Site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush and the Heart of Georgia Wine Country, Dahlonega, Georgia offers an authentic, mountain getaway only an hour north of Atlanta.
Dahlonega is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains, no wonder the Hallmark Channel loves this little gem of a town for their location site of many Hallmark Christmas movies. With the abundance of wineries and street entertainment, the Dahlonega Square can keep anyone busy for a weekend trip.
In the 1820s, Dahlonega was the site of the Georgia Gold Rush, the second significant gold rush in the United States. The city was named “Talonega” by the Georgia General Assembly in 1833, but in 1837 was changed to “Dahlonega” from the Cherokee–language word Dalonige, meaning “yellow” or “gold”.
Is there gold in them thar hills? Well, according to historical facts – yes. However, now Dahlonega has been recognized as “the heart of the North Georgia Wine Country. As a matter of fact, Dahlonega and Lumpkin County is now known as the Wine Tasting Room Capital of Georgia, so between the gold mining sites and the wine, you could certainly keep yourself busy.
As noted before, the historic Dahlonega Square with a gold mine museum, gift shops, restaurants, art galleries and studios, and wine-tasting rooms. Just sitting on the courthouse lawn people watching is a treat.
The city’s local festivals and events draw many visitors. For those who love the “Hallmark-style” feeling, An Old Fashioned Christmas and First Night Dahlonega, the New Year’s Eve celebration on the square is a perfect place to boost your holiday spirit. “Bear on the Square”, is an annual three-day festival held the third weekend in April, marks the day that a black bear wandered onto the square. (My guess is he wanted a sip of sweet tea.) . “Gold Rush Days”, is also an annual two-day event the third weekend in October. With the beauty of leaf changing season, this annual event attracts over 200,000 people.
If you are hungry, The Smith House, located just off the square is known for it’s southern-rich cuisine. Reservations are required, of course. And, if you’re in the mood for a little turn of time, do visit the Dahlonega General Store. It’s a town (and Hallmark Channel) favorite.
You can’t go wrong visiting this charming town. It’s got it all – a few mountains, some great food, amazing entertainment and a lot of wine! So, take a trip with the family to this quaint little town called Dahlonega. Trust me, it’s a gold mine.
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Spend your New Year’s Eve celebrating with hope, awareness and purpose in downtown Dahlonega.