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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Dahlonega, GA

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Dahlonega, GA You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Dahlonega, GA

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Dahlonega, GA

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Dahlonega, GA

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Dahlonega, GA

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Dahlonega, GA

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Dahlonega, GA

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Dahlonega, GA

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Dahlonega, GA phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Dahlonega, GA phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Dahlonega, GA phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Dahlonega, GA that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Dahlonega, GA

Latest News in Dahlonega, GA

Choo Choo on the Cheap: $42K Riverside Caboose in Georgia Could Be Unique Rental

The caboose is typically the end of a train. But this one could signal a new beginning.A caboose from 1976 sits on a acre of riverfront property in Dahlonega, GA, and it just rolled onto the market for $41,900.The low asking price reflects the work that would be...

The caboose is typically the end of a train. But this one could signal a new beginning.

A caboose from 1976 sits on a acre of riverfront property in Dahlonega, GA, and it just rolled onto the market for $41,900.

The low asking price reflects the work that would be necessary to get this train car back on track.

“At one point, it was used for camping and vacationing,” says Jenna Ritter, with Virtual Properties Realty Biz. “It hasn’t been used for that in quite some time; but it’s got a little loft inside of it for sleeping quarters, a little living room, and it used to have a full kitchen in it.”

In 1985, the seller brought the caboose and its tracks to the property, according to Ritter. Beyond shelter, the train car offers few creature comforts.

“It’s full-on primitive—there are no utilities whatsoever,” Ritter notes, adding that electricity is available, and the new owner could drill a well. “It hasn’t been used in quite some time, so the interior would need some investment, and the price is reflective of that.”

The land, however, boasts 186 feet of frontage on the Etowah River.

“It’s beautiful back there,” Ritter says. “It’s very private, and there are no other residences around. It would really be perfect for somebody looking for a primitive camping experience or weekend fishing trips.”

A permanent structure could potentially be built on the property, but Ritter explains it would have to be on stilts and have a nontraditional septic tank system.

“I really haven’t seen anything like this before,” she says. “Then, of course, it’s not every day that you drive up an off-the-beaten path road, and you see a caboose on the river.”

Vacation rental potential

Ritter says many people have shown an interest in turning the property into a short-term rental. She acknowledges it needs some work to make that possible, though.

“I would say with the right amount of investment, that could come to life,” she says, noting the buyer would need to have “a lot of experience transforming nontraditional structures into a residential structure.”

The property is about 15 minutes from downtown Dahlonega and less than two hours from Atlanta.

“I think the perfect buyer for this property is somebody that appreciates a unique experience and appreciates history,” Ritter says. “It’s also someone that’s looking to use it for a vacation, camping, and fishing experience.”

This north Georgia town is the state's best Christmas spot, HGTV says

Dahlonega is the best Christmas town in Georgia, according to HGTV.Making the list of best small town in each state for the holiday spirit, Dahlonega showcases its "Old Fashioned Christmas" with carriage rides, lighting of the downtown square, Santa Claus a...

Dahlonega is the best Christmas town in Georgia, according to HGTV.

Making the list of best small town in each state for the holiday spirit, Dahlonega showcases its "Old Fashioned Christmas" with carriage rides, lighting of the downtown square, Santa Claus appearances, food truck vendors and plenty of photo opportunities.

HGTV also mentioned that the "Christmas market, holiday concerts, tree decorating, live Nativity scene, parade and caroling," make Dahlonega a great town to visit during the Christmas season.

The north Georgia town also made Southern Living's list of best destinations for a "classic Southern Christmas." Movie-makers have keyed in on the charm of the town with Dahlonega being the backdrop for Hallmark movies such as "Christmas in the Smokies," "Christmas in Homestead" and "A Taste of Christmas."

Road trip time!4 Georgia cities among best for 'classic southern Christmas,' says Southern Living

More:The holiday spirit all over Georgia with these 16 can't-miss Christmas lights displays

More than holiday cheer:North Georgia gem just named 'best small wine, beer and spirits town' in U.S.

