Sunrise over the mountains in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by @shawnmweidner

Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by @shawnmweidner

Guide to Dahlonega

Known for its wine country, mountain vistas and performing arts community, Dahlonega is full of things to do, places to stay, great restaurants and events year-round.

The site of the nation’s first major gold rush in 1829, Dahlonega in the North Georgia mountains was originally home to the Cherokee Nation. Along with Native American history and landmarks, Dahlonega is known for its wine country, mountain vistas and performing arts community.

Things to Do

Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site in the spring
Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site

1. Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site

Learn about the town’s origins as a mining site at the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site, located in the historic courthouse in the heart of the town square. Exhibits showcase gold coins minted here and nuggets found that weigh more than five ounces.

Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega
Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega

2. Gold Mines

The Crisson Gold Mine shows the gold mining techniques first-hand, allowing panning for gold and gemstones. It has Georgia’s only working stamp mill as well as wagon rides, antique farm equipment and farm animals like pygmy goats.

Similarly, the Consolidated Gold Mines is the site of the largest hardrock gold mine east of the Mississippi River. They’re open daily for guided tours of the mine, as well as gold panning and gemstone mining.

3. Historic Holly Theater

The Historic Holly Theater is an intimate venue where countless acts perform, including comedy, music and drama. They also offer camps and classes to train the next generation of performers.

4. Appalachian Outfitters

Experience Dahlonega’s natural offerings on a trip with Appalachian Outfitters, a local outfitter that guides trips via canoe, kayak or tube on North Georgia’s beautiful rivers. They have tours ranging from half-hour to overnight, including a shuttle service.

Desoto Falls in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by Jack Anthony
Desoto Falls in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by Jack Anthony

5. Waterfalls

Chase waterfalls, including Desoto Falls, one of five waterfalls along a three-mile trail within a 650-acre recreation area. And, just a short drive away, seek out Dicks Creek Falls located just below the confluence of the Dicks and Waters Creek.

Wineries, Breweries, Meaderies & Spirits

Don’t miss Dahlonega’s area wineries in their newly designated viticultural region. And be sure to sample the local breweries, meaderies, and distillery, too.

Frogtown Winery near Dahlonega
Frogtown Winery near Dahlonega

1. Frogtown Winery

Located between Dahlonega and Cleveland, Frogtown Winery is set on 40 acres and is the most awarded winery outside California. It produces more than 30 different wines from the estate and offers tastings.

2. Montaluce Winery

The artisan wines at Montaluce Winery are also favorites, including red wines aged for 22 months in oak barrels. The winery has its own restaurant and villas for a weekend stay.

3. Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery

Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery is set on a family farm, complete with an 1800s hand-hewn cabin. The tasting room is styled after a barn, where you can sip the styles named for the donkeys and dogs that live onsite.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by @go.see.be
Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by @go.see.be

4. Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery

There are no better views than from Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery, a European-style winery with a cafe offering one of the best brunches around. Stop by for tastings and winemaker tours.

5. Accent Cellars

In addition to carrying their own wines, Accent Cellars also carries a range of wines from around North Georgia. Stop in to relax with a glass of wine and play board games, trivia, Jumbo Jenga, corn hole and more in the shady pavilion next to historic Cane Creek. 

6. Three Sisters Winery

Bring your four-legged friends to the patio at Three Sisters Winery, a laid-back winery that has live music and chocolate pairings.

7. Kaya Winery

Set on a ridge at 1,600 feet, Kaya Winery’s panoramas make this the perfect place for a glass of wine, using estate-grown grapes.

8. Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard

Rock on the porch while you sip a glass of wine and bask in the mountain views at Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard. You can also enjoy lunch or dinner Fridays and Saturdays and Sunday brunch paired with wines in the restaurant.

9. Etowah Meadery & Dahlonega Brewery

Sample wines made with local honey at the veteran-owned Etowah Meadery, and taste the craft beers created by Dahlonega Brewery. The two businesses share one tasting room, so everyone can find something they enjoy. You can also find jams made with their meads, honey used to make their meads, and much more in the tasting room.

