On this week's episode of Georgia Traveler, it's off to Georgia's picturesque northeast mountains. Dahlonega, site of America's first gold rush, is our destination city, where we visit the Smith House restaurant and Wolf Mountain Vineyards. David Zelski explores Elberton, the Granite Capital of the World, while Gerald Bryant meets Joni Mabe the Elvis Babe at her museum in Cornelia. Phil Proctor delights in the delicacies offered up during Oktoberfest in Helen, and Keely Walker Muse guides us through some beautiful state parks in Dawsonville, Mountain City, and Tallulah Falls.
Joni Mabe the Elvis Babe (Cornelia) – Watch This Segment Online
Although she sometimes travels with her Elvis treasures, most days you can find Joni Mabe at the Loudermilk Boarding House Museum in Cornelia. Her collection of memorabilia includes a wart and a toenail, both of which intrigued Gerald – we hope you'll enjoy your time at the Shrine too! Some parts of her website are under construction, but you'll still get a feel for the Queen of the King.
Granite Capital of the World (Elberton) – Watch This Segment Online
You can find out more about the City of Elberton at their official website, but if you're specifically looking for Dutchy, you should visit the Elberton Granite Association's Elberton Granite Museum and Exhibit website. You can find out more about the Georgia Guidestones at their website.
Oktoberfest (Helen) – Watch This Segment Online
This site by the White County Convention and Visitors Bureau contains all kinds of great info about the greater Helen area, but if you're looking for Oktoberfest specifics, check out the Helen Chamber of Commerce website. This year, the party starts September 14 and lasts until November 5. Phil enjoyed himself so much last year, you just might find him enjoying a cheesewurst. If you would like to observe a real potter at the wheel (not that Gerald didn't do an admirable job), you should visit The Willows Pottery in historic Nacoochee Village just outside Helen. You might want to make plans to visit their Paint Your Own Pottery studio!
Northeast Natural Beauty (Amicalola, Tallulah, and Black Rock Mountain) – Watch This Segment Online
There are a wealth of beautiful State Parks in the northeast Georgia mountains. You can find out more about the parks we featured in this episode and the other 60 parks in the system at the official Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites website. Black Rock Mountain State Park is the tallest at a height of 3,643 feet and Tallulah Gorge State Park is the deepest at nearly 1,000 feet. We just couldn't resist including Amicalola Falls State Park too, home to the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi! If you enjoy visiting Georgia's State Parks, be sure to check out the Georgia Public Broadcasting Original Production Sites to Behold: The History of Georgia's State Parks.