Other towns made the list include Santa Claus, Indiana for having "holiday-themed rides, shows and attractions that make it a favorite destination for families during Christmas." And Natchez, Mississippi for its 34-foot-tall Christmas tree and "caroling in Memorial Park and a European-style Christmas village created in partnership with riverboat tour company, American Queen Voyages."

For a complete list of the best Christmas towns in the U.S. go to: https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/travel/best-small-towns-to-visit-this-christmas-pictures

Dahlonega named top Christmas town in the South

According to Southern Living, Dahlonega, is the top destination for a classic Southern Christmas — and it’s just a little over an hour away from Atlanta.“Very few places do a Southern small-town Christmas as well as Dahlonega, Georgia, which is one of the South’s favorite holiday towns,” reported the o...

According to Southern Living, Dahlonega, is the top destination for a classic Southern Christmas — and it’s just a little over an hour away from Atlanta.

“Very few places do a Southern small-town Christmas as well as Dahlonega, Georgia, which is one of the South’s favorite holiday towns,” reported the outlet. “Dahlonega combines small-town charm with a Christmas spirit and flare that will have you feeling like you’re on the inside of a snowglobe.”

ExploreThe Avondale Estates Christmas homes tour is back

While four Georgia cities made the magazine’s list of best Christmas towns in the South, Dahlonega came out on top. Here are four reasons the town is a must-visit location this holiday season.

Festival of Trees

Through December 31, Hancock Park

Part of the town’s Old Fashioned Christmas, “the Festival of Trees is the perfect place for a photo! The 15 colorfully decorated trees will remain on display in Hancock Park throughout December,” according to the event page.

Carriage rides

Through December 31, board at the Historic Public Square and on West Main Street at Hancock Park

Join Dahlonega Carriage & Horse Rides for a tour around Dahlonega’s historic district. Rides are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Rides are first-come, first-served, and you must pay in cash.

Explore4 products to make holiday travel easier

Christmas Parade

December 9 at 11 a.m., Dahlonega Historic District

Santa won’t be the only one making an appearance at Dahlonega’s Christmas Parade. Local organizations will be competing to impress the crowds with the most impressive floats.

Photo-op locations

if you’re hoping for some great holiday photos, Dahlonega has you covered with several locations that are perfect backdrops for your Christmas pics.

This Small Town In Georgia Is A Real-Life Hallmark Movie With Thousands Of Twinkling Lights

Have you always wanted to visit a Hallmark movie town in real life? In Georgia, you can do just that.Create a free account or log in to keep reading.Gain access to limited free articles, our daily newsletter, news alerts and more.Sign upLog inNestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains lies Dahlonega, a charming small town in Georgia that transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season.Decked out in twinkling lights and fe...

Have you always wanted to visit a Hallmark movie town in real life? In Georgia, you can do just that.

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Gain access to limited free articles, our daily newsletter, news alerts and more.

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Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains lies Dahlonega, a charming small town in Georgia that transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season.

Decked out in twinkling lights and festive displays, the town is right out of a Hallmark Christmas movie — literally. Dahlonega served as the filming location for Hallmark movies like Christmas in Homestead (2016) and Christmas in the Smokies (2015).

Known for its picturesque scenery, rich history, and festive spirit, Dahlonega is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an enchanting Christmas experience. The town is located about 1 hour from Atlanta, making for an easy day trip.

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The town is full of charming historic buildings that will transport you back in time. It's been called Georgia's best small town as well as one of the best Christmas towns in the United States.

In December, the town hosts a month-long Christmas celebration known as Old Fashioned Christmas, with holiday activities and tons to see and do to get you in the festive spirit.

During the month, the town has beautiful displays of Christmas lights, a Festival of Trees featuring 15 colourfully decorated Christmas trees, an old-fashioned Christmas market (held on Candy Cane Lane, no less) where you can shop for unique gifts and holiday decor items, Christmas carolling, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

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The town will also host a Christmas parade on December 9 and visits with Santa until December 17. A full list of events can be found on the town's website.

Besides Christmas activities, the mountain town offers tons of other things to do, with hiking trails that lead to incredible vistas, majestic waterfalls and postcard-worthy wineries.

Get ready to feel like you've stepped right into a holiday Hallmark movie with a visit to this charming small town.

