History

Helen is a beautiful city, located in Georgia. It’s positioned right along the Chattahoochee River.  Plotted in 1912, it was named after the daughter of a lumber official. The town was officially incorporated in 1913.

Helen GA
Helen, GA’s Bavarian Alpine Village

The city started as a logging town, though it soon began to decline. It then became a replica of a Bavarian alpine town, in the Appalachians instead of the Alps.  The design is incorporated throughout the zoning that was first adopted in 1969. Therefore, every classic south-German design is showcased on each building. This includes even the minute number of national franchises that are present. These include the Huddle House and Wendy’s.

Tourism

Tourism is an integral part of the economy of Helen. It mostly caters to the weekend visitors who come from the Atlanta area. Though it also includes motorcyclists who enjoy riding through the Helen roads and all the surrounding roads and areas. Helen becomes crowded during late October. This is due to the beautiful autumn leaves coming to a peak.  There is also the Oktoberfest that’s held during September, October, and November.  There are other events held throughout the year as well.  This includes the Southern Worthersee.  This is a statewide Volkswagen and Audi event. It is an event that pays tribue to the Worthersee Tour in Austria. Don’t forget the annual hot-air balloon race! It’s held every first weekend in June.

Unicoi State Park

Unicoi State Park and Lodge is located northeast of Helen on Georgia 356. It spans 1050 acres.  It encompasses the Unicoi Lake, which is a 53-acre freshwater lake. It offers various outdoor activities for all the different seasons.  This includes everything form a swimming beach to trout streams. There are also wheelchair-accessible fishing docks, seasonal canoeing, and kayak and paddle boat rentals. Don’t forget the seven picnic shelters! They come equipped with charcoal grills, three playgrounds, and spots for birding. There are 7.5 acres of hiking that are available in the park. These have adjacent trails in the Chattahoochee National Park. There are 8 miles of mountain biking trails within the park, and a number of places to enjoy the natural environment.  The Unicoi Sate Park includes places to lodge in various forms.  Located throughout the park is access to Anna Ruby Falls, which is part of the Chattahoochee National Park.

Attractions

There are numerous attractions available for the people who visit Helen.  There beautiful hills and water that surround the towns. Outdoor adventurers will love it.  Don’t forget the vineyards: the unique wines produced are amazing. The magical combination of culture, tradition, history, and arts will bring everyone in.

Arts and Culture

There tradition of arts goes back centuries in Helen. They come from Native Americans and the European settlers and, of course, the artists and musicians of today.  The nearby Sautee Nacoochee is imperative for all people who love performing and visual arts.  There are wonderful craftsmen too: potters, glassblowers, and those dedicated to preserving old ways and traditions.

The Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia offers a look at the handcrafted skills of some of the South’s top end art. It shows off the historical importance and the ever-evolving role of folk pottery.

There is also the Helen Arts and Heritage Council.  It encourages appreciation of arts and local history.  It does this through various educational means. This includes instruction, exhibits, and other councils and organizations –  both in Georgia and out!  It’s made up of volunteers and offers numerous classes. These include oil, acrylic, watercolor, drawing, pottery, collage, jewelry, basketry, and scarf painting.

Family Fun

Bring the entire family for some good, old-fashioned fun together.  You can pan for gold, play miniature golf, explore a corn maze, or eat sweets.  Enjoy Helen to its fullest extent: just like a kid would!

Though some of the activities are seasonal, the Adventure Lodges of Georgia-Unicoi State Park is great for the family. It’s located between Chattahoochee National Park and the Alpine Village of Helen. You can meet there for business meetings, family gatherings, or various other reasons.  You should bring hiking boots, because this place is great for those who want an outdoor adventure!  There are low rope courses, challenge courses, Canopy ziplines and bridges, and more. This includes a GPS scavenger hunt, archery and air gun fun, fly fishing, and guided nature hikes! Even more fun awaits with paddle boarding and slacklining!  The fun never ends at the Adventure Lodges.

Mini Golf Course

Situated at the south end of Main Street in Helen is the gorgeous 18-hole Helen Alpine Mini Golf Course. The gardens are beautiful, and we’re kid and family friendly. You can even bring your pets! You can spend a day or more here.  With places to stay, to shop, and dine, Helen is the perfect family adventure.  The mini golf course is wonderful for school and church groups, parties, and family gatherings. You could even host a reunion.  It’s open every day from March to November from 10 am to 10pm, if the weathers good.  If the weather permits, it’s open weekends from December to February, so make sure to call ahead during those winter months.

Helen Waterpark

The Helen Waterpark is a great retreat for the family, no matter the age.  There are huge slides that will take you down long turns and splash you at the end.  You can get your photo taken too, so you can always remember your fun trip to the waterpark! There are four waterslides that are over fifty feet high. There’s the Lazy River, the kiddie Mushroom and Play Area, and a Rockwall. You can get airbrush tattoos, and free unlimited tubing on the Chattahoochee River with purchase of the Waterpark Pass. It’s open 7 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  On Sundays through Thursdays it’s open from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Friday and Saturday, it’s open 10 AM to 8 PM.  So, don’t miss out!

Accommodations

Though there’s plenty to do in Helen, sometimes you’re going to need a break. You want to be able to find lodging that’s both comfortable and affordable. Something that fits your preference but also fits your budget.  There are spacious condos and vacation rentals that you can bring your family or friends to share! There are also great bead and breakfasts, and rustic cabins to choose from.  You can also go camping, where you can enjoy sleeping under the stars every night.

Bed and Breakfast

For those that prefer a bed and breakfast, you can wake up in a romantic, charming room.  Then you can get a delicious breakfast. You can decide between Bavarian-themes, spas, or something that’s great at showcasing the area’s history. Make it your home after a long day of fun.

Cabins

Or you could choose a beautiful mountain setting in a rustic cabin.  You could also choose an American construction. It’s up to you whether you want the basics or if you want a life filled with luxury while here.  No matter what you choose, you’re going to absolutely have the time of your life. The view is gorgeous, after all! You’re going to enjoy relaxing here after a day outdoors or a day full of shopping.

Camping

If you want, you can bring a tent, hammock, or camper to the area. Enjoy a quiet campground and wake up to the sounds of Mother Nature. You can enjoy a warm fire, and the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself. This is for those that truly enjoy the outdoors. It’s is a great way to save some money for other activities while still having a tun of fun.

Vacation Rentals and Hotels

There’s also those who want to choose a vacation rental or condo.  It’s the perfect way to settle down with our family and friends after a great time outdoors or at one of the attractions.  There are, of course, hotels and motels to choose from. You get a beautiful room, breakfast, and sometimes even a pool.  There’s sizes and styles to fit every family.

In Conclusion…

There are so many things to do in or around Helen that it makes sense to make this one of your vacation spots!  With a rich history and a focus on the arts, it’s a wonderful place to bring the entire family.  There are dozens of great dining spots to choose from. These include places such as Betty’s Country Store, Bigg Daddy’s Restaurant and Tavern, and the Hofer’s of Helen Bakery and Café.  There are many more, so you can eat at different place every night.

There are also great places to shop.  You can get some local arts and crafts or even something from a museum.  Don’t forget to buy something for the friends and family that couldn’t make the trip with you! They’re going to love whatever you bring them.  You can also get souvenirs, so you never forget your trip.

With so many fun-filled, family activities and such a plethora of places to stay, dine, shop, and entertain yourself, why wouldn’t you make this a place to visit?