We’ve lived in Atlanta, Georgia for a little over 2 years now. It’s been on our ‘list’ to start exploring other cities and areas in Georgia. It is fun to do day trips here and there within driving distance - and surely you could see Dahlonega, Georgia in a day - but this blog post will highlight our weekend getaway in Dahlonega, Georgia. A quiet, relaxing getaway weekend to celebrate Jack’s 25th birthday.
Planning a short getaway weekend to Dahlonega, Georgia? If you are looking for quick recommendations, full day activities, or a mix of both, this blog post has you covered! Lodging, restaurants, and general city recommendations, it's all here.
About Dahlonega, Georgia
It’s about an hour and 20 minutes north of Atlanta, making it an easy drive. It’s home to the University of Northern Georgia and is a quaint little town. It also was the second town in Georgia to discover gold in 1828, but known as the location of the first gold rush. It’s covered in lush greenery in the summertime and city center is marked by a square of shops and restaurants. Known for wine country and mountain vistas, it’s a breath taking area. If you’re a Georgia resident and haven’t been yet, we highly recommend it. We will definitely go back to revisit some of our favorite wineries.
Lodging and Accomodations in Dahlonega, Georgia
When I was looking for lodging, I went back and forth on booking a hotel in the city square or on a local winery resort. Ultimately, I chose downtown Dahlonega and I’m really happy that we did. It was a perfect walking distance (less than a quarter of a mile) and we did not have to drive anywhere. We stayed at the Dahlonega Square Hotel which is a charming little abode north of the square. It was comfortable and easy for the weekend. We were only in the room to sleep so it fit the needs. There is also a Holiday Inn Express Suites right in the square that we considered too. If I go back, I’d stay in the square again.
Charming and Quaint Dahlonega Square
Because it’s a quaint town, it made restaurant searching pretty effortless. I had a handful of restaurants in my back pocket prior to arriving for the weekend, but knew that I’d want to walk around and see them before committing. Plus, none of them took reservations so it sort of forced our hand. Our favorite restaurant: Bourbon Street Grill where we went Friday and Saturday Night dinner. Order the house guacamole steak salad and the dirty shrimp for the best meal of your life. After dinner we wandered to The Crimson Moon where there was a local musician playing and we ordered drinks.
The square closes by 11pm at the latest so I recommend grabbing an earlier dinner so you have time to wander around. There is one college bar that we heard of after our wine tour called Johnny’s. It’s where the students from campus party. If you’re lucky, you might get asked if you’re professors and kids will buy you drinks 😉 We dined at Picnic café Saturday morning - a very relaxed bakery style breakfast. Other restaurants in Dahlonega that we saw: 19 degrees North, Gustavo’s Pizza, and Shenanigans Restaurant.
We walked into a few different local shops. I loved the women's boutique called Dress Up. Super trendy clothes and pretty affordable too. Then there is the general store which is definitely where you’d purchase your Dahlonega t-shirt if you’re looking for those.
If you google wineries in Georgia, about 30+ will pop up in northern Georgia, spanning across towns like Cleveland, Helen, and Dahlonega. A few weekends prior, my girlfriends and I hiked Yonah Mountain and relaxed at Yonah Vineyards afterwards. That excursion spiked my curiosity in planning a surprise weekend for Jack’s birthday. We’ve communicated before that Napa Valley is also on our ‘list’. Yet with only 2 weeks until his birthday, I did not think we could swing it. SO, alas, I stumbled on Dahlonega Wine Tours. A perfect way to see a handful of local wineries and not have to worry about driving. You book based on what kind of tour sounds best to you. Wineries we toured:
- Dahlonega Vineyards
- Wolf Mountain Vineyards
- Kaya Vineyards
- The Cottage Winery and Vineyard
I recommend adding in the tasting and lunch prepaid ticket if you’re wanting to get a tasting at each winery. It was only $75 extra and between just two of us at one winery, it would have cost that for one tasting (looking at you, Wolf Mountain). Bring snacks, water, sunscreen, and anything else you may need and just stash it on the bus while you’re at the wineries. Incredibly convenient. It was about $150 for both of us for transportation. Again, totally worth it because surely you won't find an Uber around there.
Our favorite WINES came from Wolf Mountain and Cottage Winery with Kaya in a close third. We probably won’t go back to Dahlonega for the wine. The atmosphere was very charming and southern - but the wine was stored in stainless steel barrels and we could taste it.
If you’re going to one, I would probably recommend Wolf Mountain as they had immaculate wood fired pizza, stunning view, and delicious wine. Kaya Vineyard was very packed but had the grounds to support the masses AND a view of Yonah mountain. The Cottage winery had the most ‘backyard’ feel with homemade wine slushies, cornhole, and picnic table seating.
Oh, this is a PRIME area for hiking. Adjacent to the National Chattahoochee Forest, there are endless numbers of trails to explore. I recommend downloading the All Trails app or my blog post ‘Ultimate travel guide of Atlanta, Georgia’ and see what works best for your itinerary.
We also saw a lot of water activity rentals for tubing or kayaking. It gets hot in the summers in Georgia so that's a refreshing and family friendly activity. If we did not have winery plans, I would have planned a long morning hike, followed by a delicious lunch at a local spot, and then an afternoon floating down the river.
En route to Dahlonega
The North Georgia Premium Outlets are located about 20 minutes outside of Dahlonega and right on the route if you’re driving from Atlanta. We stopped there on Sunday on our way home and made a little morning out of it. We love some discounted deals while outlet shopping 😉
Whether you're planning a short getaway to Dahlonega or just passing by, this blog post has you covered for quick recommendations, full day activities, or a mix of both. If you live here and have a hidden gem or another favorite that I glossed over, be sure to leave your recommendations in the comments for readers to utilize. I hope you enjoy your time in the Peach State!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to share about traveling that can aid your experience or be shared with others. Let me know if you have any questions; happy to answer them below! Safe travels XO Courtney Paige
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