Since Dahlonega is a destination for many who love escaping the city to head to the mountains, you will find a lot of retail items that reflect that inclination. For example:
• With the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail just 20 miles away from downtown Dahlonega, at Springer Mountain, maps of the Appalachian Trail are popular with day and ambitious thru-hikers.
• Dahlonega and Lumpkin County is the site of one of the Southeast’s most challenging bicycle rides – the Six Gap Century and the Three-Gap Half-Century. Even if you’re not a cycling enthusiastic, there may be someone who is on your Christmas list who would love a distinctive Six Gap t-shirt, cap or jersey.
• Chocolate – With two – ahem -- make that three, chocolate or fudge shops in Dahlonega, this is the best place possible to satisfy a sweet tooth. Paul Thomas Chocolates was recently named the #1 Sweet Shop in Georgia by Food Network Magazine, specializing in decadent chocolate of all description, including dark chocolate-covered bacon and gold-foil-wrapped chocolate bars that look like they just arrived from Fort Knox ! The Fudge Factory, which has been in business in downtown Dahlonega for 33 years, specializes in remarkably yummy fudge, caramel apples and just opened a remote store, just off the Public Square, which is open to the public but also serves corporate chocolate accounts. A very limited selection from local chocolatiers is available in the Visitors Center – just enough to whet your appetite for more.
• Local art -- the Visitors Center just added beautiful art by local artists, and these displays will change on a quarterly basis. For a limited time, Oscar Reynieri’s watercolors downtown Dahlonega street scenes and local icons like the Gold Museum and the of the University of North Georgia are on display and on sale.
• Books by local authors – leading the way in this category is Jameson Gregg’s award-winning work of fiction entitled “Luck Be a Chicken”, winner of the Georgia Author of the Year competition in the humor category.
• Wine glasses – each summer, Dahlonega’s wineries host a Dahlonega Wine Trail event, featuring tastes at all five wineries and a commemorative wine glass. That glass – but not the wine -- is sold in the Visitors Center so you can ready yourself for the annual event. The glass may also inspire you to taste test a variety of regional wines at several downtown tasting rooms – because, after all, Dahlonega is Georgia’s Wine Tasting Room Capital.
• Wine stoppers – these are the best! First of all, they say Dahlonega right on them, so they’re a built-in memory of a wonderful visit. Second, they’re practical – assuming you don’t finish that exquisite bottle of wine while you’re here. And third, the design is that of a regional map – which may or may not work to help you find your way to our wineries, or find your way home. Actually, it may be better to consider the stopper a stopper and the map as simply an attractive decoration. Use your GPS to find the Visitors Center and then enjoy exploring our wonderful countryside the old-fashioned way – follow the signs.
•Bracelets and necklaces – locally-made and uniquely crafted.
As Christmas quickly approaches, a visit to the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center is a great way to grab a few stocking stuffers, or simply to be inspired to expand your search for gifts to more than 65 charming shops in Downtown Dahlonega.