Dawsonville is situated in the beautiful rolling piedmont just south of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just fifteen miles north of the town lies one of the seven natural wonders of Georgia, Amicalola Falls. In Cherokee, Amicalola means "tumbling waters." At 729-feet tall, Amicalola is the highest falls in the state and the crown jewel of Amicalola Falls State Park.
It's easy to get to Dawsonville from State Routes 9, 53, and 136, which is why this area (specifically, Springer Mountain) was chosen as the start of the Appalachian Trail. In the 1950s, the trailblazers wanted to make sure that hikers could easily access it from major routes. Their vision proved to be correct. Many hikers come to Dawsonville before tackling the 8-mile hiking trail that passes Amicalola Falls and proceeds on to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Hike to the top for a beautiful, lush valley view, or cross the footbridge for amazing close-up views of the main and lower cascades. Pause at the Reflecting Pool for the best panoramic view of the falls. After a long day's hike, you'll no doubt want more than a granola bar. Thankfully, Amicalola State Park has a restaurant ready to feed hungry hikers emerging from or just setting out on the Appalachian Trail.
Dawsonville is also known as the birthplace of NASCAR and the moonshine capital of America. You can taste the “white lightning” for yourself at a local distillery, watch a road race at the Atlanta Motorsports Park, and learn all about Dawsonville's Prohibition-era notoriety when you visit Dawsonville. From the past to the present, Dawsonville is a fascinating, under-the-radar Southern town just waiting to be discovered.
When to Visit Dawsonville, GA
For such a small town, Dawsonville has no shortage of activities to enjoy during your visit. Plan your trip to Dawsonville with these community events in mind so you don't miss out on the fun.
Each Easter, Dawsonville hosts an annual community Egg Hunt. A few months later comes the Sparks at the Motorsports Park Independence Day Celebration. Families come out for the food and firework display, held at the Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville. Finally, Dawsonville's headline event is the Mountain Moonshine Festival in October. You won't want to miss it!
Check out The Bowen Center for the Arts, and you'll find both traditional arts and contemporary handcraft alive and well in Dawsonville. The Annual Quilt Exhibit is a highlight, open from the end of September through the end of October.
The city also commemorates Veteran's Day in November with a parade of honor, along with ceremonies that recognize Purple Heart recipients and all veterans with a 21-gun salute. If you are a veteran, you will be feted with VIP access and complimentary lunch.
The year closes out with the Dawsonville Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, culminating in the annual tree lighting ceremony, a holiday dance party, and pictures with Santa.
During the warmer seasons, the community comes out for a monthly food truck night. Beyond the tasty food, these nights bring the town together to play a game of cornhole and let the kids play together in the bouncy house and slide and get their faces painted.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Dawsonville, GA:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average price patterns by star rating class in Dawsonville, GA. Analyze these illustrations to calculate the cheapest dates to make a reservation in Dawsonville throughout the year.
Luxury Hotels in Dawsonville, GA
4 Star Average Prices: $196.80
Just over 15 miles from Dawsonville lies one of the top lake hotels in the nation, Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge in Buford, Georgia. You'll be close to Dawsonville while getting to escape to a 3.5-star lakeside resort. You'll enjoy beachside access to Lake Lanier and luxurious accommodations in a lodge-style resort. You'll be close to Pine Island Golf Course, too.
From pillow-top beds to private balconies and patios, this property has it all. Each guestroom is styled individually, providing rustic yet upscale character. Visit the full-service spa and enjoy a pampering massage, body treatment, or facial.
If you'd like a little time to yourself, take advantage of the childcare services, or take the kids to the kid's splash pad and pool area. Meanwhile, you can enjoy cocktails at the poolside bar. If you're hungry, duck into one of two resort restaurants or grab a snack at the coffee shop and cafe. Of course, room service is only a phone call away, and sumptuous breakfast buffets are laid out daily for a fee.
