I bet you’ve never heard of Helen GA. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chatahoochee River, Helen is only a one day’s drive away and the tiny town is only two square miles!
Helen has seen the passage of early pioneers traveling by wagon to settle in fertile valleys. Those settlers were followed by gold miners seeking their fortunes, and later, lumber barons seeking theirs. The history of Helen includes fascinating stories about early native hunters and gatherers in North America. Colonial stories recount the interaction of traders and militia with Cherokee towns.
But the charming little Alpine town was “born” in 1969. What? Yes indeed this city was created by three Helen businessmen who gathered one morning for breakfast to talk about a way to spruce up Main Street and bring in tourists on their way north to the mountains. One of the men suggested talking with an artist, John Kollock, who agreed to take photos and draw up some sketches. He sketched the buildings, added gingerbread trim, details and colors giving an Alpine look to the entire town. With the town being set in a small valley, he recalled his visits to Barvarian towns in similar valleys in Germany. New facades were added to old buildings and Helen was reinvented! The town has grown dramatically over the last 40 years by adding new ventures, shops and venues. The result is that Helen, with its population of 430, has become Georgia’s third most visited city!
More than 200 specialty and import shops, restaurants and over 1,100 quality rooms are located in Helen. Outside of town, cabins and chalets are available, many with cozy fireplaces in secluded settings. Visitors can enjoy river tubing, horseback riding, golf, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking or hiking to one of the many majestic waterfalls close by.
Helen hosts one of the nation’s longest Oktoberfests each year, bringing in thousands of revelers. You’ll see quaint hotels and cobblestone walkways. You’ll enjoy Alpine food and drink and lose yourself in a marvelous getaway, a quite weekend, shopping or a walking tour. The 46th Annual Oktoberfest, Festhalle, is Helen’s biggest celebration! German music, dancing, food & drinks! Enjoy Waltzes, Polkas and the Chicken Dance! Oktoberfest will run from September 22 through October 30. You’ll be surrounded by natural beauty, wineries, artisan tours, festivals and will find yourself in a little piece of Germany, only 9-10 hours away. Let Helen speak to you, no translation necessary.