The Chattahoochee National Forest is lush and green, the temperatures are 5º to 10º cooler than they are in metro Atlanta, and the myriad lakes and waterfalls offer excellent options for cooling off after a hike.
Read on for our list of the 20 best things to do in North GA in July, from theatrical productions and music festivals to the requisite 4th of July celebrations.
READ MORE: 101+ Things to Do in North Georgia
Things to Do in North GA in July Guide
- Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Firework Special
- 4th of July Lake Chatuge Boat Parade
- Sautee Summer Music Fest
- Downtown Blue Ridge Market
- Summer Spectacular: Live Music with Max and Maggie
- Old Timers’ Parade
- Dahlonega 4th of July Parade and Celebration
- Red, White & Blairsville
- Independence Day – Fireworks in Downtown Ellijay
- 4th of July at Vogel State Park
- The Games Afoot
- Community Quilt and Fiber Arts Exhibit
- Guided Hikes with the Benton MacKaye Trail Association
- 2022 BRMAA National Juried Photography Show
- Butternut Creek Festival
- The Sound of Music
- Shimmy Rock Festival and Fundraiser
- Harvest Festival
- Mountain Music & Moonshine Festival
- Riedel Sensory Workshop and Tasting
1. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Firework Special
(Blue Ridge GA, July 2)
To celebrate Independence Day, they’re offering a “Firework Special” on July 2, which is a 4-hour round-trip journey celebrating America.
The trip includes a 2-hour layover in the twin towns of McCaysville GA and Copperhill TN, where you’ll get to watch dazzling fireworks light up the night sky.
Tickets can be purchased on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway website.
READ MORE: The 25 Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge, GA
2. 4th of July Lake Chatuge Boat Parade
(Hiawassee GA, July 2)
Lake Chatuge is nestled between the gorgeous Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina and some of the most magnificent North Georgia mountains.
Chatuge is one of the region’s most popular lakes for boating, with numerous public boat ramps and two marinas offering rentals.
The annual Lake Chatuge Boat Parade finds tons of boaters lining up in the Sunset Bay Cove to show off their boats, which will be decked out with all sorts of American-themed decorations.
This year the parade will be happening on July 2, from 10:30AM to Noon. It’s free, both to enter as a contestant and to simply watch.
The most creatively decorated boat and the boat with the most red, white, and blue will each win a $50 prize!
3. Sautee Summer Music Fest
(Sautee Nacoochee GA, July 2, 9, & 16)
Gates for the festival will open at 6 pm, with live music from 7PM to 9PM. General admission seating will be on the lawn, so be sure to bring your own chairs!
Tickets are available at the gate or by phone, and cost $12 for adults, while students are free.
On July 2, Native American singer-songwriter Ryan Little Eagle will be performing.
July 9 will feature Appalachian folk musician Elliot Sperin, while July 16 will showcase a performance by Hiawassee-bred artist Wyatt Espalin.
In the case of inclement weather, all concerts will be moved indoors.
4. Downtown Blue Ridge Market
(Blue Ridge GA, July 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30)
The Downtown Blue Ridge Market will take place each Saturday throughout the month of July.
Along with getting to browse all of the shops and restaurants in Blue Ridge GA, myriad vendors will be set up in front of the courthouse.
The Saturday market will start at 9AM and run through 1PM.
5. Summer Spectacular: Live Music with Max and Maggie
(Morganton GA, July 3)
The event will include a backyard cookout from 1 to 5PM, with all proceeds going towards the Fannin Country Family Connection.
Featured artists Max & Maggie will be playing classic Appalachian music from 2 to 5PM, which is sure to have you dancing and having a grand ol’ time.
6. Old Timers’ Parade
(Downtown Blue Ridge GA, July 4)
The Old Timers’ Parade is a parade in Blue Ridge GA that started back in the 1950s, and continues to entertain folks every year on the 4th of July.
It’s a time to celebrate the holiday, as well as the history of Blue Ridge GA and Appalachian Culture.
Antique vehicles drive down the street, and tons of local businesses and other organizations join the fun by decorating their store windows.
People are encouraged to dress in period attire if they wish to help bring the essence of historic Blue Ridge to life.
