15+ Awesome Things To Do in Dahlonega You’ll Love

Dahlonega is a small north Georgia city that’s full of charm, history, beauty, outdoor activities, family friendly adventures, local shops, amazing restaurants, and plenty of great things to do.

Located a little over an hour from Atlanta, Dahlonega is home to the University of North Georgia, is located in the Heart of Georgia Wine Country, and is the site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush. What we’re saying is: This Georgia mountain town’s got smarts, history, and fun.

Ready to learn more? Here are 15+ things to do in Dahlonega that we know you’re going to love.

15+ Awesome Things To Do in Dahlonega You'll Love
Courtesy of Discover Dahlonega

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DAHLONEGA GOLD MUSEUM 

The downtown Dahlonega streets may not be paved with gold, but the bricks have flecks of gold at the Dahlonega Gold Museum. The 1836 Federal/Greek Revival building in the center of the town’s historic square is the oldest surviving courthouse in Georgia.

The State Historic Site, operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, offers guides, displays, a gift shop, and the award-winning “Gold Fever” film of the late 1820’s story that brought the town to life.

CONSOLIDATED GOLD MINE

Travel 200 feet underground and 100 years back in time at the Consolidated Gold Mine. Enjoy a 40-minute underground adventure of an authentic mine with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. As you descend the stairs, hear tales of miner’s struggles to uncover gold deep within large quartz veins. 

My kids and I have been on the tour here, and it’s fantastic! My kids had a great time, and exploring the mine was a really neat experience that they still talk about.

Credible tour guides engage the crowd and welcome interaction as you experience life as a miner at the turn of the century. After the underground tour, receive gold panning instructions from some of the best panners in the world. Then test your skills and maybe you’ll strike it rich!

All paid admissions get a free gold panning sample.

CRISSON GOLD MINE

Drive over to the Crisson Gold Mine, and see the only working Stamp Mill in Georgia — which is 130 years old.  Tour the outdoor museum of the mill, machinery, and even an old moonshine still display. The Crisson Mine experience also offers gold panning, gemstone grubbing, wagon rides, and a picnic area.

The 15-minute wagon ride offers more visual gold mining history (ride past more antique mining equipment and entrances to the old mines), as well as unique animals along the way. 

BAREFOOT HILLS HOTEL

Since I live just a few hours away from Dahlonega, I have stayed in a mountain cabin on Cavender Creek, a rustic duplex near the Downtown Square, and even a college dorm at North Georgia College. Barefoot Hills is my favorite. 

Barefoot Hills Hotel is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Dahlonega, Georgia.  Its convenient location near Springer Mountain, the official beginning point of the Appalachian Trail, as well as numerous other prized mountain gaps, has long made it a favorite spot for the trail hiking communityCyclists, mountain bikers, rock climbers, kayakers, fly-fishing aficionados, boaters, golfers and outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life also find Barefoot Hills Hotel conveniently located to some of the finest recreational outings in the southeastern United States.

The accommodations range from family cabins, suites, standard rooms, hiker hostel bunkrooms, and eco cabins. The common outdoor area features a firepit and a grill with panoramic views of the mountains.

WINE AND DINE

ACCENT CELLARS

Accent Cellars was founded on the principle of bringing people together around good friends, family and a great experience. They have a variety of unique styles of wine, ranging from dry, off-dry, sweet, sparkling, fortified and unfiltered

The Winemaker’s Reserve Tasting is an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience, hosted on Saturdays by the resident winemaker & owner, Tyler Barnes. Guests have one-on-one access to their winemaker and are encouraged to engage. During the tasting, Tyler demystifies the intricacies of wine and the winemaking process, providing an educational and personalized  tasting experience.

WOLF MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS

Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Winery is a stunning, award-winning winery, located less than an hour drive from downtown Atlanta in the North Georgia mountains of Dahlonega.

Often compared to wineries in Napa, their hillside vineyards, fieldstone-encased winery, and hospitality facilities are the perfect setting for enjoying award-winning, handcrafted wines, a Vineyard wedding, a Wolf Mountain Sunday brunch, or a gourmet dinner.

I loved the true “Napa Style” wine tasting experience. Frankly, I have been to tastings in Napa Valley, and I think the views and experience at Wolf Mountain just might be better. The foyer to the Winery Level provides 1500 square feet of tasting space with majestic vineyard and mountain views. The center of this space focuses on a large four-sided stone and cedar bar with the ambiance of our adjacent cask room, wine cellar and veranda.

Just off the Tasting Room is an open-air veranda and waterfall terrace, the perfect setting for you to enjoy a glass of wine, a gourmet pizza or a cheese plate after your tasting. Next to the Tasting Room, there is a small gift shop and an antique Wine Library and Cellar with an array of 19th century French wine artifacts. Like Rose all day? Try the Brut Rosé.

CAVENDER CREEK VINEYARDS & WINERY

Claire Livingston had a vision: To create a warm, friendly place to enjoy delicious wine tastings and relaxing with family and friends. Claire’s passion for wine, coupled with her commitment to Cavender Creek, has resulted in a charming destination for wine enthusiasts.

On the 15-acre property, there is a vineyard, a generous tasting room, an event barn, and even accommodations. Stay in an authentic 1820s log cabin just steps away from the vineyard. The cabin has two king beds, each with private baths, a queen-size fold-out sleeper sofa with linens, a kitchenette, central heat and air, two fireplaces, and an outdoor firepit.

