NOTE: The itinerary gives “suggestions” for your visit. All tour times and lodging facilities should be verified in advance.
Arrive in the authentic, historic Appalachian town of Dahlonega; site of the first U.S. Gold Rush and the Heart of Georgia’s Wine Country.
The first stop should be the Dahlonega Visitors Center, located on the town square. Friendly locals will arm you with all the brochures and maps you need to see the sites around town.
Be sure to begin your visit at the Dahlonega Gold Museum, located in the stately old courthouse in the center of the square (this is the second oldest courthouse in Georgia). The exhibits will give you a great overview of the unique history of Dahlonega, and it is well worth the time to see the film.
Now it’s time to hit the shops! Allow at least an hour and a half to browse through the shops and galleries that line the square. If it is refreshments you need, there are plenty of coffee shops and pubs of the town square.
It’s Wine Time! Slip off to taste the bounty of the vineyards of the north Georgia mountains. Visitors are pleasantly surprised at the quality and complexity of these wines – the Dahlonega Plateau is similar to that of some of the most famous wine-growing regions in the world – blending creates unique dry red wines and more. Tasting these wines breaks the stereotype that the South is only good for sweet scuppernong wines! (Most wineries close between 5 & 6 P.M., so call before you go.)
Check into your Dahlonega accommodations; a number of innkeepers serve their guests afternoon refreshments of cookies and coffee or wine and cheese.
A night on the town! Maybe you would like to start your evening with happy hour – just stroll around the square and you’ll know the latest hotspots as you hear the laughter and camaraderie of the locals – join in, they love the company! Or if you prefer to dine early, there are many casual gourmet restaurants on and off the town square to choose from; you can’t go wrong.
Entertainment! Dahlonega is well-known for its musical venues. The arts are the heart of the town, as you’ll see at the Holly Theatre, a restored 1940’s theatre that is winning awards all over the country. You may want to check the schedule when you arrive in town – there is always something going on whether a live production, movies or concerts. The Crimson Moon Café, Wylie’s Restaurant, Shenanigan’s Irish Pub and Caruso’s Italian Restaurant are only a few venues that feature music on a regular basis.
This morning there are several fun and relaxing options from which to choose. If you are an outdoor enthusiast you can spend the morning hiking, biking, or canoeing. If you prefer a more passive experience, book a massage, facial, or body scrub treatment at a local spa; spend more time shopping on the town square, or return to wine country where you’ll have a fun morning learning about and tasting the local wines. (Many innkeepers offer packages including these activities.)
Next, head to Dawsonville where you will have lunch at Dawsonville Pool Room, home of the best handmade burgers and fresh cut fries. Ask for a Bully Burger and read the menu to learn how the Bully Burger got its name. Order the best sweet tea in town. While you are waiting for a meal cooked to order, you might enjoy a game of pool, or read articles on the wall telling the story of Awesome Bill (Elliott) from Dawsonville! Bring the family!
After lunch, take a tour of the Kangaroo Conservation Center. Known as “America’s Aussie Adventure,” the Center exhibits over 250 kangaroos, the largest collection of kangaroos outside Australia. Guided tours include a ride on the “KangaRanger” truck thru the Georgia Outback to view kangaroos living in natural habitats and a prime seat for the “Wild Australia” show, where visitors meet animals up close and personal. Visitors can be immersed in an Australian forest in the “Billabong Encounter,” surrounded by plants, birds, lizards and mammals.
After your Aussie adventure, you’ll be ready to shop at North Georgia Premium Outlets on Georgia 400, among the nation’s most prominent brands of clothing, furnishings and gift items.
End your day by viewing the beautiful Amicalola Falls and visit the Amicalola Falls State Park. Spend the night at the Lodge and enjoy dinner in the Maple Restaurant with stunning mountain views.
If hiking is a passion, you’ll want to make your lodging arrangements at the Hike Inn, where you will experience a unique concept in hiking and lodging.
Breakfast in Dawsonville then depart for Cumming/Forsyth where you can rent a boat on Lake Lanier, or enjoy fishing the beautiful waters. Fishing guides are available. Don’t miss the Trout Hatchery where you’ll see why Georgia is known for its abundance of Trout.
Enjoy lunch in Cumming and visit the Cumming Playhouse and historical exhibits. Tour Cumming Fairgrounds with Steam Engine demonstrations, Heritage Village and Indian Village highlights.
