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What's New & Upcoming in Dahlonega -- July 2017

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July 06, 2017
What’s New and Upcoming in Dahlonega
Dahlonega, Ga. (June 26, 2017) – Located just 65 miles north of Atlanta is a picturesque, authentic Appalachian Mountain town, filled with charm and culture. Rooted in historical significance as the first major Gold Rush in 1829, 20 years before California’s Gold Rush in 1849, the area commemorates that history with The Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site and two gold mine attractions that offer visitors a chance to pan for gold and make gemstone jewelry.  Today, Dahlonega’s “It’s Pure Gold” designation extends to the variety of its six award-winning vineyards, downtown tasting rooms, Appalachian Trail hiking, outdoor adventure options, waterfalls, horseback riding, scenic views, variety of accommodations and sophisticated dining scene.

Here is a list of what’s new or expected in Dahlonega for mid 2017 and beyond:

  • “20 Small Mountain Towns Perfect for a Summer Vacation” – Dahlonega was featured as a favorite mountain getaway by Country Living
  •  “The South’s Best Small Towns” – Dahlonega was selected as one of the ‘South’s Best’ by Southern Living. The ‘South’s Best’ list celebrates the spectacular sights, inspiring destinations and cultural institutions that define the South in 2017. To create the first ever ‘South’s Best’ list, Southern Living surveyed more than 22,000 readers on the best-loved places in 13 categories: bars, breweries, cities, hotels, inns, islands, museums, resorts, restaurants, shops, small towns, tailgates and barbecue joints. 
  • “10 Fictional Places You Can Actually Visit”USAToday highlighted towns set in fiction that do not exist but suggested alternate locations that provide the same experience. Dahlonega was substituted for the small town in “Heart of Dixie” for its charm and annual festivals.
Dining and Retail:
  • Capers on the Square – Dahlonega recently welcomed Capers on the Square to the historical downtown business district’s noted restaurant line-up. The owner brings Mediterranean flavors to customers, with an extensive menu featuring Greek favorites and creative dishes such as Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread and Greek Braised Cinnamon Chicken. Promotions include a twenty percent discount for military, ten percent discount for locals and free dining for kids on Tuesdays.
  • Paul Thomas Chocolates – The popular confectionary on the square extended their operating hours to allow residents and visitors additional time to indulge in gourmet candy. The chocolatier is now open until 8 p.m. through the week and 9 p.m. on the weekends. A noted favorite: the gold bar chocolate that celebrates Dahlonega’s rich history.
  • Gonzo Gourmet Farm-to-Food Truck – The fully-equipped mobile food unit hit the streets of Lumpkin County in the spring with a ribbon-cutting and debut at the annual Bear on the Square festival. Available to cater events or festivals, the food truck features ingredients directly from owner Brandon Wilson’s mini-farm.
  • The Downtown Dahlonega App Discounts– Thanks to the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and the Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority, visitors can utilize the latest technology in trip planning from Mobile Mind Technologies. One of the top features of the app is the ability to access local deals such as discounts off spa services, a hand-painted wine tasting glass or even accommodations at Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery Cabins.
  • AVA Designation – Coming soon this fall is a viticultural area designation from The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).  The proposed “Dahlonega Plateau Region” will allow winemakers and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. Sections of wine growing regions with the same climate, soil, elevation and physical features are assigned an official AVA designation. While the majority of wine production lies within Dahlonega-Lumpkin County, the borders of the designated region will stretch to neighboring White and Dawson counties.
  • Etowah Meadery – Local Etowah Meadery has a targeted opening of August or September. Mead, an ancient alcoholic beverage whose origins can be traced further than wine or beer, is made by fermenting honey and water.  Although he is a Dahonega local, founder Blair Housley is the premier expert in the field and trained at the Robert Mondavi Wine Institute at University of California Davis and serves as the President of the American Mead Makers Association (AMMA). Etowah Meadery will feature unique flavors, harvested from local honey, such as Georgia Wildflower, Fig and Peach. Located less than three miles from downtown, the 6,400 square foot facility will feature a large tasting room, huge wraparound porch and picnic sites on the property.
  • Accent Cellars – A multi-purpose platform of farm-to-table dining, vineyard and art studio will open this summer on Auraria Road. 
  • Montaluce Winery & Restaurant The modern, 25,000 square-foot winery reminiscent of a grand Tuscan villa with sweeping views, welcomed a new winemaker, Craig Boyd. Boyd has a Master’s Degree in Enology and Viticulture from the University of California, Davis with 28 years in the wine industry in key wine growing regions such as Northern and Southern California.
  • Frogtown Cellars – Georgia’s most awarded winery has added Sunday Brunch to its offerings. From 12:30 until 2:30 p.m., Frogtown’s onsite restaurant, Bistro Café, will serve a variety of entrees such as Eggs Benedict and Shrimp and Grits, complete with baked goodies and a Mimosa or glass of selected accompanying wines for $25 per person.
What to Do – Where to Go – Where to Stay
  • The Dahlonega Square Hotel & VillasThe hotel that is conveniently located steps away from the historic square has a special “Wine Tour and Lodging” package on Sundays. Starting at $250, guests can combine an overnight stay in a standard King or Double Queen room with two wine tour tickets. 