10. 52 West Brewing

Visit this farm-to-pint brewery in Dahlonega, where the owners source ingredients locally and live on the property, which features a barn transformed into the tasting room.

11. Big Creek Distilling Co.

Visit Big Creek Distilling to learn about the distilling process and experience the taste of small-batch, handcrafted spirits, including bourbon whiskey, gin, and more.

Find more things to do in Dahlonega

Where to Stay

Cozy up at one of Dahlonega’s inns and hotels.

The Smith House

1. The Smith House

The Smith House was the home of a successful Gold Rush baron. The inn and restaurant are only a block from the square and its attractions. Accommodation options include the main house's guest rooms and the carriage houses and villas nearby.

2. The Old Storehouse Inn

Located in historic downtown Dahlonega, The Old Storehouse Inn features the Canvas & Cork art and wine gallery on the first floor and three unique rooms upstairs. The cottage next door includes two more rooms and an art space for the gallery's classes. Stay here and walk to restaurants, shopping, music venues and more in Dahlonega.

The Dahlonega Square Hotel

3. Dahlonega Square Hotel & Villas

Also near the square, the Dahlonega Square Hotel & Villas can accommodate couples and groups. Made up of 1800s buildings, there are guest rooms in the main building and self-serviced villas with full kitchens.

4. Yellow Daisy Bed and Breakfast

Set in a 1915 farmhouse, the Yellow Daisy Bed and Breakfast has been carefully preserved. The four rooms are only two blocks from the square and a few minutes from the area’s wineries. Innkeepers live onsite and are around to assist guests.

5. Cavender Creek Cabins

The Cavender Creek Cabins are on a full-service resort that is home to a stocked pond and creek. The cabins have central heat and fireplaces, as well as air conditioning, hot tubs, satellite television and full kitchens.

Forrest Hills Resort

6. Forrest Hills Resort

Forrest Hills Resort is set on 140 acres of wilderness between Dahlonega and Amicalola Falls. It has free WiFi, a restaurant, riding stables, a spa and sports facilities.

7. Long Mountain Lodge

Located on its namesake mountain, Long Mountain Lodge has six rooms and suites with rustic decor, free WiFi and bathrobes. The great room has a wood-burning fireplace, and breakfast is served daily by the onsite chef.

8. Lily Creek Lodge Bed and Breakfast

Inspired by a European chalet, Lily Creek Lodge Bed and Breakfast has 13 rooms and suites furnished with art and antiques. Full gourmet breakfast is included in your stay, along with a swimming pool.

9. Dahlonega Hideaway Havens

With five vacation rentals less than 15 minutes from downtown and near local wineries, Dahlonega Hideaway Havens have a variety of options for couples, families and friends. Ranging in size from one bedroom, one bath to three bedroom, two bath cottages, amenities range from outdoor hot tubs, grills, fire pits to fully equipped gourmet kitchens.

10. Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & Spa

Each of the six guest rooms at Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & Spa is furnished with whirlpool tubs, private balcony, sitting areas and fireplaces. They also have one luxury cottage available for rent for a more romantic and intimate retreat. During your stay, you can enjoy the Oasis Day Spa for body, anti-aging face and massage therapy treatments.

Treehouse at Stay Dahlonega. Photo by @waymanstory
Treehouse at Stay Dahlonega. Photo by @waymanstory

11. Stay Dahlonega

Choose to stay in a whimsical treehouse, a cozy farmhouse, a modern home just blocks from the Dahlonega square, or a farmhouse next to a waterfall with Stay Dahlonega's collection of vacation rentals.

Find more places to stay in Dahlonega

Where to Eat

Experience Dahlonega’s downtown dining scene.

1. Spirits Tavern

Enjoy gourmet burgers made with certified Angus grass-fed beef, Springer Mountain chicken and vegan ingredients at Spirits Tavern. Add your own toppings, and pair with one of their signature cocktails.

2. Gustavo's

Gustavo's is known for its pizza and Italian dishes with dough made fresh daily. They also have a large selection of craft beer and spirits, and they host live music twice a month.