Budget Hotels in Dawsonville, GA
3 Star Average Prices: $111.41
Check into Hampton Inn Cumming, just over 15 miles from Dawsonville, and you will have arrived in one of the best value hotels in northern Georgia. Guests rave about the high-end customer service, the tasty fresh (and free) breakfast service, and the spotless, stylish property. Spend your afternoon at Lake Lanier or at the hotel's outdoor pool, then wind down on the hotel terrace near the fire pit. From the free wireless internet to the friendly staff faces, you'll save a lot at the Hampton Inn Cumming while enjoying a top-notch experience.
2 Star Average Prices: $73.53
Dawsonville, GA Hotels with Discounts
Check out Quality Inn & Suites for the best hotel discounts in Dawsonville. This affordable property discounts rates yet further for AAA members, senior citizens, and military and government service members. Just 11 miles from Atlanta Motorsports Park, this hotel is convenient to all of the best Dawsonville area attractions.
Don't let this hotel's low rates fool you. You'll enjoy high style during your stay, from the airy, light-filled lobby to your clean, contemporary guest rooms and the gorgeous outdoor patio, surrounded by quiet woodlands. In your room, you'll have a fridge and microwave, as well as access to free wireless internet.
You'll also enjoy access to a seasonal outdoor pool and fitness center. Wake up daily to the Quality Inn & Suites' complimentary breakfast service and catch up on the news while reading the free local paper. This hotel participates in a sustainability program, so whenever you want refreshed sheets or towels, just ask.
Value Hotels in Dawsonville, GA
If you want to be close to Dawsonville but also want quick access to Lake Lanier, Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Atlanta-Cumming delivers. This value hotel is also close to a local shopping center and offers a lot beyond mere proximity to local sites. On-site, you'll enjoy indoor pool access and a 24-hour fitness center, so you can work out on your schedule. A complimentary breakfast buffet is also included. During your stay, you'll enjoy free wireless internet access and cable programming, too.
If you're planning a modest event, you can easily host it in the 700-square-foot meeting room. Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Atlanta-Cumming offers 103 guest rooms to accommodate everyone in your group.
Learn About Dawsonville, GA's Moonshine and Motorsports Connections
Dawsonville is well-known as the birthplace of NASCAR, but not everyone knows how and why these Georgia drivers got to be so fast. The Mountain Moonshine Festival commemorates that pivotal role during the Prohibition era and the Great Depression, when running illegal alcohol through the foothills was the only way to scrape out a living. Booze was illegal during this time, but mountain men and women had been making “white lightning” long before alcohol was outlawed. So, they began making the illicit “moonshine” at night (under the light of the moon) to evade detection because of their smoky stills.
Each distiller needed a runner with a normal-looking “stock” car, souped-up under the hood with enough speed and power to outrun the law. They also knew the winding mountain back roads better than anyone and could usually evade pursuit with wild maneuvers like the “bootleg” skid.
Despite their skills, some still careened off the road, just as drivers sometimes do in NASCAR races today. If you hike the main trail in Amicalola Falls, look out down the slope to see a wrecked stock truck from the 1940s hidden in the brush. They say it was discovered in the 1970s with mason jars full of “shine” still intact inside. After Prohibition was lifted, bored drivers began racing each other instead, and NASCAR was born.
Visit the Mountain Moonshine Festival in October, and you can meet your favorite NASCAR drivers, the heirs of those early runners. Festival-goers can also listen to riveting storytelling about outlaw "trippers" and their nemeses, the federal revenue agents, and see one of the best collections of historic early stock cars. You can even watch a thrilling re-enactment of a moonshine run.
If you want to taste local moonshine for yourself, head over to Dawsonville Distillery, a small-batch distillery and home to NASCAR driver Bill Elliot's own moonshine. This “white lightning” still makes each batch with family recipes that have been handed down for generations. You can't buy a bottle here, but you can taste it and pick one up at a local Dawsonville store.
Motorsports also remain very important to this community. The Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville features two Formula One designed circuits, and the road course has been voted as one of the top tracks in North America.
From stunning waterfalls to challenging hikes, tasty food trucks to small batch moonshine and motorsports, Dawsonville, Georgia, will delight you at every turn.