  • DSH Transportation Services – The sister company to The Dahlonega Square Hotel & Villas is offering a discount of 15 percent off wine tours. Visitors can relax in luxury, custom buses as they experience up to three wineries on a six hour tour.
  • Lee Anderson Farm Although the farm has been around for nearly 100 years, the owners just opened for agritourism business in 2016. This year the facilities will again open to the public September 22 through October 31 with a corn maze, pumpkin patch and a fall festival featuring a narrated Cherokee History Tour. Even though
  • Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & SpaIn honor of the gold rush history of the area, the Inn’s Oasis Spa has introduced a new treatment, The Elite 24K Gold & Pearl Facial, a one-hour luxury facial that uses micronized gold to revive dull skin and help it maintain moisture for a smooth and radiant finish.
  • Forrest Hills Resort – Visitors can experience a trip with lots of extras with the “Gold, Wine, & Waterfalls” package. Starting at $465 midweek, guests can enjoy a two night stay with a private hot tub cabin, an underground mine tour with panning for gold or gems, a bottle from a local winery, a cheese tray, a picnic lunch for two, a guidebook to area waterfalls and a candlelit dinner. Prices vary upon the accommodation choice and are for two guests with taxes not included.
  • Convocation Center – Expected to open in the next six months is a state-of-the-art multipurpose event facility on the University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus. The 103,000-square-foot facility will have a seating capacity of approximately 3,600 and will support hundreds of events and activities each year and will have a positive economical impact on the entire region.
  • Barefoot Luxury Hiker Hostel Hiker Hostel will become Barefoot Hills this August 2017.  The hostel at 7693 U.S. 19 was acquired in March by Barefoot Luxury, Inc., an experiential travel company that operates boutique resorts. In addition to a new name, renovations will begin this July, temporarily closing the property through early August. The Barefoot Luxury team looks forward to building on the strength of the successful experiential travel business created by Josh and Leigh Saint.
Festivals and Celebrations:
  • Fourth of July - This year’s 4th of July Family Celebration promises to be bigger and better than ever. Festivities include the Firecracker 5k/10k, a patriotic ceremony, all-American market, classic car show, a thrilling adventure zone for all ages, live entertainment, a watermelon eating contest and parade, capped off with an amazing fireworks display.
  • Trail Fest – Dahlonega celebrates the connection with the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail with a fun weekend event September 8-10.  A project of Yahoola Outdoors (Yahoola Trails Conservancy), Trail Fest is for outdoor enthusiasts and revolves around all aspects of non-motorized recreation: hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking and more! The event features authors, speakers, workshops, music, food, vendors, and non-profit groups.
  • Six Gap – During the last weekend of September, two days of two-wheeled action will take center stage in Dahlonega, Georgia for Six Gap Century weekend. The event draws hundreds of competitors and visitors for the spectator-friendly event.  Adult and youth cyclists are expected to compete in over 10 races on Saturday, September 23 for the 6th Annual Six Gap Criterium. The following day, over 2,500 cyclists are expected to make the annual uphill pilgrimage in three non-competitive rides for the Six Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty. The Six Gap Criterium provides a one-kilometer, closed circuit for bicycle racers in the heart of downtown Dahlonega, a treat for attendees watching the cyclists passing multiple times at top speeds of 40 miles per hour. 
  • Gold Rush Days – During the peak fall leaf season, thousands flock to Dahlonega to commemorate the discovery of gold in the city in 1828. Gold Rush Days are always held around the Historic Square the third full weekend in October and feature over 300 art and craft exhibitors and food vendors. Voted one of the Top 20 Events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, this is one of the most popular festivals during the year.
To learn more about what’s new and upcoming in Dahlonega, visit www.dahlonega.org.

About Dahlonega, GA: 
An hour north of Atlanta, the historic town of Dahlonega (pronounced Duh-lon-a-ga), Georgia, is the site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush in 1828. Today, Dahlonega is an award-winning, authentic Appalachian Mountain community. The town has been chosen as a 2016 Great American Main Street Award® (GAMSA) winner by The National Main Street Center, Inc. The City of Dahlonega and the Dahlonega Main Street program were recognized at the 2016 Main Street Now Conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Many of the restored wood and brick structures in the Historic District are on the National Register, and offer an abundance of dining, live music, and theater. Many of the downtown restaurants have wide porches perfect for taking in the scenery. Boutiques, galleries and shops attract some of the region’s top artists and are filled with art, antiques, unique jewelry, clothing and collectibles. Dahlonega has evolved into a center for the performing and visual arts and hosts more than 10 annual artistic and cultural festivals, and is “the Heart of Georgia Wine Country” with six award-winning wineries and seven downtown tasting rooms.For more information, please visit www.Dahlonega.org, the Website of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Nowicki, Pineapple PR or David Zunker, Director of Tourism

David Zunker, Director of Tourism


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Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau  |  13 South Park Street  |  Dahlonega, GA 30533  |  (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543