Need a Vacation from your Oblication?

The better half and I just got back from a ten day oblication – you know, the kind of vacation that you feel obligated to make when what you really need and want is a vacation. The kind of trip you feel obliged to make – not to say you don’t love the folks your visiting whether they’re your elderly parents, siblings, children or friends in need. An oblication is the kind of vacation you find yourself needing a vacation from. We always plan a day or two on our own anytime we take an oblication – in Maine we spend a few nights in Portland, in Florida we hit the beach, in Texas we’ve enjoyed San Antonio and Austin.

Our recent oblication took us on a 16 hour trip by car to visit my siblings and elderly parents in Texas. It was a tough trip emotionally with no down time built in to just be on our own. No vacation from the oblication. Fortunately, we happened upon Abita Springs, Louisiana the little town just east of the half way point on our drive and home to the Abita Brew Pub and Abita Brewery. We made the most of our stay there and toured the town before heading on the second leg of our journey, then stopped again on the way home for dinner at the brew pub and a self-guided tour at the brewery. Hoping to spend two nights there on our next trip for a real vacation from our oblication so we can take the guided tour at the brewery, stay at the local b&b and ride the Abita Trail.

The Dahlonega area is the perfect spot for an oblication vacation. Whether you’re visiting relatives in the North Georgia area, attending a conference in Atlanta, or driving through on your way to visit family or do work in the surrounding states or others hundreds of miles away, Dahlonega is a great place to wind down and enjoy a little just you time. Already this year we at Cedar House Inn have hosted oblication travelers from Virginia, Michigan, Florida, Texas, and Ohio who stopped by for a little “time for just us.” The holidays will bring in even more when young couples come home for the holidays and need a little break from the family. If they’re lucky, couples with children leave the kids with grandma and grandpa for a day or two and enjoy a romantic night or two in the Dahlonega area by themselves – a perfect oblication vacation!

Next time an oblication takes you through or near the north Georgia mountains consider an oblication vacation in Dahlonega where every season has it’s charms. In late winter and early spring the town is quiet and the mountain views go on forever. It’s a great time for hiking, browsing through the shops and tasting rooms downtown and enjoying a good meal at one of our many restaurants. Several of our wineries are open throughout the week and make a great romantic stop.

Spring and summer in the Dahlonega area offers even more activities for your oblication vacation. Hiking through mountain paths dotted with wildflowers and waterfalls, tubing or kayaking down the Chestatee River, horseback riding, and cycling are added to the activities waiting for you here.

Fall brings the leaf season with the mountains turning brilliant shades of crimson and gold. Dalonega’s largest festival of the year – the Gold Rush Festival – takes place downtown on the 3rd weekend of October. It’s our busy season with shops, restaurants and wineries going all out to provide guests to the area with entertainment and special events.

If you find yourself in need of an oblication vacation from your family Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukah trip, Dahlonega won’t disappoint. The Dahlonega Square will be decorated for the holidays with the official square lighting usually taking place the weekend after Thanksgiving. Throughout the month of December there are carriage rides, visits by Santa, carolers, and plenty of good old Southern holiday cheer.

Zip Lining Near Dahlonega

zip lining

Have you ever dreamed of flying? Soaring across the tree tops down a mountain like a bird in flight? Hearing the wind rush by while you descend from the mountain? Feeling a sense of peace with a feel of exhilaration all at the same time? If you have, maybe it’s time to try zip lining.

Zip lining is a safe and thrilling activity; trained guides help you get strapped into your harness and get your helmet fitted. The cable you use to glide down the mountain is thick and the fasteners are tested frequently. The only thing you need to watch out for is to keep your arms to your sides and sometimes you may need to cannonball to build up speed based on your weight.

In the North Georgia mountains near Dahlonega there are several zip line facilities that offer zip tours or rides. Among them are Amicalola and Unicoi State Parks and Nacoochee Adventures near Habersham Winery south of Helen. Specific information about the providers are shown below with links and directional maps from the inn.

Nacoochee Adventures

This is the only venue we have visited and tried. It is located next to Habersham Winery south of Helen. Several kinds of zip line tours are offered ranging in time from 30 minutes to 2 1/2 hours long. They have gold mine and bear cave tours as well as the famous Intimidator which is one of the longest dual lines in Georgia. The bumpy bus ride to the top of the course is half the fun. They also zip in the rain. Open 7 days a week from 9am-6pm. Call for a reservation, (706) 878-9477, to insure availability. For more information visit their web site below. https://www.nacoocheeadventures.com/zip-lines

Directions from the inn https://goo.gl/maps/YyaXdGXsLe1UXfju6

Unicoi State Park

Unicoi State Park near Helen has two different zip line levels to choose from. Level one lasts 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours with 11 zip lines. Level two combines level one and eight more zip lines. Level two also zips over Lake Unicoi. Open most days and you can book start times from 10am-3pm. Book your tour online from their web site at https://www.unicoilodge.com/adventures/zip-lines/ . Also call at (706) 878-4740 for reservations.

