Dahlonega town and Gold Museum
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Dahlonega is an adorable town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. It's charm is in its seclusion, youthful college residents (43% of the population), and early 19th century architecture. Its town square is filled with cute shops, restaurants, and bars, plus a park with a large lawn. Students hang out and play guitar on the plentiful benches. In the fall, the red leaves add to the picturesque sight.
This town was the site of the first US gold rush, evidenced by the gold-leaf steeple of UNG's Price Memorial Building, built on foundation of the former mint building, which you can see in the distance from the town square. University of North Georgia, one of six senior military colleges in the US, is just steps away from the town square, which makes Dahlonega such a compact and ideal town. The only not-so-nice feature is that the traffic circle that runs through the town square is a main thoroughfare that you have to cross as you go from place to place.
The town is surrounded by hilly streets, and the town square is slightly raised up above the streets around it.
Pop into the Gold Museum, where you can find out all about the rocks you've found on your hikes to the nearby waterfalls. Upstairs a great movie shows continually, which will introduce you to the history of the area. The gift shop is a fun place to pick up a present for your child. Continue your learning about gold mining in Dahlonega by taking a tour at Consolidated Gold Mine- kids love it!
On a side street (Chestatee St) off the town square, Shenanigans is an Irish pub with a pleasant screened outdoor seating area. For live music, check out Crimson Moon, with its cute balcony overlooking the street. Picnic Cafe is a good place to stop for a cup of tea, where you can sit by the window looking out on the Gold Museum. They also have good tomato basil soup with yummy fresh-baked bread. Another good place to eat is Gustavo's Pizzeria.
For a beautiful hike, check out Amicalola Falls, a half hour drive away.
If you need a playground in town, check out City of Dahlonega Park, a simple park that does the trick.
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Dahlonega is located 1 hr 15 mins north of Atlanta on Highway 19.
Dahlonega Gold Museum, 1 Public Square North, Dahlonega GA 30533, call (706) 864-2257. Open M-S 9-5, Sn 10-5. Closed Jan 1, Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov), and Dec 25. Admission for adults is $7, seniors $6.50, children aged 6-17 $4.50, and children under 6 years old $2.
Picnic Cafe or Dahlonega Dessertery, 30 Public Square, Dahlonega GA 30533, call (706) 864-1095.
Shenanigans Irish Pub, 87 N. Chestatee St, call (706) 482-0114.
Gustavo's Pizzeria, 16 Public Square, call (706) 864-2366.
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Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.