5 Most Popular Things to Do in Dahlonega

three sisters vineyards things to do

We have been hosting guests at our bed and breakfast for over sixteen years. Many come to the area to have a quick escape from city life in Atlanta and the metropolitan area. Dahlonega offers peace and quiet as well as fun things to do. We will list the our guests 5 most popular things to do in Dahlonega in order of popularity.

1. Wine Tastings

Each of the Dahlonega area wineries offers wine tastings that guests enjoy and several offer tours. Many offer live music on weekends as well. The wineries also offer a variety of wine styles to satisfy the tastes of all wine lovers. Some also offer lunch and dinner. Visiting the five Dahlonega wineries is the most popular thing to do in the Dahlonega area. For a complete listing of all the Dahlonega area wineries visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/dahlonega-wineries/

2. Visit the Waterfalls

The Dahlonega area has many waterfalls to visit from Dicks Creek Falls which is a popular swimming hole to Amicalola Falls which is the highest waterfall in Georgia. Some waterfalls require an easy to moderate hike to see the falls while others may be seen from your car. For a detailed description with maps visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/2019/06/18/dahlonega-waterfalls/

3. Go Hiking

The mountains around Dahlonega offer many hiking opportunities. Several hiking trails lead to breathtaking waterfalls (see above). Other hikes provide magnificent mountain vistas where you can see for miles. Two favorites are the Blood Mountain hike which takes you to one of the highest parts on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and the other is Preacher’s Rock. A third hike is the Lake Zwerner trail which circles the reservoir near downtown. All three are described with maps at https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/2019/06/26/dahlonega-hiking-trails/

4. Listen to Live Music

The Dahlonega music scene is alive on most weekends with free music provided at many restaurants including Shenanigans, Spirit’s Tavern and Bourbon Street Grill. Live performances by better known bands and artists can be heard at the Crimson Moon with a cover charge. You might be able to hear Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls, Kurt Thomas or the Zack Brown Band since they are from this area. First Friday Free Concerts in Hancock Park are especially popular with locals and visitors alike, so bring a blanket to lay on the grass and enjoy. Also, enjoy the ever popular Appalachian Jams that pop up around the downtown square on Saturday’s April through October – better yet, bring your own instrument and join in the fun. For more information on Dahlonega music opportunities including the free concert schedule visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/2019/07/15/dahlonega-theater-music/

5. Learn About the First Gold Rush and Tour a Gold Mine

Dahlonega was the site of the first gold rush in the United States and has a rich history. The Gold Museum in the historic downtown square offers a great deal of information and interesting exhibits about the gold rush era including the discovery of gold and the methods of extraction and processing. The Consolidated Gold Mine is still here and was the largest mine during the time. It provides guided tours into the mining shaft and you get to see how gold was extracted and processed. Crisson Gold Mine offers tours of its stamp mill and has an extensive selection of modern mining equipment. You can also pan for gold at the mines. For more information on gold related attractions in Dahlonega visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/2019/07/08/dahlonega-gold-attractions/

11 Places To Visit in Helen, GA Area

helen ga

Helen is located northeast of the inn and known as a Bavarian Alpine Village. It’s a popular destination for many visitors to our area. We find that our guests tend to have strong feelings about Helen – they either love it and want to plan future trips to the town or tell us that once was enough, but they’re glad they made the drive. You just might want to check out Alpine Helen yourself.

Years ago the town was a successful saw mill town complete with a railroad that hauled lumber and passengers from Gainesville to Helen. The saw mill business fell on hard times and in the late 1960s a group of businessmen and a local artist decided to reinvent the town into a Bavarian village complete with gingerbread adornments on the shops, restaurants and lodging. A river runs through town and has become popular for tubing. Helen is very popular for family vacations since there are a lot of things to do to keep the kids entertained. Starting every September Octoberfest happens for several months with German music, food, dance and people in costume.

If considering a visit from our inn to Helen we suggest you take the northern route through town during the busy periods (Fall and some weekends) to avoid the traffic coming from the south. The map below shows a good route. Web site links to the places mentioned are also listed at the bottom of the page.

We enjoy meandering through Helen two or three times a year and prefer the areas not located in the immediate downtown area. Here are some of our favorite stops. If coming from the north you will be close to Unicoi State Park which features scenic Anna Ruby Falls. The trail to the falls is an easy hike on an asphalt surface. Also coming from the north into town, Betty’s Grocery is a must see on the right side north Main Street before you reach the town shop area. Betty’s is a gourmet grocery with the largest craft beer selection we have seen in these parts. Last time we visited they had a neat little bar out front with a fire pit – a perfect spot to sip your wine or beer on a cool day or evening.

Leaving Betty’s and heading south you will enter the downtown shop section. You can stop and browse if you wish. There are many shops selling souveniers, t-shirts, and candy as well as places to eat. It is a good people watching area so pick a bench and enjoy. At the edge of the shop area you will see the river where there several restaurants – a few right on the river. Just a little further south on your left is a Wendy’s and behind the restaurant is a good German restaurant we enjoy called Bodensee .

Still heading south you will see the first and currently only alpine slide in Georgia on your right. We haven’t tried it, but it looks like fun! Normally you only see the alpine slides in snow ski areas. There’s a putt putt golf course not far down on the left and two other putt putt courses in town as well.

A mile south of Helen proper is Nachoochee Village. On the right you’ll find two popular restaurants Nacoochee Village Tavern and Pizzaria and Mulley’s Nacoochee Grill. Nora Mills is just south of them on your left and is an old grist mill still in operation. It is worth stopping to see the equipment in operation, check out the giant trout in the river out back, try some samples of grits, cornbread or puddin or make a purchase. We always buy a bag of their stone ground grits when passing through. Across the street visit Habersham Winery for tastings and a neat antique mall in an old multi story house. Next to the winery is Nacoochee Adventures that features the longest dual zipline in Georgia.

