Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just over an hour north of Atlanta, Dahlonega offers a truly magical mountain getaway. This quaint town is surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, beautiful wineries and miles of hiking trails. And don’t forget the waterfalls! Dahlonega is the site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush, and the downtown is listed on the Historic Register. Lumpkin County Georgia was created Dec. 3, 1832. Its heritage includes the Cherokee nation, gold mining and civil war eras. Dahlonega is also home to the University of North Georgia and Georgia’s Military College.
Dahlonega is magical at Christmas. The entire Town Square is decorated with Christmas trees and twinkling white lights. The shops on the Historic Square all participate with the festive theme and offer plenty of holiday cheer.. The” Old Fashioned Dahlonega Georgia Christmas” recently earned accolades from Southern Living, which referred to it as a “perfect Christmas Town.” I agree.
In 1828, 20 years before the Gold Rush to California, gold was discovered completely by accident. Benjamin Parks stumbled across a rock 2 miles south of what is now Dahlonega. Upon further inspection, he discovered that it was full of gold. Within one year 15,000 miners rushed to Dahlonega. Most of the gold that could be mined has been removed through tunnels by miners and the mine is no longer active. However, at The Consolidated Gold Mine you can still experience the mine by traveling 200 feet underground and 100 years back in time. Tours last about one hour and you will learn how the gold was mined, the risks involved and stories about the miners. The tour also includes an opportunity to pan for gold. The Consolidated Gold Mine is located just outside of Dahlonega. It is an interesting experience to stand where the miners stood and search for that remaining gold nugget. The mine is open 7 days a week and does not require reservation. Cost is $21.95 for adults and $14.95 for children
The North Georgia mountain’s award-winning wines and breathtaking views is paradise for wine enthusiasts. With 12 tasting rooms and 8 wineries, Dahlonega is known as the Heart of Georgia Wine Country and the Wine Tasting Room Capital of Georgia.
Kaya Vineyards and Winery is one of the first and largest of the current vineyards. . It is built on a ridge with a 1600 ft elevation offering sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and lush vineyards. Kaya Vineyard offers a tasting room with Farm-to-Table fine dining, luxury cottages, a wedding venue, a gift shop and winery tours. I highly recommend a stop at Kaya Vineyard even if you are not a wine drinker. The atmosphere is cozy and the views are incredible.
30 minutes from Dahlonega is Amicalola Falls State Park. A nature lover’s paradise located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, and only 8 miles from the Appalachian Trail. The park is named after it’s most famous waterfall, Amicalola Falls, which at 729 feet is the 3rd highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. There are more than 14 miles of trails in the park. We chose to start at the Lodge which is at the top of the falls and hike the 604 steps down and then 604 steps back up. The views of the falls were incredible and it is a great workout. The Lodge features a gift shop, restaurant, room rentals and amazing views. The park also offers ziplining, archery, guided hikes and a survivalist camp.
A day at Amicalola is a great way to get outside and see the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains up close.
Whether you love wineries, quaint downtowns, hiking and natural beauty or just looking to get away and relax, Dahlonega Georgia has it all!
I’m a freelance writer and photographer living in SW Florida. I have a love of travel and photography. Living in Florida, my backyard is a travel destination with crystal clear water, beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and amazing wildlife. Wander with me…