Gibbs Gardens & Edge of the World Trail Day Trip

Gibbs gardens

One of the greatest reasons to stay in Dahlonega is that there is so much to do and see. If you want to explore outside the area it also makes a convenient and centralized base camp for day trips to places like Gibbs Gardens. The gardens are 52 minutes away from the inn. After visiting the gardens you may want to visit the Edge of the World trail on the way back to the inn (more info and map to both destinations below).

The gardens were started by Atlanta horticularist and landscaper Jim Gibbs who also founded Gibbs Landscape Company. Mr. Gibbs searched the area for the ideal place to build his gardens and found some beautiful rolling property with water (streams and springs) near Ball Ground.

The gardens he built on the 295 acre property comprise 220 acres and is one of the largest residential estate gardens in the country. Over the years he has built 24 ponds, 32 bridges and 19 waterfalls to add beauty and interest to his many native plantings, exotic plants, perennials and annuals. Gibbs Gardens consists of 16 gardens including three feature gardens called the Manor House Gardens, Japanese and Waterlily Gardens. Unique and interesting sculptures are also in the gardens. A large Manor House of European architecture is also a centerpiece on the property.

It takes around 3.5 to 4 hours to see everything. Check their web site below to see what is featured throughout the season and what is “in bloom” when you plan to visit.

Guests are not permitted to bring food or drink onto the property except for bottled water. Since you might get hungry while on the property you can purchase food at the Arbor Cafe. The cafe features seasonal food offerings from fresh salads, to wraps and sandwiches. Sorry no wine on the menu.

The gardens are open from 2/16-5/31 from 9-4 Tuesday through Sunday and 6/1-12/8 from 9-4 Wednesday through Sunday. It’s highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance from their web site to avoid a wait.

They also have art exhibits by visiting artists at various times throughout the year and an annual art festival on the Manor House lawn in September. For more information visit https://gibbsgardens.com

After spending most of your day at Gibbs Gardens you will be ready to head back to the inn. On the way back you might want to stop by the “Edge of the World” trail located on the Amicalola River (a 2.9 mile loop). We have shown the location on our map below. A link below gives more information on the hike. The area is popular with kayakers since it has class IV whitewater. For more information visit http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Amicalola_River_Trail

For more things to do in the area visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/dahlonega-attractions/

Day Trip to Tallulah Gorge, Wineries & More

tallulah gorge

For guests staying with us for two or more nights there are countless things to do and see in the North Georgia mountains. Waterfalls, wineries, hiking trails, rivers, small towns and more are theirs to explore. Some of our guests ask if there are any Dahlonega day trips that they should consider. One of the best things about Dahlonega is it’s proximity to so many other great North Georgia places just waiting to be explored and just a day trip away.

If you travel east from Dahlonega you will take one of our favorite day trips. Your destination for hiking and enjoying the great outdoors will begin at Tallulah Gorge followed by a visit to a distillery, quaint Clayton, Georgia, two wineries, beautiful lakes, pottery shops and a brewery. The map at the bottom of the page shows the route.

Tallulah Gorge offers beautiful views from top to bottom. The granite sided gorge is about 2 miles long and 1,000 feet deep with the Tallulah river at the bottom. After descending 750 steps you arrive at a neat suspension bridge that crosses the gorge 80 feet above the river (picture at bottom of page). An additional 450 steps take you to the bottom. The gorge floor also has six major waterfalls ranging from 16 to 46 feet. If you arrive early the park issues 100 permits per day that allow you to hike the gorge floor depending on weather and water conditions. There are several great views of the gorge from the rim (picture above) if you don’t want to take all the steps to the bottom. In Early April and November they release water from the dam for professional kayakers to navigate through the gorge while spectators watch from the rim. The gorge is one of our favorite Georgia destinations because its rugged beauty reminds us of Colorado where we once lived and roamed.

After enjoying Tallulah Gorge you may want to head north toward Clayton for lunch. Before you reach Clayton you can visit Moonrise Distillery on the right for a tour and tasting. Clayton is a cute mountain town with unique shops and some nice restaurants many boasting farm to table fare.

From Clayton head southwest to Tiger, Georgia and visit two wineries: Tiger Winery and Stonewall Creek Winery. Tiger Winery serves lunch and dinner on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays at their Red Barn Cafe. Stonewall Creek is farther west of Tiger Winery.

From Stonewall Creek you will head towards Lake Burton. You can take a left at Lake Seed road and make a short drive to see Lake Seed and Lake Rabun. Lake Rabun is beautiful with trees and million dollar homes lining the shores with impressive boathouses for the homeowners wooden Chris Craft vintage boats.

