From wineries to waterfalls, hiking to horseback riding, North Georgia’s gorgeous terrain and unique attractions offer something for every visitor. After a day of exploration, decompress with a cup of coffee, tea or local wine on our Front Porch and get lost in the expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Local vineyards produce European, French hybrids and American varietals - each year, yielding 23,000 bottled cases and attracting over 100,000 wine aficionados.
Within a 10-minute drive from This Spa Resort:
Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery: The signature wines at this small family farm winery are estate-grown, hand-crafted Norton, Petit Manseng and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cottage Vineyard & Winery: Just 15 minutes from This Spa Resort, The Cottage was founded on 29 acres just north of Cleveland, Georgia. They seek to make the finest vinifera based wines in the Southeast and offer an astounding vineyard setting with 360-degree mountain views.
Frogtown Cellars: A two mile drive from This Spa Resort, Frogtown Cellars sits on a 57-acre vineyard and winery estate, home to more than 20,000 grape vines.
Kaya Vineyards & Winery: Just 1.3 miles from This Spa Resort and built atop a ridge that is 1,600 feet above elevation and offers exquisite panoramic North Georgia mountain views. Enjoy the cool summer breeze on their 2,000 square-foot covered deck with live music - and most importantly some wine.
Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery: A stone’s throw from This Spa Resort, Three Sisters is Dahlonega’s first family farm winery. We proudly sponsor the Three Sisters Annual Georgia Wine Country Festival in early June each year.
A bit further:
Montaluce Winery & Estates: Located 25 minutes from the resort, this modern 25,000-square-foot winery is located at the heart of the Montaluce Estate, with sweeping views of the vineyards and mountains beyond. Closed on Mondays.
Wolf Mountain Vineyards: Located 25 minutes from the Resort, Wolf Mountain offers a breathtaking mountain top setting. Open Thursday through Sunday from noon-5 p.m. Don’t miss their scrumptious brunches on Sundays.
Yonah Mountain Vineyard: Located 30 minutes from the This Spa Resort, Yonah is a 200-acre family winery located on the southeastern base of iconic Yonah Mountain. Rolling hills and sandy soil are the perfect setting for 20 planted acres of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Open daily.
The 13-location guided tour takes guests on an eerie and intriguing journey full of local tales and legends. The Tour weaves through streets, back alleys, rows of historic buildings and the historically significant Mount Hope Cemetery. We continuously study Dahlonega’s history and work with paranormal researchers using thermal cameras and other equipment to document sightings. Every Friday and Saturday night at 8pm.
While there, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Dahlonega Gold Museum
Dahlonega is home to two authentic local gold mines that our open daily. At Crisson Gold Mine - the only working gold stamp mill in Georgia - you can pan for gold and gemstones, enjoy a wagon ride and have a picnic. At Consolidated Gold Mines, guests can pan for gold and gemstones and tour an underground mine.
More than one-third of Lumpkin County falls within the Chattahoochee National Forest, where you can hike mountains covered with dense forests, or ride horses, mountain bikes on countless trails.
Blood Mountain (part of the Appalachian Trail-5 mile round-trip)
This is part of the Appalachian Trail that takes you from Neels Gap to the Top of Blood Mountain. The elevation at Neels Gap is 3,109 feet and the elevation atop is 4,461 feet, so the ascent up this mountain is quite steep, especially the last mile, where most of the 1,350 feet is gained. The summit is also known for an old stone shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. This is a strenuous hike with some very steep grades and stone steps to climb.
Preacher’s Rock Trail
Preacher’s Rock is an incredible natural bald in the Blood Mountain Wilderness at an elevation of about 3,582 feet. It’s a short 1.5 mile hike from the trailhead at Woody Gap where the Appalachian Trail crosses Highway 60 between Dahlonega and Suches. It’s an easy hike until you get to the last quarter mile, where you encounter some switchbacks, steps and rocks. It is an ideal picnic, meditation, and/or nap spot. Take a book or a sketchpad and relax a while. On a clear day, the view from Preacher’s Rock encompasses mountains stretching endlessly in all directions.
Raven’s Cliff River Trek (5 mile round-trip)
Ravens Cliff is one of the most popular hiking trails in North Georgia. Hike this trail to a gorgeous waterfall that cascades through a towering cliff, slicing the enormous rock outcrop in half. Raven Cliff Trail follows Dodd Creek, a beautiful, rushing trout stream in a shady, moss-filled forest ending at the falls. You return to the trailhead along the same path. Raven Cliffs Trail is an easy walk, fairly level most of the way, with a short climb at the end. At 2.5 miles, it is long enough to allow groups of people to spread out. The trailhead is approximately 15 miles from This Spa Resort.
The Anna Ruby Falls Trail (0.4 miles one way) is one of spectacular beauty which leads to twin falls at the confluence of the Curtis (150 ft. fall) and York (50 ft. fall) Creeks to form Smith Creek. The walk is moderate on a paved walkway and is a treat year round. Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest within Unicoi State Park. The trail head is approximately 16 miles from This Spa Resort.
Spectacular scenery and hiking trails make this one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascade in the Southeast. Visitors have choices on how to best view the tumbling waters - ranging from an accessible pathway to a challenging trail with staircases. Those who tackle the latter can join the park’s Canyon Climbers Club.
A longer 8.5-mile trail leads from the park to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the famous 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail. Numerous other trails provide shorter day hikes. Guests can also visit the mountain-top lodge and tour the Visitor’s Center to see live animals native to North Georgia. The park and trailhead are approximately 24 miles from This Spa Resort.
Dicks Creek Falls
Just 25 minutes from This Spa Resort, this fun watering hole is a great spot for cooling off in the hot summers. Off the beaten path, this is a hidden gem offers cascading waterfalls and plenty of rocks for perching and diving.
