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Trying to find some amazing museums to check out? Wondering what the best museums in the North Georgia mountains are?
One of the most amazing regions in the state, North Georgia is a gorgeous place. It’s home to many hills, mountains, valleys, and trails, and there is no shortage of activities you can partake in. However, while the 1 billion-year-old Georgia mountains have plenty to see in their own right, there are some very nice museums in North Georgia as well that celebrate the region’s unique heritage.
If you’re in North Georgia and want to add some culture to your life, look no further. Here are 5 of the most interesting museums that you’ll want to check out when you’re in the North Georgia mountains.
1. The Dahlonega Gold Museum
Dahlonega, GA is currently a small town tourist destination, that attracts many weekend visitors. However, back in 1828 a man hunting deer a few miles from Dahlonega literally tripped on a very large gold nugget. Within a year, thousands of miners from throughout the U.S. as well as fortune hunters from other countries flocked to Dahlonega.
So great was the gold find, that even the U.S. mint established a coining facility in the town in which many gold coins were minted. By the time the war between the States had begun, gold mining fizzled out. Yet, Dahlonega was once a bustling town filled with saloons, pool parlors, bars, and gambling.
The Dahlonega Gold Museum is hosted in a formerly active courthouse and the exciting story of America’s first goldrush is featured in this museum.
2. Currahee Military Museum
The Currahee Military Museum in Toccoa, GA celebrates the amazing history surrounding Camp Toccoa. Created in 1940 to train elite paratroopers, one of the secret weapons of World War II, Camp Toccoa trained over 17,000 paratroopers during the war.
Paratroopers candidates from these regiments trained at this tough-as-nails camp:
- 501st Infantry Regiment
- 506th Infantry Regiment
- 507th Infantry Regiment
- 511th Infantry Regiment
The museum celebrates the history of the American paratrooper and is an excellent place to visit for those who appreciate the sacrifices these veterans made for our freedom.
3. Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
NASCAR racing is almost a religion in Georgia and across the South. In the town of Dawsonville, population 3100, you can literally live and breathe NASCAR at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Museum.
Not incredibly large, the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame is still a must-see for those who have always wanted to climb into the pits at a NASCAR event. There are several NASCAR racecars at the museum, including Bill Elliot’s Ford that he drove an astounding 212 miles per hour in 1987, pre restrictor-plate days.
The museum also features some Indy cars dating to the 1930s. There are also dozens of trophies local Dawsonville-born Elliot donated to the museum.
Needless to say, this is a must-see museum for racing fans.
4. Charlemagne’s Kingdom
Charlemagne’s Kingdom is a rather small museum but a sheer delight for those who love model trains. Located in Helen, GA, if you happen to be nearby, this spot is well worth a trip.
The museum is the largest Alpine Model Train museum. It features over 400 feet of railroad track, with incredibly realistic German scenery. This realistic German-themed museum features visions of Germany from the North Sea to the Alps and is definitely a sight to see.
5. Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art
Anyone who says that art and Georgia do not mix has not been to the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art located in Demorest, GA.
Donated to Piedmont College in Demorest by Dr. Bill Mason, a member of the Class of 1957, and Bob Scharfenstein from Birmingham, this contemporary art gallery features two permanent galleries. There’s also a changing gallery that features both student work and works from international and national artists.
Art Students at Piedmont College generally show their capstone senior projects at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art, so it is a lively hive of activity for both artists and art appreciators.
If you’re trying to find great museums in the North Georgia mountains, there are plenty to choose from. While these are a few of the top museums you may want to visit when you’re in the area, there are some other great ones as well. Be sure that you consider visiting some of the above spots when you’re in North Georgia.
Planning to visit North Georgia soon? Then you may want to click here to find a great hotel to stay at during your vacation.
COVER IMAGE: HowardSF at English Wikipedia
Hey, I’m Harrison! I’m the creator of Southern Portals and the writer of many (but not all) of the posts you’ll find here. I’m a native of the North GA mountains, an avid traveler, and a singer-songwriter. This website is one of my passion projects and I hope to share a bit of my expertise with the world through it, so I hope you enjoy the articles that you find here. Thanks for reading!