People sitting at tables outside the Picnic Cafe in Dahlonega, Georgia

Picnic Cafe in Dahlonega, Georgia

Three Ways to Stay Cool in Dahlonega

Dahlonega is a lively town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains about 90 minutes from downtown Atlanta. This is where the Appalachian Trail begins. It’s also the site of the first gold rush in the United States. In addition, there are eight waterfalls to hike within Lumpkin County and the surrounding area. If that’s not enough fun, here are three other activities to do in Dahlonega to keep you cool throughout the summer.

The Gold Fever Tour

Family on a tour of Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega, Georgia
Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega, Georgia

Gold has a deep history in Dahlonega, and you can learn all about it with a Gold Fever Tour package from the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The package includes admission to the Dahlonega Gold Museum that is housed on the square in the old courthouse.

Cool off underground on a tour of the Consolidated Gold Mines just outside of town where you can feel the damp darkness and see examples of the old mining equipment. If you’d rather stay above ground, the Gold Fever Package also includes a tour of the Crisson Gold Mine, which was a hydraulic mine. The equipment used is on display, as well as a genuine moonshine still (although you won’t get any moonshine). After either tour, try your hand at panning for gold or gems.

Downtown Dahlonega

Children eating ice cream outside Connie's in Dahlonega, Georgia
Connie's in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by @adventures_of_louellajames

Downtown Dahlonega has a walkable square with interesting shops and restaurants. The General Store is a great place to find everything from panning equipment to toys to homemade jam, and Connie’s is the perfect place to stop for ice cream.

On Saturday afternoons from 2 -4 p.m. in late April through October, locals gather with their banjos and violins at the Gold Museum for the Appalachian Jam.

Tubing the Chestatee

Tubing on the Chestatee River in Dahlonega, Georgia
Chestatee River in Dahlonega, Georgia

Grab a swimsuit and head to Appalachian Outfitters in Dahlonega for an inexpensive way to beat the heat. The outfitter offers tubing trips that last 30-45 minutes, and with a short 10-minute return hike to the “put in,” you can float it multiple times. Tubers must be at least 4 years old.

Published: April 2024
Written by: Sue Rodman
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