The Independence Day parade starts at 10AM, and all are welcome to watch!
7. Dahlonega 4th of July Parade and Celebration
(Dahlonega GA, July 4)
The annual Dahlonega 4th of July Parade and Celebration is the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day.
The festivities kick off bright and early at 8AM with a Firecracker 5K run.
If running isn’t really your idea of a holiday celebration, the Patriotic Parade in the Historic Square starts at 11AM.
After the parade concludes, there will be free concerts in Hancock Park by Jessie Albright & The Inconceivable at 2PM and 4:30PM.
Throughout the day you can shop, eat at Downtown Dahlonega restaurants, and sample wines from Dahlonega wineries. There will also be food trucks, including The Inked Pig BBQ and Kona Ice, for visitors to enjoy.
The day will come to an exciting close with a fireworks show at UNG’s Drill Field, which starts at 7PM.
8. Red, White & Blairsville
(Blairsville GA, July 4)
Make your way to Meeks Park in Blairsville GA on the 4th of July to join the hometown Independence Day celebration of Red, White & Blairsville.
Along with dazzling fireworks, there will be bounce houses, face painting, food, and fun activities for the whole family.
Across the road on the North Georgia Tech campus, there will also be several food trucks selling snacks such as boiled peanuts, cotton candy, kettle corn, and pork rinds.
Admission is free, but there are a limited number of reserved parking spots available for purchase at the Chamber of Commerce office.
Tickets for a huge raffle giveaway are also available for just $10 each.
9. Independence Day Fireworks in Downtown Ellijay
(Ellijay GA, July 4)
This event is another great option for celebrating the 4th of July in North Georgia.
There will be live music for visitors to enjoy throughout the downtown area while shopping from local vendors.
At 6PM there will be an exciting Fourth of July parade, and the exciting fireworks display will begin to light up the night sky around 9PM.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Cabin Rentals in Ellijay GA
10. 4th of July at Vogel State Park
(Blairsville GA, July 4)
There’s even more to do on July 4th, when the Independence Day celebration starts at 7:30AM with a 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. After that, there will be a flag-raising and salute to veterans at 9:30AM.
There will be fun family-friendly events throughout the day, including a sandcastle-building competition, pedal boat race, sack racing, and even greased pole climbing!
The final event of the night– a special concert featuring In His Name– takes place at the Lake Pavilion at 7PM.
11. The Game’s Afoot
(Blue Ridge GA, July 7-24)
Written by Ken Ludwig and directed by Michael Dunham, The Game’s Afoot will be running at the Blue Ridge Community Theater from July 7 through July 24.
The story is set in December 1936. Broadway star William Gillette, who is admired for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, invites his cast members to visit for the weekend.
However, things suddenly go awry when one of the guests is found stabbed to death. From there it’s up to Gillette to assume the persona of his world-renowned character to track down the killer.
12. Community Quilt and Fiber Arts Exhibit
(Blue Ridge GA, Through July 9)
The annual Community Quilt and Fiber Arts Exhibit is put on by the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, whose mission is to provide artistic opportunities for individuals and the community.
This exhibit will take place at the Art Center’s Richard Low Evans Gallery, and will celebrate the traditional heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the classic craft of quilting.
The gallery will have a variety of both traditional and modern-style quilts for purchase, all of which showcase the immense talent of local quilters.
The show is open to the public from May 27 through July 9. Note that any artwork purchased during the exhibit’s run must be picked up on July 10 and 12.
13. Guided Hikes with the Benton MacKaye Trail Association
(Cherry Log GA, July 15 & 18)
Each month the BMTA schedules a few guided hikes of varying difficulty levels that visitors can participate in.
In July, there will be two guided BMTA hikes in Georgia. The first will take place on July 15, and will be a moderate 5- to 6-mile hike along the Cartecay River (a popular place for kayaking and river tubing).
The second hike will take place on July 18, and will be a moderate 5-mile hike that follows the Benton MacKaye and Jack’s River Trails.
If you want to join one or both of these hikes, be sure to RSVP by July 18.