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Dahlonega, Georgia

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Why You Need To Go: You can feel like the star of a Christmas Hallmark movie by visiting this small town in Georgia this holiday season.

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Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

For Fried Chicken, the Smith House Is Still the Gold Standard

The century-old establishment serves fried chicken that’s worth its weight in goldOctober 24, 2023When Freddy Welch’s family bought the Smith House in Dahlonega, Georgia, in 1970, they had no idea the restaurant and inn would be such a gold mine—literally. Nearly forty years later, during renovations to the basement dining room, the family discovered a mine shaft running along a gold vein, a vestige of the town’s gold rush in th...

The century-old establishment serves fried chicken that’s worth its weight in gold

October 24, 2023

When Freddy Welch’s family bought the Smith House in Dahlonega, Georgia, in 1970, they had no idea the restaurant and inn would be such a gold mine—literally. Nearly forty years later, during renovations to the basement dining room, the family discovered a mine shaft running along a gold vein, a vestige of the town’s gold rush in the early 1800s. “It has always been the story around town that the Smith House sat on a gold vein, but we didn’t really believe it,” says Welch, who grew up in an apartment behind the kitchen while his parents ran the restaurant and now owns and operates the Smith House with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Today, guests and visitors can drop in to see the vein, along with the bottles and other artifacts pulled from the dirt.

But ever since it opened as a restaurant and boarding house in 1922, the main draw at the Smith House has been the food. “We’re known for our fried chicken,” Welch says. “Plus our rolls, cornbread, fried okra, and fresh vegetables.” Three different families owned and operated the spot before the Welches purchased it, and while each added new dishes and embellishments to the menu, they kept most of the core recipes the same as when Bessie Smith ran the kitchen. Now, a hundred years later, visitors still pile in for that buttermilk fried chicken and homemade sides, plus the rotating meats such as baked ham, pot roast, and country fried steak. Their fried chicken may have even inspired one of the state’s most famous joints: the late Chick-fil-A founder, Truett Cathy, was a Sunday Smith House regular.

“When it first opened, there were two communal tables to serve guests,” Welch says. (Those guests could get a room and three homecooked meals for $1.50 a day.) “When my family first bought it, we would have a three- to four-hour wait to get into the restaurant on Sundays and Saturdays, so we built more dining rooms. We went from twenty-two seats in 1922 to 350 seats today.” And although a vintage cash register on site—once owned by the house’s original builder—has a function to accept payment in gold, these days they take card and cash, too.

Dahlonega Is Georgia's Best Small Town 2023

"I think the term 'magical' is overused, but it does kind of feel that way here."People who live in Dahlonega are hesitant to throw the word "magical" around when describing their town—they don’t want to sound trite. But the thesaurus is low on synonyms for a singular word that captures this tucked-away gem in the North Georgia mountains. "I think the term 'magical' is overused, but it does kind of feel that way here," says Tony Owens, who owns ...

"I think the term 'magical' is overused, but it does kind of feel that way here."

People who live in Dahlonega are hesitant to throw the word "magical" around when describing their town—they don’t want to sound trite. But the thesaurus is low on synonyms for a singular word that captures this tucked-away gem in the North Georgia mountains. "I think the term 'magical' is overused, but it does kind of feel that way here," says Tony Owens, who owns The Fudge Factory (a Dahlonega institution of more than 40 years) and the breakfast and lunch spot The Corner Kitchen. "It almost feels... It’s just..." he says, struggling to find a replacement adjective that will suffice. "There’s something special about this place."

Step into the town square, and you have no choice but to agree. Upon arrival, it’s clear why it was chosen as the location for several Christmas movies. Why build an entire set when Dahlonega is already perfectly propped? Historic buildings with signage for bed-and-breakfasts, art galleries, restaurants, and antiques markets surround the Dahlonega Gold Museum, which is in the 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse. (The city proudly claims its title as the center of America’s first gold rush—not California.) Right by the square is the University of North Georgia’s idyllic Dahlonega Campus, one of six senior military colleges in the country.

