The Georgia Apple Festival of Ellijaybegins in October, but Shelly and I took the opportunity to visit the city of Ellijay and one of the apple orchards this past weekend. This was our attempt to beat the rush of thousands of Atlantan’s converging on this small town and its apple orchards.
Last year, about twenty miles east of Ellijay, we crept along Highway 52 as the rural highway and its non-traffic light intersections were not made for the onslaught of thousands of vehicles. Lesson learned.
This year I’m happy to report that the drive was uneventful and we had no difficulty parking at either location. Our first stop was at Hillcrest Orchards, the first orchard you encounter driving west from Dawsonville. Last year we stopped at this orchard on the way back and discovered their delicious, warm, made-to-order, hot apple donuts. Simply delicious. We returned for the same this year and browsed through their mini-market with fresh apples, cider, baked goods, honey, sweet potatoes, etc. Hillcrest appears to be the largest and busiest of the several orchards along the way, but we have not stopped at any others to do a fair comparison.
We walked through a number of shops in downtown Ellijay and had lunch at Wolf Creek Canyon BBQ Company. The shops are well-stocked and offer a typical variety of new, ‘antiques’, home decor, and country fare. While we missed out on the additional craft and food booths at the fair grounds, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful drive . Check out the festival, you won’t be disappointed!