Dahlonega makes ‘South’s Best Small Towns’ list

This Georgia gems offers wine, gold and amazing waterfalls.

Fast facts about Dahlonega, Georgia .In 1829, Dahlonega became the site of the second significant gold rush in the US.Dahlonega is home to the Chestatee River Diving Bell. This rare, one of-a-kind submersible from the nineteenth century .The phrase "There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills" originated in Dahlonega. .The Dahlonega Public Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. .A branch mint of the United States was built here in 1838 and produced gold coins for the United States Treasury until 1861

America’s first gold rush city, Dahlonega, Georgia, has snagged the #4 spot for best small towns in Southern Living’s “The South’s Best” list for 2023.

“In a year when more people than ever are traveling and moving to the South, we wanted to put a spotlight on small towns in this year’s South’s Best Awards,” said Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living.

Almost a million people moved to southern states in 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors. And with Atlanta’s emergence as Hollywood South and tech hub of the Southeast, it makes sense that the magazine would take note of the charming town of Dahlonega just an hour north.

“I think the term ‘magical’ is overused, but it does kind of feel that way here,” said Tony Owens, who owns The Fudge Factory, to Southern Living. “There’s something special about this place.”

Dahlonega is the heart of Georgia Wine County and it’s perfectly nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so it’s perfect for exploring the natural wonders of North Georgia

In addition to outdoor adventures, the town offers plenty of art, entertainment and great dining, it’s no surprise that it made the list for top Southern towns.

Here are a few things to enjoy on your visit to this top Southern town:


There are nine wineries scattered around Dahlonega, growing a variety of European, French hybrid and American wine grapes. And most of them offering tours and tastings.

Gold mining

In 1829, Dahlonega became the site of a significant gold rush. While the prospectors have moved on, you can still try your luck sifting for gold and gems in the mines.


Local museums help you dive into the culture of the town and better understand its history.


Georgia is home to over 120 waterfalls so finding time to check out all the ones near Dahlonega might take some time. While there are a lot to see, here are the five most popular waterfalls in the Dahlonega area.