Obviously we don't spend all our time hiking. We have full time jobs, a house to maintain, and other obligations (well, honestly, the house and chores are usually the last priority). And sometimes we just do other things for fun besides hiking. They are usually somehow connected to the outdoors, though. My favorite "marginally outdoors" activity is going to vineyards. We have so many nearby and they are all in the mountains, so we can enjoy the views and scenery without actually hiking. Win/Win! Sometimes we'll do a short hike (so we don't end up all sweaty and gross) and then head to a more casual vineyard. Or if we start out intending to hike but then it starts to rain, we have a back up plan.
Most recently we went to Cavender Creek Vineyards, which is not far outside Dahlonega at all. It's not new; we just hadn't been there yet. Cavender is very casual and rustic. It's surrounded by farms and there are some farm animals onsite. The Cavender donkeys are well known and adorable. They also have some livestock guard dogs, who also enjoy "guarding" the tasting room (to allow those to pass give out pats or treats). I'm hardly a wine expert or snob, so everything we had tasted great! In particular, we liked the peach sangria and would have taken a bottle of that home if possible. The staff were very friendly as well and there was a great live musician outside on the back patio. They also have an old log home onsite available for rentals. Overall, I would say Cavender Creek has something for everyone to enjoy.
We have been to a lot of vineyards over the years and we've celebrated many special occasions at them. I tend to categorize them in terms of fancy or casual, so here are two lists of our favorites so you can plan accordingly! Again, no paid advertising or compensation, we just like supporting small businesses.
1. Wolf Mountain- Dahlonega
2. Kaya- Dahlonega
3. Yonah Mountain- Cleveland
1. Cartecay- Ellijay
2. Cavender Creek- Dahlonega
3. Frogtown- Dahlonega