An old-Fashioned Christmas

Written By: Lissa Poirot

One of the most magical places to be during the Christmas season is Dahlonega, alit in holiday lights around its historic square and filled with cheer. Dahlonega’s Old-Fashioned Christmas comes complete with costumed carolers joyfully singing, clip-clopping horses pulling carriages, storefronts and buildings adorned with baubles and Christmas lights, and even a Santa sighting or two.

If you want to immerse yourself in the event that runs from November 25 through December 25 (see Day Trip article on page 32), enjoy an equally magical stay at one of the charming offerings created by Debra Stipe, owner and operator of Stay Dahlonega and Treehouse Ridge, a seven-acre forested ridge with a spring-fed creek, waterfall and hiking trails that houses four different rental properties just 12 minutes from historic Dahlonega.

Debra and her design team have created a host of unique property destinations that include log cabins, treehouses, cottages and farmhouses. And she makes every property chic in a way that could give Joanna Gaines a run for her money! Furnishings are modern and fresh, not to mention comfortable, and walking through a home’s rooms is like walking through the pages of a magazine. Her ability to combine rustic and luxurious elements in a pairing you’ll want to imitate in your own home is uncanny. And the attention to detail is what makes Debra a Superhost on Airbnb.

Each property on Treehouse Ridge features its own fire pit and is well removed from the others in that you’ll see nothing but trees from a fireside perch. Debra’s hospitable touches include stacked firewood for the fire pits and even a free library with books for the taking.

For a true cabin escape, try Houndstooth Hideaway, a rescued log cabin rebuilt with lots of love. You’ll find a vaulted wood-beamed ceiling in the cabin’s main room, where a Christmas tree complements the rustic aesthetic, leather and rich textile furnishings and wrought iron accents. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, yet not quite with each carefully thought-out modern touch that creates an eclectic space.

You’ll have to hike in to stay at the stilted Daybreak Treehouse, but don’t worry! It’s just a two-minute walk. This luxury treehouse, which isn’t welcoming to small children, features a large deck and seemingly endless window views of the forest. Whether you’re waking to a sunrise from the king loft or the main floor’s sleeper sofa, there isn’t a bad view to be found within these cabin walls. (Two additional twins can be added, if traveling with a group.)

Debra Stipe and Cottrell Photography

Nature’s Nook is also a stilted treehouse, but much more intimate. With a tree growing through its floorboard and continuing through the ceiling, Nature’s Nook sleeps up to four in bunks, lofts and nooks for a fun space that overlooks a valley. Every single inch of the small space is utilized and will remind you of building blanket forts and sleeping in odd places as a child, yet still capturing Debra’s delightful sense of style.

If you’d like to travel with kids or pets, however, choose Wander Inn. While also intimate, guests receive a king bedroom and an A-frame loft with twin beds in a cottage that fully blends into its wooded backdrop. Here, farmhouse chic comes complete with sliding barn doors and industrial-style shelving, and the open space will keep kids in full view for a night of easy rest.

But if 12 minutes is just too far from the Christmas cheer, Debra also features a rental in the heart of Dahlonega. Town & Porch may not be a cabin and is anything but rustic, but it is within walking distance to the Square and can accommodate eight guests in four bedrooms. Friends and family will have ample space yet will purposely spill out onto the large front porch where surely there will be a battle for the porch swing. In the backyard awaits a firepit surrounded by Adirondack chairs that is perfect for a chilly December evening gathering after returning from the holiday activities down the road.

Regardless of the property you pick, Debra will make you feel at home, be it in a cottage, a treehouse or a cabin. Her rentals are in high demand so be sure to book as soon as you can. Plus, if you miss out on a Christmas getaway, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

Debra Stipe and Cottrell Photography


LOCATION: Dahlonega

SLEEPS: 1 – 8


FIREPLACE: In Houndstooth Hideaway only

PETS: Welcome at Wander Inn


NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: Cavender Creek Winery

MINIMUM STAY: 2-night minimum



LOCATION: Dahlonega






NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: Dahlonega Gold Museum

MINIMUM STAY: 2-night minimum



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