Day trip in Helen, GA
I was so excited for a quick day trip to Helen! We drove up from Atlanta (1hr 30 mins) to Helen and quickly realized how cute everything was! The Chattahoochee River flows gently through Helen, a re-creation of a Bavarian Alpine village, complete with cobblestone streets. Helen now has many shops offering everything from candle making and glass blowing to cuckoo clocks, dream catchers, and quilts.
EXPLORING AROUND HELEN
Helen Arts Center & Heritage Center (History of Helen Museum) At the heritage center we were able to view a video which gives the history of Helen Georgia. It is very interesting that businessmen came up with the idea to transform their sawmill town into an Alpine Bavarian looking town in order to draw tourists to the area. It is also interesting that most of the inhabitants are actually Scottish and Irish. On the other side of the building, we visited the arts center (free admission).
Nacoochee Village Antiques – There is just something about being in the mountains that makes me love antique shopping. Granted, I’m mostly “window shopping,” but it is still so much fun! This is also a great place to grab a bottle of Habersham Wine or locally roasted JumpinGoat Coffee.
Nora Mill Granary – Do stop into the granary to see the millstones and the dam. Take a peek at the 1876 building, with all her character.
Hansel & Gretel Candy Shop – These people literally wrote the book on candy making (Candy making for Dummies.) 5,000 sqft of production include peanut brittle, chocolate covered cherries, nut clusters, and over 100 different candies. Don't forget to grab a sample!
Before you head out on any adventures I suggest filling up on a great food t at Hofer’s of Helen Bakery-Konditorei-Café. It is located in downtown Helen. It is a family owned restaurant and bakery that opened in 1991. The owners are actually German and they make everything in-house. They serve breakfast and lunch daily. They also have German specialties such as “Bauern Fruhstuck” which is two eggs served with “Kassler Rippchen."
Outdoor lovers should put on their walking shoes and head for the Anna Ruby Falls Visitor’s Center. The falls lie in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest - it is absolutely beautiful! Even on a rainy day like we had, you can take a refreshing walk along the paved footpath, starting from the lot at the center and leading to the foot of the Anna Ruby Falls. You could spend about 30 minutes or longer on the path. The waterfalls are truly beautiful! I would recommend getting there early to avoid the crowds.
Anna Ruby Falls is a pair of beautiful waterfalls, cascading in tandem through this North Georgia forest. There is a fee of $3.00 per person (ages 16 & up) to visit Anna Ruby Falls and they're open daily (weather permitting) from 9 AM - 6 PM.
From some reading we did, we found that after the Civil War, Captain J. H. Nichols began purchasing land throughout the Nacoochee Valley. Included in these purchases were Anna Ruby Falls and the Indian Mound at the corner of Route 17 and 75. According to folklore, after the deaths of his wife and child, Nichols discovered a set of falls while horseback riding and named them for his remaining daughter, Anna Ruby.
Experience nature like you never have at Raven Cliffs. There are multiple hiking trails throughout these mountains. You will see cliffs, waterfalls, and beautiful flowers.
Take some time to drive around the Helen area, and stop by Smith Creek lake. It's so serene, and the only sounds you can hear are the birds.
Georgia has shown me how beautiful it is, especially now with summer about to begin.
Have you visited Helen? What's your favorite part of north-Georgia?