Dahlonega GA: A Golden Nugget

California may be famous for the great American gold rush, but the first gold rush in the United States was in Dahlonega, GA. This small mountain town continues to celebrate its golden past today.

Back in 1828, the city of Dahlonega, GA became the first town in the United States to experience a major gold rush. Prospectors and miners continued to look for gold in the Appalachian foothills until the California gold rush began and many miners began to head west. Today, you can visit the Dahlonega Gold Museum in the center of town to learn about this golden period in the town’s history.River Wilds Cabin living

You can also relive some of the town’s gold past during the annual Gold Rush Days held the third weekend in October. Running side by side with the Oktoberfest in Helen GA, the North Georgia Mountains are the place to be this time of year. The annual event includes a gold panning contest, live entertainment, and a king and queen coronation.

mountain fine flower art festivalIt’s not just the old days that draw visitors to Dahlonega anymore though. This mountain town has become known as a hub of creative and visual arts in Georgia. There is the Bear on the Square festival in April with a juried artist marketplace featuring traditional mountain arts and crafts. The Mountain Fine Flower Art Festival in May allows folks to watch artists at work. Visit Dahlonega and many other art-inspired mountain towns during the Northeast Georgia Arts Tour in June and November.

Dahlonega, GA also sits in the middle of the growing Northern Georgia wine country. You can visit several wineries or participate in the Dahlonega wine festivals held throughout June.

Dahlonega is North Georgia’s hidden “Golden Nugget”; keeping some of the best-kept attractions, such as their secluded cabin rentals, hidden away. There may not be much gold in those hills but Dahlonega is still a gold mine of fun, festivities, and mountain culture to explore again and again.