Aerial view of Amicalola Lodge and Falls in Dawsonville, Georgia. Photo by John Seibel Photography
Guide to Dawsonville
Home of Georgia's tallest waterfall and only backcountry lodge, the southern terminus to the Appalachian Trail and NASCAR Champions Bill and Chase Elliott, Dawsonville is a favorite destination for family fun year-round.
Around one hour north of Atlanta, Dawsonville is home to the southern terminus of the famous Appalachian Trail, which starts at Springer Mountain, accessible from Amicalola Falls State Park. The area has a tradition with moonshine and NASCAR, and is known as the stomping grounds of race car drivers Bill and Chase Elliott. In the fall, pumpkin patches and farm fun attract visitors to this scenic North Georgia town.
Things to Do
Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge
Visit one of the seven natural wonders of Georgia and Georgia’s tallest cascading 729-foot waterfall, Amicalola Falls, along with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Recreational activities include guided hikes, fishing, camping, GPS scavenger hunt, birds of prey, zip lines and 3-D archery. Atop the falls sits the 57 resort-style room lodge with the Maple Restaurant with views spanning the Appalachian Mountains.
Around Back at Rocky's Place Folk Art Gallery
Around Back at Rocky's Place is one of North Georgia's largest folk art galleries featuring one of a kind artwork from hundreds of Southern artists. Our gallery boasts thousands of unique pieces of work, including the largest collection of artwork by Cornbread in the universe!
Atlanta Motorsports Park
Atlanta Motorsports Park is a motorsports club and motorsports playground where family, friends, and businesses come together to share and celebrate their passion for driving. Set in the breathtaking Blue Ridge mountains near Dawsonville, just 45 minutes north of Buckhead, Atlanta Motorsports Park’s facilities include a Formula One-designed, 2-mile road course for members and clients. Also, AMP is home to America’s most unique karting circuit with elevation changes found nowhere else in the world.
Bowen Center for the Arts
The Bowen Center for the Arts provides a canvas for creating, appreciating, and participating in the arts for the Georgia and Southeast Community who seek high-quality unique experiences through artist workshops, artist exhibitions, and performing arts. Open weekly for exhibit tours.
Experience Burt's Farm in the secluded North Georgia mountains! Opening yearly in May for the sweetest strawberries and in the Fall for the largest assortment of pumpkins you’ll find. The only thing more beautiful than the fall foliage is the sea of orange created by thousands of Burt’s pumpkins. Make your plans to visit and see why Burt’s Farm has become a cherished fall, and now Spring, tradition for thousands of families every year.
Etowah Valley Sporting Clays
Etowah Valley Sporting Clays offers serious sport shooting enthusiasts as well as beginners looking to have fun the premier spot for clay, skeet, trap and five stand shooting in the greater Atlanta area. Open since 2004, our ownership and staff are veterans of clay shooting, and we know what fun looks like. We have several courses and offerings for beginners and gun sports veterans alike. Our courses are laid out over the natural setting of the Appalachian Mountain range foothills. Come out and shoot with us!
Fausett Farms Sunflowers and Horse Trails
Family-owned since 1958, Fausett Farms is the premier location to experience the beauty of over a million sunflowers beginning in September. The farms also offers 30+ miles of horse trails with panoramic mountain views which are open year-round.
Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Museum
The Dawsonville History Museum is the official home of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Museum. Celebrating the history of motorsports in the state, and dedicated to preserving the memory of the drivers, mechanics, car owners and other who have contributed to the sport. Also, home to an exhibit showcasing Dawsonville’s most recent NASCAR Champion, Chase Elliott!
North Georgia Premium Outlets
North Georgia Premium Outlets is an outdoor Georgian-style village located 45 minutes north of Atlanta on Highway 400. Shop more than 140 designer and name-brand outlet stores including Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Pottery Barn, Kate Spade New York, Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store. Enjoy exceptional brands at extraordinary savings of 25% - 65% every day for shopping that's always worth the trip.
