Just an hour and a half north of Atlanta sits a quaint little town, huddled against the North Georgia mountains. Dahlonega flaunts its beauty year-round with wide open landscapes, historic buildings and a charming public square.
What’s most awe-inspiring about this small town is the history that pours out of its cracks and crevices. From the gold rush to the original 19th-century buildings, Dahlonega has stayed true to its origins while incorporating modern delights.
Foodies and city dwellers will find paradise in the local restaurant and wine scene. In fact, there’s a Dahlonega wine trail that will take you on a scenic route to six wineries.
You may be asking, “when is the best time of year to visit Dahlonega?” Well, it’s pretty amazing all year round, but you won’t want to miss Dahlonega at Christmas. Take a romantic, family or girls trip to capture your holiday cheer.
Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega is just that: old-fashioned, endearing and whimsical. At first sight, it resembles a movie set. Each shop, restaurant and inn pours its heart into decorating for the holiday. Dahlonega’s old-fashioned Christmas committee has ensured festivities fill each day of the month.
Christmas “high tea” Tuesdays are held at the 1888 house, a restored Colonial Revival home. Wednesdays will grant you with a winter wine walk, taking you on a tour of five tasting rooms around the public square. Between tastings, stop by Hancock Park for the display of decorated live trees.
Quality time can be spent on horse-drawn carriage rides; you’ll see the Dahlonega square under the warmth of a blanket and the comfort of a carriage. Kids will have an opportunity to get one-on-one time with Santa, and carolers decorate the streets.
You can also get your Christmas shopping done as downtown merchants will have extended hours and one-of-a-kind holiday items.
Here is a one-stop shop for lodging, dining, shopping and pampering. The history seeping through the walls (and floors) of The Smith House is remarkable. What started as a home for Captain Frank Hall in 1884 was, unbeknownst to him, a literal gold mine.
If you head to Dahlonega for Christmas, we highly recommend staying in this iconic building. Contents from the mine are on display for you to see. You can also enjoy family-style Southern meals and relaxing moments at the Jolie Day Spa and Salon.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Dahlonega without stopping at one of its famous wineries. At Montaluce Winery and Restaurant, you will indulge in both the food and wine. You can also spend an entire day partaking in wine hikes, cooking classes and special events.
The Montaluce grounds are spectacular with vast countryside and backdrops of the North Georgia mountains. On the 1.8-mile wine hike through the vineyard, you will have the opportunity to relish in the beauty while learning about the winemaking process.
The Montaluce restaurant has an extensive menu from brunch to desserts. Head there for an afternoon wine hike and tasting, followed by dinner. How will you choose between the lobster risotto and pasta Bolognese? Don’t! Get both.