When you talk to historians about the first Gold Rush to hit the United States be sure to keep them in check and don’t let them tell you it was in Dahlonega, Ga. It was in Georgia but the actual first Gold Rush was in Villa Rica, ‘The City of Gold.’ This overlooked Gold Rush is the focus of the Georgia Pine Mountain Gold Rush Museum in the heart of Villa Rica.

This decent little museum features an expansive park with  a number of hiking trails, petting zoo, panning for gold and a train ride. We’ve passed the sign hundreds of times on I-20 but we recently took the time to tour the facilities.

It’s only $5 for adults and $4 for kids.

What to expect:

There’s a 15 minute film laying the foundation of the museum and the history of the culture. Once you exit the theater you’ll be in a gold mining cave mock up.  Be sure to read about the tools. You’ll then exit into the main portion of the museum.

The film and the museum layout go right along with each other, in terms of time line.

Don’t miss:

There’s a creepy 1905 wax doll with teeth.

Check out the Morse Code display and try to tap out S O S.

There’s a safe with gold from Alaska.

Look for the interesting Civil War chess set in the Coca Cola portion.

Coca Cola was originally bottled in Villa Rica.



They didn’t offer any worksheets, scavenger hunts etc.  You might need to create your own.


For pricing on attractions such as the train, gold panning and more go here.

571 W Bankhead Hwy Villa Rica, GA 30180