Get to know Helen in Georgia and what makes it a popular destination for tourists!
What is Helen, Georgia?
Set among the Appalachian foothills, Helen is a mountain town known for its unique history, vineyards, Bavarian style that are absolutely charming, and culture. The first thing you would notice in the area is the classic south-German style that is present on every building. It has a history of a logging town and also known as the tiny Bavaria town in the country. Being in the heart of Northeast Georgia, it offers outdoor sports to travelers.
How to get there?
If you want to take the most scenic drive, take the route from Atlanta. Take I-75 north to I-575. I-575 becomes the Georgia Mountain Parkway. At the intersection of GA 75 south, turn right and follow the road over Unicoi Gap. From this point, Helen is only 12 miles.
If you are not taking this way, there is another route!
One of the small towns on the Georgia Mountain Parkway, Blairsville, turn right on Hwy 129. Take this south to GA 180, to Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest point. GA 348 comes off to the right. It is also called as the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. Take this to Alt. 75 and turn left. Then turn right on Highway 75.
Why Visit Helen?
Aside from being a quaint, German town, there are so many reasons to love and visit Helen! It is the third most visited town in Georgia, next to Atlanta and Savannah. Visitors would love shopping and the family friendly outdoor activities. Not to mention the beautiful cabins for your accommodation! A unique mountain getaway, you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature.
How Helen Came To Be
With just a population of not more than 600 people, Helen has a rich history. It was born in 1913 around the new Byrd-Mathews Saw Mill, Gainesville, and Northwestern Railroad that Byrd-Mathews built to haul timber, and the Mountain Ranch.
Before the arrival of the European settlers in the 1800s, it was home to the Cherokee nation. The Cherokee influence is still evident in the town. Gold especially during the gold rush and timber brought money and industry to the area. It was only in the 60’s that tourism blossomed into Helen’s major business.
Did you know that the city was named for the teenage daughter of a sawmill manager who also sat on the board of the G&N?
More history about Helen can be found here: Helen, Georgia Is The Best Little German Town In America — But It Wasn’t Always This Way
What kind of person would most enjoy a trip to Helen?
Not just for families looking for a short holiday, Helen attracts couples for a romantic weekend. Imagine a tiny town tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains that looked like it came straight from the Alps of Germany. The whole picture of the town looks straight out of a fairy tale dream, that sits close to home in the mountains of Georgia. During fall, the beautiful leaves change to different shades that adds to the dramatic scenery. Families love the area as there are numerous natural kid-friendly activities the little ones can enjoy.
What are the things I can do in Helen?
Visit Chattahoochee National Forest
Cascading waterfalls, green and beautiful flowers --everything you are looking for in the great outdoors! Enjoy many parks and trails and watch the different wildlife. A great way to get into nature by yourself, friends, or family.
Learn more about the things you can do in Chattahoochee National Forest.
The Anna Ruby Falls
Three different cascades and several places to view, this should be a must visit! The trail going there is paved, a little bit steep (makes it more fun), and short.
Tip: Take lots of pictures! Best time to visit is during the fall when the leaves are changing colors.
Get to know Anna Ruby Falls more.
Stroll around Downtown Helen
Cobblestone alleys and old-world towers, downtown Helen looks like it’s from a fairy tale! Bavarian-style buildings are filled with restaurants and shops. It is a storybook recreation of an alpine village along the Chattahoochee River.
Georgia is one of the original 13 U.S colonies and a top tourist destinations in the country. The state has so much to offer visitors as far as scenic and tourist destinations. Northern Georgia boasts some of the top destinations in the state. Check what the top three northern Georgia getaways are!
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest covers 18 counties in northern Georgia. It was established as a national park in 1936, and the U.S. government first purchased forest land here in 1911. The park covers more than 800,000 acres and is one of the top Georgia getaways for both local residents and travelers from around the country. The name was taken from the Native American tribes who originally inhabited the area. Chatta means Helen Georgiastone and ho chee means marked or flowered.
