There are lots of great activities in the Georgia mountains, including the opportunity to shop and support local businesses as well as find great deals on national brands!
Each of the communities in the Georgia mountains has it’s own distinct identity, but one thing they all have in common is a variety of unique local places to shop. There are even a few Georgia mountain towns that are great for people who enjoy walking around to shop (visit the main downtown areas of Alpine Helen, Blue Ridge, and Dahlonega for great examples).
Big Annual Shopping Days
Each year the holiday shopping season has 3 big shopping promotion days to help shoppers to cross a few names off of their lists. While Black Friday and Small Buiness Saturday lean more towards brick-and-mortar promotions, it is not uncommon for these offers to also be available online.
In order to best take advantage of these offers you may want to browse the Thanksgiving edition of your local newspaper to see promotional ads for local deals. If your favorite nearby stores have an email marketing list (or loyalty program), make sure to sign up in advance for email notification of offers, as often the best deals are only sent to these customers.
Black Friday (11/29/2019)
Black Friday is the original crazy-shopping holiday. The name refers to the phenomenon that many businesses would finally push their annual results into the “black” on the first Friday after Thanksgiving, when holiday gift shopping started.
Many retailers have doorbuster specials to draw people into the store to shop, and because they are designed to bring customers into their stores, these deeply discounted offers are more commonly seen in brick-and-mortar stores. This has been the busiest shopping day of the year for many consecutive years, so expect to encounter large crowds when shopping on Black Friday.
Small Business Saturday (11/30/2019)
The youngest of the shopping holidays is Small Business Saturday, which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and is in it’s 10th year in 2019.
This movement towards local economy participation and the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday #SmallBizSaturday #ShopSmall encourage people to do shopping with small and local merchants to help support their own local economy. Plus, not only is shopping with small, local merchants a great way to boost your local economy, it’s also a great way to find unique gifts from local artisans.
Cyber Monday (12/2/2019)
Cyber Monday was a shopping holiday that somewhat took retailers by surprise. Starting in 2005, analysts noticed that online sales had a large uptick in sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving. The reason behind the original increased sales on these first Cyber Mondays remains a thing of debate, but retailers definitely decided to run with the trend.
Online retailers soon began pushing Cyber Monday promotions as it’s own sales holiday. As customers realized they could still get a great deal and avoid Black Friday crowds, it quickly grew to also become one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Shopping in the North Georgia Mountains
From high-end fashion boutiques to stores that specialize in types of jerky, there are lots of fun places to shop in North Georgia. Whether you are looking for a specific gift or item for your home, or just browsing to see what novelties are newly available, shopping is a fun way to spend an afternoon and to get to know a town.
North Georgia Premium Outlets (Dawsonville)
One of the biggest shopping centers in the area is the North Georgia Premium Outlets. This Dawson County outlet shopping center has a food court plus more than 140 outlet designer and name-brand stores including Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Coach, Gap, and Lululemon. The location is easy to find on Highway 400 and the sizable location has a wide variety of items that sell everything from underwear and shoes to fragrance and vitamins!
See the deals & coupons in advance of your trip and find even bigger discounts!
Dawsonville Outlet Mall Stores
Shop the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville where you’ll find the factory outlet version of these stores and score fantastic deals. See the full list of Dawsonville outlet mall stores here or learn more about some of the hottest brands you’ll find at the North Georgia Outlets below:
- 7 for All Mankind
- Adidas Factory Store
- Ann Taylor Factory Store
- Banana Republic Factory Store
- Calvin Klein
- Columbia Sportswear
- Disney Store
- Eddie Bauer
- GNC / Value Nutrition
- Guess Factory Store
- J.Crew Factory
- Lucky Brand
- Merrell Outlet
- rag & bone
- The North Face
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Z Gallerie
NOTE: the above is only a partial list of stores at North Georgia Premium Outlets – visit website for the full, current listing of 140+ stores!
North Georgia Premium Outlets Hours
Check online to find specific open hours by date. Note that hours are extended during peak holiday shopping season. Regular outlet center hours are:
- 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday
- 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sunday
Other Features of the North Georgia Premium Outlets
In addition to the selection of top stores and great deals, there are also a few other things of note about this shopping center.
Many of the Dawsonville outlet stores offer a military discount! Check within the following stores to learn more about how to receive your military discount:
Armani, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Bass Factory Outlet, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Calvin Klein, Claires, Clarks, Coach, Cole Haan, Columbia Sportswear, Converse, Crocs, Disney Store, Eddie Bauer, francesca’s, Giggle Monkey Toys, Guess Factory Store, Haggar Clothing Company, HanesBrands, J.Crew Factory, Johnston & Murphy, Journey’s, Lucky Brand, Mattress Bliss, Nautica, North Georgia Hearing Aid Factory Outlet, Old Navy Outlet, Papaya, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Pottery Barn Kids, Samsonite, Skechers, Merrell Outlet, The North Face, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, True Religion, U.S. Polo Assn., VAN HEUSEN, Vera Bradley, Vitamin World, Wilsons Leather, Yankee Candle Outlets
Plus: North Georgia Premium Outlets proudly supports those that serve, their families, and our veterans. There are four premium reserved parking spaces located near Flag Court next to the Food Pavilion.
