Discover Dahlonega: Visit Dahlonega Virtually

Arts & Entertainment, Just For Fun

(Article by Courtney Randolph in conjunction with the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber and Visitors Bureau and a post from April)

It’s no secret that… WMISS Dahlonega! We miss our friends and family… We miss our study buddies… We miss our coworkers… Our favorite shop keepers… We miss our North Georgia waterfalls, and eating at our favorite restaurants downtown.

But we think we know how to make this easier! Whether you’re meeting with coworkers or having a happy hour with friends,  Zoom video conferencing  is a way for all of us to stay connected to each other during this time. Instead of having your house as the background of your video, pretend you are at one of these amazing places in Dahlonega with these free virtual Zoom backgrounds.



Keep scrolling to download each background.  

Instructions on how to use these backgrounds are at the bottom of this post.

Share a screenshot of your call on social media! Tag us with @visitdahlonega and use #VisitDahlonegaVirtually.


1. Canopy & The Roots – Download

iced tea

Download Canopy & The Roots – Yoga Room.
Download Canopy & The Roots – Listening Room.

2. Christmas In Dahlonega – Download

iced tea

3. Corner Kitchen in Dahlonega – Download

iced tea

4.  Consolidated Gold Mine – Download



5. Crisson Gold Mine – Download



6.  Dahlonega Resort & Vineyard – Download

turkey sandwich

7. Dahlonega Square Hotel & Tasting Room – Download


Dahlonega Square Hotel – Tasting Room & Chairs ^
Dahlonega Square Hotel – Tasting Room (Up Close)
hoto Credits: Dahlonega Square Hotel 

8. Dahlonega Waterfall – Download


9. Downtown Dahlonega – Download


Click here for more downtown Dahlonega.

10. Frogtown Cellars – Download



11. Gustavo’s Pizzera in Dahlonega – Download

Gustavos Pizzeria

12. Montaluce Winery & Restaurant – Download

Gustavos Pizzeria

13. No. 3 Vintage – Download

Photo Credits: No. 3 Vintage

14. Red Oak Lavender Farm – Download

Gustavos Pizzeria

Photo Credits: Tina Duffey

15. The North Georgia Zoo – Download

Gustavos Pizzeria

North Georgia Zoo – Wolf
North Georgia Zoo – “Boo at the Zoo”
Photo Credits: North Georgia Zoo & Farm 

16. Three Sisters Vineyards – Download

Three Sisters Vineyards


17. Outdoor Adventures – Download

Gustavos Pizzeria

For another outdoor adventure, click here to download.

How to Use Your Zoom Background on Desktop 

  • Download your preferred background above by clicking “Download” and “save as” an image into a preferred folder.
  • Drag the image from your browser onto your desktop.
  • Download the  Zoom app for Mac or Windows.
  • Open the app and sign in.
  • In the upper right corner, click your profile picture and then click on “Settings.”
  • In the left menu, click “Virtual Background.” (If you don’t see it, log in to the Zoom website, go to “Settings” and toggle on “Virtual Background.”)
  • In the “Virtual Background” menu, click the (+) icon.
  • Select and upload your new Visit Dahlonega background. 

How to Use Your Zoom Background on Mobile 

  • Click the download link above for your preferred background.
  • Hold down the image and select “Add to Photos.”
  • Download the  Zoom app for iOS to iPhone or iPad.
  • Open the app, sign in, and join a meeting.
  • Tap the three dots in the bottom right to open the “More” menu.
  • Tap “Virtual Background.”
  • Select and upload your new Visit Dahlonega background.




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Discover Dahlonega: Get out and relax, take a trip on one of Lumpkin County’s Rivers

Arts & Entertainment

(Article and photos by Tom Lamb in conjunction with the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber and Visitors Bureau)

Dahlonega is surrounded by excellent canoe and kayak opportunities, offering many days of paddling. Whether you are looking for a leisurely float trip on flatwater or an exciting whitewater run, one does not have to look far from the Historic Dahlonega Public Square! There are two kayak and canoe outfitters only minutes from downtown. Or bring your own boat for access to more remote sections of river.

The Chestatee River runs through the city limits along the Achasta golf course. The section from the Highway 52 bridge at the old Oar House is a fun, mostly flat, run with the occasional shoals to add some excitement.

