Musicians play during Bear on the Square in Dahlonega, Georgia
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chase waterfalls, including Desoto Falls, one of five waterfalls along a three-mile trail within a 650-acre recreation area. Cane Creek Falls is on the site of Camp Glisson Retreat Center. It’s open to the public when no retreats are in session.
Don’t miss Dahlonega’s area wineries in their newly designated viticultural region.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Where to Stay
Cozy up at one of Dahlonega’s inns and hotels.
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.
Park Place Hotel
The first-class comforts at the Park Place Hotel make it a favorite for its convenient location in the historic square. The suites come stylishly furnished in different styles, mostly named for places around Georgia.
Dahlonega Square Hotel & Villas
Also near the square, the Dahlonega Square Hotel & Villas can accommodate couples and groups in their varying sized rooms. Made up of 1800s buildings, there are guest rooms in the main building and self-serviced villas with full kitchens.
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.
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 Mountain Resort & Conference Center
Forrest Hills Mountain Resort & Conference Center 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.
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.
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.
Where to Eat
Experience Dahlonega’s downtown dining scene.
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.
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.
Capers on the Square
Capers on the Square offers Mediterranean fare for lunch and dinner as well as a full bar.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Crimson Moon
Equal parts coffee house, cafe and music venue, The Crimson Moon is a favorite of nearby college students. The cozy space has sandwiches, pita pizzas and burgers, along with desserts and specialty lattes.
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.
Yahoola Creek Grill
Using the best local ingredients, Yahoola Creek Grill offers lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Dine on sandwiches, salads and Southern classics like chicken and waffles, meatloaf and chicken pot pie.
There’s always something going on in Dahlonega.
Six Gap Century Bicycle Ride
Six Gap Century Bicycle Ride in September is one of the region’s premier rides open to all ability levels. The challenging route has steep climbs and elevation gains. Nine rest stops provide food and drink along the way.
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 festival pageant. Run by the local Jaycees, the event benefits one of their local charities.
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.
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.
Trail Fest celebrates Dahlonega’s role as the gateway to the Appalachian Trail with authors, speakers, workshops, music, food, vendors and non-profit groups.
Old Fashioned Christmas
The holiday season brings Dahlonega's Old Fashioned Christmas, the official kick off. The event includes the Lighting of the Square, carriage rides, caroling, a parade and an appearance by Santa himself.
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.
Music lovers can’t miss Hemlock Fest, an annual music festival in November that supports the protection of local hemlock trees. There are also arts and crafts, a lantern parade, a kids village, silent auction and guided hikes, as well as primitive camping.
In March, the Dahlonega Literary Festival brings in regional authors for programming and book sales.