The town Square of Dahlonega, Georgia, has a gold museum (a State Parks historic site) built in the former historic county court house.
On the West side of the square you will find historic buildings with themed restaurants. On the East side of the square you can shop, including at the old store turned into a 'tourist trap.'
On the Nouth side of the square are more restaurants.
On the North side of the square is the tourist office.
I don't suggest you plan to spend hours at the square but the Gold Mueum is worth at least an hour and the film was actually quite interesting.
Inside the historic 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse, the oldest courthouse in Georgia, is the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site. The museum's exhibits include a set of these coins, a nugget weighing more than five ounces, a large hydraulic cannon and nozzle used to blast soil from mountainsides, a film and gift shop. Visitors can also explore the courthouse features, including beautiful wooden chapel seats from 1889 and the judge's chambers.
Dahlonega prospered with this mining activity, and a U.S. Branch Mint opened in 1838, coining more than $6 million in gold before closing in 1861.
This is not your typical Petting Zoo! You can spend the day, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful mountain setting while learning about many varieties of animals. This pens are huge and hands on. The animals are approachable and friendly. There are also other options to see more exotic and wild animals on the wildlife walk, which I would highly reccomend. As a homeschool mom, the North GA Zoo is a fun, educational, activity packed day. Great for a family day or a school field trip. You will not be dissapointed!
We visited the Crisson Gold Mine, where we took a tour of the mine and the kids mined for gold and gemstones. I was very impressed with how knowledgable and helpful all the guys who worked there are - they helped my son identify every little gemstone speck that he found. This mine has been operation since 1847, and our tour guide was the great-grandson of the original mine owner. They are open 7 days a week, take Visa and MC, and it was about $10 a person for the tour and panning.
North Georgia zoo has a wonderful hands on clean friendly petting zoo area with 100's of fun loving, cute farm animals. They also have a unique guided zoo tour and camel encounter. This is a great place for all ages and has lots of variety and options. You can see everything from alligators, camels, kangaroos, lemurs, monkeys, parrots, reptiles, zebras and more. A family friendly atmosphere and lots of hands on! They are known by their debu on Dirty Jobs and Wild About Animals. They even have a water buffalo that traveled to New York for the Rachael Ray show! They also have pony rides for the kids, feed for the animals and animal encouters with the zookeepers and a variety of animals
The old Lumpkin County Courthouse (built 1836) was bought by the State of Georgia and is now part of the State Parks system. It contains very complete and interesting displays about the Gold Rush era. A short movie is presented with interviews of old-timers about how things were. Lots of memorabilia (mining equipment, tools) including a complete set of the gold coins minted here by the federal government between 1838-1861.
On weekends during the warmer months artisans set up around the square and demonstrate their crafts.
Admission is $4 adults, $2.50 children.
Gold mining is what put Dahlonega on the map and even though it's well past its hey-day gold is still being mined in these mountains.
For a fee you can take a tour of an underground mine and includes the opportunity to pan for gold. You are given a plate loaded with sand and gravel and you are taught how to sift out the impurities to get to the gold- and generally there is a small flack or two you can take as a souvenir.
Consolidated mine is the place where the 'glory hole' was discovered and then mined. Most of the time gold is found encased in a vein of quartz and most veins are the thickness of a pencil, or at the largest an inch or two. Here the vein was 22 feet thick and a couple hundred feet deep. At times half a million dollars worth of gold was mined in one shift! The tour takes about 40 minutes and is very interesting.
There is also a gift shop selling geodes and mineral samples from all over the world, and a lapidary.
located in the 1836 old lumpkin county courthouse is the dahlonega gold museum. in 1826 gold was discovered in the dahlonega area by benjamin parks. this discovery initiated a gold rush in the area from 1828 to 1848. many miners from dahlonega moved to california in 1848 when gold was discovered at sutter's mill. the museum has exhibits relating to the gold rush and lumpkin county history. the museum also has a film on gold mining techniques. the dahlonega gold museum is an interesting place to visit when in dahlonega.
the price memorial building is located on the site of the 1837 u.s. mint. prior to the civil war the mint produced six million dollars worth of gold coins from area mines. in 1861 the confederacy took over the mint from the union. in 1871 the mint and ten acres of land around the mint was transfered to north georgia college. the original mint was destroyed by fire in 1878 and the north georgia college administration building was built in it's place in 1879. in 1934 the building was named the price memorial admistration building after the founder of north georgia college. the steeple of the building is clad with dahlonega area gold.
the worley homestead is one of a number of historic buildings and homes in downtown dahlonega. the worley homestead was built by william j. worley in 1845. during the civil war worley was confederate captain. today the worley homestead is a B&B inn. see the attached web site for more infomation.
the vickery house was built in 1860 and is listed on the national register of historic places. today it is home to the dahlonega club. the vickery house is not open to the public but it is worth a look when in downtown dahlonega.
the holly theater is located on west main street in downtown dahlonega. once a movie theater the holly now hosts concerts, stage plays, and independent and classic movies. see the attached web site for up comming events.
the consolidated gold mine is one of two gold mines in dahlonega. the consolidated mine offers a tour of a 19 th century mine tunnel and gold panning. this educational attraction is a nice place to take children when in dahlonega.
the crisson gold mine is one of two gold mines in dahlonega. the crisson mine dates back to 1847 and is the oldest gold mine in georgia. the crisson mine was in commercial operation until the 1980's. the crisson mine caters to the more serious panner. they sell buckets of ore which you can pan for gold or gems. the crisson mine is an interesting place to visit in dahlonega.
Terry & I have been here a few times for tastings and have bought many a bottle. This is a nice vineyard the staff are very good with the customres and explain about the wine while they pour. The prices are very reasonable so we always walk out with some. It's located just down the driveway from Frogtown. 2 or 3 minute ride.
We have come to Dahlonega several times and now and have never gone in the Gold Museum, so we said what the heck. Well I gotta tell you it was very educational, fun, the guide were very informative and made it more fun and enjoyable. Plenty of history, a short movie, walking tour and small gift shop make up this nice old building which use to be the old Lunpkin County Courthouse built in 1836.