Experiencing the Bavarian Charm of Helen, Georgia
The village of Helen in the state of Georgia is quaint and charming, mostly due to the fact that it has been created to look just like a Bavarian alpine destination. The village may be small, but the beauty and lack of major brand name shops and restaurants adds to the appeal.
I spent a day in this fabulous village when my family and I were in western Georgia, as it wasn’t too far from where we were staying in Clarkesville. Once we arrived in Helen, I was disappointed that I hadn’t found this gem of a place prior to booking our accommodations! I could’ve spend my entire vacation in this village and never been bored!
Things to do in Helen, Georgia
Alpine Village Shops
One of the first things that we did when we arrived in Helen, was explore a few of the two hundred plus specialty shops. I was thrilled with all the handmade gifts that I could purchase, and I may have gone overboard a time or two. I spent quite a bit of time watching artisans perform their glassblowing duties at The Glassblowing Shop and none of us could resist the aromas or tastes that we found in the Hansel & Gretel Candy Shop.
Horse and Carriage Ride
After walking around Helen for a while, we decided to get into a horse drawn carriage for a ride through the village, where we could learn more about the history while seeing more of the tucked away sights. We rode past the Chattahoochee River and along the side streets. The ride was shorter than we would have liked, but it was a fantastic experience that aligned with the times of the village.
Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound Tragedy Site
We took a side trip out of Helen for a little while and stumbled upon the Nacoochee Mound, which is affectionately called the Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound Tragedy Site. With a little research, we learned that two lovers from different Indian tribes were buried there. According to the legend, the relationship between the two was not accepted by their tribes and the father wanted his daughter’s lover thrown over the side of the cliff. The daughter was supposed to watch this, but she jumped off the side of the cliff after him. They embraced at the bottom, where they both died. The burial site was created after that and they still lay in the same spot where they died. A gazebo was placed on top of this site in 1890 to make it easier for people to see it from the road.
Where to Stay in Helen, Georgia:
Bavarian Brooks Rentals
These condos and cabins are within walking distance of many of the stores, restaurants, and attractions in Helen. Each accommodation has between one and four bedrooms as well as stone fireplaces and private balconies with views of the mountains and the rushing Chattahoochee River. Guests can spend their days exploring the village or having fun in the on-site swimming pool and hot tub.
Alpine Hilltop Haus
This stunning bed and breakfast has been a popular choice amongst visitors since 1982. Alpine Hilltop Haus can be found on a hill that is covered with trees directly above the Chattahoochee River and only three blocks from the center of the village. Private rooms are available as are suites with private entrances. Breakfast is available every day, but the best part of staying at this bed and breakfast is the deer that are always roaming on the grounds.
Where to Dine in Helen, Georgia
The Troll Tavern & Restaurant
We dined at the Troll Tavern & Restaurant while we were in Helen, and I must say that it was a hit with my entire family. This restaurant specializes in German cuisine as well as sandwiches, seafood, and more. While the inside of the restaurant is wonderful, we were happy that we could sit out on the deck, which overlooks the river. We were able to watch people float down the river in inner tubes while dining on grilled reubens, burgers, and fish and chips.
Cowboys & Angels Restaurant & Bar
This restaurant has a lively atmosphere that is filled with warm hospitality. Diners can sit at the bar, in the restaurant, or out on the deck. The popular menu choices include fried green tomatoes, avocado burger, buttermilk fried chicken, and shrimp and grits. Many people gather at Cowboys & Angels for their large variety of beer, wine, and specialty cocktails.
I absolutely loved Helen, Georgia and I am planning on returning there at some point in the future. If you are considering a visit to this charming village, you will want to visit their tourism site.