Cavender Creek grows the American wine grape, Norton, as well as the French varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Manseng, and Petit Verdot. You have to try the wine slushies if you visit in the summer. 

There are images of donkeys on everything, from wine labels to merchandise to the farm. Yes, they have adorable live donkeys! The Tasting Room is open seven days a week, offering wine tastings as well as wine by the glass. Cavender Creek is kid-friendly and also serves beer, seasonal drinks, and food items that pair well with local wines. 

MONTALUCE WINERY & RESTAURANT

Montaluce Winery & Restaurant is a stunningly beautiful place. Enjoy the simplicity of experiencing a first-class Tuscan winery with world-class food and exquisite views. Taste wines on the expansive balconies or seated at charming bistro tables with panoramic views. Nothing here feels ordinary.

Wine hikes are offered Friday through Sunday at 10am and may be the best way to experience the beauty of North Georgia, as well as its growing wine culture. You will be guided by a trained outdoor staff member in a tour of our winery — a guided 1.8-mile intermediate hike along their nature trails, along the headwaters of the Etowah River and through the vineyard. Wine hikes will finish with a five pour wine tasting in Montaluce’s beautiful sister restaurant, Trattoria di Montaluce.

House-made pastas, cheeses, brick-oven pizzas, and other hand-crafted ingredients exemplify the farm-to-table culinary approach at Trattoria di Montaluce. The open-concept dining room is designed around the kitchen’s brick ovens, giving guests a cozy and relaxing dining experience. Ask about the chef table experience for a truly memorable evening.

Another cool opportunity is to plan a photo shoot to commemorate your special occasion on the beautiful grounds at no charge. There is no fee for hosting a photo session at Montaluce. In lieu of a fee, they ask that Montaluce be tagged on social media content.

Read More: 9+ Amazing Dahlonega Wineries You’ll Definitely ‘Cheers’ For

BOURBON STREET GRILLE

Your trip to Dahlonega should include brunch at Bourbon Street Grille. Dine alfresco at a coveted table on the balcony. Cajun favorites and a festive pub-style atmosphere downstairs is the perfect place to hear live music and have a cocktail with friends.

The upstairs dining room offers a more intimate experience. Try their Dirty Shrimp or Blackened Redfish, a juicy Black & Bleu Sirloin or the Grille Burger. 

SMITH HOUSE

Have a hankering for a home-cooked meal? 

The Smith House opened in 1899, serving family style southern specialties at long communal tables.  Buttermilk fried chicken, country ham and garden fresh vegetables have become signature recipes of The Smith House. 

You don’t have to leave when you book a room at the historic inn. The old boarding house still offers weary travelers a welcoming place to stay. The Welch family purchased the Smith House and discovered a mine shaft with a vein of gold beneath the house. You can still view the secret shaft when you visit. 

THE CRIMSON MOON

The Crimson Moon is the place to go in Dahlonega for live music! Located at The Dahlonega Market Place, you’ll find The Crimson Moon has the perfect stage and atmosphere for great live music in the north Georgia mountains.

In addition to amazing music, you’ll also find snacks, appetizers and desserts offered, as well as beer, wine, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages. The family-style seating makes for a super fun atmosphere!

SHOPPING IN DAHLONEGA

Downtown Dahlonega is full of great local shops that you’re going to love. Here are some of our favorites:

HIKING AND WATERFALLS

AMICALOLA FALLS STATE PARK

Amicalola, a Cherokee Indian word meaning “tumbling waters,” is an appropriate name for the 729-foot falls, the third-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. While Amicalola Falls is the most notable feature, there are plenty of things to do at this state park.

Many beautiful and diverse hiking and walking trails wind throughout Amicalola Falls State Park and activities are abundant at the Visitors Center. One of the most popular trails, the 8-mile Approach Trail, leads from the park to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the 2,193-mile Appalachian Trail.

You can also climb the 604 steps from the bottom to the top of the falls, enjoy a picnic, try ziplining, camp or stay in a cabin or at their amazing lodge, take a guided waterfall hike, try hatchet throwing, learn archery, stay in one of their new glamping tents, dine at Cascades Restaurant, and much more! We love this state park. For a unique experience, escape to the Hike Inn.

DESOTO FALLS HIKING TRAIL

The two-mile out-and-back DeSoto Falls Trail near Dahlonega packs a lot of punch in a short distance, crossing a beautiful rhododendron and mossy boulder-filled creek before hiking to two rushing waterfalls through a shady young forest. This hike’s relatively short, kid-friendly distance and moderate elevation change make it one of North Georgia’s most popular waterfall hikes.

CHESTATEE WILDLIFE PRESERVE ZOO

The Chestatee  Wildlife Preserve Zoo protects exotic and domestic animals that have been rescued, orphaned, or are in need of a forever home. Bring a picnic and take a self guided tour of the sanctuary. Plan to spend an hour and a half to see all of the animals including tigers, buffalo, bears and sloths.

Read More: Petting Zoo Near Me: 17 Most Adorable Petting Zoos in Georgia

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA

WHERE TO STAY IN DAHLONEGA

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15+ Awesome Things To Do in Dahlonega You'll Love