Dahlonega, GA | Outdoor Activities, Gold Museum, Events & MORE

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Cradled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, Dahlonega offers gorgeous views along hiking trails, scenic drives, roaring waterfalls, canoe and kayaking adventures, incredible wildflowers and wildlife to behold, and fascinating outdoor activities to enjoy on your getaway. Historic downtown Dahlonega offers museums, local events, wine tasting, and Appalachian boutiques to explore. And there are a variety of budget-friendly and luxury cabin rentals nearby to complete your mountain retreat. 

Ready to bask in the sunshine and beauty of the great outdoors in North Georgia, sip award-winning wines, shop for antiques, and make memories to last a lifetime? Follow our travel guide to experience the best of Dahlonega, GA, and make plans to visit with family and friends today! 

5 Fun Facts About Dahlonega, GA

A great way to experience a new place is to learn what makes it unique and significant before visiting. Let’s kick things off with a few fun facts about Dahlonega, GA! 

  1. Home to the first major gold rush in the country in 1829 — Dahlonega still features an annual Gold Rush Days festival that began in 1954.
  1. Known as the heart of Georgia wine country — Dahlonega boasts the highest concentration of vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms in the Peach State.
  1. Dahlonega, GA, was originally Cherokee land — so the city was named after the Cherokee word dalonige, which means yellow. 
  1. As one of 3 gold-topped buildings in the State of Georgia — Price Memorial Hall is a top place to visit in the town square.
  1. Dahlonega features the oldest campus of the University of North Georgia — the second oldest public university in the state.

Hiking Trails & Waterfalls

One of the best ways to discover Dahlonega is by participating in tons of outdoor fun offered around every corner. Hiking to picturesque mountaintops and cascading waterfalls is a fantastic way to get started. Along with trekking the famous Appalachian Trail in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, check out some of our favorite hiking trails in and around Dahlonega below!

Lake Zwerner Trail
One of the city’s most popular outdoor areas in Dahlonega is the trail around the Yahoola Reservoir, Lake Zwerner. It is a 3.2-mile loop around the lake and is considered by most hikers to be a moderately difficult hiking trail, taking around an hour and a half to complete. Dogs are allowed leashed on the trail as well as off-leash in some areas. So, pack a lunch and take in the beauty along this trail. It also has several benches, a couple of picnic areas, and 2 swing benches to rest if you decide to do the entire loop. 

Yahoola Creek Trail
The Yahoola Creek Loop trail is a great way to start the morning! It is a loop of 0.7 miles around Yahoola Creek. It is much easier and shorter than the Lake Zwerner loop trail, only taking around 20 minutes to complete. Furry friends are allowed to walk with you as long as they are on their leash. There’s so much beauty to observe in this area with the entire family, young to old. It is also a great place to bird watch, fish, and picnic if you can. 

Cane Creek Falls
A short in-and-out hike of only half a mile takes you to see the gorgeous Cane Creek Falls in these North Georgia mountains. It’s a relatively easy hike, taking only about 13 minutes to complete, and is quite serene as you generally don’t run into other hikers. It’s located on the grounds of Camp Glisson and is only open to the public when the camp is not in session. 

DeSoto Falls
Located in Lumpkin County in the Chattahoochee National Forest, DeSoto Falls has 2 different trails that each lead to waterfalls. The lower one is 0.3 miles downstream from the trailhead, and the other is upstream 0.75 miles. The entire trail is 1.9 miles in and out, taking about 45 minutes to complete. It’s an easy hike that all ages as well as your furry companions will enjoy. Along parts of the trail, your dogs can be off-leash and enjoy some freedom to explore. 

Amicalola Falls
Amicalola Falls is located in Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville, Ellijay, and Dahlonega, which requires a fee to enter the park. These falls cascade an incredible 729 feet to an enticing reflecting pool at the base. The hike in and out is only 0.3 miles but is moderately challenging. There is parking available at the top, middle, and bottom which allows entrance at each. There are walkways and viewing platforms making this a great hike for memorable selfies and group pictures. 

