The Colors of Fall in Dahlonega:
1. Gold: Pan for gold, visit a gold mine, or tour The Gold Museum.
Known as the site of the first major U.S. gold rush, long before California, the historic downtown is now home to The Gold Museum. Visitors can experience the rush of panning for gold at the Crisson Gold Mine, which dates back to 1847 and is also open for tours. The Consolidated Gold Mines and gold processing mill, built in the early 1900’s, were the largest gold mining operation east of the Mississippi River. Some of the mill ruins remain, and visitors may pan for gold and explore the tunnels deep below where gold bearing rock can still be found. The Dahlonega-Lumpkin Visitors Center offers a money-saving Gold Fever Package that includes admission to the mines and the museum, plus a two-day itinerary with maps, dining and lodging options.
Visit during Gold Rush Days October 20-21, 2012. Set in the walkable, historic Dahlonega Square, Gold Rush Days has been voted one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society and is a true celebration of Dahlonega’s golden history. The two-day event includes a parade, children’s activities, a fashion show, gold panning contest, wheelbarrow race, King and Queen Coronation, hog calling, a clogging contest, gospel singing and other live entertainment, wrist wrestling, and delicious local cuisine.
2. Orange: Pick a pumpkin.
The Dahlonega Farmer’s Market offers not only pumpkins, but a cornucopia of colors and flavors – apples, pears, eggplant, okra, peppers, beans, squash, potatoes, and tomatoes, honey, jams and culinary herbs. Located just off the square across from the historic Holly Theatre, the market is open every Saturday, from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. through October 27 (excluding the weekend of the Gold Rush festival on Oct 20).
3. Red: Harvest a bounty of wines.
Dahlonega is home to North Georgia’s booming wine country, with vines growing successfully in the red Georgia clay soil to produce award-winning Cabernet, Merlot, Sangiovese and Tannat. From Italianate hillside mansions to Appalachian-style lodges, each produces its own unique offerings and ambience. Some offer lunch or dinner. Visitors can tour six distinctive wineries and tasting rooms located on a loop of roads just north of Dahlonega, and a map is available here. No time to hit all of the wineries in the area? Visit the two tasting rooms in downtown Dahlonega to sample them all.
4. Yellow: Walk a corn maze, take a hayride.
Head just outside of Dahlonega to two colorful rural locations for a corn-ucopia of fun. With its beautiful view of the Appalachian Mountains, Buck’s Corn Maze offers several ways to experience the challenge, including night walks and a Haunted Maze every Saturday in October. Uncle Shuck’s corn maze and pumpkin patch offers a corn-shooting cannon, goat walks and more, proving that visitors should try them both.
5. A Feast of Fall Colors: Explore the waterfalls, hike the mountains.
Some of the state’s most beautiful waterfalls are located near Dahlonega. In Lumpkin County alone there are nearly 30 different green and silvery falls which can be accessed by hiking trails. Exploring these rushing waters is a great way to view Dahlonega’s fall foliage – the paths wind through forests and bring hikers face to face with the stunning colors. Dahlonega’s Springer Mountain is considered the southern gateway to the Appalachian Mountains. Several hiking trails are sure to please those looking to experience a day hike or a weekend backpacking trip.
With all there is to see and do, Dahlonega deserves more than a day trip. Plan on a long weekend visit, enjoy the shops and dining on the square, and stay in one of many bed and breakfasts, country inns, mountain cabins and resorts that offer everything from budget to luxury accommodations. Both on the Square, off the Square, and off the beaten path, delightful dining options of all flavors can be found, from Southern to seafood to Irish and Italian. For more colorful ideas on enjoying fall in Dahlonega, please visit www.dahlonega.org and www.facebook.com/DahlonegaGA or call 706-864-3513.
About Dahlonega, GA:
Located an hour north of Atlanta, Dahlonega is Georgia’s “Golden City” and the gateway to the Appalachian Mountains. Dahlonega has evolved into a center for the performing and visual arts in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains and hosts a number of annual artistic and cultural festivals. In downtown Dahlonega’s National Registered historic district, restored architecture surrounds an abundance of dining, music, and theater. Quaint shops around the Square attract some of the region’s top artists and are filled with regional art, antiques, unique jewelry and collectibles. Delightful bed and breakfasts, country inns, mountain cabins and resorts offer a plethora of accommodation choices for every budget. Dahlonega has evolved into a center for the performing and visual arts and hosts a number of annual artistic and cultural festivals, and is “the Heart of Georgia Wine Country.” For more information, please visit www.Dahlonega.org.