The best places to visit inside the park include:
- The Dyar Pasture Recreation Area;
- Brasstown Bald, the tallest mountain in Georgia;
- The twin waterfalls of the Ann Ruby Falls Recreation Area;
- The Scull Shoals Historic Site;
- The Georgia leg of the Appalachian Trail;
- Track Rock Gap Petroglyph Site
Georgia Wine Country
Most visitors to Georgia think about peaches before they think about grapes, but Georgia wine country is quickly growing in both size and quality. The majority of vineyards are clustered in the northern part of the state making this region perfect for a Georgia getaway. Combine both the lush scenery and recreational activities usually associated with northern Georgia and the burgeoning wine scene for a vacation to remember. The Winegrowers Association of Georgia offers links to wine country maps, event news and links to wineries to help plan your next trip.
You don't have to visit the Alps to get a true Bavarian experience. Just go to Helen Georgia. This mountain town is an authentic recreation of a Bavarian mountain town complete with cobblestone streets, alpine architecture and a six-week long Oktoberfest each fall. The town hosts several events throughout the year and is a top Georgia getaway for those looking to see the autumnal foliage in all its glory. In Helen, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of adventure and fun from relaxing rounds of golf to exhilarating white water kayak or rafting trips. The town is also centrally located for day excursions into the Chattahoochee National Forest or wine country.
Places to Eat in Helen
Helen not only offers German cuisine, but also different varieties of food. From romantic ambiance for couples or kid-friendly restaurants for families, we have something in store for you!
1. Bodensee Restaurant
The chef brings “Old World Germany” to this restaurant. Specials include schnitzel and goulash!
2. Bigg Daddy's
Toe tappin' live music every Friday and Saturday nights! If you feel like having an American style food, this is the place. Menu includes wings and pizza.
3. Cowboys & Angels
Another place for American style food! There is a gluten free menu. If you have pets with you, the outdoor patio is pet-friendly.
4. Café International
Beautifully located, the place overlooks the Chattahoochee River. Do yourself a favor and order "The Best Reuben Ever".
One of the reasons why visitors come to Helen is to try the authentic Bavarian cuisine. Golden German brews and bratwurst, anyone? Visit the Old Heidelberg that has an extensive schnitzel collection, German potato pancakes, and more specialties.
For a complete list, learn here.
When is the best time to visit Helen, Georgia?
The best times to explore are during fall and winter. The most famous festival is the annual Octoberfest that run from September to the end of October.
To plan your trip, check events here.
Top Items You Can Get in Helen
Image by gonghuimin468 from Pixabay
Take home more than memories. People come to Helen to shop. Whether you like to buy collectibles, artwork, antiques, or food, we got you covered! Below is the list of stores you can visit:1. DJ Collectibles
Your one-stop shop for anything related to sports. Watch out for exciting antiques as well!
2. Glass Mountain Gallery
Available in this store are vases, ornaments, glass bowls, and paperweights. What makes this place unique is that you can watch the items as they are being created!
3. Discount Spirits of Helen
What better way than to unwind in your cabin and drink a glass of wine after a long day of being outside? You can find all sorts of mixers and spirits here.
4. Unicoi Outfitters
All things related to fishing and outdoor. You’ll need a fishing gear when you’re in Helen, Georgia!
5. Nacoochee Antique Mall
Antiques and collectibles, anyone?
For a more comprehensive guide on amazing stores in Helen, you can check here.
What if you could experience the beauty and culture of the old world Germany right here in northern Georgia? From the buildings to the mountains, Helen resembles a charming Bavarian village in Germany. Below we'll give you a closer look at how you can experience Germany and feel like a German throughout the year when visiting Helen.
Why not plan to spend a winter vacation in beautiful Helen GA and experience the season in a way that creates memories that will last a lifetime?
During the spring season, Helen is the spring break territory for those who like to stretch their limbs, breath deep, and feel nature up close and personal. All these things to do on your trip to Helen Georgia in the Spring season can create fonder memories. With the temperatures rising, and new life blossoming all around, Helen invites you to celebrate this beautiful time of year! Below is a quick guide to lead you to a few Helen attractions that are sure to put a little extra "spring" in your step as you have a blast on your northern Georgia vacation.
Oktoberfest is also famous in Helen! However what other holidays are great to celebrate in this town?