3. Bratzeit

For German and Swiss dishes, visit Bratzeit and enjoy classics like bratwurst, schnitzel and fondue. They also carry authentic German beer like Warsteiner along with decadent desserts like Black Forest cake.

4. Shenanigans

Every town needs an Irish pub, and Shenanigans is Dahlonega’s. They offer traditional Irish dishes and pub fare, along with pizzas and wings. There’s Guinness (of course!) and other Irish brews, along with cocktails and wine.

Le Vigne At Montaluce Winery

5. Le Vigne at Montaluce

Le Vigne at Montaluce is the winery’s in-house restaurant that incorporates local ingredients into modern Southern dishes. Open for lunch, dinner, and brunch, menu highlights include shrimp and grits and the rabbit duet.

6. Bourbon Street Grille

Let the good times roll at Bourbon Street Grille, a bar and restaurant with Louisianian dishes like gumbo, oysters and redfish. The two-story historic building also has a full bar with drinks like the Hurricane.

Picnic Cafe & Dessertery in Dahlonega, Georgia
Picnic Cafe & Dessertery in Dahlonega, Georgia

7. Picnic Cafe & Dessertery

Start your day at Picnic Cafe & Dessertery, a bakery and ice cream shop with breakfast and lunch sandwiches using their freshly baked breads. Save room for cakes and cookies for dessert.

8. The Station

From barbecue nachos to chicken and waffles, the menu at The Station has something everyone will love. Relax in the outdoor courtyard with a cocktail or beer, or catch the game on the TVs inside.

9. North Georgia BBQ

Dig into succulent smoked meats and all the traditional sides at North Georgia BBQ. And be sure to try the signature sandwich, the Pig Melt, a grilled cheese on Texas toast filled with chopped pork and topped with your choice of sauce.

10. Connie's Ice Cream Parlor and Sandwich Shop

Grab sweet treats like milkshakes, cookies and ice cream sundaes at Connie's Ice Cream Parlor and Sandwich Shop located on the Dahlonega square. 

Find more places to eat in Dahlonega

Events

There’s always something going on in Dahlonega.

Six Gap Century Bike Ride in Dahlonega, Georgia
Six Gap Century Bike Ride in Dahlonega, Georgia

1. Six Gap Century Bicycle Ride

Six Gap Century Bicycle Ride in September is one of the region’s premier rides. The challenging route has steep climbs and elevation gains. Nine rest stops provide food and drink along the way.

2. Gold Rush Days

Gold Rush Days honors the town’s history every October with more than 300 art and food vendors, performances, a parade and a pageant. Run by the local Jaycees, the event benefits one of their local charities.

3. Bear on the Square

A community favorite for more than 20 years, Bear on the Square in April is an Appalachian Heritage Festival showcasing bluegrass and old-time music, a juried artists market, storytelling, free music workshops and demonstrations and dancing.

4. 4th of July Celebration

Dahlonega’s 4th of July Celebration celebrates our nation’s birthday with a parade, 5K race and fun run, and, of course, fireworks, which are one of the best displays found in North Georgia.

The Dahlonega square decorated with Christmas lights
Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega, Georgia

5. Old Fashioned Christmas

The holiday season brings Dahlonega's Old Fashioned Christmas. The event includes the Lighting of the Square, carriage rides, caroling, a parade and an appearance by Santa himself.

6. Arts & Wine Festival

Every May, the Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival brings together high-quality wine from around the region, arts and crafts, and live jazz. Set in a park downtown, there’s no need to go from vineyard to vineyard with everything available in one place.

7. Literary Festival

In March, the Dahlonega Literary Festival brings in regional authors for programming and book sales.

8. Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl

The Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl is the place to be for chocolate lovers! Visit participating chocolate shops, stores and restaurants to sample as much chocolate as you like. From hot chocolate, pies, fudge, cookies, drinks and more, you'll find yourself in chocolate heaven at this annual event.

Find more events in Dahlonega

Published: March 2023
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