The Closest Mountain Cabin Rentals to Vacation from Florida

Posted by Tom Telford on Mon, Feb 08, 2016

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Are you looking for the best mountaintop experience near Florida? If so, the mountains of Helen, Georgia are the place for you to go. In fact, the closest mountain to Florida is Mount Yonah near Helen, GA sitting at 3,143 feet above sea level. Climb up Mount Yonah and experience views that rival any other range on the East coast.  

While Florida can't be beat when it comes to the beach, nearby Helen, Georgia tops Florida for a powerful mountaintop experience.

At some point, almost everyone craves a rustic mountain experience, so we're here to let you know why you might want to choose a mountain escape over the beach, how long it takes to reach moutains near Florida, and what you can do once you arrive in the north Georgia mountains.


Reasons to visit a mountain cabin for your vacation from Florida

Beach condos are fun, but no amount of sun and sand can replace the relaxation and fun of peaceful mountains, trees, and remote luxury.

One of the best reasons to choose a mountain cabin vacation is that your stay will be enjoyable regardless of the weather. When planning your vacation far in advance, it may be hard to say whether beach weather will be conducive to fun or not. Tropical storms and hurricanes might cancel the plans altogether, and even rain or lightning puts a major damper on a coastal Florida trip. And although it rarely gets very chilly in Florida, a seasonal cold spell or windy day can ruin the water experience.

A mountain cabin stay is enjoyable rain or shine, hot or cold. The mountains provide an amazing experience in ideal weather, but hiking, unlike beach tanning in Florida, is a great way to stay warm in all seasons.

When it's raining, snowing, or even too hot to go outside, spacious cabins are meant to be enjoyed on the inside. Unlike Florida beach hotels or condos, a good mountain cabin will allow you to stretch out and possibly even get some privacy from others traveling with you if you like.

Some of the best parts of the mountain experience are in season when a Florida beach is less appealing too: Oktoberfest and autumn leaves are fall experiences that might be better suited if your vacation has to take place during that season.

A cabin in the woods is also a perfect place to spend family holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, or New Years. Bundle up and enjoy toasting s’mores over an outdoor fire pit. If your children believe in Santa we’re betting you’re more likely to hear the sleigh bells in the north Georgia mountains than you might at the beach. Just saying!

And perhaps best of all, the mountains near Florida offer a different experience. Helen, Georgia has unique shops and wineries that can't be found in Florida or anywhere else for that matter, and there's something truly special about the mountaintop views that rival a beach sunset.

Read on for a more detailed comparison of the two destinations and details on travel times.

You can also click here for an entire article on things to do near Florida.

The North Georgia Mountains vs. The Beaches Of Florida's Gulf Coast

Tallulah Gorge in Georgia, USA..jpegWhen it's warm, the beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast may be calling your name, but the allure of the cool, peaceful north Georgia mountains may also sound appealing. Although they're very different vacation destinations, each has its draws.

Which spot is ideal for your next getaway? This detailed comparison of the two popular retreats should help you to make a decision with confidence and ease.

Comparison Dimension: Entertainment value

The North Georgia Mountains

A visit to the mountains offers something for everyone to enjoy. For adventurers, entertainment may be found in the form of kayaking, rock climbing, or mountain biking. Nature lovers will enjoy hikes and horseback rides through Chattahoochee National Forest, or fishing. History buffs will be kept occupied by historic Dahlonega, and the legends of Sautee-Nacoochee. Families can go tubing together, try a zipline tour, or play mini golf, and shoppers will be delighted by numerous antique stores. People from all walks of life come to be entertained in the Helen area.

The Florida Gulf Coast

Many beach-goers enjoy the luxury of soaking up the sun and lazing on the beach all day, but that doesn't mean that there's any shortage of entertainment along Florida's Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast, which is home to 5 of the top 20 beaches in America, features both charming towns and swinging vacation destinations. Visitors can enjoy water sports, parasailing, snorkeling, visiting theme parks like Busch Gardens, or taking in the nightlife of popular beach towns.

Comparison Dimension: Cost

The North Georgia Mountains

Northern Georgia is very budget-friendly. There are plenty of options for accommodations and attractions, based upon what you would like to spend. Booking a stay in a hotel, for example, may cost from $60-$100+, per night, whereas a roomy and priveate modern cabin rental will cost around $300 per night (plus taxes and fees). The number of nights that you choose to stay is very flexible. Most of the local attractions are relatively inexpensive, however, those costs should be considered as well. Finally, you'll need to set a budget for meals. In order to maximize savings, you may choose to stay in a cabin or hotel suite with a kitchen, so that you can prepare your own food.

The Florida Gulf Coast

The Florida Gulf Coast also provides vacationers with choices for their accommodations. Hotels may range from $50-$150+, per night, but travelers should be mindful that the less expensive facilities will be located further away from the beaches. Beach rentals, like condos and cottages, can also be rented, and tend to range from $200-$400 per night, depending on the season and the beach. Many Gulf Coast beach rentals must be reserved for at least a week, so expect to factor in those costs. If your accommodations aren't located on the beach, you may need to plan for the costs of commuting to the water each day, and any possible parking fees. Budget for any major attractions or activities that you and your family would like to try, and consider daily meals. As with northern Georgia, your best bet is to book a rental with a kitchen to reduce costs.

Comparison Dimension: Family Friendliness

The North Georgia Mountains

The areas surrounding the north Georgia mountains are very family oriented, and offer a plethora of activities for children and adults alike. Families can bond as they work together to canoe down a river. They can explore the Alpine village of Helen via bike or Surrey bike rentals, learn about America's first Gold Rush in Dahlonega, or descend into a gold mine and pan for treasure. Families of all sizes also enjoy hiking all of the nearby waterfalls. A ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is also a lot of fun for family groups, as is tubing down the Chattahoochee, or learning to fish in the local spots.