Are You Looking for Things to Do While In Helen, Georgia? Our Ultimate Guide To The Top Attractions
Whether you’re in Helen for a weekend adventure, a Halloween scream, October Harvest, or to simply relax and reconnect with nature, we have plenty of things for you, your family, and friends to experience.
In the Ultimate Guide we give you some of the Top Attractions, Things To Do and Ways to Do Them While In Helen, Georgia.
Other things you can do also include:
If you are the kind who likes extreme experiences and some adrenaline rush, learn more from here:
When visitors first arrive in Helen, Georgia with its cobblestone streets and hundreds of Bavarian-styled local attractions, it's easy to get caught up in all the things there are to do. However, what makes Helen unique is that it's also the perfect “home base” for your explorations around North Georgia. You can enjoy a scenic drive through the mountains. For lists of places with beautiful scenery you can see while you’re driving, you can find it from the links below:
When your vacation group includes individuals from different generations, bridging the gap between everyone's unique interests may seem impossible. A way to combine sightseeing and adventure for these varying participants is to visit some of the bridges of north Georgia.
If you or your family is traveling with a pet, there are still many things you can do. There are plenty of things for pet owners to do with their dogs while vacationing in the Helen area. Of these, some of the more popular activities include:
After the sightseeing and activities done, you may need to relax. The area boasts a variety of luxurious spas and lush accommodations for individuals who just need to get away from it all. Here's a look at how to completely renew your mind, body, and spirit in northern Georgia.
For a great stay, Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals has dozens of cabins to choose from for couples, families, and large groups. You and your group can have a blast and bond without the need to stray too far from the cabin itself. We created a list of things you can do during your cabin retreat.
1. Take a Hike
Helen and its surrounding areas are filled with amazing hiking opportunities. But while you won't have difficulty finding a trail in a local state park, you don't actually have to stray far. Enjoy time with family and friends while exploring wooded areas around your cabin, following a nearby stream, and discovering all of the incredible plant and animal life native to the area.
2. Go for a Swim
What could be better than enjoying the cool water during the hot summer months? These kids are having a great time splashing in a lake on their vacation. Whether you want to wade in a creek that runs behind your cabin, visit a local watering hole, play in Unicoi Lake, or go tubing down the Chattahoochee River, you're sure to find a way to get wet and wild that fits your unique style.
3. Soak in the Hot Tub
These cabin vacationers know how to relax! You're coming to the cabins to unwind and renew your spirit, so why not pamper yourself by enjoying a long and luxurious soak in your own private hot tub? You can converse with family and friends in the hot tub, or just experience some much needed "you" time on your own as you take in the surrounding beautiful sights, read a good book, or sip on a glass of wine. What could be better?
4. Watch the Birds
Birdwatching, or birding, is a very popular activity for those who are camping, and these travelers got lucky with their opportunity to watch baby birds being fed from their cabin window. You might consider bringing a guide book and a pair of binoculars to watch out for birds from your wrap-around porch or check local state park programs for a bird watching excursion. Of course, you may also be lucky enough to spot other indigenous wildlife like a fox, deer, and more.
5. Gather Around the Fire
There are few things more comforting and peaceful than listening to the crackling embers of the fire, watching the dancing flames, and being in the company of those who are dear to you. You can exchange stories, tell jokes, sing songs, toast marshmallows while creating beautiful memories of your cabin vacation that you will never forget. If this sounds appealing, be sure to book a cabin that has its own fire pit, and bring everything that you need for some yummy S'mores!
6. Play in the Snow
When temperatures drop, and snow falls in the mountains, you and your loved ones can have a blast. You can have snowball fights, construct an elaborate snow fort, or build a snowman or snow sculpture. Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa back in the cabin.
7. Play With the Pups
No vacation is complete unless the whole family is present. These fun-loving dogs are having a blast as their family arrives and are ready to go exploring.
Book a stay in a pet-friendly cabin. Your furry, four-legged companions can pal around, go for a hike, take a swim, and you can really enjoy your time on vacation together. You should never underestimate the fun and good times that can be had inside of your cabin . There's always something for everyone to do and enjoy.
Share what activities you and your loved ones like doing most in the comments section below!Topics: Helen Georgia, Things To Do, North Georgia