Uncle Shucks Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch
The 15-acre Uncle Shucks Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch is home to tons of farm fun, delicious farm food, and unforgettable family memories. Join us for a day on the farm exploring all the farm has to offer, including pick-your-own pumpkins, jumping pillow, tire mountain, kids maze, and gem mining. On Friday and Saturday nights in October, brave the horror that is The Dark Rows, the unique haunted trail through some of the most twisted trails of the corn field!
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Places to Stay
Amicalola Falls Lodge
Take advantage of the natural surroundings with a stay at Amicalola Falls Lodge, which has hotel-style amenities, including a stunning view and an in-house restaurant. The state park also has cottages and a campground.
Len Foote Hike Inn
Adventure seekers can stay at the Hike Inn, Georgia's only backcountry lodge that is only accessible via 5-mile hike from Amicalola Falls. Guests can enjoy soft beds, hot showers and family-style dining.
Timberline Glamping at Amicalola Falls State Park
Choose to relax at your glamping site with included amenities like a wood fire pit, hammocks, and picnic tables. Or take part in recreation opportunities like hiking, zip-lining, archery or explore the park’s 829 acres.
Paradise Valley Resort
The Paradise Valley Resort offers something different as the area's only clothing-optional resort. They have amenities like nature trails, sporting courses, pools and a tiki bar. They welcome both first-time visitors and returning members.
Under the Hemlock Cabins and Campground
For a rustic experience, stay at Under the Hemlock Cabins and Campground, just outside Amicalola State Park. The camping cabins have picnic tables, king beds, refrigerators and microwaves, and air conditioning. RV and tent sites also have access to the bath house.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Quality Inn & Suites, Super 8 by Wyndham and Econo Lodge
There are also chain properties like our newest property opening in 2021, the Holiday Inn and Suites, with a conference room, fitness and business center, and complimentary breakfast. The Quality Inn & Suites, a pet-friendly property with WiFi, mini fridges, free hot breakfast, an outdoor pool and a fitness room. The Super 8 by Wyndham has free daily breakfast, free Internet, a refrigerator and microwave, and an indoor pool and spa.
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Where to Eat
Dine at one of Dawsonville's eateries for the full experience.
Cascades at Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge
The state park has its own restaurant, Cascades. It has a buffet and a la carte menu of American and Southern dishes with stunning mountain views.
The Blue Bicycle
The Blue Bicycle opened in 2005 as a casual bistro that is chef-owned and -operated. The seasonal selections are peppered with local fare and built with a conscience. You will find something for both the cautious and adventurous diner on an eclectic menu that leans toward French with a Southern accent.
Inspired by home-cooked family recipes, Papa's Place welcomes guests to be treated like family. Dishes like omelets, biscuits, sandwiches, salads and burgers are prepared with love at this friendly diner.
Big D's BBQ
Chow down with the smoked chicken, pork, and brisket at Big D's BBQ. In addition to the barbecue with all the fixings, they also have juicy steak burgers, jumbo buffalo wings, and cathead buttermilk biscuits.
The Varsity Jr.
Just like its counterpart in Atlanta, The Varsity Jr. has burgers, hot dogs, fries and shakes.
Dawsonville Pool Room
Made famous by owner Gordon Pirkle, Dawsonville Pool Room is a NASCAR-themed restaurant featuring memorabilia related to local legend Bill Elliott and moonshiners. The menu includes made-from-scratch burgers with fresh-cut fries.
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Plan your visit around one of Dawsonville’s annual events.
Mountain Moonshine Festival
Held the fourth weekend in October in Downtown Dawsonville’s Main Street Park, the Mountain Moonshine Festival and Car Show features hundreds of classic cars and around 200 craft vendors.
Fausett Farms Sunflower 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run
The annual Sunflower 5K & Fun Run takes place at Fausett Farms Sunflowers in October. A family friendly event that takes you on a run- or walk-through thousands of sunflowers in the heart of Dawson County.
Christmas in Dawsonville
Ring in the holiday season at the Downtown Dawsonville Christmas Parade, Jingle Market and Tree Lighting. The market features crafts from local vendors and the parade winds through town. The merriment ends with music, dancing, pictures with Santa and hot cocoa.