and outdoor setting. Facebook.com/CartecayWineAndCraft

Experience homemade eats at Backporch Bistro. Located at the rear of the Ellijay Marketplace, Backporch dishes up tasty sandwiches, homemade soups, pulled pork burritos and bowls. Take a seat on the spacious outdoor deck where local and regional musicians are often plucking tunes. Facebook.com/BackporchBistroEllijayGa

Indulge in fine food at Emily's Bar and restaurant. This new hot spot offers seasonable shareable plates, fresh seafood and steaks. Restaurant chefs work with local farmers to raise food ethically and have an ever-changing menu to highlight the fruits of each individual season. EmilysInEllijay.com

The day heats up at Ellijay Wood Fired. This new restaurant serves up delicious wood-fired pizzas and delectable pastas. The atmosphere is just as hot as the food--rustic, yet hip and lively. Order the mushroom and truffle oil pizza or the Holly Creek Sandwich with pancetta and fire-roasted tomatoes. Whatever you choose, you'll want to order a few courses to sit and savor. EllijayWoodFired.com

Cantaberry's is an Ellijay staple with a fresh new look. Enjoy a variety of homemade sandwiches and soups in their corner location with indoor and outdoor seating. In addition to down-home favorites, Cantaberry's also serves up live music frequently. Check their Facebook page for a schedule. Facebook.com/CantaberryInTheMountains

If all of the good food makes you drowsy, re-fuel at Ellijay Coffeehouse. Located in a meticulously restored 1940s building, this local living room encourages you to sip and gather. In addition to the cozy inside, seating is available outside in two pet-friendly courtyards with a fireplace and free WIFI. EllijayCoffehouse.com

Don't miss the George Link, Jr. Gilmer Arts Playhouse. Located in downtown, this historic theater has a wide range of shows. From live bands, to musical theater, to stand-up comedians, the playhouse has a performance to whisk you away with acts that move. GilmerArts.com

Take a quick stroll in downtown Ellijay and you'll notice there is something new brewing in the apple-scented mountain air. Whether you are shopping for thrills or looking for a slower pace, Ellijay has fresh storefronts and restaurants to give you the escape you desire. Pick up a new outfit, rent a bike to cruise down a mountain trail or step into one of the many live music venues around town. No matter what you choose to do, you'll revel in this downtown renaissance. 

If you go
Between trail explorations in the "Georgia's Mountain Biking Capital," rejuvenate at Mulberry Gap, a second-generation, family-owned mountain biking retreat. Feel the calming essence inside Ellijay River House. This light and airy adults-only bed and breakfast is inside a 1915 Craftsman home nestled in downtown by the riverside. Relax in gorgeously decorated rooms and indulge in a scrumptious Southern breakfast on the expansive veranda or riverfront deck. Make memories beneath the stars with a celebratory stay at Elatse'yi, a mountain retreat with unique accommodations including vintage Airstreams and a geodesic dome; or choose from a variety of other equally welcoming options for R&R like riverfront cabins, including many that are pet-friendly. Wherever you go in Ellijay, adventure awaits. PickEllijay.com

Rock out live
Let the rhythm take you over at these Ellijay bars, restaurants, wineries and venues.
  • Cantaberry Restaurant has the Southern tastes you desire along with live music Wednesday-Sunday. Check their Facebook page for a schedule, Facebook.com/CantaberryInTheMountains.
  • River Street Tavern will fill you up with their award-winning food, local wines and beers on tap and their rockin' tunes every Friday and Saturday. The owners search high and low to find the best musicians around! RiverSteetTavern.com/Events
  • Cartecay Wine & Craft is all about good vibes. Sip on local wines and regional beers while swaying to the beat. The live music schedule varies, Facebook.com/CartecayWineAndCraft.
  • Hang out where the locals go at Boardwalk Pizza and Pub. Enjoy delicious pizzas, suds, a game of corn hole and a variety of live musicians out on the deck. Facebook.com/BoardwalkPizzaPub
  • Head upstairs at Emily's Bar and Restaurant for upscale tastes and tunes. Enjoy fine seasonal dining with a side of live music, EmilysInEllijay.com/LiveMusicSchedule
  • You can't go wrong with a stop at one of Ellijay's many wineries, especially when they all have live music every weekend! With seven wineries to choose from, pick the right establishment for your palate; then, sit back and let musicians enhance your experience. For a full list of wineries, visit TravelMediaPressroom.com/Wine-Ellijay.
  • From May through October, Coosawattee River Resort hosts "Pickin on the Porch" from 7-9 p.m. every 2nd and 4th Saturday. Enjoy food from Smokehouse Country Grill, beautiful scenery and songs with soul. Facebook.com/CoosawatteeRiverTubing
  •  Delight the senses at Backporch Bistro. Taste homemade food alfresco while listening to a variety of regional musicians. Facebook.com/BackporchBistroEllijayGa

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