Guest Author - Jessica Hoffmann
Dahlonega Georgia earned a place on the map thanks to a Gold Rush in the late 1820’s. Today, the foothills of Lumpkin County are a hot spot for tourism thanks to several quality vineyards and the town’s access to the Appalachian Trail. The quaint town, nestled in the northeast Georgia Mountains, is easily accessed from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Greenville for a weekend getaway or a reprieve from summer heat.
Children will enjoy touring the mine and panning for gold and gemstones at the Consolidated Gold Mine. Walk back in time as you peruse the Dahlonega Gold Mine.
Visit Dahlonega in early June when the temperatures are still mild and partake in the Georgia Wine country Festival, featuring wines from local wineries. The Three Sisters Vineyards hosts the festival, and specializes in varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc.
As summer fades into fall and the leaves begin to turn, Dahlonega hosts the Six Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty Cycling Races. The 100 mile race boasts 11,200 grueling, vertical feet of climbing, making the race a challenge for professionals and amateurs. The race coincides with a Bike Expo, which is a great opportunity to demo bikes and learn about cycling.
Dahlonega visitors looking for a quiet, mountain retreat should check out Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge, which boasts the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi. The secluded Hike Inn allows visitors the chance to leave the car behind, as it is only accessible by foot via a five mile trail. The rooms include a family style dinner and wood burning stoves, making it a cozy fall retreat.
For eco- friendly lodging, try the Cedar House Inn & Yurts, where your own private yurt blurs the junction between a tent and a cozy bed and breakfast. It is a lovely place to spoil yourself before heading to Spring Mountain to begin a 2000 mile trek along the Appalachian Trail. Hikers traveling north frequently begin the famed trail in March and April, whereas southbound hikers tend to finish in Georgia in late fall.