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Straight out of a Hallmark movie (literally): Dahlonega, Georgia

By Loren Lindler

Have you ever traveled to a small town and heard someone say "oh, it looks like it's straight out of a Hallmark movie"? If you've ever traveled to rural Dahlonega, Georgia, you've probably had that exact thought because it is, indeed, straight out of a Hallmark movie. Dahlonega embodies the small town charming downtown area and has Christmas decorations strung on every corner. Some may even describe it as a scene from a snowglobe.

Dahlonega, Georgia, is known for its picturesque town, and during the holidays, it is a true rural Georgia treat. The architecture downtown has captured the eyes of many filmmakers, including those from Hallmark, Lifetime, and Inspiration. Each year, the town is decorated for Christmas, so you too can experience what it's like to be in a Hallmark movie.

With shots of the Welcome Center, Holly Theatre, Dahlonega General Store, carriage rides in the evenings and so much more, the perfect Christmas retreat in rural Georgia may actually be right in front of your television.

If you're a Christmas movie fanatic or a lover of rural Georgia, check out these movies that have been filmed in Dahlonega. They're the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit, and you'll get a little taste of rural Georgia as you watch.

Christmas in Homestead

Hallmark, 2016

Photo by Curtis Bonds Baker/Crown Media

Set in small-town Homestead, Iowa, Jessica, a movie star, and her gang come to town to film an up and coming movie. While in town, she stays at the local inn, owned by Matt, who also happens to be the mayor.

While in Homestead, Jessica gets a taste of small-town life, and a romance brews between her and Matt.

Starring Taylor Cole and Michael Rady.

Christmas in the Smokies

Inspiration, 2015

Photo by Hallmark, Imagicomm Films

Haygood Farms, a berry farm located in the Smoky Mountains, has been in Shelby Haygood's family for over forty years, but in the midst of the holiday season, Ralph Baxter, the local banker, is set on foreclosing the land. To make matters worse, Mason Wyatt, Shelby's one true love, is back in town and staying at the family farm.

With Mason back in town and the foreclosure drawing near, Shelby learns that Mason may be the key to saving the farm.

Starring Sarah Lancaster, Alan Powell, Barry Corbin, Jill Wagner, Rebecca Koon, Greg Alan Williams, Brett Rice, and Danny Vinson.

A Taste of Christmas

Lifetime, 2020

An up and coming Italian restaurant is set to open Christmas Eve, but when Natalie learns that her cousin must cancel the grand opening, she steps in to help out so that no one should spend Christmas alone. The Italian restaurant brings Chef Stefano to town, and of course, he and Natalie are complete opposites.

But, in the midst of the chaos and getting ready for the grand openings, the two find themselves developing feelings for one another. With Stefano’s help, Natalie learns a little about cooking and finding a place to call home.

Starring Anni Krueger, Nia Vardalos, and Gilles Marini.

Camera Ready Communities

If you're wondering how all of these movies ended up being filmed in Dahlonega, you may have never heard of Camera Ready Communities. In 2010, the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office launched a new program called “Camera Ready Communities” to ensure each Georgia county had a local film-friendly liaison to assist producers and location managers.

Communities throughout the state of Georgia are able to showcase photos of their communities in hopes the film industry will come to them and shoot an up and coming movie.

Is your community camera ready? Check out the Georgia Department of Economic Development to see if your community is on the list!


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