Destination Dawsonville: Mountains, Moonshine, Motorsports & Malls. It’s all here in Dawsonville. Dawsonville-Dawson County is located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, edging Lake Lanier and at the trailhead of the Appalachian Trail. The highest falls east of the Mississippi at Amicalola Falls is here, along with outlet shopping and folk art gallery hopping, the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery (the first legal moonshine distillery in the state). Lodging choices include full-service mountain resorts and brand name chain hotels.

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Questions? Contact Christie Haynes [link to email]
President, Dawson County Chamber and Department of Tourism Development
Post Office Box 299
Dawsonville, Georgia 30534

Fun Facts About Dawsonville & Dawson County
  • The highest waterfall east of the Rockies – Amicalola Falls – drops 780 feet in Dawson County.
  • The 78-mile Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail begins in Dawson County with an 8-mile approach trail from Amicalola Falls State Park. The trail stretches 2,180 miles to Mt. Katahdin, Maine.
  • Dawsonville City Hall is the only city hall in the world that contains a legal moonshine distillery.
  • Dawson County residents have been major contributors to the growth of NASCAR, from the moonshine “runners” of the Prohibition era in their souped-up cars to Bill Elliott’s – “Awesome Bill” from Dawsonville – own successful NASCAR racing career.
  • A new riverside nature trail in Dawson Count is ADA compliant and provide access to viewing, fishing and canoe launch areas, as well as a river's edge trail on the Amicalola River.
  • The highest point in the county is Black Mountain, with an elevation of 3,600 feet.
  • At 39,000 acres, Lake Lanier is the largest lake in Georgia and offers exciting outdoor activities including camping, fishing, boating, swimming, and other water sports.

“Must Experience” Story Ideas/concepts
  • Amicalola Falls: Situated at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Amicalola Falls drops 780 feet, the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies.
  • Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge: Perched on the brow of a mountain ridge above Amicalola Falls, the lodge has a dramatic open architecture and looks out over the mountain valleys below.
  • Appalachian Trail: An 8-mile approach leading from Amicalola Falls State Park begins the 78-mile Georgia portion of this famous hiking trail to Maine.
  • Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery: Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery is a legal moonshine distillery located in the heart of "The Moonshine Capital of the World" -- Dawsonville, Georgia. Where else would you find a legal distillery under the same roof as City Hall and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame?...Only in Dawsonville!
  • Georgia Racing Hall of Fame: Tells Dawson County’s history of stock car racing and prominent members of Georgia's racing heritage. Vintage race cars on display outside and in, including the first NASCAR race car driven by Bill Elliott.
  • Atlanta Motorsports Park: A world-class motorsports facility, conductive to cars, karts and motorcycles, the facility is a family centered organization with outside activities including horseback riding, pool, clubhouse, play sets. The facility is available for private rental as well as open to everyone for viewing and kart rentals.
  • Agritourism: Bradley’s Pumpkin Patch is a trip back in time to hand-grown pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, apples, honey and aspen mulling spice. Christmas trees each year beginning Thanksgiving Weekend.
  • Agritourism: Burt’s Pumpkin Farm has “carved its niche” into the hearts of hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years, offering down-home country fun including home grown pumpkin displays, popcorn, Indian corn, ornamental gourds and a tours of a 40-acre working farm. A favorite for all ages are the farm’s hayrides, September 1-November 15.
  • Dawson Forest:  Dawson Forest is a multi-use outdoor recreation area ranging from river valley lowlands to high mountain ridges. The forest covers nearly 25,000 acres of forested terrain bisected by two rivers—the Amicalola and Etowah— and several major streams. In-season hunting and fishing is available in Dawson Forest, and hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and outdoor recreation opportunities abound.
  • Dawsonville Pool Room:  The unofficial auto racing headquarters, long a destination in its own right, is still operating on the town square in Dawsonville, the unofficial NASCAR birthplace. The Pool Room is must-see for history buffs and fans of auto racing and the sport’s moonshine beginnings, festooned with racing memorabilia from Bill Elliott’s NASCAR exploits, not to mention those of the moonshiners. 706-265-2792.
  • Agritourism: Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze:  Thousands of visitors come each fall to get lost on purpose, then find their way through acres of corn designed into a maze, with an intricate network of dead ends and confusing turns, complete with a children’s maze.
  • Len Foote Hike Inn:  The five mile trail to the Len Foote Hike Inn isn’t strenuous compared to other area trails, but it is just far enough to separate guests from virtually every reminder of the civilized world left behind. The Len Foote Hike Inn is named after a famed Georgia conservationist, and is only accessible by foot.
  • Retail Tourism:  Literally millions of shoppers each year head up 400 to North Georgia Premium Outlets: 140 Premium Outlet stores—including Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein, Coach, J. Crew, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma and more.
  • The most popular lake in America—Lake Lanier:  One of the largest Corps of Engineers lakes east of the Mississippi at 39,000 acres, Lake Lanier’s clean waters and multitude of day-use, camping and marina facilities have made it literally America’s favorite lake—the most visited Corps of Engineers Lake in the nation.
  • Three Rivers Run Through it:  Located in a mountain valley, Dawson County is laced by three major river drainages and flanked on the east by Lake Lanier, making it an angler’s destination for virtually any freshwater species from trout to bass to catfish. The Etowah River and the Amicalola River, both noted for fishing and paddle sports recreation, have convenient access. Several area trout streams draw anglers from throughout the Southeast; blue-ribbon trout angling is available on the Amicalola, managed as a delayed harvest stream by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The Chestatee River flows south directly into Lake Lanier.
Annual Events:
May: Art in the Garden Festival—local artisans display works including handmade crafts
May: Memorial Day Celebration
July: Thunder In The Sky Fireworks Show
Oct: Mountain Moonshine Festival—arts, crafts, car show, entertainment, food, etc.
Nov: Veterans Day Celebration
Dec: Ye Ole’ Fashion Christmas
Dec: Home For the Holidays

