Sweet Spot

Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl

Photos courtesy of Discover Dahlonega

Take a tasty adventure in the North Georgia mountains at a weeklong Chocolate Crawl.

The only thing better than chocolate is complimentary chocolate. At the fourth annual Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl, cocoa lovers can indulge in free samples of homemade fudge, cookies, candies, pies, ice cream, specialty drinks and more.

This year 11 confectionary shops, restaurants and specialty retailers in downtown Dahlonega are taking part in the weeklong event in March, and each of them is offering a chocolate giveaway.

Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl“All of the participating businesses are withing walking distance of our historic square in Dahlonega,” says Sam McDuffie, the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Bureau executive director.

Participants include Paul Thomas Chocolates, The Dahlonega Fudge Factory, Picnic Café and Dessertery, Bourbon Street Grille, Shenanigans Irish Pub, Nighthawk Tavern, Connie’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop, Tea Rabbit’s Teas & Magickal Makings, The Spice & Tea Exchange, Blue 42 Market and Crown & Bear.

Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl‘Something for All Palates’

The number of participating businesses and attendees for the Chocolate Crawl has grown every year. Last year about 2,600 people came to the event, nearly doubling in attendance from 2022. Organizers are hoping for a similar turnout this year.

“It’s a pretty mixed batch of locals and tourists,” says McDuffie. “The goal is to bring people to us in our shoulder season from January until mid-March and to help businesses start off the spring season.”

Some of the specialty giveaways include beignets at Bourbon Street Grille, chocolate chip cookies at Blue 42 Market, the ice cream flavor of choice sandwiched between two cookies at Connie’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop, gold bars at Paul Thomas Chocolates, a slice of peanut butter pie at Shenanigans and eight versions of tea, ranging from traditional to spicy, at Tea Rabbit’s. The businesses will offer specialty items for purchase as well.

“It’s a mixed batch of what you can get,” McDuffie says. “There’s something for all palates.”

Passport and Prizes

To taste the various chocolates, people can pick up a passport at the Visitors Center, which is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The center will remain open until 7 p.m. on the peak days of the Chocolate Crawl – Thursday, March 7; Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9.

The passport includes a map and space for stamps. Once people have visited nine businesses, they can get an entry for raffle prizes that the city gives away at the end of the week.

If visitors make a purchase at two of the Chocolate Crawl locations, they get a second entry for the raffle. If they buy something at two more shops, they’ll earn a third entry into the raffle.

The giveaways include a Sweet Tooth Basket filled with gifts from the participating businesses and tickets to the Shawn Mullins concert at the Historic Holly Theatre in May. The grand prize is an overnight stay in Dahlonega. Winners do not have to be present to claim their prizes.

More Than Chocolate

Visitors can do more than sample confections when they’re in town for the Chocolate Crawl. They can catch live music Friday and Saturday nights at Canopy + The Roots, which features North Georgia’s only speakeasy-styled listening room, or check out local wineries and tasting rooms. The surrounding mountains also offer plenty of activities for outdoor adventurers.

Some of the retailers will highlight the town’s heritage as well. For instance, Paul Thomas Chocolates is giving away chocolate gold bars in honor of Dahlonega’s history as the site of the nation’s first Gold Rush in 1829.

“When gold was discovered in California 20 years later, it was actually a person from Dahlonega who said, ‘Yes, that’s gold,’” McDuffie says.

He also hopes that visitors will make a weekend out of the event.

“We want our visitors to learn about Dahlonega and some of our businesses,” says McDuffie. “For a small town, there’s a lot for people to do here. We always say, ‘It’s like Mayberry but with color.’”

If You Go:
What: Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl
When: Monday, March 4 – Sunday, March 10
Where: Downtown Dahlonega
How Much: Free
More Info: dahlonega.org

By Morgan Davis