Chateau Elan Winery & Resort. Photo by Erica Key, EatingWithErica.com
Plan the Ultimate Friends Getaway to North Georgia Wineries
Tips for where to eat and drink, what to do, and where to stay on your next getaway with friends.
We can think of nowhere better to spend a few days with friends than at Georgia's wineries and vineyards. With many grouped around the North Georgia mountains, including Dahlonega and Helen, you can sample a wide variety of Georgia wines without traveling very far.
Georgia wineries have more than just wine tasting on offer. The region has attractions like spas and outdoor adventures to keep you entertained in between winery visits.
There are so many wineries in Georgia that it’s nearly impossible to see them all in one trip, so plan based on where you’re staying. Set a designated driver in advance, or book a trip with a wine tour company.
Where to Eat and Drink
Let’s be honest: you’re here for the wine. And there’s plenty of it, but the food is just as good!
Wineries with Restaurants
Montaluce Winery & Restaurant - Open seven days a week in Dahlonega, Montaluce's restaurant is what you might expect from a top-rated city restaurant but surrounded by vines. The menu features steaks and seafood.
Marc Bar and Restaurant at Chateau Elan - This Southern-inspired bar and chophouse is situated within the resort's 16th century-styled chateau and winery. Marc features a curated list of wine, champagne, beer and an exclusive assortment of inventive cocktails featuring fresh sips such as the Bulldog Smash, Marc-hattan, Mexican Martini and more. The cuisine at Marc features hand-selected steaks and Southern-inspired dishes, as well as desserts, perfect for sharing or savoring alone.
Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery - There’s so much to love about this award-winning winery tucked on a hillside in Dahlonega with one of the best restaurants around, especially for Sunday brunch, which has live music.
Restaurants near Wineries
The Picnic Cafe and Dessertery - Grab breakfast or lunch, coffee or dessert at this favorite student hangout on the Dahlonega square. Biscuits and egg sandwiches are the best way to start the day, or you can enjoy soups and salads before heading out to the nearby wineries.
The Smith House - Set in an 1800s home in Dahlonega, the family-style eatery is where you go to line your stomach before a day of tastings. Go with friends to share fried chicken, collard greens and corn muffins for lunch or dinner.
The Dillard House - Another family-style restaurant, The Dillard House in Rabun Gap dates back to 1917, and serves a daily-changing menu of country fried steak and fried green tomatoes.
Grapes & Beans - It started as a wine shop and coffee shop, but is now a restaurant in Clayton that focuses on local and seasonal ingredients. They have vegetarian entrees, as well as soups and salads.
Bernie's Restaurant - A classically trained mother-daughter duo runs this cozy restaurant in Sautee Nacoochee that has top-notch dishes like steak au poivre and roasted duck for lunch and dinner. They also serve wine from nearby vineyards.
Hofer's of Helen - If you only make it to one restaurant in Helen, let it be this one. It’s busy all day, starting with the pastries served at breakfast and continuing into pastrami sandwiches for lunch.
Things to Do
In addition to wineries, there is plenty to explore with friends. Visit some of the popular attractions mentioned below, go hiking, ziplining, tubing and apple picking. And don’t forget about shopping in downtown Dahlonega and the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville!
Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia - Learn about the area’s history with pottery, starting with Native American traditions to the present uses in the arts.
Hardman Farm State Historic Site - The 173-acre residence was built in the 1870s in the Italianate style. It sits across from a Native American mound and has a number of the original furnishings.
Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, A North Georgia Zoo - Rescued animals — including Siberian tigers, emu, elk and even a grizzly bear — call this North Georgia facility home.
Babyland General Hospital - This unusual attraction honors the Cleveland native that created the Cabbage Patch dolls. Here, you can learn about the company and adopt a doll of your own.
Equani Spa at Brasstown Valley Resort - Pamper yourself with a treatment from this sanctuary in wine country. The resort’s spa offers facials, massages and Cherokee-inspired rituals.
The Spa at Chateau Elan - The European-style spa is located inside a mansion on the property with facials, massages and manicures as well as fitness facilities.
Places to Stay
Here’s a place to stay for every group, from rustic cabins in the woods to luxury resorts with wineries on site.
Wineries with Onsite Accommodations
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton has many rooms of varying styles, all well located within the resort’s amenities.
Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris has the Vine Keeper’s Cottage, which is popular with wedding parties. They have a second cottage nearby for larger groups.
Cabin-in-the-Vines Guesthouse at Cavender Creek in Dahlonega boasts an 1820s hand-hewn log cabin where guests can stay the night.
Montaluce Winery rents out villas that overlook the vineyards.
Sylvan Valley Lodge & Cellars in Sautee Nacoochee was originally a bed and breakfast with king or queen beds, but now offers its own fairy-inspired wines.
Accommodations near Wineries
Lucille's Mountain Top Inn & Spa in Sautee Nacoochee is a cozy bed and breakfast with views of the mountain.
Georgia State Parks are a great place to stay when visiting wine country with friends. Unicoi State Park & Lodge in Helen is perfect, especially for their cabins made from old wine vats.
Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris is a luxurious option with a spa, stables, restaurants and a golf course.
Forrest Hills Resort in Dahlonega has a total of 85 rooms, group lodges and cabin rentals as well as a restaurant, massage spa, riding stables, nature trails and more.