Updated: May 27
In case you have been living under a rock for the past 50+ years, chances are you’ve seen the magazines lining your checkout lane, or the many articles online that feature everything from landscaping to recipes to DIY projects. And every year, for the last 7 years so far, Southern Living Magazine asks their readers to send in their submissions for the magazine’s selected “Best of” categories. Once they were reviewed and the thousands of responses are pored-over, they excitedly shared this year’s lists—your lists—which include dazzling newcomers, repeat champions, hidden gems, and tried-and-true classics in states across the southern region.
In the April edition of SLM, they released their “Best of” lists, and the #1 spot for the Best Small Town is in the great state of Georgia!
If you have ever visited the North Georgia Mountains, then you are one of the lucky ones to experience the beautiful scenery and tranquility of the small towns. And out of all those small towns included in this survey of the south, Dahlonega was named #1. PLUS(!!), out of the15 states included in their region, it was also named the #4 Best Small Town in the entire south!
But, let’s be honest: why wouldn’t it be? If you’ve only heard about Dahlonega, it’s usually because of the infamous vineyards and wineries. But did you know that it’s also home to a unique, family-friendly Butterfly Farm? Yeah… that’s right: A “farm” dedicated to gorgeous scenery, abundant flowers and ground-scapes, being eco-friendly, and, of course… butterflies!
#1: What is the Dahlonega Butterfly Farm?
#1: Visiting the Dahlonega Butterfly Farm in Dahlonega, GA
Located on 5.5 acres of rolling mountain land in the historical gold-mining region of Castleberry Bridge Road, this venue rests near the rushing Etowah River that flows below the Castleberry Bridge. The area itself is full of wildlife and native plants, making it a haven for the abundance of nature's simplest pleasures.
Here, you will learn about the life-cycle of butterflies and get up-close to 100+ butterflies in the tropical greenhouse. The outdoor garden features a caterpillar habitat with a variety of perennials and host plants for the butterflies to enjoy.
It's a great opportunity to spend with family, a girls trip, a date, or just a day for yourself.
Entry fees range from $0-$8 a person, depending on age, and you get the opportunity to book a tour from one of the guides to learn more about the work, and pleasure, that goes along with maintaining a natural refuge for these beautiful pollinators (which we desperately need to keep alive and thriving).
The basic philosophy is that The Dahlonega Butterfly Farm is a vision for a sustainable future: a future with clean air, fresh water, and thriving vegetation. It combines a love for the environment with the science and research needed to create a positive change for the community, for generations to come.
#2: How Do You Get To The Butterfly Farm?
Traveling out of the bustling city is always a good idea, especially if you're craving more open space and way less noise. The North Georgia Mountains provides that in spades. Located just a few miles from the downtown square, the Dahlonega Butterfly Farm can be found by turning off Auraria Road right onto Castleberry Bridge Road (near Woody's General Store). Signs are placed locally to help direct you to the sanctuary, where open land filled with lush greens and vibrant rainbows of color greet you upon arrival.
427 Castleberry Bridge Road
Dawsonville, GA 30534
#3: What Else Can We Get Into While Visiting Dahlonega/Dawsonville?
General admission for the butterfly farm is Thursdays thru Sundays, 10am - 4pm, and Group Tours/Private events are scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So, if you find that you've got time to spare during your trip, try visiting these local businesses and experience many more reasons as to why making Dahlonega the Best Small Town in Georgia was a no-brainer!
The Fudge Factory
Dahlonega Gold Museum
Crown & Bear
Connie's Ice Cream Parlor & Gourmet Sandwich Shop
Bourbon Street Grille
Paul Thomas Chocolates
The Corner Kitchen