Dawson County Chamber unveils new website

Dawson County Chamber unveils new website  
July 1, 2013 – To accompany a new look and new branding elements, the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce announces new websites for both the Chamber and the Office of Tourism Development. Both new websites went live in June, and will provide Chamber business investors, visitors to Dawson County, and the community with valuable information on how to spend their time in Dawsonville and Dawson County.
The tourism website, Destination Dawsonville, will share with visitors all the adventures they can have in Dawson County, from hiking, canoeing and camping, to shopping, dining, museums and more. The new Chamber website puts all the information that Chamber businesses need to connect to the Chamber and to each other, and to grow their businesses.
The new look was developed in partnership with 365 Degree Total Marketing, a Georgia-based destination marketing company that has been producing vibrant websites, community magazines, visitors guides, and other print and digital pieces for 30 years.
Contact: S. Christie Haynes, President, Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, Office of Tourism Development


The evolution of Dawson County and Historic Dawsonville from quiet mountain village to a popular destination for visitors began when Georgia 400 was completed in the 1980s. Today, the county is one of the most popular "backyard getaways" for the metro Atlanta region and beyond, featuring attractions that range from nature-based activities in nearby backcountry tracts to more urbane pursuits in the community's shopping and entertainment district.Bisected by two well-known recreational rivers, surrounded by the southern Appalachian mountains and flanked by 39,000 acre Lake Lanier, Dawson County has become a destination so attractive to its visitors that many of them become full-time residents. But a thriving business environment and the phenomenon of residents from nearby population centers "moving out" to the county in pursuit of lifestyle improvements is not surprising to long time natives of the area.

"Dawson County and Dawsonville are truly unique in that we have been able to retain our natural beauty and greenspace while also tapping into the convenience and efficiency of modern infrastructure and transportation. People visit and live here for the beauty and the lifestyle that goes with it, so good community planning and good stewardship of the natural resources go hand in hand," said Linda Williams, Executive Director and CEO of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.

Dawsonville technically begins at the junction of Georgia 400 and Highway 53, a busy shopping and dining district where the upscale shopping at North Georgia Premium Outlets and adjacent retail, dining, theater and entertainment draw literally millions of visitors each year.

A few miles west on Highway 53, historic Dawsonville hearkens back to its founding in the mid 1800s, a time when the region was a quaint mountain farming community. During the early days following the revolutionary war, the area was dotted with small farms and orchards. The discovery of gold in the 1800s permanently changed the mountains of north Georgia as the Native American Cherokees were displaced first by miners and then by settlers. Today, a historic town square with courthouse, jail and other original period architecture stands as a reminder of that bygone era.

Past the courthouse and downtown square, beyond the picturesque farms and mountain cabins is the Dawson County that the Cherokee called home. Tens of thousands of acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest and the 25,000+ acre Dawson Forest Wildlife Management area offer true wilderness experiences to visitors. Less adventurous travelers can enjoy the many well-marked and mapped trails including the ADA approved Amicalola River Trail and other trails in the Dawson Forest WMA. Those with more experience and energy will appreciate the well-marked but more remote Wildcat Tract Trail System or the Springer Mountain Approach Trail, a trail established in 1957 near Amicalola State Park that put the county on the map as the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Wild rivers like the Amicalola and Etowah offer whitewater and flatwater boating, trout fishing and exploring, and the 39,000 acre Lake Lanier serves as the county's southern border, offering innumerable water sports activities from skiing to fishing for warm water species like bass, stripers and crappie.

The less adventurous visitor will find plenty of excitement with the wild bargains on hand at North Georgia Premium Outlet's upscale stores and the area's many antique, arts and crafts shops, all close to fine dining and recognized restaurant and lodging chains.

Although the precious metal that helped settle the area is all played out, a little exploring can yield gold in the form of charming B&Bs, cabins and chalets, local dining and other hard to find treasures. Many visitors spend an afternoon on the area's championship golf courses, or touring the back roads and byways that weave between area farms and climb into the mountains of Dawson Forest Wildlife Management area and the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Of course every visitor to the region will learn about the area's unique and colorful moonshine history, from backwoods stills, "runners and revenuers" to the roots of NASCAR on display in downtown's centerpiece Georgia Racing Hall of Fame or at The Pool Room, home of the Bully Burger and the unofficial gathering place for racing fans of every age and stripe.

Dawson County and Historic Dawsonville is a destination featuring many attractions, in one easy-to-reach package. For more information, visit the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce web site at