After leaving this area head south again and you will see the Hardman Farm on the left. The farm was owned by one of the wealthiest men in Georgia during the early 1900s who was also governor of Georgia. The mansion and other buildings have been restored and are now a State Historic Site. Take a left at the Indian mound (with the gazebo on top) to get to the main entrance and parking. If you go to the farm you can hike a new trail from the farm along the river to the southern edge of Helen. The trail was built on the old railroad bed along the river that hauled lumber and passengers from Helen to Gainesville.

Sautee Nacoochee is also located down the road where you turned at the Indian mound and features the Folk Pottery Museum which is very interesting. The Gourd Place is also not too far away which also features art, pottery and jewelry made from gourd molds.

After leaving this area you will be heading south (see map below) towards Cleveland. Before you get to Cleveland you will notice Yonah Mountain (has a rock face) on the left. Look for Yonah Burger on your right and just past the burger joint you will see Tantrum Brewery. Tantrum is the area’s first brewery and the first brewery in Georgia to grow its own hops. Stop in for a “farm to table” beer.

After leaving Tantrum you will head south again and take a right at the Ingles Grocery to get back to the inn.

Web Sites to 11 Places Listed Above

1)Anna Ruby Falls http://www.unicoistatepark.org/anna-ruby-falls.html

2) Betty’s Grocery https://bettysinhelen.com/

3) Bodensee Restaurant https://bodenseerestaurant.com/

4) Alpine coaster https://georgiamountaincoaster.com/

5) Nora Mills http://www.noramill.com/

6) Habersham Winery http://habershamwinery.com/

7) Zip Lines https://www.nacoocheeadventures.com/

8) Hardman Farm https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/2019/09/09/hardman-farm/

9) Pottery Museum https://www.snca.org/folkpotteryWebsite/fpm/home.php

10) Gourd Place https://gourdplace.com/

11) Tantrum Brewery https://tantrumbeer.com/

Dahlonega Art

dahlonega art brad walker pottery

Dahlonega offers a variety of attractions including beautiful mountain scenery, wineries, waterfalls, unique shops, and restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines. Another attraction that lures visitors to the area is the Dahlonega art scene.

Many of the festivals in Dahlonega have an art emphasis with exhibits of local and regional artists showing and selling their work. The largest art related festival is the Arts, Wine and Jazz Festival held every May in the historical Dahlonega square and Hancock Park. The festival is sponsored by the local non-profit artists association Chestatee Artists. The association supports art education in the Dahlonega area as well as encouraging artistic expression among the member artists. Professional jazz musicians and local wine are also featured.

The Dahlonega art scene also includes some popular art galleries in the downtown area. They include the Bleu Gallery, Canvas and Cork and Brad Walker Pottery.

Bleu Gallery is located on the historic Dahlonega square and includes the works of many local artists. Some of the artists may be working in the gallery areas when you visit and would be happy to show your their work and discuss their craft with you. The gallery also has a wine tasting area with a variety of wines for tasting or for sale. For more information visit their web site http://bleugallery.net

Canvas and Cork gallery is located adjacent to Hancock Park and also features the works of many local artists. They also offer art classes on a variety of art mediums as well as a wine tasting area. On weekends they often have live music featuring Irish Jams and other styles of music. For more information visit their website: http://canvasandcorkdahlonega.com/

Brad Walker Pottery is located on the historic square and houses the work of Brad Walker a longtime Dahlonega potter and artist. Brad has been located at the same location for over 40 years and can often be found at his wheel at the back of his shop creating his unique pottery pieces. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Walker-Brad-Pottery/167060836641829

The University North Georgia has an active art department with exhibitions throughout the year showing works of students and faculty. The Bob Owens Art Gallery is on the top floor of the Hoag Student Center and has six exhibitions per year. https://ung.edu/art-galleries/dahlonega/index.php. The university also has the outdoor sculpture exhibition, a regional juried exhibition, featuring artists born in or residing in one of the 13 Appalachian States. More information at https://ung.edu/visual-arts/outdoor-sculpture/index.php

Out of Town Art Galleries

Around Back at Rocky’s Place Art Gallery is near Dawsonville, Ga and features the work of 200 folk artists, potters, wood carvers, fabric artists, and metal sculptors. Less than 30 minutes from the inn they are located at 3631 Hwy 53 East at Etowah River Road in Dawsonville, GA 30534. Phone 706-265-6030. Only open Saturdays and Sundays. For more information visit https://aroundbackatrockysplace.com/

Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia Sautee Nacoochee describes and shows the history of pottery in the Northeast Georgia mountains. Attached to the Sautee Nacoochee Center which features local history as well as local art on display and for sale, it is 36 minutes northwest of the inn. It opened in September 2006 and has won architectural awards for the building design. The museum contains an extensive collection of 150 pieces dating back to the 1840’s. For more information on exhibits, workshops, special events and hours of operation visit http://www.folkpotterymuseum.com/ .

Around the corner is the InsideOut Sautee gallery, market and wine tasting room. They feature local art and jewelry for sale as well as lunch. Gluten free options available. For more info visit http://insideoutsautee.com/index.html

Head south and also visit the Gourd Place at 2139 Duncan Ridge Road in Sautee. They invented a process to use gourds to make pottery. The pottery takes on the intricate physical charactertics of the inner part of the gourd with unique details. They have bowls, dishes, coffee mugs, earrings and much more. For more information visit https://gourdplace.com/

Come visit us and experience the Dahlonega area art attractions.

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