Planning a vacation can be stressful, especially in this day and age. With added dangers like COVID-19, which might require extra planning on top of the myriad other chores like finding a place to stay, planning your wardrobe, researching the trip, planning for pet care and on and on, thinking ahead about your alcohol consumption might not make it to the top of most people’s to-do list. But since you’re visiting the Blue Ridge area there are a few things you might want to take into consideration, considering the area’s unique take on the legality of alcohol.
Is Blue Ridge located in a dry county?
That depends on your definition of “dry”. In the unincorporated portions of Fannin County it is possible to find wine and beer by the drink at a handful of restaurants and farm wineries, but there are no bars in the unincorporated areas of Fannin County, no liquor in any form and no package sale. Inside the city limits of both Blue Ridge and McCaysville, however, the story is quite a bit different.
Here are the main things to keep in mind about alcohol in the unincorporated areas of Fannin County Georgia
- Only restaurants may serve either beer and wine, no bars are allowed.
- All persons purchasing alcohol must show proper identification, regardless of their apparent age.
- Fannin County does not issue licenses for liquor, only beer and wine.
- No package sales are allowed, with the exception of licensed farm wineries.
- The allowed days and hours that restaurants may serve alcohol is 11:00am until 11:45pm Monday through Saturday. Alcohol sales are prohibited on Sunday and Christmas day.
- Alcohol consumption is not allowed in public places such as streets, sidewalks or county parks.
- Brown bagging is not permitted.
- Firearms and dangerous weapons are prohibited in establishments that serve alcohol in Fannin County. Restaurant owners are required by law to report violations to law enforcement.
Here’s what is different about Alcohol within the city limits of Blue Ridge Georgia
- Liquor sales are allowed in licensed restaurants for consumption on premises.
- Beer and wine sales are allowed on Sunday after 12:30pm. You know, after church.
- You will find beer and wine in all major grocery stores and most convenience stores in Blue Ridge. Ingles tends to have the best selection. Wal-Mart sells beer, but the selection is usually not so great.
McCaysville Georgia Alcohol Sales
No liquor sales are allowed in the city limits of McCaysville but a few restaurants do have beer and wine (including Sunday sales). Although the city of McCaysville recently considered allowing package sales that measure failed, so if you want to have a drink in McCaysville it has to be done on-premises.
Copperhill Tennessee Alcohol Sales
For many years the closest place for anyone in Fannin County to buy alcohol was in Copperhill. That changed in 2014 with the approval of Sunday sales in the city of Blue Ridge, but until that happened Fannin County residents supported a lot of package stores and several bars in Copperhill. Today the options are a lot more limited, but you can buy beer in restaurants and package stores seven days a week in on the other side of the state line.
The bottom line
Since there are no package sales of liquor anywhere in Blue Ridge or Fannin County you will either need to drive to Ellijay or Murphy, NC to find a liquor store, or bring your party favors with you from home. Or you can just stop by one of those places on your way. You can also grab mixers at the local grocery stores if needed while you’re out shopping for your vacation grub.
If you are traveling to the Blue Ridge area and plan to consume alcohol while you are here you will definitely want to consider options ahead of time. If you just like to have a drink with your meal there are plenty of options for that, whether you want to have a nice meal in town or make a trek out for dinner on the river. But if you plan to consume alcohol (other than beer or wine) at your cabin, hotel or bed & breakfast it would definitely be smart to plan ahead.