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Now Entering Ellijay   by Caitlin Moore

The Appalachians hold a secret in the depths of their foothills. Tucked into the forest is a place called Ellijay, which is known for opening its arms to tired travelers and weary workers in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced world. It's about an hour and a half from Atlanta, the activity hotbed of the state, and its atmosphere, sights and sounds are as far from urban as you can get. Check out this mountainous retreat if you're in need of some soul repair, and get ready to feel the sweet relief of true escape.

Ellijay is blessed with buckets full of natural beauty; from the rolling hills to the gurgling streams, the hiking trails to the sweeping views. This lush landscape epitomizes the loveliness of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and like any outdoor wonderland, has a way of making you feel immediately at ease. Upon reaching this destination, take a moment to stop and listen to the sweet sounds of nature. You'll hear the rustling of leaves and the singing of birds, and amazingly, no traffic, no buzz of technology and definitely no worries echoing in your head.

To get a feel for this region of Northern Georgia, tour the highlights and be sure to take your time. Soak in the view from a scenic outlook; it sounds eerie but the Ellijay State Cemetery offers an incredible perch for getting a feel for the layout of the area. Guided tours are available to introduce you to the cultural heritage, as there are many Native American landmarks to be discovered. Prehistoric rock formations exist at Fort Mountain, and various other points of intrigue are sure to capture your imagination.

If you're a sucker for quaint downtown avenues lined with mom and pop shops, antique stores and cafes offering comforting meals, save some time for Ellijay's main street. As you wander the quiet sidewalks and window shop, stop for coffee or pick up a few unique souvenirs, you'll again marvel at how far away from home you really are, in body and in mind. A few historic homes and the old courthouse are open for tours, so those with a mind to visit the past will be happy with Ellijay's offerings.

As for downright entertaining activities, there's no shortage of those, either. The River Park spells fun for the whole family, if only because the name of the river is Coosawattee. Seriously, the park is perfect for playing tennis, having a picnic and hiking along the banks of the rushing waters. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary is another big draw, and it contains indigenous species that have been orphaned, injured, and basically left in need of a little caretaking. Tours can be taken by making an appointment.

Stop by the corn maze for a hay ride adventure if your trip falls during the autumn months, and if you love a fresh crunchy apple then visit one of the 18 apple orchards that can be found in Gilmer County. From August to December Ellijay overflows with tasty and colorful fruits everywhere you look, at roadside stands and on trees themselves. Something about watching the earth bear such delightful Jonathans, Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths (among others) will awaken your taste buds and your sense of general well-being.

Hiking, golfing and horseback riding will all compete for your attention as well, so hopefully you've taken enough time from work to properly appreciate all that this swath of upper Georgia has to give. Do you know what pairs well with this type of trip? A vacation cabin. Ellijay Vacation Rentals have a way of making you and your companions feel housed in convenience and privacy with not much fuss, and their array of unique amenities varies from property to property. Picking one out is an adventure in itself, and unlocking the door to the experience it provides will monumentally enhance your vacation.

Go online to view a few properties, check out the events and attractions in Ellijay, and start to plan what is sure to be a wonderful and satisfying trip to the land of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

About the Author is an extensive marketplace for vacation rentals in locations all over the world.

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