This outlet shopping mall also features a “Children’s Courtyard” between The Children’s Place and Gap Outlet to allow the kids to enjoy the weather outside on a nice day.
EV Charging Stations
See the online map for the locaiton of the EV charging station at the outlet mall and learn more about other electric vehicle charging stations in the North Georgia mountains!
Antiquing in the Georgia Mountains
If you enjoy a fun stroll for treasures through an antique shop, you will certainly enjoy the jam-packed antique shops in the town squares and main streets of North Georgia’s mountain towns. This is simply a small sample of some of the stores you’ll find as you walk around town or drive from place to place.
- Appalachian Trader in Dillard
- High Country Artin Blue Ridge
- Mountain Laurel Antique Mall in Cleveland
- St. Gallen Antiques Gifts Coin in Helen
- Mountain Antiques in Lakemont
Novelty Shops in the Georgia Mountains
These shops may not necessarily have anything that you need to purchase, but they sure are a lot of fun to browse around anyway!
- Dahlonega General Store has cups of coffee for only 5¢, Dahlonega souvenirs, and mountain / gold mining themed products
- The quirky Goats on the Roof gift shop has ice cream, boiled peanuts, gem mining, and goats on their roof!
- The Bigfoot Expedition gift shop is located on site at the Bigfoot Expedition The Sasquatch Museum and has something for believers and non-believers alike!
Specialty Shops in the Georgia Mountains
The diverse nature of all there is to do in the North Georgia mountains has translated into a wide variety of specialty shops in the area.
Food & Drink
- Outlaw Jerky in Dahlonega, GA specializes in beef, wild game, and exotic jerky (alligator, kangaroo, pork, python, etc). Also stocks other unusual food items including edible insects, vegetarian jerky, and treats for pets!
- Active / Retired Military and First Responders show your military id or badge to receive 10% off your entire order (excludes sale items)
- Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen in Helen, GA makes hand-crafted gourmet chocolates and candies. Try the delicious chocolates, fresh peanut and pecan brittle, and more than 100 other candies!
- Try some of the wines, beers, spirits, or local meads from the farms and growers in the North Georgia mountains. Spend time on a tour of the facilities or skip right to a tasting flight to find your favorite new drink(s).
- Learn more about your food on an agritourism farm visit using the online farm finder tool
Back in the day, the Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage and were the hot item on wish lists for kids and collectors. You can still relieve the original hype with a trip to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland where you can visit the “kids” who are waiting to be adopted. Admission to Babyland General Hospital is free for the entire family.
Stop at a store or business that specializes in products and art that were locally produced in North Georgia. Here are just a couple of ideas where you can enjoy the areas beautiful wares and delicious foods and drinks!
- All Things Currahee in Toccoa has a nice collection of locally made art and other wares
- Folk Apothic in Blue Ridge claims to be more than just a store, rather a pure Appalachian experience. These purveyors of all local organic or wildharvested herbs, mountain medicinals, salves, local produce, teas, mountain knowledge, and all things folk.
Take advantage of the expertise of local outfitters who know the areas better than anyone. Stop in for gear or for recommendations for a perfect place to spend the day outside!
- Trailful Outdoor Co. in Hiawassee, GA hosts Free Coffee Sunday from 12:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m. from a 1973 VW Camper Van in front of their shop. Stop by the shop at 140 North Main Street, Hiawassee, GA to enjoy a free pour-over coffee on Sundays!
Tips for a Great North Georgia Shopping Trip
The shopping in the North Georgia mountains should be a fun way to spend some time and some money. Follow these tips to have a memorable day with friends and family.
Dress comfortably and suitable for the environment. The Georgia mountains are not Rodeo Drive — there is no need to get out the high heeled shoes and designer handbags for most of your shopping trips. Wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in and if you are going to be on a farm or somewhere outdoors, then make sure to wear clothing that can get dirty. Take along items that can be layered as needed.
Stay energized. Take a large travel mug of your favorite coffee or tea and let the caffeine help to propel you throughout the aisles! Refill with water (or another latte) as needed throughout the day.
Take resusable shopping bags & accessories. These are not only easy on the environment, they can be easier to manage when you are hauling a big load of loot.
What places look most intersting to you? What types of local things do you want to try?