The section of the Chestatee from the Hwy 60 bridge at Achasta to the Lumpkin County Access near Hwy 400 offers canoe and kayak rental from the two outfitters listed at the end of this article. The run takes a couple of hours and includes several class I rapids and many shoals and rock gardens along the way. Rent a boat or bring your own for a great afternoon of fun.

When the water is up, a great creek run is the Yahoola Creek from Yahoola Creek Park to the Chestatee River. Appalachian Outfitters rents boats for this run, which winds through this old gold mining area. Note the remains of the Findley Gold Mine about halfway down the run.

The Etowah River is Lumpkin County’s other river. The Etowah (Cherokee for “town”) River offers many sections to choose from and a variety of difficulty. The upper Etowah flows almost exclusively through the Chattahoochee National Forest from Hightower Bridge to Jay Bridge. This is the most remote section, with no road crossings and only two houses on the whole run. It also presents the most difficulty with several class II rapids and many shoals and rock gardens.

From Jay Bridge to the Hwy 9 Bridge at Pine Valley, the river runs for a two-hour float on mostly flat water. This section is very scenic with just enough shoals to offer some fun navigation challenges. 1/3 of the way down this run, cross under the Hwy 52 Bridge. From here to Castleberry Bridge, Appalachian Outfitters offers boat rental with shuttles.

The Hwy 9 to Castleberry Bridge section is the most challenging of the Etowah with many class I and several class II rapids. In the middle of the run is the infamous Etowah Falls, an 8 foot drop with a secondary 3 foot drop. This rapid can be easily portaged on the right. It is not recommended to run this rapid unless one is experienced with Class IV rapids.

These sections, all within 30 minutes of downtown Dahlonega, offer isolated beauty and solitude to the paddler. There is nothing like floating down a rushing river or creek, through the hardwood forest, with the sounds of burbling water to relax one and wash away the bustle of everyday life. Take advantage of the warm weather and the rain we have had lately and get on the water!

Resources: Dahlonega Canoe & Kayak Guide and Map (available at the Visitors Center or online at:


Read more of Discover Dahlonega on FYN’s SUNDAY EDITION! If you’re enjoying the Sunday Edition, then consider becoming a contributor with your own articles. If you have an article that needs highlighting send it to to become a part of our growing community of feature news.

Discover Dahlonega: Stay local in “South’s Best Mountain Town of 2020”

Arts & Entertainment
boutique, hotels, Dahlonega, Discover Dahlonega,

(Article and photos by Ben Grimsley in conjunction with the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber and Visitors Bureau)

Next time you are planning a weekend getaway to Dahlonega, look beyond the chain hotels. There are no shortages of hotels on or near the square with immense character and charm. Doing this will change the way you tour Dahlonega, named one of ‘The South’s Best Mountain Towns 2020’ by Southern Living.

Hall House Primary

Boutique Hotels in Dahlonega

I first came to Dahlonega in 2017 when I began my college career at the University of North Georgia. I thought that Dahlonega was a beautiful town with plenty of history and charm. However, it was not until couple of years later that I really began to discover all that Dahlonega had to offer.

While taking a marketing tourism class, I started touring local hotels and interviewed their owners. Frankly, I expected to find old houses turned into a bed and breakfasts with cramped rooms and second-class comfort. I could not have been more surprised by what I found.

Boutique Hotels Enhancing the Getaway Experience

Catherine Ariemma, the owner of the Dahlonega Square Hotel and Villas is very passionate about providing a remarkable experience to all her guests. “We walk them up to their room. We have a conversation with them. We discuss Dahlonega. It’s very personal.”

Through exploring small boutique hotels in Dahlonega, I discovered that they are not just a place to stay in between the getaway experiences that Dahlonega can offer; it is part of the experience itself.

Catherine noticed many of her guests do not want to stay in a chain hotel when they are traveling for pleasure. They stay at chain hotels when they are traveling on a business trip. Guests visiting Dahlonega want to experience small town charm and hospitality during all aspects of their trip, including their lodging.

What Boutique Hotels have to Offer

Boutique hotels provide an experience that a guest will not receive from a chain hotel. Some hotels in Dahlonega that I visited have amenities that include

  • Wine tasting rooms
  • Wine tours
  • Art galleries
  • Themed rooms
  • Historic buildings
  • Breakfast in bed

The Hall House, a hotel located directly on the square in a historic building, was actually started as an art gallery. The upstairs area was later converted into several rooms that feature original artwork of the owner of the hotel. Every one of these rooms is different and has its own name.


DSH Front Porch
Experience Boutique Hotels for Yourself

“Boutique hotels offer something a little different”, Ariemma says. “There is an ambiance here that you are not going to get when you walk into [another chain hotel].”

After exploring the boutique hotels in Dahlonega, I agree with Catherine. Next time you have a couple of days off, find a hotel in Dahlonega that you have never heard of and experience Dahlonega in a way you never have before.



Read more of Discover Dahlonega on FYN’s SUNDAY EDITION!

Woody’s Barber Shop still going strong after 94 years on Dahlonega square

Fetching Featured

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – There is something nostalgic about an old barbershop.  They evoke wonderful memories of the past like a father taking his son for that first haircut. Or the soothing comfort of a hot lather shave or the scent of a Witch Hazel wafting through the air.

Woody’s Barber Shop in downtown Dahlonega is one of the state’s oldest barber shops. It was opened by Hunt Rogers Woody in 1926, during an era known as the “Roaring Twenties.” The Charleston was the latest dance craze, Calvin Coolidge was president and Lamartine Hardman was Georgia’s governor.

The little shop’s opening pre-dates the Great Depression by three years, the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority by six years and formation of The Chattahoochee National Forest by about 10 years. In fact, it opened four years before Bonnie met Clyde and the lovers embarked on a murderous, multi-state crime spree.

Carol Garner gives cadet a trim

Electricity was not available in most Lumpkin County homes and businesses when the shop opened and many of the 5,240-county residents (based on the 1920 census) lived in homes with dirt floors.

As the years passed, visiting a barbershop became a fraternal thing. The red and white barber pole signaled that this was an all-male bastion where men gathered, not just for a haircut, but to visit with their neighbors, have a smoke or a chew and talk about current events, politics, sports and, sometimes, women.

The moment the door swung open and you were greeted by the wonderful aroma of hair tonic, after shave lotion, neck powder and occasionally cherry or apple-flavored pipe smoke, you felt right at home.

Some remnants of the old shop remain today like the old green leather barber’s chair that sits in the back of the shop. No telling how long it’s been there.  Then, there are the chairs where customers wait for their haircut. They look like the old wooden chairs that came out of a 1950’s elementary school but are surprisingly comfortable.

But much has changed. A shave and haircut is no longer two bits like it was in 1926. Hot towel shaves, manicures and shoe shines are gone with the wind.

Most of the changes took place gradually.

For example, when Cathy Garner bought Woody’s from Alton Jarrard three years ago the sight of a female barber was not as much of a shock as you might think. After all, she had been cutting hair at the little shop on the town square for a quarter of a century. So, the sight of a woman cutting hair was nothing new to the regular customers.

“Some don’t care,” she said. “Some prefer it. Then there is always one stickler who will not have it because they don’t think a woman should be a barber. Most people don’t realize it but women were barbers way back in the day.”

In fact, Garner said the male barber is a dying breed. “Money is the main reason,” she said. “More people have started to realize they can make more money working at a salon these days because they offer more services than just a haircut.”

Cadets from nearby University of North Georgia make up a large portion of her business today. “We love them,” she said. “Our busiest day of the week is on Monday when they come back to school. They usually have to have a fresh haircut for their drills.”

Cadets fill the shop from opening until about 3 p.m. on Mondays. Or they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now only a limited number of customers are allowed inside at the same time. The rest, have to wait outside.

“They hit us hard on Monday.  If anyone else wants a haircut on that day, it’s best to come after 3 because they are all at drills. We’re slammed up until then.

Men still like to gather at the shop to talk and socialize. “They like to talk about the weather and their gardens. That’s the big thing. They talk about what’s not doing good in the garden.”

The Coronavirus is a hot topic lately. “Some people say it’s a hoax. Then you have others who are very concerned.”

There are two topics she won’t discuss – politics and religion. “Alton taught me that,” she said.


(Top photo courtesy of Lumpkin County Historical Society)


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