Mountain Biking Trails
Some of the best mountain biking in Georgia is found around Dahlonega. Less than 10 minutes from downtown Dahlonega are the Jake and Bull Mountain Trails, which provide approximately 36 miles of trails and amazing mountain and forest views. These biking trails are also shared with horseback riding trails, so be kind and courteous if you meet horses while you are riding. 

Fishing, Kayaking & Canoeing

Bowman Fly Fishing
Offering fly fishing for all skill levels, Bowman suggests the best areas for fishing during the timing of your trip. They bring all of the equipment, and you get to experience the water, surrounding mountains, streams, and trees as they help you have a memorable fishing experience across North Georgia, including Dahlonega.


Georgia Wild Trout
Anglers of all skill levels are welcome to fish with Georgia Wild Trout. Beginner fly fishing lessons are available in metro Atlanta on the Chattahoochee River as well as half-day and full-day guided lessons in either public or private waters around Dahlonega and throughout North Georgia. They will guide you to the best waters for the fish you desire closest to your mountain cabin rental. All of the gear and equipment needed will be provided for up to 2 anglers with each guide.  

Etowah River & Chestatee River Watersheds

Chestatee River Adventures
Getting in the water is a great way to cool off on a summer day in Dahlonega. Chestatee River Adventures offers single and tandem kayaks to rent. The life jackets and paddles are included with the rental, and the trip from the outpost takes about 2 ½ hours with a shuttle back to your vehicle. This area has a lot of wildlife to be seen among the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Deer, turkeys, turtles, and beavers are all likely visitors to be seen along your peaceful ride down the river. 

Tubing is also available and great for families! The tubing trip is about 25 minutes, and you can walk back up the trail and float down as many times as you want with your rental.

2718 South Chestatee Street / Highway 60 N
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Appalachian Outfitters
Float along the Chestatee River from the Appalachian Outfitters outpost along a 6-mile stretch that takes about 2 ½ hours to complete. It’s a great activity for large groups and families with a few Class I rapids that add a little excitement to your trip. You will get to see splendid vistas as well as lots of wildlife along the way. Life jackets and paddles are included with all canoe and kayak rentals. 

Canoeing & Kayaking
2084 S. Chestatee / Highway 60
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Tubing is another fun thing for the entire family. It is available here from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. They will shuttle you to the beginning of your float which will take 30 to 45 minutes. You can float as many times as you want with a 10-minute hike back to the beginning. 

1182 Golden Avenue
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Gold Panning & Mining

Dahlonega Gold Museum
The Dahlonega Gold Museum is located on the historic site of one of Georgia’s oldest standing courthouses. Twenty years before the California gold rush, thousands of prospectors came to North Georgia in search of gold. Learn the history, see a large gold nugget and rare coins from the U.S. Mint that was opened because of the gold rush.  

1 Public Square
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Consolidated Gold Mine
Explore a real mine in a 40-minute tour that is all 200 feet underground. Bring your entire group to pan for gold and mine for gems just like they did over 100 years ago. An experience to remember with real gold to take home. 

185 Consolidated Gold Mine Road
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Events in Dahlonega, GA

An array of Dahlonega events throughout the year welcomes visitors to experience North Georgia history, mountain life, and what Appalachia means to locals. Some of our favorite annual events in Dahlonega are just below!

2023 Dahlonega Events

Wineries & Vineyards

Dahlonega is known as the Tasting Room Capital of Georgia — with 12 tasting rooms and 8 vineyards along this beautiful area in the North Georgia mountains. There is a Wine Trail Tour that takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and visits a variety of wineries offering an assortment of phenomenal Georgia wines. 

Wolf Mountain Vineyards
Considered a leader in fine wine production, Wolf Mountain has won over 200 medals in U.S. wine-tasting competitions. They have a tasting room as well as a Vineyard Cafe if you wish to eat while you are there. They even allow dogs on their lower-level tasting room patio as long as they are on a leash. 

