Nestled in the outskirts of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Helen, Georgia is the perfect place for your family’s next adventure. You’ll feel like you are in Germany as soon as you start walking through the Bavarian-style downtown streets. Even better, you will surely get a taste of Germany, too, with all the local German restaurants and bakeries in town. From the mountaintops, to the Bavarian streets, to the rushing river waters, Helen is truly a gem for your family to discover.
WHERE TO STAY
Since you’re going to be in the mountains, you have to stay in a cabin in the woods! Bear Creek Lodge and Cabins offers a variety of cabins for you and your family to stay in while you explore the winding roads and endless scenery. Each cabin is pet-friendly, fully furnished, and has breathtaking mountain views. Some of them have hot tubs, too! Your cabin will also be close to everything you want to do in Helen, whether you want to explore the outdoors or take a stroll downtown.
WHERE TO EAT
Willkommen to Bodensee Restaurant, where you’ll get a taste of authentic German cuisine and experience an old German guest house. Start with a potato pancake or a jumbo pretzel before you get a bite of the homemade garlic sausages. You can even try a little bit of everything with the House Plate: grilled knock sausage, smoked pork chop, homemade garlic sausage, along with sauerkraut and german potato salad. The endless menu also has house specials, schnitzel, steaks, chicken, and seafood!
Hofer’s Bakery and Cafe
Voted one of the best cafes in the world, Hofer’s Bakery and Cafe serves German, family-favorite recipes, made in-house with the freshest ingredients. Try their specialties from the grill, a bratwurst on a pretzel bun, or their famous Reuben sandwich, but don’t forget about dessert. From European tortes, to custards, to ice cream specialties, your stay in Helen will not be complete without this sweet taste of Germany.
Village Crepe Haus
Village Crepe Haus is conveniently located in downtown Helen, so you’ll have the perfect lunch spot during your visit. You can get breakfast there, too! Their breakfast crepes, Belgian waffles, and croissants will be the perfect start to your day. Or, check out their menu of savory crepes for lunch or dinner. The best part, though, are the sweet crepes–it’ll be hard to choose between the snickerdoodle, strawberries and cream, or warm cinnamon apple crepe, but you can always come back a second time.
WHAT TO DO
You might forget you are in a quaint southern city when you go to downtown Helen. Known as a mini Bavaria within Georgia, downtown Helen will transport you to a German village whose streets are lined with unique shops, restaurants, and bakeries. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen, get some souvenirs from Lindenhaus Imports, or even try the world’s hottest hot sauce at the Pepper Palace.
Go on an adventure down the Chattahoochee River at Cool River Tubing. Here, the Cool River Headquarters bus will drop you off at the beginning of the river, where you can cool off with a leisurely float or race through the rapids with your family, all while taking in the village’s stunning views.
Anna Ruby Falls is one of the most popular waterfall sites in the area, right in the heart of the Chattahoochee-Oconee forest. The half-mile long hiking trail will be easy for you to navigate before you get to see the stunning falls. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch.
Feel the thrill of riding down the mountain and through the woods in beautiful alpine Helen, Georgia on the Georgia Mountain Coaster. This alpine coaster is fun for all ages, and is built for safety and speed. It’s a must try outdoor activity for the family. ■