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9 Exciting Things to Do in Helen GA

Surrounded by the beauty of the Georgia mountains and full of Bavarian charm, Helen GA is a full of activities. From thrilling outdoor adventures to a taste of German culture, this unique town offers tons of mountain fun. If you're looking for things to do in Helen GA, our guide will share everything you need to know!

Helen has lots to do for the whole family, including shopping, food, attractions, tubing, and more. There are also tons of outdoor activities as well, just a short drive from town.   

In this guide, we're featuring the coolest stuff to do in the wonderful mountain town of Helen GA!

Where is Helen GA?

Helen's location in the Georgia mountains makes it ideal for a quick trip or a longer excursion.

At roughly an hour and a half north of Atlanta, Helen is easily accessible for city dwellers seeking a gorgeous and unique mountain escape. For those traveling from further distances, many regional airports are within driving distance, with many flying into Atlanta.  

From North Carolina, and specifically the Asheville area, Helen GA is about 2.5 hours away along a beautiful and scenic mountain drive.   

Where to stay when visiting Helen GA

Where to stay and Things to do in Helen GA

Helen offers several different lodging options for those desiring to stay overnight or even for a few days.  Whether you're visiting for a cozy, romantic getaway, a budget family trip, or to experience some Bavarian luxury, Helen Georgia has multiple options for you to choose from.

Downtown Charm: Immerse yourself in all the action by choosing a hotel or inn located directly in Helen. Many options even have balconies overlooking the busy streets.

Alpine Ambiance: For a more secluded and nature-focused experience, consider a cabin rental. Located in the mountains surrounding Helen, rental cabins offer peace, quiet, and often beautiful views. Luxury accommodations like fire pits and hot tubs add to the experience and relaxation.

Riverfront Retreat: Several hotels and resorts line the banks of the Chattahoochee River, providing waterside settings with the added benefit of easy access to water activities like kayaking or fishing.

Luxury Lodges: For those seeking a more upscale experience, Helen has a few luxury lodges and resorts where you can expect spacious accommodations and high-end amenities.

Regardless of your preference or accommodations when visiting, Helen is always busy, so be sure to make your reservations well in advance.

Our Picks for fun things to do when visiting Helen GA

Things to do in Helen GA - Scenic Views

We've visited Helen GA several times over the past few years, and have always had a great time when visiting. We love the shops, attractions, vibe of the town, and restaurants. Be sure to see our Helen GA Travel Guide for more information.

But if you're focused on fun things to do, here are top picks!

1

Ride the Georgia Mountain Coaster

Take a thrill ride on the Georgia Mountain Coaster, within walking distance of downtown Helen GA. This awesome alpine coaster, the first built in Georgia, will take you down the mountain at over 28 miles per hour!


This Alpine Coaster in Helen GA is pure fun for the whole family! We LOVED riding it.

2

Drive Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway

Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway

The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway beckons visitors to drive along its 40 miles of curvy mountain roads that travel through the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest.


Visitors can enjoy the 360 degree views from atop Brasstown Bald, Georgia's tallest mountain, or escape at one of the byway's many waterfalls and hiking trails.

3

Visit Anna Ruby Falls

Spectacular and popular, Anna Ruby Falls is in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest and just outside of Helen GA. Anna Ruby Falls marks the junction of Curtis and York Creeks. Curtis Creek drops 153 feet and York Creek 50 feet to form the twin waterfalls known as Anna Ruby Falls.


A paved 0.4-mile footpath leads from the parking lot to the base of the falls. Walking is simple to moderate and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Benches are provided along the way. 

4

Visit Babyland General Hospital

Take the family on a trip to  BabyLand General Hospital in nearby Cleveland, Georgia.   This Southern Style "hospital" is beautifully situated on 650 acres in the North Georgia Mountains.  Filled with Cabbage Patch Kids, BabyLand General Hospital will create memories for your entire family.  Admission is free!

5

Visit the Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound

The Indian Mound burial site for Sautee and Nacoochee is located just outside Helen GA along highway 75.  Legend says that its origins came about as part of a Romeo and Juliet type story for the Native Americans.  A tale of tragic and forbidden love ...

5

Explore Unicoi State Park 

Unicoi State Park is one of the most popular parks in Georgia, and for good reasons.   The park has outstanding natural beauty, a wide range of amenities, and its very close to Helen Georgia.


Smith Lake, often called Unicoi Lake, is the scenic centerpiece of the park. At the lake, there are opportunities to fish, swim and enjoy a picnic here. 

6

Tube on the Chattahoochee River

A must-do summer adventure, tubing is a great way to beat the heat and explore some of Georgia's most scenic places and in a unique way.  The Alpine village of Helen GA is home to some of the best and most popular tubing adventures in the state.


Surround yourself with refreshing forest scenery on a lively tubing trip down the Chattahoochee River.   There are a number of different tubing outfitters in Helen for you to choose from

7

Shop and eat!

Visiting Helen GA is a wonderful experience, and you can even take of Helen home with you and remember the sights, smells and tastes until you can come back again.


Enjoy some local confections, and some wine while relaxing in Amish-crafted furniture. Brighten your home with locally produced arts and crafts, or something from one of our many museums. And don’t forget gifts for the family and friends who couldn’t visit with you!


Hungry?  What better way to experience Bavaria, than with authentic dining in Helen GA - schnitzel, pretzels, sausages, craft beers, and so much more.   Alpine Helen GA offers dining options for everyone—from formal to relaxed, uptown to down home, with your favorite local dishes, and flavors from around the world, too.  Even the kids will find something they love.

8

Hike to Duke's Creek Falls

Dukes Creek Falls GA

Photo by: Jeff Gunn

The hike to this 150 foot tall waterfall is one of the more busy trails in the area, and the parking area often fills up on weekends, especially in the Fall.  There is an observation platform at the falls and the trail is easy-moderate in difficulty.

Our Helen GA Video

During one of our many visits to Helen GA, we not only took tons of photos like always, but some video of our Helen GA adventure as well. You can come along with us on our visit in our Helen and North Georgia YouTube video.  

Be sure to follow us on YouTube!

Wrapping Up

Helen GA is this charming town in the north Georgia mountains. You can have all kinds of outdoor fun and it's got a cool Bavarian vibe. Helen has it all - waterfalls, hikes, shops, and tasty food!

Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a fun-filled family vacation, or a just a simple solo escape into nature, Helen promises unforgettable fun and a unique experience.

We highly recommend a visit to Helen, GA–a place where Bavarian fun and relaxation await!

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.

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