Head back west to where you turned off for Seed Lake and take a left to head back towards the inn. If you have time on the way back you can stop at the Batesville General Store for a bite to eat (known for homemade biscuits). The Mark of the Potter is less than 2 miles from the Batesville store on highway 197 and takes you off the route shown on the map below. The shop is located in an old mill on the Soquee River and has artists making and showing their art.

Closer to Helen you will pass Tantrum Brewery for a good craft beer while looking at Yonah Mountain. Tantrum is not that far from the inn so if time does not allow a stop on this day trip you can always head back later.

Links to destinations mentioned above:

Tallulah Gorge info: https://gastateparks.org/TallulahGorge

Moonrise Distillery info: https://moonrisedistillery.com/

Tiger Winery info: http://www.tigerwine.com/

Stonewall Creek Winery : https://stonewallcreek.com/

Mark of the Potter Pottery Shop: https://www.markofthepotter.com/

Tantrum Brewery: https://tantrumbeer.com/

For more things to do in the area visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/dahlonega-attractions/

Tallulah Gorge Bridge, Dahlonega Day Trip
Tallulah Gorge Suspension Bridge

Dahlonega Gold Attractions

dahlonega gold museum

In the early 1800s thousands flocked to the Dahlonega area in search of gold and the chance to make their fortunes. Today thousands come to the Dahlonega Gold attractions every year to learn about the area’s history making gold rush and even experience the thrill of discovering gold in one of the local mines or rivers.

Gold was discovered in the Dahlonega area in the early 1800’s. The first gold rush in the United States was not in California but in Dahlonega. The rush started in 1828. When gold was discovered in California the second rush began and many left Dahlonega to head west in search of wealth and fortune. Prior to the gold discovery the area was primarily inhabited by the Cherokee Indians.

The gold rush in Dahlonega changed the atmosphere of the area dramatically with prospectors searching for fortunes and miners staking their claims. While it’s said that the first prospectors could just scoop gold from the rivers and land, that didn’t last long and the prospectors soon resorted to drastic measures to extract the gold from the land. Water cannons were used to blast away the soil to get to the precious rock with no regards for top soil depletion or the destruction of creeks and rivers.

Dahlonega Gold Museum

There are some great ways to experience the history of gold in Dahlonega. The first is to visit the Dahlonega Gold Museum in the center of the historic square. The museum operates in the oldest surviving courthouse in Georgia and features exhibits on the discovery of gold in the Dahlonega area, on extraction techniques including the water cannons and mining, rare Dahlonega gold coins minted in Dahlonega, and a neat movie with old timers telling the history. This stop would be considered the most educational of all the Dahlonega gold attractions. For more information visit http://gastateparks.org/dahlonegagoldmuseum.

For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/xboAnU9bn8jdH1DaA

Diving Bell

After visiting the gold museum head over to Hancock Park which is adjacent to the downtown square. There you will see the diving bell found in the Chestatee River. The “bell” was made in 1875 and was submerged in the water with miners inside to check for gold in the river.

For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/M79wrNvhQz8s3Hv19

Gold Panning Demonstration at Consolidated Gold Mine

Consolidated Gold Mine

For a tour of Dahlonega’s largest gold mine visit Consolidated Gold mine near the Walmart Shopping Center. The mine was also the largest gold mine east of the Mississippi River. You can take a guided tour into one of the mine shafts and see the tools used to extract the gold and get an idea of a day in the life of a gold miner. The mine tour is great to do in the summer months because the mine shaft stays in the 60s year round. At the end of the tour you can pan for gold and everyone gets to take home their prize gold flakes. This ranks as one of the most exciting of all of the Dahlonega gold attractions because you get to go down into the mine shaft. For more information visit http://consolidatedgoldmine.com

For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/7evHpeojkKfcSwXK8

Crisson Gold Mine

Crisson Gold mine is an open pit mine north of town established in 1847 and has an interesting shop in the front for prospectors. There one can purchase some serious equipment like portable river dredgers to scoop up the river bottom and send it through screens to filter out the nuggets, metal detectors, and sluice boxes. Crisson is known as a hard rock mine and has a working hundred year old stamp mill to crush the hard rock to get to the gold. For more information visit http://crissongoldmine.com

For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/SPiBJihRk1QPjeX39

Life Size Reproduction Stamp Mill

If you miss Crisson Mine and the stamp mill you can also see one at the Madeleine Anthony Park. The mill is powered by a water wheel. You can actually see it when you come into town from Highway 400. For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/6iB6enj3AetBoaSP7

Come stay with us and experience the Dahlonega gold attractions.

For more things to do in the area visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/dahlonega-attractions/

gold mine
Gold Mine shaft tour at Consolidated Gold Mine