Be sure not to miss Sawnee Mountain and its beautiful view at Indian Seats.
Soothe the soul! Depart Cumming/Forsyth for the quick drive to the neighboring city of Alpharetta to enjoy the epitome of leisure at one of the many well-appointed spas. With a full range of services, products and expert staff to offer relaxation and results, you’re sure to feel dazzling! But before you head to dinner…
Shop, dine, party or play….anything is possible at the all-new American Girl Boutique and Bistro in North Point Mall. That’s because every day is a celebration—whether you’re shopping for a new doll, stopping for an afternoon snack at the Bistro or indulging at the dessert counter with seats for dolls. It’s fun, fabulous, and all about girls!
Please your palate! Appease your appetite for dinner in one of Alpharetta’s over 200 restaurants. Let your taste buds be your tour guide as you choose from upscale gourmet dining to cozy cafes to familiar chains—Alpharetta has it all.
When the day ends, retire to one of our 23 modern yet affordable hotels. From ritzy to relaxed, our hotels are centrally located and convenient to shopping and dining. Many offer spacious suites and all have interior stairwells and indoor corridors.
Rise and shine! Get your motor running with a complimentary breakfast—offered at many of the Alpharetta hotels. Then drop by the Alpharetta Welcome Center in the heart of downtown for a glimpse into the charm and vitality of the city. Pick up a local Calendar of Events to find out what’s happening in town. The Welcome Center is the best source of information on nearly all that the area has to offer.
Spend the morning at the Honda Rider Education Center where you can take beginning, intermediate or advanced courses for street or dirt bikes on Honda’s own courses. Be sure to register for this popular experience beforehand.
Not a rider? Walk, run, skate or bike on the Big Creek Greenway, a 6.1 mile paved path that winds through Alpharetta. Or—indulge your inner child at one of Alpharetta’s award-winning parks.
From antiques to boutiques…. If you’d rather talk shop, indulge in retail therapy in any one of Alpharetta’s seven unique shopping districts. From quaint Crabapple, eclectic Windward, funky Matilda’s to trendy North Point and upscale Old Alabama, you might literally shop ‘til you drop!
Indulge your love of chocolate at Schakolad, where it is made fresh daily on the premises. Drive over to Vino 100 to sample featured wines, enjoy the store’s warm and relaxing ambience and mingle with knowledgeable staff. What better souvenir to bring home!
Horse around if equestrian activities are more your speed! Learn to play polo at Chukkar Farm where you will find the only beginners polo club in the Southeast. Groups are welcome but call ahead.
Or cook something up! Take the morning to feed your need for culinary adventure at one of three cooking schools in Alpharetta, where experienced chefs offer hands-on and demonstration classes in traditional, regional and gourmet cuisine for adults and children.
If you’re hungry for more, enjoy an early lunch in charming Downtown Alpharetta before heading out to Historic Roswell – Where Yesterday Is Not So Long Ago!
You’ll want to arrive in Roswell by 1:00 P.M. to tour the 640-acre historic district. Filled with Civil War history and antebellum homes. Historic Bulloch Hall, home of President Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Mittie Bulloch, Archibald Smith Plantation Home, a farmhouse filled with over 14,000 artifacts belonging to the original family, and antebellum Barrington Hall with history of the Roswell Mills await your discovery.
Be sure to stop at the Roswell Visitors Center where you will enjoy a video of the area and receive printed materials that will help you capture all of Roswell’s historic and natural resources.
You’ll find history throughout Roswell. Period storefronts and quaint cottage shops entice you with treasures that are hard to resist. Antiques and art blend for hours of exploration while shady benches and tree lined sidewalk eateries beckon to you. Be sure to visit Raiford Gallery, representing over 400 artists in an architectural structure that’s as fascinating as the artwork.
Next, check into your friendly and accommodating Roswell lodging facility where you will enjoy a short rest prior to dinner.
Roswell is THE place to dine, with restaurants that cater to your every whim: continental cuisine, cozy tearooms, down-home cooking and southern barbecue are some of the selections you’ll find hard to resist.
Be sure to check with the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, or Kudzu Playhouse to find the evening’s entertainment. Roswell is known for its culture as well as its heritage; plays, performances, art exhibits, festivals and events are abundant.
It’s time to “GO WILD IN ROSWELL,” where a covered pedestrian bridge links the 640-acre historic district with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, watchable wildlife, and the Chattahoochee Nature Center.