The true heart of this town is its business owners and artisans. Fiona Bagley owns Crown & Bear, a store dedicated to all things British—like her. She and her family fell in love with Dahlonega partly because of its accessibility for her daughter, who has cerebral palsy. "When we lived near Atlanta, she couldn’t really go places unless we drove her," Bagley recalls. "Here, she can walk everywhere." Those outings are often accompanied by Waffle the corgi, Crown & Bear’s official (and adorable) mascot.

Although Bagley stays busy running her bustling store filled with English goodies that she handpicks from renowned British brands and small businesses alike, Bagley always makes time to chat and share local recommendations. "We’ve got such a great community of shopkeepers," she says. "It doesn’t matter that I’m right next door to other gift stores. We all support each other."

At My Vintage Gypsy Teas, retired critical-care nurse Kim Pyron blends dozens of custom teas bestowed with creative names and logos. For example, there’s Georgia On My Mind (a peach- infused black tea) and Bless Your Tart (a decaf option that’s flavored with a mix of berries). She also regularly highlights Dahlonega mainstays; the Dreamsicle blend honors Connie’s Ice Cream Parlor & Gourmet Sandwich Shop.

These spots aren’t competitors; they’re each other’s cheerleaders. Establishments such as Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Shenanigans Irish Pub have served seasonal cocktails that incorporated Pyron’s teas. Bourbon Street Grille, a Cajun-inspired eatery with a balcony made for people-watching on the square, has a beignet dessert that features nearby Paul Thomas Chocolates. Other offerings that promote ingredients from neighboring companies are like Easter eggs scattered on menus across town. "This is the way it’s supposed to be," says Pyron. "I think Dahlonega is unique in that it is one of the few areas that still have that small-town, Southern Americana feel to them."

Local potter Brad Walker has been selling his wares in the same storefront for more than 47 years. "It’s not quiet here; it’s quaint," he says of his beloved town. Walker is an immovable fixture in the vibrant arts scene that keeps Dahlonega grounded, safe from the risk of becoming overly commercialized.

One artist everyone knows is Mike Miller, who describes himself as "retired" but is co-owner of a few local ventures. Miller showcases his work in one of his operations, Bleu Gallery, alongside over 25 other resident artists. The gallery sits across the hall from Naturally Georgia, a tasting room with a menu that consists solely of wines from the state.

You can’t talk about Dahlonega without mentioning the wineries and vineyards that encircle it. "I didn’t even know Georgia had a wine country until I started visiting some friends of mine who had retired in the area," says Claire Livingston, who owns Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery, where she recently completed a massive renovation. "I used to say, 'Well I’m gonna retire here, too, but when I do, I’m gonna buy a winery!' But it was in a half-joking, half-serious kind of way. Long story short: An opportunity fell into my lap."

There’s a Dahlonega winery for every mood. Cuddle up by a fire at Livingston’s stylishly rustic place—she’ll come check on you and see if you need anything (you won’t). Sit on the porch at Wolf Mountain to enjoy a casual lunch, a glass of the brut rosé, and an incredible scenic view. You can visit Montaluce Winery & Restaurant or Kaya Vineyard and Winery for elegant experiences that may involve an Atlanta Falcons football player sighting (according to locals). No matter which spot you choose, rest assured that the person serving your vino will know exactly where the grapes were grown.

When questioned about what brought her to the town, Kathy Aerts (the owner of Cranberry Corners, a gift shop that’s been open on the square since 1995) simply says, "If you have to ask, then you don’t get it."

In order to truly "get it," don’t miss a chance to interact with the folks behind the counters who are always willing to chat with any curious customers passing through. And those friendly conversations are precisely where that inescapable magic lives. You can purchase a nice painting and a cute souvenir anywhere, but they won’t have the same twinkle as a Mike Miller original or a postcard with Waffle the corgi on it.

Brown to retire as Lumpkin's superintendent

BodyOn a weekday morning at the Lumpkin County School System home office, Dr. Rob Brown was still conducting business as usual. But soon Brown will pursue a different daily routine—that of retirement. The Superintendent is moving on after seven and a half years at the helm of the Lumpkin public school system. He has chosen to transition during the middle of the school year and feels that plan is going smoothly. “I have been trying to soak in the moment in recent weeks,” Brown said. “For example when we watched ...

