ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

You Don't Have to Fly to Germany to Taste Bavaria

Updated on July 5, 2016

Hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an hour north of Atlanta, Helen is a true to life model of an Alpine village straight out of the Bavarian Alps. Helen is a great little place offering a real taste of Bavaria – complete with Alpine architecture, dressed in the distinct blue and white colors, Bavarian food and of course the beer and Oktoberfest.

History

The Cherokee Indians were the original settlers and lived in the area before 1800. Gold was discovered in 1828 and gold fever took hold. Miners poured in to the valleys around Helen. The leading mining sites were the England Gold Mine (this is still in use) and Hamby Mountain. When gold mining petered out around 1900 settlers started moving into Helen and the surrounding hills. Lumbar was the next big thing. The area had plentiful forests and saw mills were built to produce timber which was shipped all over the U.S. and Europe. This industry too fell into decline and by the 1960s Helen’s future looked bleak. The city elders decided to reinvent Helen. A local artist drew up a new vision for Helen using Bavarian designs and colors. Helen was to be reinvented as an Alpine village. The architecture of buildings, shops and homes would be redone to reflect the new vision. Streets would be cobbled and renamed. The artist picked to visualize the new Helen had lived in Germany. He drew on his experience to project Helen as a small town very like the ones he had seen in Bavaria. Helen embraced the concept and began rebuilding in earnest. Dull and dreary walls were painted over with bright Alpine scenes. Paintings showing the early life of settlers appeared on buildings to illustrate the town’s history. Bavarian designs with the distinctive blue and white diamonds became the dominating motif in Helen. A robust, new, and thriving community emerged from a tired old settlement. A strikingly beautiful village – a slice of Bavaria came into being deep in the mountains of Georgia. And the tourists poured in turning Helen in to a major tourist destination. Tourism is now the major industry for Helen and draws in millions of visitors each year.

Helen’s Attractions

Helen has a lot to offer the tourist. The village is a family destination and offers activities geared towards families. Tubing down the river, fishing, and canoeing on the Chattahoochee River are popular so are mountain biking and hiking. There is much to see in the mountains around Helen - waterfalls, streams and mountain vistas. Hot air balloon races and parades are also featured during summer. True to its Bavarian roots, Helen prides itself on its Oktoberfest – believed to be the longest in the South. This is followed by the Alpenfest which runs through December.

Food

The food in Helen is excellent with many restaurants offer food with a German flavor – sauerbraten, schnitzel and wurst. Traditional American menus of steaks, burgers, seafood and deli-style sandwiches are available. There is fudge, candies, and funnel cakes for dessert. The Chattahoochee River runs through town and restaurants located along its banks offer riverside dining to add an extra touch. One restaurant with riverside dining is the Troll Tavern on Main Street and their rates are reasonable. Other restaurants offering German fare are Hofer’s Bakery and Café, Old Bavaria Inn, Alpenhaus, Alt Heidelberg Schnitcelh, and Hofbrauhaus Inn.

Shopping

The shopping is varied - shop windows display everything from Hansel & Gretel Candies, Candles, Jolly Toys, Music Boxes, and Cuckoo clocks. Gift Shops compete with shops selling antiques and curios. Nacoochee Gifts offers wooden toys, leather goods, and antiques on 3 floors. Helen offers everything to delight the shopper - iIt is all here and so is an outlet mall right in town. The atmosphere in Helen is welcoming and pleasant and a visit to this beautiful town is memorable.

Lodging

Helen offers varied lodging options ranging from the budget motels to luxurious upscale hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. Well known hotels are represented here. Prominent too are Hotels reflecting Helen’s Bavarian heritage. A visitor may stay at the Helendorf River Inn on Munich Street or at the Black Forest River Suites on Eidelweiss Strasse. For tourists in groups, Innsbruck Resort on Schwarzwald Strasse is suggested. The range of lodging varies from $60 to about $100 per day for the hotels and inns to $150 and up for hotels in the luxury class.

Getting to Helen

From Atlanta take GA 400 North which becomes GA Highway 115. At the next traffic light turn right on to Highway 115. Continue to Cleveland (13 miles). Turn left on US 129 North. At the next light take a right on Highway 75 North and drive 9 miles to Helen.



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)