Dalton is known as "The Carpet Capital of the World," and carpet is what most people come here to buy. There are plenty of places to eat, sleep and shop. If you're staying a day or two, this will help you find things. FIND CARPET OUTLET WEB SITES
Where's the Carpet? at Connector 3...
"Connector Three" at exit 328 is the hub for carpet outlets. From Chattanooga, take I-75 five miles south to Dalton exit 328 (Ga. Conn. 3). Exit and turn right. Immediately, the road makes a "Y" and turns back north onto North Dug Gap Road (it parallels the West side of I-75). Signs for the carpet outlets are visible from I-75 as you approach exit 328. Several roads in Dalton have similar names to Dug Gap, so asking directions can get pretty confusing. The one that has all the outlets is N Dug Gap Road SW. Just ask for "Connector 3." Most major outlets ~ Beckler's, Carpets of Dalton, Mohawk and more ~ are at Connector Three. Georgia Carpet is on S Dug Gap Road SW at Connector Three (turn left instead of right at the "Y" (Note: I've noticed an outlet for them lately with the others on Conn. 3 ~ either an additional one, or they've moved.) Shaw's outlet is small and located elsewhere (corner of Abutment Road and Walnut Avenue, not visible from I-75). There are very few restaurant and motel choices at Connector Three, but there is a Super 8 Motel, a Wendy's, an Arby's/Pilot Convenience Store, a Waffle House, and a couple of local restaurants, including The Sub Shop on North Dug Gap among the outlets. Conveniences are just a few miles away on Walnut Avenue. Here's a Google map. Note that in this view, the road with the outlets is on the LEFT side of I-75. GOOGLE CONN 3 Notice roads with similar names in same area ~ it can get a little confusing if you ask for directions to Dug Gap Road.
Where Do I Eat and Sleep? Walnut Avenue exit...
If you're planning an overnight stay in Dalton, stop at Walnut Avenue exit 333 (Ga. Hwy. 52) (QUICK MAP) / GOOGLE MAP, five miles north of Connector 3. Hampton Inn, Country Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Jameson Inn and other motels are in this area. Here, you'll find Outback Steakhouse, Chile's, Red Lobster, Appleby's, O'Charley's, Longhorn, Waffle House, Cracker Barrel, McDonald's, Wendy's, and many more restaurants. Further east on Walnut are Walnut Square Mall, Logan's Roadhouse, Walmart, some strip malls and more restaurants ~ Japanese, Chinese and Mexican. If staying overnight, plan to make Walnut Avenue your headquarters and take day trips from there. Most of the motels are on side streets just off of Walnut (Market Street, College Drive or West Bridge Road are all within a mile of exit 333). Most restaurants in Dalton are on Walnut Avenue, Market Street or College Drive (all at exit 333). Shaw's Carpet Mill Outlet is located on Walnut Avenue, at the corner of Walnut and Abutment Road, a mile or two east of the exit.
What Else Can I Find in Dalton?
Tanger Outlet Mall is on Market Street. It has dress shops, shoe stores, a large towel and textile store, Harley-Davidson outlet, and more. Dalton's mall is Walnut Square Mall. There's also some pretty good thrift shopping in and around Dalton!
Historic Downtown. It has a nice historic downtown (QUICK MAP)GOOGLE HAMILTON ST. with several cute boutiques and restaurants, including Simply Outrageous, Loganberries, the Pickity Place, Blackberry Cottage, The Book Nook, Dalton's famous Depot Restaurant and Chubbies. Take I-75 Exit 333, Walnut Avenue to Thornton Avenue. Turn left on Thornton, right on Emery, and left on Hamilton to enter the historic district. Dalton and other towns in North Georgia have several historic sites and districts that are of entertainment interest to visitors.
Rocky Face North of Dalton, at Rocky Face (exit 336), there's a motel or two, but few restaurants. There is a Wendy's. Lizzie's Deli, a local place, has good food. Rocky Face is less centrally located than Walnut Avenue in Dalton, but is slightly more accessible to North Dalton and Dalton College. Rocky Face is only five miles from Walnut Avenue, though, so if there are no vacancies at the other motels or a great room bargain is found, Rocky Face is okay. Either exit is close to Dalton College, with Rocky Face being less trafficky. If you do stay at Rocky Face, you can find some stores and restaurants a few miles down the bypass at North Glenwood (or Cleveland Highway).
Carpet Capital of the World and more. According to The Carpet and Rug Institute (http://www.carpet-rug.org)* (CRI pdf news file) website, the United States ships 45 percent of the world's carpet, with most U.S. carpet coming from Dalton and surrounding counties. Of course, the bulk of carpet and textiles are now manufactured and sold by the "big three" of Shaw, Mohawk, or Beaulieu. There aren't very many carpet-related entreprenurial opportunities left in the area, but some small family-owned businesses still make, bind, print or ship carpet, rugs, or related machinery. Dalton is about 45 to 50 miles south of Chattanooga. Atlanta is less than a two-hour drive south of Dalton. GOOGLE DALTON.
What is Southern Muse's expertise on carpet? I'm no expert on carpet (why not?) or shopping, so I can't tell you the best place to buy carpet or what kind to buy. I hope my guides have helped your find your way around Dalton!
Peacock Alley: How Dalton became "The Carpet Capital of the World."
*NOTE: I provided the URL to CRI's website, but no link, for a reason. A recent check of that URL caused a JRun error on my PC ~ I couldn't get to the website at all. Possibly, the link will work on other computers, so it probably won't hurt to cut and paste. The PDF file is not their home page, but I provided it as the only current working link that I could find for them. Carpet and Rug Institute is located in Dalton, Georgia, on or near Dalton College. Possibly, they are part of the college. They do objective scientific research of all textile-related issues.