The rich history of Dahlonega and its location helped the city land on the Smithsonian’s “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016” list.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the towns on this year’s list are all within driving distance of a national park or a designated National Park Service location. They also have a population under 20,000.
Located 65 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Dahlonega is recognized as a “gateway” town for its role in Georgia’s Gold Rush, having the “highest concentration of wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms in the state” and being an hour away from the Appalachian Trail and Chattahoochee River.
The 5th annual Smithsonian list defines “gateway towns” as “small communities that cater to the annual crowds with charming hotels, greasy spoons, local culture and innovative museums that tell fascinating stories.”
Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Hot Springs, Arkansas are two of the other towns that landed on the list this year.