The North Georgia Mountains vs. Tennessee Mountains

Do you love spending time in the mountains? Filled with infinite possibilities for spending time in the great outdoors and enjoying local attractions, both north Georgia mountains (home to the Appalachian Mountains) and Tennessee (home to the Smoky Mountains) are both hot spots for travelers who are looking to get away from the city and enjoy the beauty of nature. Although making a choice about which to visit may seem overwhelming and difficult, when broken down, it’s a lot easier to make the right decision. Here’s a comparison of your two options.

Comparison Dimension: Entertainment Value

  • North Georgia Mountains – When you visit the North Georgia mountains, you are guaranteed to get the most value for your dollar. The greater Helen area, for example, is well known for entertaining and delighting visitors of all ages. The Alpine Village will transport you to another place in time, as you are charmed by both southern hospitality and a Bavarian theme throughout the city. Window shopping, panning for gold, hiking, biking, fishing, annual events, and more will ensure that you never have a dull moment.
  • Tennessee Mountains – The Smokies of Tennessee will keep visitors entertained with opportunities to visit waterfalls, go hiking, enjoy outdoor sports, explore caves, visit small local towns, and more.

Comparison Dimension: Cost

  • North Georgia Mountains – Visiting northern Georgia can work for any budget. Basic hotels are available throughout the city of Helen and surrounding areas for $60 a night, but more high-end accommodations will cost $100+ each night. For a luxurious experience that still puts you in the heart of nature, you should consider staying in a lush cabin rental. Although these cost more, at approximately $300 a night, you’ll enjoy many more incredible amenities and can save money by cooking meals in your cabin. Your costs for attractions and activities will vary, based upon what you choose to do, but by planning ahead you can anticipate the total cost of your trip.
  • Tennessee Mountains – Prices are quite comparable between visiting the Appalachians of GA and the Smokies of TN. Hotels will range from $60-$100+ per night. A rustic cabin may cost approximately $100 a night, and a luxury cabin rental may range from $250-$300 each night. Meal and attraction costs should also be considered when planning your budget.

Comparison Dimension: Family Friendliness

  • North Georgia Mountains – The Alpine village of Helen is extremely family friendly, offering a wide range of attractions and events that are designed to promote togetherness. Whether you’re hiking to a local waterfall, renting Surrey bikes together, going on a tubing adventure, or playing mini-golf, everyone is sure to have a great time playing and exploring together.
  • Tennessee Mountains – Families who truly enjoy the great outdoors will love the bonding experience of exploring trails within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visiting waterfalls, fishing, and more.

Comparison Dimension: Available Activities

  • North Georgia Mountains – Visitors will have their pick of a wide range of activities, ranging from free of charge to moderately priced. Whether you are a more laid-back group that just wants to check out the local hiking trails and go fishing in the Chattahoochee river, or if you’d like the adventure of kayaking or going on a zipline tour, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the North Georgia mountains.
  • Tennessee Mountains – Depending on which part of the Smoky Mountains that you north georgia mountainschoose to visit, you may find opportunities to hike, go mountain biking, go skiing, visit a theme park, pan for gold, enjoy water sports, etc. Whereas the Helen area of northern Georgia is home to a wide range of activities, you may need to travel from town to town to find what it is that you are looking for in Tennessee.

Comparison Dimension: Accessibility 

  • North Georgia Mountains – The North Georgia mountains can easily and safely be accessed from Atlanta via the I-84 and GA-400. The approximately 90 mile trip is very simple and should give you no problems at all.
  • Tennessee Mountains – Getting to the Smokies in Tennessee will require a bit longer of a trip. Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for example, can be accomplished by traveling on the US-44 for approximately 200 miles.

Comparison Dimension: Quiet Factor

  • North Georgia Mountains – The North Georgia mountains are generally busiest during the summer months, so if you do not enjoy crowds, plan on visiting during a different time of year. If you are hoping to stay in the Helen area, you should also be aware that Oktoberfest takes place between the middle of September and the end of October, so it will be busier then, as well.
  • Tennessee Mountains – As with North Georgia, peak season will extend through the summer months, so for more privacy, consider a visit during another time of the year.

Which do you prefer – the North Georgia mountains or the Tennessee mountains?