If it’s your first fall in Georgia, there are three things about which you should be aware:
- We invented “dressing in layers” for our 40-degree mornings and mid-80s afternoons;
- We shop on Fridays so we enjoy SEC Football on Saturdays. Wearing of school colors is not optional in the South;
- It may be a law to plan at least one pilgrimage to Ellijay each fall for apples, jams, honey, and other local treats. Fried pies are optional, but highly recommended.
Buses full of tourists, families piled into SUVs, and motorcycles that can squeeze into impossibly small parking spaces make the trek up Hwy. 575/515 to enjoy seasonal leaves and to soak up the ambiance of Ellijay, Georgia’s Apple Capital.
Several varieties of fall apples are recommended for pies, ciders, recipes, and old-fashioned take-a-bite eating:
- Jonathan – medium red-yellow; regarded as one of the best-flavored apples
- Braeburn – sweet, juicy, light red & yellow apple; among the most popular bi-colored apples
- Stayman Winesap – small pale pink or red, with tangy flavor and good “shelf life”
- Arkansas Black – small, dark red “long-keeping” apple, recommended for fresh eating, apple juice, and hard cider
- Granny Smith – green apple with a sharp flavor; used for eating or baking
- Yates – small yellow-skinned firm apple, juicy with a slightly spicy taste, prized for use in cider
- Fuji –small, light red fruit available late in the picking season; known as the “sweetest apple”
Now in its 43rd year, the Georgia Apple Festival hosts more than 300 vendors, and takes place in historic Ellijay, beginning with an Antique Car Show at the Civic Center on October 11. A parade winds through downtown on October 18, and the festival runs through Sunday, October 19.
The apple houses are open through the end of the month (some through the end of the year), with adjusted hours.
Strategically planned for convenience to dining, shopping, and travel routes, each Windsong community is about an hour’s scenic drive from Ellijay (50 miles from Woodstock, 60 from Dallas, 70 from Powder Springs). Whether you’re in the mood to take in seasonal color, or the hustle and bustle of Apple Festival, the north Georgia mountains are worth the trip.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!