Playing Here

In your free time, there are plenty of opportunities for fun in Gainesville-Hall County and the surrounding northeast Georgia area. From award-winning golf courses to acclaimed arts and culture to Lake Lanier, the state’s largest lake right in your backyard, we invite you to explore all our home community has to offer.

Excitement, relaxation, and adventure.
We have it all right here.

Experience Lake Lanier

Living in Gainesville puts you in the backyard of the state’s largest lake. Attracting 10 million visitors annually, Lake Lanier is the most popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake in the nation and boasts a $5 billion annual economic impact on the area. Boating, fishing, kayaking and water skiing are some of the most popular activities, and there are several golf courses and restaurants overlooking the lake’s scenic beauty.

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Be Active

Our natural environment and temperate climate entices people to get outside and explore. Enjoy a summer afternoon browsing a local farmers market and an evening concert on the square. Set out on a trail for a bike ride, long run or leisurely dog walk. Sip a cup of coffee and enjoy walking through the Gainesville Square or Downtown Flowery Branch, enjoy a picnic at a local park or visit some of the area’s other championship golf courses.

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Take in Arts & Culture

Gainesville and Hall County are home to more than 20 active local arts organizations and nationally acclaimed theatre, and the area is filled with public art displays making art easily accessible and visual to everyone across our community.

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Wine & Dine

Gainesville & Hall County offer dining options sure to satisfy everyone. Whether looking to grab a quick bite, enjoy an evening of fine dining, or have a drink with friends you’ll find a variety of selections sure to please. We have trendy, local eateries, a local brewerya distillery, lakeside dining, fine dining, national franchises and everything in between.

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Family Fun

Families have plenty of opportunities to find fun activities to enjoy together throughout our community. Neighborhood parks and playgrounds, museums and gardens, lake recreation and aquatic centers, there’s something for everyone.

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More Information

There’s a lot happening in Gainesville-Hall County but it’s only a short jaunt to surrounding communities where you can experience even more of what the northeast Georgia region has to offer.

Head south for variety of local eateries in downtown Buford or a trip to the Mall of Georgia, spend an evening in Suwanee Town Center, catch a concert or Atlanta Gladiator’s game at Gas South District or take the family to the ballgame and cheer on our local minor league team, the Gwinnett Stripers.

If an afternoon of wine tasting with breathtaking views excites you, it’s a short 20-minute drive to Dahlonega, the Heart of Georgia Wine Country. Dawsonville provides even more dining and shopping options with one of the area’s hidden gems, a local bistro, The Blue Bicycle, and over 140 Premium Outlet shops.

Head north to notable mountain towns such as Clayton or Blue Ridge, and if outdoor adventure is what you seek, be sure to plan time for white-water rafting down the Chattooga River or hiking through the trails of the northeast Georgia mountains.


Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find at one of the many shopping malls and downtown shops of Northeast Georgia. From Helen, Ga’s, quaint collectibles to great furniture, clothing and specialty items in the Southeast’s largest mall (The Mall of Georgia) we’ve got plenty of options, so you can shop ’til you drop.

Below are a sampling of shopping choices provided by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Alpine Helen

An alpine village 40 minutes north of Gainesville on Highway 75. Plenty of dirndls, leiderhosn and German beer.
Phone: 800-858-8027 Website:

Appletree Farms

A beautiful gift shop that offers a wide variety of merchandise, local pottery, home decor, special gifts and accessories and food items. Also houses a winery tasting room and restaurant. 365, Alto.
Phone: 706-776-8381

Colonial Lakeshore Mall

Features major department stores as well as many specialty stores, services and restaurants. The mall features one of the few handcrafted Venetian carousels on the Southeast. Location: Pearl Nix Parkway and Hwy. 53.
Phone: 770-535-8877  Website:

Commerce Outlets

40 minutes from Gainesville. Tanger Outlets bring people to Commerce.
Phone:706-335-3354 Website:

Flowery Branch Main Street Square

Founded in 1874 and part of Georgia’s Better Hometown Revitalization Program, Flowery Branch features many unique stores, restaurants and a restored train depot, located in south Hall County.

Gainesville’s Main Street Marketplace

Built in 1886, newly opened in December 2002, this open air market offers an array of distinctive shops with local artists paintings and sculptures on the walls and in the atrium. There are many local small businesses located in the market such as a book store, art gallery, a deli, a yoga studio and much more. This market is a must see on the historic square, and they also offer art lessons!
Phone: 678-776-1346

Hewell’s Pottery

Since 1860 the family has been making pottery, from glazed collector pieces to flower pots. The large shopping area is opened year round and features pottery, house ware accessories and gift items.
Phone: 770-869-3469

Historic Dahlonega

Quaint and historic town, with an array of shops and restaurants, north of Gainesville on highway 60. Site of the first U.S.goldrush.
Phone: 800-231-5543 Website:

Jaemor Farms

The market is the main outlet for the peach and apple production of Echols Orchards and Jaemor Farm. Year-round gift and pottery sales, jams, jellies, relishes, fruits and vegetables. Farm tours available.
Phone: 770-869-3999 Website:

Mall of Georgia

Southeast’s largest mall combines shopping, dining and entertainment. Includes JCPenney, Macy’s, Von Maur and Dillard’s. Mall features include a 500-seat outdoor amphitheater, a 20 screen movie theater and seven-story, 3-D IMAX theater.
Phone: 678-482-8789 Website:

Mark of the Potter

Largest collection of hand-thrown pottery, hand blown glass and wood jewelry items for sale in Northeast Georgia. Located next to a waterfall on the Sogue River in nearby Habersham County housed in a gristmill. Also feed the huge native trout who frequent the river next to the mill.
Phone: 706-947-3440 Website:

Nora Mill Granary

This historic gristmill is located just 40 minutes from Gainesville. Established in 1876, Nora Mill Granary remains operational and continues to use the original stones in its grinding and production. The gristmill also has a small country store with their product and thousands of choices.
Phone: 706.878.2375 Website: https//

North Georgia Premium Outlets

Located in Dawsonville-30 minutes from Gainesville. Over 140 Premium Outlet store all within one area.
Phone: 706-216-3609

Sugarloaf Mills

20 minutes from Lake Lanier Islands. Has over 200 stores and outlets with enticing deals.
Phone: 678-847-5000 Website:


Gainesville Parks & Recreation Agency and the Hall County Parks & Leisure Services support award winning programs for both youth and adults. Hall County has more parks than any county in the United States – with 23 U.S. Corps of Engineers parks on Lake Lanier, and another 47 parks located throughout the county.

Rowing & Kayaking

Lake Lanier Olympic Center, the rowing, canoe and kayak venue for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, is now home to the very active Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club and the Lake Lanier Rowing Club.


Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, a 2500 acre park, features miles of nature trails, the Elachee Nature Science Center, a wildlife garden and nature activities. More than 2,000 people every year enjoy hiking, biking, jogging and horse back riding in Chicopee Woods. The Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center hosts a number of major horse shows, dog shows and livestock shows annually.


Avid golfers will find an array of challenging golf courses with breathtaking scenery and unique features against the backdrop of the mountains and Lake Lanier. Check out the following courses for your next 18 holes:

State Parks

Hall County is ideally situated for residents to take advantage of the many state parks that exist in the mountain foothills. To learn more: