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Living a Lakeside Lifestyle in Dahlonega, Georgia

Dahlonega is a small but growing town near Gainesville and Lake Lanier. Dahlonega is popular as a tourist town and for residents who want to be near Lake Lanier, which is a gigantic man-made lake.  The population in the northern Georgia town is about 4,000. The town was the site of the first major gold rush in  the U.S. and now is home to the Dahlonega Gold Museum.  There is a  town square filled with shops and galleries and festivals.   There is good hiking, lots of small towns to explore, wineries and vineyards, and shopping at the outlets in the Dawsonville area. NE Georgia College is located here so there are also lots of young people to liven things up. Photos courtesy of Jeff.

Where to Retire in Dahlonega and Home Prices

Residential Dahlonega ranges from nice country/rural areas to vacation rental areas, although there are some less desirable areas that one commenter compared to Deliverance.  There are some large active communities in the area.
According to Zillow, the median home value was $328,565 in late 2022, and reflects about a 19% rise over the last year. It has a small town feel and the housing stock has some amazingly beautiful restored homes (see picture #2 above).

What Is Special about Dahlonega

Interesting history as the original U.S. gold rush area. The Dahlonega Mint produced gold coins until the Civil War - today those coins are highly sought after by numismatists. One of its best features is the central square - shops all around and the Court House and Gold Museum in the center of the square. Nice tourist area with interesting downtown and festivals. Recent honors include being named to Preserve America program, National Main Street program, and Tree City USA. Proximity to giant Lake Lanier is a plus.

What Is Not Special about Dahlonega

It is rural and far from any major city. Outside of town it is not unusual to see young men in camp driving big pickup trucks, which could be unsettling to folks from outside the region.

Climate and Physical Environment

Dahlonega is 60 or so miles from Atlanta in north central Georgia. Gainesville and Lake Lanier are immediately to the south. Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, Chattanooga are all within a few hours. The average July high temperature is 86 and the average January low is 26. January is the wettest month (7").

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

In addition to the Gold Museum other cultural events include the "Bear on the Square", an annual three-day festival with an art show. There is a regular series of festivals, some of them featuring bluegrass music. The Lumpkin County Library is open every day but Sunday and offers classes, interlibrary loan,  and public computers.


Crime in Dahlonega is slightly lower than the national average.

Medical Facilities

Chastatee Regional Hospital serves the region.


Lumpkin County-Wimpys Airport; Amtrak is 20 miles away in Gainesville; Dahlonega is a very walkable community

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