180 Wolf Mountain Trail
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Kaya Vineyard & Winery
One of the largest vineyards in Dahlonega, Kaya Winery is built at the top of a ridge at a 1,600-foot elevation, which gives incredible and unmatched vineyard and mountain views from their tasting room. In addition to the spectacular views, their tasting room also provides farm-to-table deliciousness from their restaurant. They offer a large variety of red, white, and blush wines that can be purchased there or online if you get home and want another taste of North Georgia. 

5400 Town Creek Road
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Frogtown Cellars
Double-gold medals from prestigious wine competitions for their wines as well as awards for some of their people at the Frogtown winery make for an incredible experience. An exquisite variety of red, white, and rosé wines are available for tasting and purchase. Make a day of it and have lunch or dinner at their Italian Bistro. 

700 Ridge Point Drive
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Shopping & Dining

Within Dahlonega, GA, you’ll find plenty of shopping and dining options to enjoy on your Blue Ridge Mountain vacation. Lumpkin County features retail shops and boutiques with unique apparel, home decor, priceless antiques, quilting fabrics, art supplies, homemade jams, baked goods, jewelry, paintings, and oh-so-much more! And the restaurants in Dahlonega are worth checking out between shopping sprees, outdoor adventures, and wine tastings. Here are some of our favorite shops and restaurants in Dahlonega and the surrounding area.

Top Shops in Dahlonega

Best Places to Eat in Dahlonega

More Fun Things to Do in Dahlonega, GA

Beyond the great outdoors, gold mines, wineries, and events, Dahlonega offers tons to do. Listen to live music alongside Southern staples at the Crimson Moon, explore the arts scene at local art galleries, stroll around the town square, grab Cajun food at Bourbon Street Grille or sweets at Picnic Cafe and Dessertery, dive into Georgia history at the Branch Mint at Dahlonega, and more! 

Chestatee Wildlife Preserve & Zoo
See lots of animals like Bengal tigers, white tigers, zebras, camels, deer, elk, buffalo, and horses, as well as various reptiles like turtles, lizards and alligators, and exotic birds at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. For an additional cost, they have encounters to feed and see some of the big animals up close with a trainer. Encounters allow you to feed the tigers, zebras, bears, emus, wolves, and camels. 

469 Old Dahlonega Highway
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Red Oak Lavender Farm
Depending on the time of year you visit, you may get to see different varieties of phenomenal flowers. There are 4,000 lavender plants, dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers, and more to enjoy as you walk around the farm. Their shop has over 100 lavender products made straight from the lavender that is grown on the farm. 

2882 Red Oak Flats Road
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Historic Holly Theatre
Following renovations in 2021, the Historic Holly Theatre is back open! They host concerts and plays, including shows like Into The Woods, Matilda, Much Ado About Nothing, The Sound of Music, and more! 

69 West Main Street
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Dahlonega Butterfly Farm
Spend a magical day among the butterflies at the Dahlonega Butterfly Farm! Learn about the lifecycle of butterflies, sustainability, observe butterflies up close, and more! 

427 Castleberry Bridge Rd
Dawsonville, GA 30534

Mountain Cabins Near Dahlonega, GA

Staying at one of our Georgia Cabins for YOU rentals allows quick and easy access whenever you want to hike the Appalachian Trail, unwind with a glass of vino at a local vineyard, experience fun events downtown, or meet and greet with amazing animals in Dahlonega, GA! 

We have 120+ cabins in the area — including Blue Ridge, Ellijay, and Big Canoe — perfect for romantic retreats, family vacations, getaways with friends, or large group get-togethers. Amenities abound and include hot tubs, plush theaters, game rooms, crackling fireplaces, outdoor lounges, resort extras, plus views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Toccoa River, or towering trees. 

Bringing your fur babies? Browse our pet-friendly vacation rentals

Looking for something to wow your family? Ask about our luxury properties. 

Ready to experience the best of Dahlonega, GA? Stay with us this weekend!