The Florida Gulf Coast

Families can have a blast splashing and playing on the beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast. From building sand castles, to chasing the tide, to collecting seashells, there's plenty to do and see. For safety, it's very important for parents to keep an eye on the kids whenever they are out in the water, as unexpected swelling in the waves can occur. Those visiting the central coast can also take advantage of spending the day at Busch Gardens, whereas those along the Gulf Coast Pan Handle may enjoy playing in the sand dunes together. Due to the popularity of the Gulf Coast during Spring Break, however, families with younger children may want to avoid visiting during March and April.

Comparison Dimension: Available Free Activities

helen gaThe North Georgia Mountains

Regardless of what your budget is, you'll be able to find suitable activities to enjoy in the mountains of northern Georgia. Free museums like The History Museum of Sautee-Nacoochee, The Gourd Place, and Babyland General Hospital are all local family favorites. Even window shopping is a blast in the Helen area. Exploring The Christmas Shoppe or trying free samples at the Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen doesn't cost a dime. Visiting the numerous Georgia State Parks like Unicoi, Tallulah Gorge, and Amicalola Falls is very low-cost, and can fill entire days with fun. Tubing and bike rentals are quite affordable, and even the larger attractions like ziplining are moderately priced. Helen also celebrates numerous festivals with no entry fee throughout the year, making the visit even more special.

The Florida Gulf Coast

Beach bums will have it made if they are able to book accommodations right on the beach. In this case, hunkering down in the sand and playing in the waves will be free each day. Frugal vacationers can also avoid spending by wandering amongst the vendors and people-watching at Pier 60. Visiting St. Andrews State Park is a low cost option, as is renting bicycles to ride along the beach paths together. Taking surf lessons, parasailing, or heading to Busch Gardens will be much more costly, but will create lasting memories.

Comparison Dimension: Accessibility

The North Georgia Mountains

Driving up into the north Georgia mountains may sound like a challenge, but it's actually extremely straightforward. The Alpine village of Helen is situated approximately 90 miles north of Atlanta, and can be reached by I-85 and GA-400, which are well maintained for safe travel. Read more about travel time from Florida to the north Georgia mountains below.

cedar creek cabins florida gulf beachesThe Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf Coast Panhandle areas, like Pensacola, may be reached via I-85 and I-65, and the most commonly visited Gulf Coast cities, like Clearwater and Tampa, are generally accessed by I-75. These major interstates provide a direct and open route without backroads during low-traffic periods, but may bottleneck during major travel holidays like Spring Break, Independence Day, or Memorial Day. Travelers should be advised of the possibility of severe weather on the trip during hurricane season as well.


Comparison Dimension: Quiet Factor

The North Georgia Mountains

Though northern Georgia's towns are usually bristling with activity (especially during Oktoberfest), absolute peace and quiet is always possible when you decide to stay in a private and secluded cabin rental.

The Florida Gulf Coast

The beach can be quite peaceful in the off season, but during the peak spring and summer months, expect some level of noise from other tourists - especially if you're staying in a condo or hotel on the beach. Even relatively quiet neighbors will create normal noise from closing doors, walking, and talking nearby. Noise ordinances are usually in place to prevent late night rowdiness, but Spring Break may be a time to avoid for those who value quiet.

Are you a beach person, or a mountain person?

If Cedar Creek Cabins sound like the right spot for you, click here to see our fabulous cabins for yourself!


photo credit: Ricymar Photography (Thanks to all the fans!!!!) via photopin cc photo credit: arturodonate via photopin cc photo credit: (aka Brent) via photopin cc photo credit: Tony Crescibene via photopin cc

Travel time from Florida to the nearest mountains

If you've chosen a mountain cabin stay in the nearest location, it's time to plan your trip.

From Tallahassee, Florida, the travel time to Helen, Georgia is only 6 hours. The drive can be made without stopping, and is relatively short considering the rewards  of reaching your destination.

By comparison, the mountains of Boone, North Carolina are over 9 hours away from Tallahassee, a 50% longer travel time that eliminates an entire day of your vacation spent on the road alone.

If you're father south in Florida, the travel time from Miami to Helen is 11 hours, which is a longer haul, but still lands you in the nearest mountains to Florida without having to stop somewhere overnight.

And for those of you looking to fly, Helen is less than two hours from Atlanta's airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International. The busiest airport in the US, Hartsfield Jackson almost always has cheap available flights from any major Florida city, and you can rent a car for a short ride to your destination once you land!

The Closest Mountains To Visit From Florida

When you decide to visit these inspiring mountains, you'll need a place to stay and we've got you covered there as well. That is, unless you'd prefer to rough it at Unicoi State park.

We believe you'll prefer to go upscale at one of our high end luxury cabins.

Once you're here, you'll likey want some activities to enjoy these mountains. We've got your covered there with our comprehensive things to do page. Click here to visit it and explore the different adventures.

If you are looking for the perfect mountain cabin rentals from Florida, Mount Yonah in Helen, GA is your destination. We'll see you at the top.

Useful links for Florida visitors to the north Georgia mountains

Top 4 Ways To Enjoy The Outdoors At The Closest Mountain To Florida

Avant Garde - Mountain Style – On The Closest Mountain To Florida

North Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals Suprise Florida Residents

Georgia Cabin Rentals Offer Trip Tips for Florida Folks

Best Georgia Cabin Rentals Vacation: A Week Long Guide for Florida

Top Family Reunions Spot for Florida Residents

Topics: Family Vacations, Cabin Rentals
Rent Helen GA Cabin