Whether you spend a day or a weekend in the North Georgia town of Helen - located a little over an hour outside of Atlanta - you are guaranteed to have a fun, relaxing time. Helen, which began as a little mining town, is now a tourist attraction. Many visit the town in the fall for Oktoberfest, as the town resembles a German village. However, you don’t have to visit Helen during Oktoberfest to have a fabulous time.
In the summer, for example, there’s tubing that is a tremendous amount of fun. Several tubing companies operate in the area, with a variety of cheap packages. Some even include water slides.
Tubing in Helen — Photo courtesy of Atlanta Restaurant Blog
Make sure to bring a pair of cheap sneakers, as you may end up tossing them after the tubing adventure. Plus, during summer, indulge in some ice cream while sitting out on one of the many patios that have scenic views.
Besides tubing, there’s plenty to keep the family occupied. Horseback riding, miniature golf and gold mining are a few of the favorite activities. The first gold rush was in the North Georgia mountains. Pan for gold or gems and be just like the miners from long ago.
If you’d like to be a bit more active, you can find plenty of hiking trails around the area. Some of the most popular include Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls, which has some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state of Georgia.
A short drive away from Helen is Babyland General, otherwise known as the home of the Cabbage Patch Kids. These stuffed dolls became quite popular in the 1980s. The site has been updated with a Magic Crystal Tree, where new Kids are born. Admission to this attraction is free.
In early May, why not attend Wurstfest? Competitive sausage eating and Maypole and polka dancing are the highlights.
But even throughout the year, there are many restaurants to choose from, whether you enjoy traditional German fare or not. For German, try Hofer’s Bakery and Cafe. If you want a more casual restaurant, try the Troll Tavern. Paul’s is a great choice for a pleasant patio.
For lodging in Helen, many motels and inns offer affordable rates. However, the best way to experience Helen is by renting a cabin. Cabins offer some spectacular views during your stay, as well as a bit more privacy. Or choose camping at one of the many state parks or private campgrounds.