Explore historic and beautiful Vickery Creek Trail where you will view ruins of Roswell’s original mills, leading manufacturers of goods for the Confederacy. This trail connects to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area by the Vickery Creek Covered Pedestrian Bridge. In mild seasons you may rent a raft or canoe and enjoy the beauty of the Chattahoochee River.
The marsh boardwalks and woodland trails of Chattahoochee Nature Center, the oldest and largest private, non-profit natural science learning center in the Southeast with 30 species of native wildlife and 127 acres of native plants and gardens, delight nature lovers of all ages.
Be sure to ask the Roswell Visitors Center for your free copy of “Through The Eyes Of The Cherokee” and experience the trails in a fascinating way.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy lunch in Roswell’s Historic District, or pre-arrange a box lunch to enjoy on the covered bridge (just be sure to leave no trace behind).
Before you leave Roswell, you’ll want to visit the Faces of War Memorial located on the grounds of Roswell City Hall. This monument, created by the Roswell Vietnam War Committee, is dedicated to those who served and gave all for their country and is the site of Georgia’s largest Memorial Day Ceremony.
Depart for Sandy Springs, the final stop on the Hospitality Highway but far from the end of the road.
Heritage Sandy Springs boasts a historic home, natural springs, and old-fashioned gardens. This park setting brings a relaxing respite to the hustle and bustle of the city, featuring the Williams-Payne House, a showcase 1869 “plain style” farmhouse complete with period antiques. Museum tours are on Fridays, by appointment.
For the serious shopper, chocolate, wine or coffee connoisseur, take a walk …. To City Walk! In the heart of Sandy Springs, City Walk has over thirty specialty shops and eleven eateries. Located right next to the Sandy Springs Historic Site, this loft style village is a trendy hot stop.
If you are ready for a breather, check in to one of Sandy Springs 20 hotels offering over 2,800 rooms and a peaceful night in the tranquility of one of Sandy Springs’ stylish accommodations.
For a night filled with side-splitting humor, stop in at the legendary Punchline Comedy Club with over a million patrons laughing at more than 3,000 comedians who have performed since the club opened in 1982, you’ll want to join the fun! If you prefer a more relaxed evening, experience the alternative to your mall multiplex and relive the ambiance of the personal neighborhood cinema with a glass of wine or an ice-cold beer at Lefont Theaters. Showing all of Hollywood’s newest titles, see and be seen at Lefont!
Wake up at your leisure and get your day started in the right state of mind in the great outdoors, at the John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Preserve. Big Trees is a beautiful and unique, 30-acre, Sandy Springs Forest Preserve. Designed and managed as a relaxing visual, mental and spiritual oasis in a protected tree, plant, and wildlife sanctuary, it offers passive nature walks along one and one-half miles of walking trails.
Choose one of the three National Parks Sites of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Get in touch with nature at Island Ford Park, Powers Island Park or the East Palisade Park. Each offers activities ranging from wildlife viewing sites, primitive boating launch ramps, hiking, picnicking and fishing.
You’ll want to take the opportunity to explore Sandy Springs, looking for the famous Town Turtles. The “Town Turtle” is a replica of the Eastern box turtle that is indigenous to the region. These whimsically painted and themed turtles designed by local artist Jack Elrod are 56 inches tall by 49 inches wide and are located on many of the street corners and shopping areas.
As you depart the Georgia 400 corridor, you will have only experienced a small portion of all there is to see and do. We invite you back to further explore The Hospitality Highway and to make memories that will last a lifetime.
As you travel south from Sandy Springs on GA 400 you will see ahead the dramatic new skyline of the Community of Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia’s second downtown.
If you’re hungry, breakfast or lunch can be enjoyed at the 59-year old White House diner, or wait for dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room, one of Georgia’s few 5-star restaurants.
As the shopping mecca of the Southeast, our two major malls — Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza (across the street) — offer a total of 350 retailers! If that’s not enough to keep one busy, the Community has more than 60 art galleries.
To learn the most about Atlanta, visit the Atlanta History Museum. And, if you want to learn the most about Buckhead, pick up a copy of the Buckhead Guidebook at the Museum’s gift shop or directly from its publisher, the Buckhead Coalition, which serves as the area’s Convention & Visitors Bureau.
We hope you’ll stay overnight in one of our 5,000 hotel rooms, from the 18-room Beverly Hills Inn to one of our five luxury properties, and there are many in between at every price level.