Body

On a weekday morning at the Lumpkin County School System home office, Dr. Rob Brown was still conducting business as usual. But soon Brown will pursue a different daily routine—that of retirement. The Superintendent is moving on after seven and a half years at the helm of the Lumpkin public school system. He has chosen to transition during the middle of the school year and feels that plan is going smoothly. “I have been trying to soak in the moment in recent weeks,” Brown said. “For example when we watched the field goal that won the football playoff game in double overtime.” Brown’s years in Lumpkin have been filled with many fond memories, but he remembers when he first visited town. “On the day of my interview it was snowing in Dahlonega,” Brown recalled. That day, Brown’s wife Betsy visited several places in town and met people to get an idea of what the town was like. His positive impression of the school board and the inviting atmosphere in Dahlonega assured him that he had found the right place for his family. One challenge at the beginning was that Lumpkin already had a successful school system, so Brown had to find ways to improve things even more. He began by listening to the local employees to gather information. “All that guided our strategic efforts,” he said. Brown’s strategy was essentially to hire great people and let them do their jobs—from the teachers, coaches, nutrition and facilities staff members and others. “They take great pride in their work,” he added. Brown is proud to have seen success at each school and credits the teachers and other staff for those accomplishments. He pointed to the improvements in graduation rates (second highest in the state at 99.5 percent last year), as well as achievements in many of the extracurricular programs, including basketball, wrestling, baseball, football, JROTC, literacy and many others. He pointed out one recent award that is particularly meaningful as Lumpkin was named the state Charter System of the Year. Still displayed in his office were degrees and more than one University of Alabama football souvenir. “Those are the last things to be taken down,” he laughed. Brown’s enthusiastic support of the other SEC school has often been the subject of may jokes during his time with the school system. But during his years as superintendent, Brown displayed the same enthusiasm for all things relating to Lumpkin County. “None of our successes were because of me,” he said. “It’s the collective efforts of everyone in our school system.” Brown said that they plan to move to Florida to be closer to family. “That will be our home base.” But for the time being, they are planning to live much of the year in Peachtree City, as Brown has accepted a part-time position with the Georgia School Superintendents Association that will allow him to advocate for support of public education at the state capital. When the legislative session is less busy in the fall, Brown will also dedicate some of his time to working with new superintendents. He expressed gratitude for his wife’s support at every turn of their journey. “My wife has been a trooper,” he said. “Before we came here she told me ‘Where you go, I go.’” When not working during retirement, the Browns plan to spend more time with family and hopefully take in a few more Kenny Chesney concerts and college football games.

Former Deputy Superintendent Sharon Head will step up as the new Superintendent of Lumpkin County Schools.

Tidal Wave Auto Spa Makes a Splash With Grand Openings in Dahlonega, GA, and Lino Lakes, MN

THOMASTON, Ga., October 4, 2023 (Newswire.com) - Tidal Wave Auto Spa, one of the nation’s fastest-growing express car wash companies, is thrilled to announce the openings of its two newest locations in Dahlonega, Georgia, ...

THOMASTON, Ga., October 4, 2023 (Newswire.com) - Tidal Wave Auto Spa, one of the nation’s fastest-growing express car wash companies, is thrilled to announce the openings of its two newest locations in Dahlonega, Georgia, and Lino Lakes, Minnesota. To celebrate these exciting additions to the Tidal Wave family, the company is offering free, premium Graph-X4 car washes at both locations during the Grand Opening week from Wednesday, Oct. 4, through Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Tidal Wave Auto Spa has earned its reputation as an industry leader, known for its cutting-edge car care technology, pristine locations, and dedication to delivering an unparalleled car wash experience. With the addition of Dahlonega and Lino Lakes to its growing family, Tidal Wave Auto Spa reaffirms its mission to provide top-notch car care solutions to even more communities.

"We're excited to bring Tidal Wave's exceptional car wash services to Dahlonega and Lino Lakes,” said CEO and founder of Tidal Wave Auto Spa, Scott Blackstock. “Our goal has always been to make car care easy, efficient, and enjoyable for our customers, and these new locations will do just that. We look forward to providing top-quality service and becoming a valued part of these vibrant communities.”

