Winter in North GA: The Ultimate Guide

North Georgia is a magical place to visit during the winter – some might even say it’s their favorite time to visit. Located just outside of Atlanta, it’s the perfect escape to nature while being close to the city.

The enchanting forests and North Georgia mountain views attract nature lovers and adventure seekers year round. Even when the temperature drops, there’s plenty to keep you entertained, including holiday shopping, basking in your Big Canoe vacation home’s hot tub, and hiking the scenic trails!

In this guide, we’ll share our insider recommendations to ensure you’re all set for winter in North Georgia!

Where to Stay During Winter

At Mountain Homes Rentals of Georgia, we’re known for our luxurious, family-friendly rentals. Nestled within the resort community of Big Canoe, Georgia, our accommodations offer privately owned vacation home rentals that provide a perfect getaway retreat for couples, families, and friends who love nature and the outdoors. The properties feature modern interiors, cozy fireplaces, and beautiful designs, creating the perfect ambiance for a festive getaway.

Winter Activities in North GA

Explore the Hiking Trails

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You’ve likely heard that North Georgia has spectacular hiking – but did you know that hiking in the area is popular year round? The area is known for its diverse trails and stunning natural beauty, which take on a special charm under the winter’s frosty touch. And if you want to keep warm and cover the most terrain? Try biking!

Some of the most popular hiking trails in and around north Georgia are the Lake Petit and Emery Creek Trails.

Lake Petit Trail

The Lake Petit Trail is a popular trail for hikers looking for ease. It’s just .3 miles long and offers picturesque views centering on Lake Petit in Big Canoe. This trail is part of the private residential community of Big Canoe, meaning it is only accessible to owners, guests of owners, or visitors staying in a rental property within the community.

Emery Creek Trail

More experienced hikers might want to drive a little further from Big Canoe to check out the Emery Creek Trail in Chatsworth, GA. This 6.2-mile trail is more challenging but gives hikers a way to experience the gorgeous Emery Falls.

The trail takes you through historic logging areas and leads to a two-part waterfall deep in the forest, providing breathtaking views that make the hike worthwhile. The path climbs gently through a mixed hemlock and hardwood forest alongside the creek. About 1.4 miles in, the trail widens into an old road bed that provides a change in scenery.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day

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What would the perfect getaway be without a little self-care? Going to the spa is an idyllic way to spend a winter day on a getaway. It’s an opportunity to unwind, rejuvenate, and warm up! Here are two of the best spas around Big Canoe.

Toile & Bubble Spa & Boutique

Located just ten minutes south of the Big Canoe community, you’ll find this bright and cheery spa. Indulge yourself in a therapeutic hot stone massage, foot reflexology, or a skin glow facial. We can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly day!

The Spa at Big Canoe

You won’t have to go far to find a day of winter indulgence in the Big Canoe community. The Spa at Big Canoe offers full-service massages and wellness treatments.

Book a Tasting at a Local Winery

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Wine tastings are a great way to experience one of North Georgia’s finest local products while enjoying the beauty of the surrounding vineyards. Here are a few to add to your winter itinerary.

Fainting Goat Vineyards and Winery

Located around 30 minutes north of Big Canoe you’ll find the Fainting Goat Vineyards and Winery. They host daily wine tastings and live music on the weekends with winery tours every Saturday, even in the winter. Be sure to book in advance!

Carin View Winery

Just twenty minutes west of Big Canoe, the Carin View Winery offers a boutique VIP wine tastings experience and tours throughout the week. Tasting and pairings require a prepaid booking ahead of your arrival.

Warm Up in a Local Brewery

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Like wineries, breweries are another way to skip out on the cold and have some fun indoors. If you like beer, add these to your list.

Talking Rock Brewery

Talking Rock Brewery focuses on flavorful and approachable craft beer for everyone. They also host live music on Saturdays and Football on Sundays. The perfect way to unwind on a winter day!

Pendley Creek Brewing Co.

The Pendley Creek Brewing Company is the first small-hold brewery in Jasper with a rotating list of beers on tap.

Spend the Day on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

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  • Address: 241 Depot Street, Blue Ridge, GA
  • Website:

The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is the perfect winter excursion for the whole family. Located around an hour away from Big Canoe, the railway offers a variety of tours for the festive winter months.

Holiday Special Rides

This festive train journey lasts either one or four hours, during which you will be treated to holiday tunes and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” Kids are in for a treat with a jingle bell from the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, a candy cane, an activity packet, and a chance to encounter Santa Claus himself! Our concession car also offers hot chocolate and other snacks for purchase.

These rides are popular, and tickets are known to sell out quickly, so don’t delay in securing your spots for this unique holiday experience!

Winter Rides

The Blue Ridge Winter Rides last either 2 or 4 hours. You’ll embark on a 26-mile round trip through the pastoral landscapes along the Toccoa River. This journey uncovers meandering waterways, abundant wildlife, and the historical charm of the quaint towns that line the route.

Attend a Festive Local Event

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Visiting North Georgia during the Christmas season is a magical experience. The region turns into a winter wonderland, with twinkling lights adorning the picturesque towns, including Big Canoe. These are a few of the can’t miss festive events of the season.

Winter Ball

The Big Canoe Clubhouse is full of holiday cheer and hosts a handful of events throughout the season, including cocktail hours, festive dinners, live entertainment, and a visit from Santa.

Santa Brunch

The Santa Brunch at the Big Canoe Clubhouse features a visit from St. Nick. This family-friendly event includes Christmas crafts, gingerbread cookie decorating, and a letter writing station for holiday wishes.

Christmas Movie Night

Each Christmas, the Big Canoe Clubhouse hosts a festive themed movie night in the  Mountain View Room. Attendees are treated to a special storytelling session followed by a movie screening. This festive evening, filled with delightful surprises and treats, welcomes children of all ages. Reservations are required.

Get in the Christmas Spirit at the Tate House

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The Tate House is a well-known wedding venue in North Georgia, just under a 20 minute drive from Big Canoe. In winter though, the venue transforms itself into a winter wonderland with stunning Christmas decorations and lights strung from floor to ceiling.

You certainly won’t want to miss out on this local holiday tradition! Choose between their 4 signature Christmas tours:

  • Design Class Luncheon Tour
  • Christmas Luncheon Tour
  • Royal Afternoon Tea Tour
  • Mansion Tour Only & Boutique

Reservations are required. Call 770-735-3122 to book you and your group’s spot.

Get Cozy With a Night In at Your Big Canoe Vacation Rental

Imagine cozying up by the fireside during a relaxing night in. Many of our vacation rentals come furnished with fireplaces ready for you to enjoy. After all the time you’ll be enjoying outdoor activities, you’ll want to spend some time at your beautiful home away from home. Consider hosting a game or movie night at your rental. Relax in the hot tub with a glass of local wine, or stay inside and cuddle up with a good book!

Book a Stay for Your Winter Getaway

Winter in north Georgia is truly incredible. Whether you’re planning a trip for two or for a large family, north Georgia has something for everyone. Are you ready to plan your winter escape? Book your Mountain Home Rental today and prepare to experience this winter wonderland!