The Bavarian-style pitched-roof houses, cuckoo clocks and Oktoberfest might sound like the Alps, but this riverside village is actually in the Appalachians.
Discover a little slice of Alpine Bavaria in Helen, a cozy town on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Stroll down streets lined with half-timbered houses and traditional pubs in this enchanting getaway, where the South meets Southern Germany. Nestled in the valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Helen features a remarkable backdrop of wooded hills and nature reserves. Explore forest trails, pristine waterways and vine-laced hillsides in this picturesque corner of northern Georgia.
Get acquainted with Helen’s Alpine character when you stroll through the re-created Bavarian Village. Learn about the village’s history, which includes Cherokee Indian heritage, gold-mining settlers and a local logging industry. Find over 200 specialty and import stores showcasing a range of souvenirs, gifts and handicrafts. Purchase candles, blown glassware, cuckoo clocks or hand-woven quilts. Have a delicious meal at one of the restaurants and pubs, which serve traditional German and Southern American fare. If you’re visiting in September or October, experience Helen’s Oktoberfest celebrations and sample tasty imported beers. For local flavors, check out Habersham Winery or the Nora Mill Granary.
Visit Unicoi State Park & Lodge and experience Helen’s beautiful backyard. The park has an exciting network of hiking and biking trails, as well as the magnificent Unicoi Lake, ideal for summertime swimming, boating and kayaking. Go fishing from the wheelchair-accessible docks or cast a line in the trout streams. Select from plenty of picturesque spots to spread out a picnic and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. If you’re feeling energetic, hike through the woods in the Chattahoochee National Forest and reach the tumbling Anna Ruby Falls.
Helen is located in northeastern Georgia. It is 86 miles (139 kilometers) from Atlanta's international airport. Stay in a quaint German-style resort or Alpine chalet or book a room in a motel. The town is busiest in the fall, when the leaves of the Chattahoochee Forest are turning and Oktoberfest is in full swing.