Dukes Creek Waterfall Trail (2.2 miles roundtrip)
Dukes Creek Falls Trail is a moderate hike through a beautiful, mountain stream-filled forest, with a series of three switchbacks that lead down to the falls on the confluence of Davis Creek and Dukes Creek. The massive waterfall drops over 150 feet at the convergence of the two streams and there are water cascades descending along the way. The sound of the waterfall can only be heard at the middle of each switchback, fading as the next turn approaches. While the pathway is remarkably level, it descends more than 400 feet on the last half-mile walk to the falls giving a more moderate hike on the way back up. At the falls, three more observation decks have been built into a boardwalk. The trail head is approximately 14 miles from This Spa Resort.
Tallulah Gorge Park and Falls
One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern United States, Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. A suspension bridge sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom, providing spectacular views of the river and waterfalls. The park’s Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center highlights the rich history of this Victorian resort town, as well as the rugged terrain and fragile ecosystem of the area. An award-winning film takes viewers on a dramatic journey through the gorge.
Visitors can hike rim trails to several overlooks. The only approved trail for entering or leaving the gorge floor is the Hurricane Falls Staircase, for which a permit is required. Permits for access to the gorge floor or for rock climbing or rappelling are free, but only 100 are issued per day. The Hurricane Falls staircase and gorge floor as well as trails entering or exiting the gorge are very strenuous. Visitors with health problems should not attempt to climb these trails.
Reservations are highly recommended, but walk-ins often can get squeezed in.
The Six Gap Century’s ultra-challenging 100-mile course takes you up and down six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. Test your stamina with more than 11,200 feet of vertical climbing. Elevations for the six gaps in this ride range from 1,400 feet to 3,460 feet. The toughest climb - Hogpen Gap - will test even the strongest riders, averaging a 7% grade for seven miles, with sections as steep as 15%.
The Three Gap Fifty’s alternative route offers half the gaps and half the distance but is nevertheless a demanding and challenging course. Elevations range from 1,400 feet to 3,364 feet.
Bear on the Square- April 21-22, 2018
Bear on the Square is an authentic Appalachian Festival featuring bluegrass music, music workshops and demonstrations, a juried art show, storytelling, dance performances and more.
Dahlonega’s Bear on the Square has been a local tradition since 1996, going back to the time when a bear cub took refuge in the sycamore tree in front of Brad Walker’s Pottery.
Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival – May 19-20, 2018
This annual festival features a variety of high quality arts and crafts – from pottery to painting to sculptures – along with live jazz performances and wine tastings. Parking is free and located around the square.
Dahlonega Trail Fest – September
A celebration of Dahlonega’s designation as an Appalachian Trail Community and our connection with the southern terminus of the trail. A project of Yahoola Outdoors (Yahoola Trails Conservancy), Trail Fest is a celebration for outdoor enthusiasts revolving around all aspects of non-motorized recreation: hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, orienteering, and more! The festival features authors, speakers, workshops, music, food, vendors, and non-profit groups.
Dahlonega Gold Rush – October 20-21, 2018
Dahlonega’s Gold Rush Days are always held the third full weekend in October. Thousands come to see the gorgeous fall colors peaking and to celebrate Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold. Over 300 art and craft exhibitors and food vendors gather around the Public Square and Historic District in support of this annual event.
The Gold Rush Days Festival has been voted one of the Top 20 Events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas – December
Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas is a month-long celebration held from the last weekend in November through December 31, set in motion with the Lighting of the Square. A real home-town parade officially bringing Santa to town occurs annually on the first Saturday in December.
Other December holiday events include caroling, entertainment, wine sampling and live theater Christmas events.
On the Water
With four major watersheds and numerous tributaries in the area, there are plenty of activities here in North Georgia for water enthusiasts to enjoy! The Native-American named rivers from these watersheds include the Chestatee, the Etowah, the Chattooga and the Chattahoochee. These waters provide spectacular scenery and plenty of wonderful opportunities, including picturesque hikes with cascading falls, swimming holes with cool mountain water, flat water and whitewater kayak and canoe trips and paddle boarding on the local reservoir, all within a short drive of our resort.
Cool River Tubing on the Chattahoochee River in Helen, Georgia is a favorite for those looking to sit back and simply float the day away.
You can do the same on the Chestatee River in Dahlonega - or you can add a little more activity with a longer run on a kayak or canoe with Chestatee River Adventures and Appalachian Outfitters.
Canoe and kayak trips take about 2 ½ to 3 hours and there are some optional runs on the Etowah River and the Yahoola Creek, depending on water flow.
Individuals can contact the outfitters directly while group scheduling and transportation can be assisted through the resort.
This 450 acre lake sits just north of downtown Dahlonega in a beautiful mountain setting with easy access right of the north bypass.
Restricted to small, battery-motorized boating, it offers a calm water ideal for both paddle boarding and SUP Yoga.
While there are no paddle board outfitters nearby, groups may arrange an excursion through the resort.
One of the wildest and most beautiful whitewater rivers in the country, the Chattooga was the first in the Southeast to be designated “Wild and Scenic” by Congress and was used as a location for the movie, Deliverance. The river flows southwest from the base of North Carolina’s Whiteside Mountain through the stunning Sumter and Chattahoochee National Forests. There are four different sections to the river ranging from Class II to Class IV and V.
Located in western North Carolina, this river adventure alternates between calm spells of sparkling flat water to more than 20 named rapids – Class I, II and a single Class III – offering something for everyone.
Flowing through north Georgia and southeastern Tennessee, the Ocoee River was the site of the 1996 Olympic whitewater events. Class III and IV rapids make for two different “hang on to your helmet” sections of big waves, large drops and surging whitewater. Trips are available Thursdays through Mondays during summer months and on weekends only during the spring and fall.