A Chance Adventure


Sometimes, the best kind of adventures are the ones you didn’t even know existed. A little off the beaten path, a little unfamiliar, but so worthwhile once you get there.

Recently, my fiancé and I were looking for a vacation. We weren’t sure what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go, we only knew we needed to go.

So, when we found $39 plane tickets to Atlanta, GA we jumped on them. We didn’t especially want to go to Atlanta, but surely we could find something exciting to do on a long weekend getaway.

We discussed driving to Savannah or up to Charleston, maybe some other historical place or another … but the drives were long and the hotels expensive. We considered Atlanta itself, but the hotels there cost more than an Italian villa, but without the amenities or Mediterranean views! Then, as if dropped from the clouds, I came upon an article about the top small towns in the U.S. And, lo and behold—one of them was in Georgia, just over an hour from Atlanta.

Dahlonega. We’d never heard of it. We didn’t know how to pronounce it. But apparently, it is Georgia’s wine country with sweeping landscapes filled with trees, lakes, hiking trails, steep inclines, valleys and of course, vineyards.

We promptly booked a room at an inn in the little downtown area and counted the days until our departure.

In Atlanta, we rented a car and drove out to Dahlonega and every mile we drove, the landscape grew more beautiful. Autumn meant brightly colored trees, their last flash of brilliance before winter. Grape-harvesting season means cooler weather, perfect for cozy sweaters and fire pits creating the comforting scent of woodsmoke.


Perhaps taking a chance on a place, discovering an adventure instead of creating one—maybe that’s the kind of holiday worth taking more often.


Our historical inn was beautiful, just a few steps from the town square and complete with its own wine tasting room. The town square has restaurants, bars, bistros, bakeries. Antique stores, hot apple cider and cups of cocoa piled high with whipped cream. It’s a postcard-perfect village that was the site of America’s first gold rush. There’s a general store, a toy shop, a dozen different types of boutiques for any need or want. One could imagine this place existing 100 years ago just the same as it is now (sans boutiques, most probably).

We spent our days strolling the town, driving out to wineries with names like Wolf Mountain, Cavender Creek and Frogtown. We sampled and sipped, ate local specialties like pimiento cheese sandwiches and chicken salad with thin-sliced Georgia peaches. At night, we ventured out to lively restaurants. Dahlonega may be quaint and small, but it’s also a college town for the University of North Georgia and college towns are always a little rowdy. Restaurants were dressed up for Halloween with spooky-sounding menu items, lots of laughter and parents coming to town to take their college students out to dinner. We didn’t have a bad glass of wine or a less-than-delicious bite anywhere we went.

After four relaxing days of wining and dining, strolling and sipping, we were sated. We hopped into our rental car and journeyed back to a very busy ATL and probably the country’s most stressful airport.

It was an odd trip that seemed to unfold before us after we booked it, as we didn’t know what to expect or really anything about where we were going. But the charm of that sweet, southern town caught us by surprise and the beauty of its hidden wine country captured our hearts.

Perhaps taking a chance on a place, discovering an adventure instead of creating one—maybe that’s the kind of holiday worth taking more often.


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