Shop the Visitors Center – Till You Drop

by David Zunker Categories // Shopping

Shop the Visitors Center – Till You Drop

Visitors Centers and Welcome Centers are convenient sources for information about a destination. They’re easy to access and the staff and volunteers are helpful and friendly. In Dahlonega, the Visitors Center is all of that and more.

Not only can you find maps, menus and fair-minded suggestions about where to shop, eat, stay and play, the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Visitors Center also offers a nice selection of local retail items, perfect for holidays gifts and vacation memories.

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.

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• 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.

About the Author

David Zunker

David Zunker

David Zunker is the Tourism Director at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber & Visitors Bureau. He is a journalist by training and a tourism professional by trade – having spent more than 25 years in the hospitality and travel business with resorts, state tourism offices, CVBs and chambers of commerce.

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Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau  |  13 South Park Street  |  Dahlonega, GA 30533  |  (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543.