Located along the Chattahoochee River, Helen, GA is a small town with just a few hundred people. But despite its small size, it’s one of the most unique towns you will encounter in Georgia and a magnet for tourists. A few years back, the small city was struggling to survive as a logging town. Then something changed.
Helen re-established itself as a replica of a Bavarian town, complete with German-style architecture and style on every building. It’s meant to mimic a place in the Alps, only it’s located in the Appalachian Mountains. This unexpected oasis hosts an annual Oktoberfest and swells with visitors every fall.
Are you considering a trip to Helen, GA? You will love this little gem of a place. Here are 10 things to do near Helen, Georgia that will occupy you on your next visit.
1. Take a White Water Rafting Trip
You knew we’d suggest this one. Our location near Helen, Georgia offers the perfect place for challenging yourself on the rapids. The Chattooga River includes Class III and Class IV rapids that will test even the most seasoned of rafters. You can also opt for an overnight excursion, sleeping under the stars. Our guides prep your meals and keep you entertained with stories galore.
2. Visit the Chattahoochee National Forest
This gorgeous wilderness area features hiking and biking trails, a shooting range and horseback riding trails. Whatever your favorite outdoor activity, you can indulge in it at this national forest, which features more than 100,000 acres of land. If you get too hot, splash some water on your face from one of the clear, cold streams that run through the woods.
3. Anna Ruby Falls
Another natural wonder in the area, Anna Ruby features a pair of waterfalls located near Unicoi State Park. The hike to the falls is short but steep, so you will get a great workout through the North Georgia Mountains.
4. Smithgall Woods State Park
Another beautiful natural setting, Smithgall is the place to go if you love to fish. Dukes Creek is known as one of the state’s premier catch-and-release areas for trout. Check for fishing days ahead of time, though. To preserve the serenity of the state park and keep the fish population strong, fishing is limited to certain days, and you have to get there early in the day — Smithgall also limits the number of anglers who can go on the creek at a time.
5. ATV and UTV Tours
This rugged area offers the perfect setting for an ATV or UTV tour. Jump on your vehicle and head out on a guided tour. You can even find some tours that visit local caves.
6. Dukes Creek Gold & Ruby Mines
Ever dreamed of striking gold? Now is your chance. This family-friendly attraction allows visitors to pan for gold. You might even stumble across a rare ruby or sapphire. Kids will love other activities there, too, such as mining for fossils and breaking open geodes.
7. Nacoochee Village Antique Mall
Are you an antique freak? Then you must head to the Nacoochee Village Antique Mall, located on Main Street in Helen. With three floors of antiques and more merchandise arriving every day, this shop will certainly keep your attention. Treasures range from cameras to books to clocks and more.
8. Charlemagne’s Kingdom
You have never seen a museum quite like this one, a German-themed celebration of toy trains. The museum pipes in authentic German music to heighten the experience, and the highlight is a built-to-scale, 22-foot replica of the Matterhorn.
9. Helen Arts & Heritage Center
If you love the arts, then a trip to the Helen Arts & Heritage Center is a must. You will find artists displaying their most treasured works, as well as a history museum detailing the roots of the town and a pottery studio where you can take classes.
10. Jerky Snack Shack
After visiting all these locations, you are sure to work up an appetite. Hop over to the Jerky Snack Shack, which claims to serve the world’s hottest mountain jerky. You can also find delectable nuts and other snacks to stock up on for your next trip.
Whether you go white water rafting near Helen, Georgia or you hit one of the outstanding local parks, you will find lots to do in this scenic area of the state. Contact us today to book your rafting trip ahead of time.