14. 2022 BRMAA National Juried Photography Show
(Blue Ridge GA, July 16 – August 27)
The 2022 BRMAA National Juried Photography Show is an awesome way to showcase your own photographs, or to get to see some incredible photos from other talented individuals.
All photographers are welcome to submit their work for consideration, regardless of skill level.
All original photographic media (including both film and digital images) are accepted, and prizes totaling $3,000 will be awarded.
The exhibit will be on display for viewing in the Richard Low Evans Courtroom Gallery at the Art Center in Blue Ridge GA from July 16 through August 27.
15. Butternut Creek Festival
(Blairsville GA, July 16 – 17)
One of the finest arts and craft shows in Georgia, Blairsville’s Butternut Creek Festival has been designated a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society multiple times.
It’s arguably one of the best things to do in North Georgia in July that is not Independence Day-focused.
Held annually on the third weekend in July, the event takes place at Meeks Park on Saturday, July 16 from 10AM to 5PM and on Sunday, July 17 from 10AM to 4PM.
The festival will showcase the work of more than 70 artists and craftsmen, working in mediums such as fabric art, decorative painting, photography, pottery, scrimshaw, jewelry, and woodturning.
READ MORE: The 40 Best North Georgia Cabins to Rent
16. The Sound of Music
(Dahlonega GA, July 22-24, 28-31)
If by some chance you don’t know the Julie Andrews film (which was based on the Broadway musical), it takes place in Austria in the late 1930s.
The story follows the life of Maria, a nun who becomes the governess to a widowed Navy officer’s 7 children and brings music into their lives.
Personal and political issues arise (see: the rise of the Nazi Party in Europe), but the power of music and family ultimately triumphs above all.
Including favorite songs like “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Edelweiss,” this classic musical is sure to pull at your heartstrings.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Cabin Rentals in Dahlonega GA
17. Shimmy Rock Festival and Fundraiser
(Hiawassee GA, July 23)
The event will take place at Towns County High School in Hiawassee GA on July 23, from 10AM to 5PM.
The festival will feature food, vendors, and raffles as well as an evening of guest musical performers.
Local bands you can look forward to include The Rude Carpenters, Shimmy Mob, and Raw The Mountain Tops.
18. Harvest Festival
(Sautee Nacoochee GA, July 23)
The annual Harvest Festival will take place on July 23 from 10AM to 3PM at the Hardman Farm State Historic Site.
There will be an acre of pesticide-free corn that guests can harvest from while enjoying live music, old-fashioned games, antique tractor displays, and more.
There will even be some cute, cuddly farm animals to pet while you’re there!
Admission is just $6 per person (children 5 and under are free), and includes the farm-fresh corn.
READ MORE: The 25 Best Things to Do in Helen GA
19. Mountain Music & Moonshine Festival
(Downtown Blairsville GA, July 29 – 31)
Starting on Friday, July 29, and running through Sunday, July 31, the Mountain Music and Moonshine Festival will be filled with live music, good food, and of course some tasty adult beverages!
Kicking off the weekend on the 29th, the Union County Historical Society will be hosting a concert in the old courthouse on the Blairsville Square. The Friday show will feature Mike Lane, and admission is completely free.
The festival activities take place on Saturday and Sunday (rain or shine) from 10AM to 5PM. There will be music in and around the square, local vendors, moonshine history, ax throwing, and more.
Make sure to head to Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co. on Saturday, July 30th at 5PM for the parking lot party.
You’ll get to enjoy performances by Heart of Pine, The Bone Daddy’s Band, Tommy Townsend, Rick Davenport, and headlining act Keith Anderson.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Breweries in Georgia
20. Riedel Sensory Workshop and Tasting
(Cleveland GA, July 31)
This July they’re hosting a Riedel Sensory Workshop and Tasting, which is an especially unique type of wine tasting with a Riedel ambassador.
It provides the opportunity to do a comparison between the Performance Cabernet glasses and the new Veloce Cabernet glasses.
With the cost of admission, you’ll get a 4-piece set of the newly released Riedel Veloce glasses, a Riedel Performance Cabernet glass, and of course some delicious Yonah Mountain Vineyards wine to drink! -by Christina Maggitas