Did you ever notice in your travels that smaller towns tend to shutter up to visitors on Saturday and Sunday? It is the weekend after all and ‘daycations’ are now officially in vogue. These folks are missing some excellent opportunities to add travelers’ money to their coffers, never mind happy tourists who will spread positive brand buzz.
My husband and I have always taken a lot of road trips. It’s in our blood. Once in a while, we run across a town that takes a strategic approach to visitors and really heeds the call. The town of Dahlonega in the north Georgia mountains does it well. Home to America’s first gold rush, the former mining capital has kept its historic Square looking good, complete with the old courthouse and loads of retail and free parking all around it. The stores lining the Square appeal to a wide swath of people, including the big groups of weekend motorcyclists who like mountain riding, enjoy circling the courthouse, and like to chat, eat and shop. There are benches for older visitors and anyone else who needs to rest as they make their way around the Square. The restaurants are within easy walking distance, vary in cuisine and price, and some offer (gasp) beer and wine on Sunday. They also have a place or two where you can mine for gold, just like in the old days. All in all, downtown Dahlonega leaves visitors feeling good by strategically combining history with modern day appeal.
Outside of the historic district, there’s plenty happening too. You can pick your fun by following the town on twitter, checking its http://www.dahlonega.org/ website and/or becoming a fan on Facebook. Do it now though – the July 4th weekend is coming up and Dahlonega has big plans!