Guide For Helen, Georgia | Things To Do And See

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Helen, Georgia, is a charming alpine village that offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all interests. Known for its Bavarian architecture, cobblestone streets, and stunning natural beauty, this small town in White County has become a beloved destination in the North Georgia Mountains.

mountains in distance with blue sky

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best things to do and see in Helen, Georgia, ensuring that your visit is filled with adventure, relaxation, and the warm charm of Bavaria.

Discover the Charm of Alpine Helen

Helen’s transformation from a logging town to an alpine village began in the late 1960s, and today, it stands as a testament to the allure of a European-inspired atmosphere in the heart of the United States. As you stroll along Main Street, you’ll encounter timber-framed buildings adorned with colorful facades and charming balconies, evoking the spirit of Bavaria. The town’s ambiance is perfect for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a gathering of friends.

Explore Natural Beauty in the North Georgia Mountains

Helen, Georgia, is surrounded by natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Here are some of the best outdoor activities and attractions:

Anna Ruby Falls: 

Anna Ruby Falls is a natural wonder nestled in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains, near the charming town of Helen, Georgia. This magnificent double waterfall is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. The falls are formed at the confluence of Curtis Creek and York Creek, and the sight of water cascading over rugged rock formations is truly breathtaking. 

To reach Anna Ruby Falls, visitors can take a short, paved trail through a lush, forested area, which makes it accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the North Georgia wilderness, with the soothing sound of rushing water as your companion. Anna Ruby Falls is not just a sight to behold; it’s a tranquil and rejuvenating experience that showcases the natural splendor of this picturesque region.

waterfall off rocks in the forest

Unicoi State Park: 

Unicoi State Park, conveniently situated just a stone’s throw away from the heart of downtown Helen, is a sprawling natural haven that encompasses over 1,000 square miles of unspoiled wilderness. This expansive park offers a wealth of outdoor activities that cater to a wide range of interests and adventure levels. If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll find an extensive network of well-maintained trails that wind through the park, providing opportunities to explore the lush woodlands and discover hidden gems like waterfalls and scenic overlooks. 

Mountain biking enthusiasts can take advantage of the park’s designated trails, which offer thrilling rides through the picturesque landscape. Anglers will appreciate the excellent trout fishing in the park’s streams and Unicoi Lake, where you can cast your line and savor the tranquility of the natural surroundings. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, paddleboarding on the serene Unicoi Lake is a delightful way to soak in the beauty of the park.

Chattahoochee River: 

The Chattahoochee River, meandering gracefully through the picturesque town of Helen, offers visitors an abundance of recreational opportunities that allow them to immerse themselves in the stunning natural beauty of the region while enjoying a refreshing escape from the summer heat. This iconic river serves as a serene backdrop for various water-based activities, making it a focal point for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Cool river tubing down the Chattahoochee is perhaps one of the most beloved pastimes in Helen. Visitors can rent inflatable tubes, grab a life jacket, and lazily float along the gentle currents, all while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them. It’s a leisurely and enjoyable way to experience the river’s tranquility while staying cool under the warm Georgia sun.

Smithgall Woods State Park: 

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for trout fishing and hiking, Smithgall Woods State Park beckons as an absolute must-visit destination in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains. This expansive park covers a sprawling 6,000 acres of pristine wilderness, offering an extensive and diverse range of outdoor activities that cater to all levels of adventure seekers.

Smithgall Woods is renowned for its well-stocked trout streams, making it a paradise for anglers of all skill levels. Here, you can cast your line into crystal-clear waters teeming with rainbow and brown trout, creating the perfect setting for a memorable fishing expedition. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice hoping to try your hand at this tranquil pastime, the park’s streams are welcoming to all who seek the thrill of a catch.

Chattahoochee National Forest: 

Helen is surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest, offering endless opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and exploring the Appalachian Mountains.

white buildings with lights and red roofs

Experience the Charm of Downtown Helen

Downtown Helen is the heart of the city and boasts an array of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Here are some of the best places to explore in the heart of this Bavarian village:


Helen’s Main Street is dotted with unique boutiques, specialty shops, and a variety of gift shops where you can find Bavarian-inspired souvenirs.


Indulge in German food and drinks at one of the town’s authentic restaurants or enjoy American cuisine at one of the many cafes and eateries. Don’t forget to try some German beers along the way.

Hofer’s Bakery: 

For a little bit of sweetness, stop by Hofer’s Bakery, a local favorite known for its pastries and baked goods.

Outdoor Adventures: 

Cool River Adventures offers tubing and waterpark fun right in the heart of Helen, making it a great spot for families.

Nacoochee Adventures: 

If you’re an outdoor adventurer, consider zip-lining with Nacoochee Adventures for an adrenaline rush and incredible views of the mountains.

green sign with white writtig

Explore Helen’s Cultural and Historical Attractions

Helen, Georgia, isn’t just about outdoor adventures; it also offers cultural and historical attractions:

Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound: 

Learn about the Cherokee people and the history of the region at the Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound, a burial site and heritage center.

Hardman Farm: 

Explore the history of the area by visiting the Hardman Farm State Historic Site, a beautifully preserved estate showcasing 19th-century Georgia life.

BabyLand General Hospital: 

For a unique experience, visit BabyLand General Hospital, the birthplace of Cabbage Patch Kids, where you can witness the delivery of these iconic dolls.

Heritage Center: 

The Helen Arts & Heritage Center is a great place to appreciate local art and history through exhibits and events.

Enjoy Special Events and Festivals

Helen hosts special events throughout the year that add to the town’s charm and vibrancy. The annual Oktoberfest celebration is a highlight, featuring live music, traditional dancing, delicious food, and, of course, plenty of German beer. Other special occasions and festivals showcase the town’s rich heritage and diverse culture.

Cozy Cabins and Lodging Options

Helen offers a range of lodging options, from cozy cabins in the mountains to pet-friendly log cabins with hot tubs. Whether you prefer to stay in the heart of downtown Helen or in a secluded mountain cabin, there’s an accommodation option to suit your preferences and make your visit memorable.

Best Time to Visit Helen, Georgia

Helen is a year-round destination, and the best time to visit depends on your preferences. Spring and summer are perfect for outdoor activities, while fall offers breathtaking foliage views. Winter transforms the town into a winter wonderland, with holiday lights and festive decorations.

building with red pointy roof with american flag

In Conclusion: An Unforgettable Experience in Alpine Helen

In Alpine Helen, Georgia, you’ll discover a unique experience that combines the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains with the charm of Bavaria. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors, indulging in delicious German fare, or immersing yourself in the town’s rich history and culture,

Helen offers a little bit of something for everyone. So, plan your visit to this unique alpine town and create memories that will last a lifetime in one of the most picturesque destinations in the United States. 

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or returning for the umpteenth time, Helen, Georgia, promises an unforgettable experience that will keep you coming back for more. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or returning for the umpteenth time, Helen, Georgia, promises an unforgettable experience that will keep you coming back for more.

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