In addition to free washes, the newest Tidal Wave locations are offering an exclusive new member special. Any new customer who joins the Clean Club at the Dahlonega or Lino Lakes locations during their Grand Opening week will enjoy their first month of unlimited washes for only $9.97 – for savings up to $40. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the convenience and quality that a Clean Club membership offers.

Dahlonega, GA Location:

500 Morrison Moore Pkwy EDahlonega, GA 30533

Grand Opening Week Hours: Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Lino Lakes, MN Location:

7105 Otter Lake RoadLino Lakes, MN 55038

Grand Opening Hours: Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The company offers single wash options and unlimited wash memberships to fit any budget, and customers planning to wash more than once a month can save money by joining any of Tidal Wave’s Clean Club unlimited wash membership options. Clean Club members can wash at any Tidal Wave location every day of the month for one convenient monthly payment – plus, save time with exclusive club member wash lanes.

Tidal Wave offers discounted membership plan options for families and fleet plans for businesses needing to wash multiple vehicles. Tidal Wave Auto Spa is proud to be part of the Dahlonega and Lino Lakes communities, and offers a turn-key fundraising program that makes it easy to raise funds for local schools, churches, civic groups, sports teams and more.

About Tidal Wave Auto Spa

Tidal Wave Auto Spa is an industry-leading conveyor car wash company founded in 1999 by Scott and Hope Blackstock in Thomaston, GA. Tidal Wave is committed to providing cutting-edge car care technology and exceptional customer service at each of its 192 locations spanning 23 states. In 2020, Tidal Wave partnered with Golden Gate Capital to facilitate its accelerated growth across the country. Tidal Wave is one of the top five conveyor car wash companies in the country and has been included in the Inc. 5000 list for America’s Fastest Growing Companies since 2020. The company was recognized as a 2023 Champion of Charity Honoree by Professional Carwashing & Detailing and has raised over $3 million dollars for organizations in its communities.

Source: Tidal Wave Auto Spa

McConnell retires from UNG

Dr. Frank J. "Mac" McConnell grew up in Dahlonega, Georgia, and went to school at what was then North Georgia College, graduating in 1977. Thus, the chance to serve the University of North Georgia (UNG) for the past nearly 37 years came as both a natural and special opportunity."North Georgia has really been a part of me for all of my life. It's been an extreme honor to come back and work all these years with students and for students and help people with their careers," McConnell said. "It's been life-changin...

Dr. Frank J. "Mac" McConnell grew up in Dahlonega, Georgia, and went to school at what was then North Georgia College, graduating in 1977. Thus, the chance to serve the University of North Georgia (UNG) for the past nearly 37 years came as both a natural and special opportunity.

"North Georgia has really been a part of me for all of my life. It's been an extreme honor to come back and work all these years with students and for students and help people with their careers," McConnell said. "It's been life-changing for me."

McConnell, senior vice president for Business and Finance, retired Dec. 1 from UNG. He worked for seven presidents in his time at the university, and he has received emeritus status.

"Mac has served UNG with extraordinary dedication," UNG President Michael Shannon said. "I am so grateful for his leadership and expertise that have contributed to UNG."

At McConnell's retirement reception Nov. 28, Shannon announced he was making a $10,000 donation from his discretionary fund to the Zak McConnell Memorial Scholarship fund, which is in honor of McConnell's son who passed away in 2013 at age 26.

McConnell first joined the university in 1987 as director of procurement and later served as comptroller before becoming a vice president for business and finance. He served as the university's chief business officer for 25 years. Beyond overseeing units related to UNG's budget and financial operations, McConnell's division included Human Resources, Facilities, Public Safety, Purchasing and Logistical Services, Auxiliary Services, and Information Technology.

North Georgia has really been a part of me for all of my life. It's been an extreme honor to come back and work all these years with students and for students and help people with their careers. It's been life-changing for me.

Dr. Frank J. 'Mac' McConnell

Retiring senior vice president for Business and Finance

McConnell is known for his smile and sense of humor.