Directions from the inn https://goo.gl/maps/xH8TfhRDKYFWL7bT6

Amicalola State Park

Amicalola also has Level One and Level Two tours. Level one lasts 1 1/2 to 2 hours and features nine zip lines. Level Two has seven additional zip lines; the longest runs 2,000 feet and is 250 feet at the highest point. Open all week from 8:30am to 6:00 pm. Call (706) 265-1233 for more information or check out their web site for online reservations. http://www.amicalolazipline.com/adventure-options/.

Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/iaouUTUHJC9xC5C1A

Stay with us and enjoy a thrilling ride through the forest canopy.

Dahlonega Craft Beer

Dahlonega craft beer growler from Gold City Growlers

Guests who stay with us and get to know us learn that we love good craft beer. Craft beer offers so many different styles and flavors and have become more popular than wine in many circles. When we take vacations part of our itinerary is visiting the craft breweries in the area for tastings. Unfortunately, at this time we do not have a Dahlonega craft beer brewery, but we hope that may be changing soon.

Fortunately, we do have places in town to purchase a wide selection of craft beers; retail stores, a growler store and restaurants. Breweries are also located in neighboring Hall and White counties.

Nearby Craft Breweries

Left Nut Brewery is located in Gainesville, GA about 45 minutes from the inn. They purchased an old warehouse east of town to set up a brewery and offer tastings. We like their IPA’s. If you head over to that area we can also recommend a great Greek restaurant – Alpha Gyro Grill – on the way for lunch or dinner. For more information visit their web site https://www.leftnutbrewing.com/.

Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/NV9hYooRPGkNMsY86

Tantrum Brewery is the newest craft beer brewery in the area and is located north of Cleveland and south of Helen, Georgia in neighboring White County about 26 minutes northeast of the inn. They are the first farm to table brewery since they grow their own hops on their nearby farm. With a view of Yonah Mountain out of the window you can enjoy a flight of their many great brews. For more information visit their web site at https://tantrumbeer.com/.

Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/AwdCnvnujdXmwUwn7

Dahlonega Breweries Coming?

The Etowah Meadery south of the inn on Highway 19 has announced on its Facebook page that its planning to open a craft beer brewery called Etowah Brewery. They currently make mead or honey wine and are only 4 minutes south of the inn. We have no idea when they will open their beer operation but have heard that they have purchased the brewing equipment for small batch brewing. When they open they will be the first Dahlonega craft beer brewery. When they open it will not be nearly as large as Left Nut or Tantrum Breweries based on the size of their current facility. Facebook page for more information which has been very limited at the date of this blog post. https://www.facebook.com/EtowahBrewery/?__tn__=HHH-R. Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/dSTCmKS7gXMguuvS9

From time to time we hear about other craft beer breweries coming to Dahlonega to set up shop. We hope they do since the market would be strong based on tourism volume and having a university in town. When they decide to come we will update this page with more information.

Dahlonega Craft Beer Retail Shops

Gold City Growlers is the only Dahlonega craft beer store that specializes in craft beers. They offer flights of Georgia and other craft beers and you can purchase cans, bottles or growlers. We have a loaner growler at the inn you can use to pick up your favorite beer. To see what is currently on tap visit their web site at https://www.goldcitygrowlers.com/.

Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/3T2nY6eC9BhLB5Qz9

Fresh and Low is a local grocery store on the way into Dahlonega’s historic square and has a great craft beer selection for a grocery store. Their model is cost plus 10% so prices are affordable. Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/e1rMh9UDdNDG9td29

Restaurants Serving Craft Beer

Many of the restaurants serve craft beer but our favorite is Gustavo’s on the square. They seem to have the largest selection of Georgia craft beer of any restaurant in the area. Besides great pizza check out their blackboard where they list their rotating taps of beers including a high gravity option that we like. They also serve flights and on Thursday nights feature a brewery – order a beer from that brewery and you get to keep the logo glass your brew comes in. Facebook page with the latest information https://www.facebook.com/gustavospizza/.

Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/kioVEu9wQeRY5655A

Shenanigan’s also has a nice selection of craft beers in an Irish pub atmosphere. We like to visit them for a glass of high gravity Old Rasputin Russian Stout when they have it. Web site http://www.theshenaniganspub.com/drink.aspx.

Directions from inn https://goo.gl/maps/WPDMteveYorSko348

We will update this post from time to time if new craft beer developments occur. We also share many craft beer posts on our Instagram page at https://instagram.com/cedarhouseinn