If you have lived in Georgia all your life, you know about a little town in the northern part of the state, called Dahlonega.
Random fact: I (Carrie) did not grow up in GA.
I grew up in New York with a dad that loves NASCAR. Talladega was a well known word around my home. Because of that I seem to always call this little Georgia town, “Dah-la-NAY-ga”, much like Talladega, instead of the correct way, “Duh-LAH-ne-gah”. True story. Your welcome.
Anyhoo, Dahlonega is a fabulous town to visit! We headed out with all of our family on Jonah’s side, but really it’s a great spot to visit for anyone (families, couples, college age). Located just over an hour north of Atlanta, it’s a pleasant drive (at the right time of day, on the right day of the week—um, hello Atlanta traffic).
As a family trip, it was the perfect day. Our first stop was at the Consolidated Gold Mines. It was fun for us, as parents, and for our oldest son (3 years) and his cousins.
We had the chance to pan for gold, followed by a tour down in the old gold mines. The cool, damp air of the mines was a refreshing change from the hot summer day, and the beauty of the carved out rock walls was something to see. We had a great tour guide too, very friendly and knowledgeable. I have to say that another favorite thing about this town was the people! They are so friendly there! I know southern folk tend to be friendly anyways, but mountain southern folk are even more so.
Afterwards we swung by a small local dive (Dipper Dans) for some fabulous eats. This place is easy to miss as it’s tucked away into a shopping center and really isn’t much to look at. However the food is YUM! And cheap! Over a week later and I have been craving a cheeseburger from there!
We then headed over to the square visiting the shops. I love that so many towns in the south have “squares”. I love this small town attraction! First stop, of course was the chocolate shop, Paul Thomas Chocolates. They offer so many delectable treats like salted dark caramels, chocolate covered blueberries, dark chocolate coconut royales, and chocolate bacon. Oh yum! (I’ve already looked them up online to see if we can order some, and you can! Looking forward to a special treat in the future!) We visited the General Store and sampled some worms. Okay, Jonah sampled a worm that his brother had bought. Barbecued ones, not the gummy kind. Yum. (gag, gag) Then it was on to Helen.
Helen is a quaint alpine-village themed town about 20-30 minutes from Dahlonega, and if you are up that far north, you may as well make the additional short drive. There is a lot to do there, including tubing, good eats and lots of shopping. We walked and shopped, stopping in to buy the boys some handmade toys at a wooden toy shop. The toy maker was actually there making some wooden toys behind a glassed window where you could watch him! Our trip wrapped up with dinner at the Old Bavaria Inn restaurant and we headed back home, while the boys slept in the back.
Overall a great family day, and for those that live near Atlanta, a day trip that’s worth taking!