"We have important work. I like to create that family type of environment where we're pulling together. To me, it's always been fun," McConnell said. "I try to add humor to lighten the mood and bring people together. It helps build trust."

He was grateful to be part of the Convocation Center; Cottrell Center for Business, Technology & Innovation; and Library Technology Center projects at UNG's Dahlonega Campus and the renovation of the former Lanier Technical College buildings at UNG's Gainesville Campus.

Being part of expansions in Blue Ridge, Cumming and Oconee was also meaningful, as well as watching the Athletics Department excel in competition and facilities while making the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division II in 2005-06.

McConnell received the Judy Wilder Lifetime Achievement Award from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Office of Facilities in 2015.

His wife, Tona, also graduated from then-North Georgia College in 1977. McConnell went on to earn his MBA from Mercer University and his Ed.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia. In addition to his administrative role, McConnell was an assistant professor in UNG's College of Education doctoral program.

McConnell has been a member of the UNG Real Estate Foundation; UNG Foundation; UNG Research Foundation; North Georgia Nighthawks Club Association; Dahlonega Rotary Club, where he served as president; Dahlonega Jaycees; and Lumpkin County Touchdown Club.

"I hope I'm remembered for making a difference in the lives of our students, faculty and staff. I really endeavored to do that. The brick-and-mortar additions are fantastic, and I'm so proud of those," McConnell said. "But being able to positively impact a person or their family's life is the ultimate reward for me."

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14 Best Things To Do In Helen, Georgia, During The Holidays

This tiny Bavarian town in the heart of Georgia is rich with Christmas charm. In This Article Who says you have to hop on a transatlantic flight to experience a Bavarian Christmas? Trade in Appalachia for the Alps this Christmas in Helen, Georgia, a charming small town known for its scenic natural surroundings, vineyards nestled in the foothill...

This tiny Bavarian town in the heart of Georgia is rich with Christmas charm.

In This Article

Who says you have to hop on a transatlantic flight to experience a Bavarian Christmas? Trade in Appalachia for the Alps this Christmas in Helen, Georgia, a charming small town known for its scenic natural surroundings, vineyards nestled in the foothills, and distinctive alpine aesthetic. Helen describes itself as being chock full of "the charm of Bavaria in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains," and that's just what you'll find on a weekend getaway to this one-of-a-kind community.

Where did Helen get its unique look? In 1969, the small mountain community decided it needed a facelift. An artist stationed in Germany sketched a more European façade for the town, which local carpenters and businesses adopted. Nearly 50 years later, this small mountain town—which sees millions of visitors yearly—still proudly wears its German influences. Which, as you can imagine, is impossibly charming during the holidays.

Once one of Helen's biggest celebrations, Oktoberfest, is over, it's on to more than a month of Christmas traditions around town. Think of everything from a traditional Christkindlmarkt (a holiday market) to an annual downtown parade. Read on for a few fun Christmas traditions that will put a trip to Helen, Georgia, on your holiday wish list.

Join Festive Christmas Events

There's no better way to kick off a visit to Helen than with The Lighting of the Village. Plan your visit to coincide with this event, which occurs in late November. The programming includes performances from local musical groups, and once it's time to light up the town, Santa and Mrs. Claus do the honors, illuminating the town center with holiday cheer and plenty of lights. This much-loved start to the holiday season also invites children (and adults) to meet the Clauses while they're in town.

See Santa during the annual Christmas parade as he travels through the town from downtown Helen to the Festhalle on Edelweiss Street. A bonfire with s'mores follows the parade. Music, dancing, and treats fill the day. This Christmas event, including the Lantern Parade, has unique traditions, including German Christmas characters and floats.

No Christmas season is complete without a moment spent with Santa Claus. You can sit down to breakfast with jolly Saint Nick at events throughout the area, but one of the local favorites has historically been the festive morning Breakfast with Santa event held in Unicoi State Park Lodge. Check the state park calendar for dates and ticketing information so that you can delight in the magic of breakfast with Saint Nick. In past years, the event has also included a candy cane hunt, a pajama parade, and photos with Santa.

