Dalton, Georgia, is a city with a population of 34,417, according to a 2020 census. It is the principal city in the Dalton metropolitan statistical area, comprising both Murray and Whitefield counties. It’s also along the border of Georgia and Tennessee.
Named after Tristram Dalton, this small city has the presence of the nation’s floor covering manufacturers. These companies help to create rug, vinyl, and carpet flooring. It is one of the most present things you will notice once you come to the city. With its existence and the historical background that goes along with the city, it has invested in its attractions department to bring more visitors and hopefully keep them around.
1. Learn about American history at Prater Mills
American history can be one of the fascinating things you come across when going on a vacation, and the history lesson does not get any deeper than when you go to Praters Mill. This building was initially made in 1855, but after its initial use was ended and the decades went by, the building fell apart due to nature.
It was thanks to a group of volunteers in 1971 who sought to rebuild a piece of Georgia’s history and put it on display for the world. Now that it has been rebuilt, it acts as the home beacon for many of the city’s events. It hosts musical festivals, fairs, etc., for the community.
It’s run by a non-profit organization that has managed to keep the building and its upkeep strictly from donations, so not only will you be visiting a piece of history, but you will also be contributing to this site being seen by many more people for generations to come.
Come through when the city is hosting one of its events, meet the locals, and expose yourself to a little Georgia history. It’s never too late to learn something new, and there will be no shortage of people on site willing to tell you more about the history of this landmark.
2. Have some beer at the Dalton Brewing Co
Now that we have seen a bit of history, it is time to expose ourselves to some Georgia entrepreneurial ambitions. This brewery was started only in 2018 and had been running nonstop. Thanks to four entrepreneurs, they have been able to take local resources and make beer straight for those Dalton resources.
This craft beer brewery will have you leave with some samples that will make you want to change your favorite beer. Beer also tastes better when you know it’s locally made.
Take a walk through their facility on one of their many tours and see the process, and take a few homes for yourselves. You could see a spark that makes even you want to venture down the entrepreneurial path. Being a part of local activity always makes you feel like you are one of the people.
The best way for a vacation to hit a good stride is to feel one with the community and go to this brewery, let alone walk around with a few beers will allow the community knows you are one of them.
3. Spend some money at the Walnut Square Mall
Some could argue the best part of a vacation is the experience of shopping in different locations. Although small, Dalton has a mall for the public and tourists to enjoy. It hosts some of the classic stories like JCPenny and Sear, so if there is something specific you are looking for, you can find it there.
But they also host a list of other stores, some locally owned, and at these locations, you will have the chance to find something that you can take back home to remind you of the vacation.
The one bright side of having a mall in a small city is there will not be too many crowds. It can be an easy walk-in and explore for a couple of hours, walk into a relatively empty food court when you are hungry, and walk out without worrying about bumping into strangers or waiting in long lines.
4. Spend some time with your dog at the Lakeshore Dog Park
Bringing a furry friend along for an adventure can be an exciting time, but what Dalton has done to make the experience even better is create a dog park. This dog park has plenty of trails for you and the dog to potentially get an early morning jog in or simply have a fun time walking around and enjoying each other.
Of course, there is an open field, so if you want to bring out the ball and play a game of fetch, you can do that, but you can also make it a family event.
They have little picnic areas that you could bring the family and your pet out to, and everyone has a little quality time with the dog while enjoying some BBQ they also have some areas for you to grill some hotdogs.
5. Experience art at the Creative Art Guild
Art can be one of the most beautiful experiences, whether painting or music and what makes it even better is art indigenous to the state. Creative Art Guild is considered one of the oldest, if not the oldest, art organizations in Georgia. It hosts a regular art exhibit where you will have the chance to see sculptures and art pieces from both regional and local artists.
Every state has its things that make them unique and how they view art is one of them, so we will have the chance to view what Georgians view as beautiful works of art, and you will surely enjoy it.
This space is also used for musical performances; believe it or not; there is a gym nearby. So you can get a little workout in before you go and enjoy the artist of the day. This location can provide you with all the essential things you would need to make a day out in the sun one of the best days of the whole vacation. It is an all-encompassing area that will leave you with a smile and hope to return the next day.
6. Play some golf at the Dalton Fall Fun Center
Anything with the word fun must be fun; this location is an expansive area of different things bottled up under one name. If you are a thrill-seeker or athlete always looking to build up a sweat for a good time, then this is where you need to go.
To start simple, you can go to the miniature golf area and press your luck in that 27-hole behemoth; then, you can transition to the next domino and pick your choice.
You can go to the football field and toss around the pigskin, the same area where you could enjoy a game of laser tag or even the bumper car arena they have. This fun center will keep you on your toes and keep your children on your toes because this place does not lack in the things to do department; there is always something that will manage to catch your attention and keep you going for the next couple of hours.
7. Attend a concert or show at the Dalton Little Theatre
The Dalton Little Theatre is a community theatre located in Dalton, Georgia that offers a range of shows and performances throughout the year. Visitors to the theatre can expect to see a variety of productions, including musicals, plays, children’s theatre, and comedy shows. The theatre is known for its high-quality productions and features local actors and performers.
Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or simply looking for a fun night out, the Dalton Little Theatre is a great place to catch a show. Check their website or social media pages for upcoming shows and ticket information.
8. Visit the Dalton Freight Depot
The Dalton Freight Depot is a historic railway depot located in downtown Dalton, Georgia. Today, the depot has been restored and transformed into a community event space and museum. Tourists at the depot can expect to see a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase the history of the railway in Dalton and the surrounding area.
The depot features several rooms, including a large event space that can be rented for weddings, meetings, and other events. The museum area of the depot includes a variety of displays and exhibits, including vintage railway equipment, photographs, and historical documents. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the depot to learn more about its history and significance.
9. Go fishing at the Chattahoochee National Forest
A fishing day at the Chattahoochee National Forest is a unique and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. The forest is home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass, among others.
When planning a fishing trip to the Chattahoochee National Forest, it’s important to obtain the necessary permits and licenses beforehand. You can purchase a fishing license online or in person at a local sporting goods store.
10. Discover the history of the Cherokee Nation at the Chief Vann House Historic Site
The Chief Vann House Historic Site is an important landmark in Georgia’s history and is dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of the Cherokee Nation. This site was once home to Chief James Vann, a prominent Cherokee leader in the early 19th century.
Guests to the site can explore the beautifully preserved house and learn about the lifestyle and traditions of the Cherokee people during this time period. The site features exhibits and displays that provide insights into the history of the Cherokee Nation, including their language, clothing, and social customs.
11. Visit the Creative Arts Guild
The Guild’s facilities include art galleries, classrooms, a pottery studio, a dance studio, and a theater. Visitors to the Creative Arts Guild can view a diverse range of artwork in the galleries, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces created by local and regional artists.
The Guild also offers art classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn new techniques and develop their artistic abilities.
12. Learn about the history of the Civil War and the Dalton Campaign at the Dalton Confederate Cemetery
The cemetery was established in 1863 during the Dalton Campaign, which was a series of battles fought in the area between Union and Confederate forces. The cemetery is the final resting place for over 400 Confederate soldiers who died during the campaign.
Visitors to the Dalton Confederate Cemetery can learn about the history of the Civil War and the Dalton Campaign through a self-guided tour of the cemetery grounds. Informational signs and markers provide details about the soldiers buried in the cemetery and the events that led up to the battles fought in the area.
13. Take a walking tour of the city’s haunted sites and spooky stories
Dalton, Georgia has a rich history and many spooky tales associated with its haunted sites. Visitors can take a ghost tour of the city and hear stories of paranormal activity and supernatural occurrences.
Some of the haunted locations in Dalton include the Wink Theater, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former projectionist, and the Dalton Depot, which is believed to be the site of ghostly sightings and eerie noises.
Other popular stops on the ghost tour include the historic Crown Mill and the Dalton Cemetery. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the ghost tour of Dalton is a unique and fascinating way to experience the city’s rich history and spooky tales.
14. Enjoy a casual dinner serving Southern comfort food, burgers, and sandwiches at Oakwood Cafe
The Oakwood Cafe in Dalton is a popular local restaurant that serves up delicious Southern-style comfort food. Some popular menu items include country fried steak, fried chicken, and homemade meatloaf. They also offer a variety of side dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and collard greens.
Prices at the Oakwood Cafe are reasonable, making it an affordable dining option for families and travelers. Additionally, the friendly staff and cozy atmosphere make for a great dining experience.
15. Visit the Mill at Crown Garden and buy some local crafts
The Mill at Crown Garden in Dalton offers a wide variety of unique and locally made crafts for visitors to purchase. Some popular items include handmade pottery, woven textiles, woodworking, and jewelry. Visitors can also find unique souvenirs, such as hand-carved wooden bowls and locally sourced honey. The Mill at Crown Garden is a great place to support local artisans and find one-of-a-kind gifts and mementos.
Dalton, GA, has a lot of history and indeed has a story to tell. This city has played an essential role in American history, from being one of the many battlegrounds of the civil war to being home to many carpet manufacturers. It is a blue-collar area, but it does not lack in the fun and entertainment department.
Stigmas can exist in places like this, but when you visit these places and see the fantastic things even the smallest cities offer, you realize the world is not so small; you can have fun anywhere you go. It does not have to be in designated areas; the best thing about small cities is the crowd control and the community.
In places like this, you can go to the local grocery store and ask for directions without getting a face, or go to the local barbershop and have a good hearty conversation. It feels like a family, and they will not shun you; they are open to sharing.
So look towards the cities like Dalton the next time you go on a vacation. From a bird’s eye view, it may not seem like much, but once you get boots on the ground, you can see the amazing things it offers.