Head to the equally charming town next door for the Christmas in the Mountains Festival & Lighted Parade. Taking place in Cleveland, Georgia, the festival features Santa, his elves, and plenty of other characters who appear in their holiday finest. Enjoy a day filled with Christmas carols, hot cocoa, activities, food booths, and much more.

What Else To Do At The Holidays

One of Helen's favorite sources of family fun is the Georgia Mountain Coaster, the state's first alpine mountain coaster. Located in downtown Helen, the coaster takes riders through one mile of picturesque Helen sights as they zoom through town. Open seven days a week (weather permitting), the coaster will help you zip through the mountains as if you were riding on Santa's sleigh. Be sure to bundle up for your holiday ride.

There are several methods you can use to see the lights and holiday decor around downtown Helen (walking, driving, and the Georgia Mountain Coaster among them), but one of the slower-paced and local favorite ways is via horse-drawn carriage. Alpine Carriage Company and Pegasus Horse-Drawn Carriages take sightseers through town with the clip-clop soundtrack of horses' hooves.

If you would like to switch gears a bit, you can learn about a Victorian Christmas at the Hardman Farm Historic State Site. There are self-guided tour options available year-round, and when you visit after Thanksgiving, you can see the historic home dressed in period holiday decor while learning about Victorian holiday traditions. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, "the Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound at Hardman Farm is perhaps the best-known feature of Hardman Farm, located just south of Helen in White County. The gazebo-topped mound and cow pasture is a favorite landmark in north Georgia with exceptional ties to Native American history."

While we love playing a round of mini-golf year-round, Alpine Mini Golf is not a course to miss during Christmastime. The course is beautiful to explore after sunset when it is illuminated with thousands of Christmas lights. After your round of golf, step into the on-site Scoop De Scoop Ice Cream Parlour for a delicious treat.

During the holiday season, Unicoi Hill Park, located right next to Helen Square, is decorated with lots of Christmas lights. However, the gazebo is the star of the show. Every year, the gazebo is adorned with an abundance of Christmas lights and is the perfect place to get a holiday photo in. Once you are in the park, take some time to adventure one of the many hiking trails, or view the waterfall. There is also a playground for kids.

Where To Shop

Held on the first two weekends after Thanksgiving, the annual Christkindlmarkt is a traditional German event that features booths where local makers sell their wares. During the market, which takes place in Marktplatz (downtown Helen), visitors can shop for gifts, decorations, and sweet treats. Stroll through vendor booths and enjoy the smells of roasted chestnuts, almonds, and baked goods. The programming also includes handmade crafts, performances, and additional events for a fun-filled weekend.

A shop filled entirely with Christmas wares? Nothing is quite as festive as browsing aisles upon aisles of holiday gifts and decorations, and there's no better place to shop for Christmas-themed things than The Christmas Shoppe in Helen. Browse the selection of holiday figurines and the collections of German and European-made ornaments. You're sure to find the perfect souvenir or gift, including nutcrackers and a snow globe to commemorate your visit.

Where To Stay

Nestled in the North Georgia mountains is a getaway you'll love during the holidays (or at any time of year). The Valhalla Resort Hotel offers luxury amenities and easy access to all of the holiday happenings in Helen. In addition to the comfortable rooms, the hotel has a rooftop bar and a wine cellar, as well as a spa where you can relax after taking in the town festivities.

16 Best Destinations For A Classic Southern Christmas

Where To Eat And Drink

After all of the holiday celebrations, your crew will be hungry. Stop into some of Helen's favorite restaurants for a memorable meal. Don't miss Hofer's of Helen, which features a bakery, cafe, and Biergarten. Another can't-miss spot is Hofbrauhaus Restaurant, where you'll find German-influenced favorites alongside burgers and sides. The oft-photographed Heidelberg is a three-story restaurant, pub, and music hall on the main square that serves traditional German fare and draft beers.

There are wineries and tasting rooms tucked throughout this region of Georgia, so it's easy to fit a holiday wine tasting into your Helen getaway. Fox Winery is a favorite on Main Street in downtown Helen. Here, you can find free wine samples from three different wineries. There's also Habersham Winery, one of North Georgia's oldest, which Helen describes as a "family-owned enterprise with wine tastings, plus a shop stocking globally sourced gourmet foods."

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