You’ll be surprised by how much there is to do in the city of Helen Georgia, the BEST German town in America. This Bavarian town in Helen will have you forgetting that you are in the United States and feeling like you just arrived in a German village. It won’t take you long to see why this popular destination is Georgia’s 3rd most visited city!
Helen, Georgia is approximately 2 square miles, but don’t let the size of this tiny town fool you. When you come into town you’re immediately captivated on the drive through Main Street by the Bavarian architecture.
This small town has something for EVERYONE. I recently visited with my daughter and we loved it! Ready to find out where to stay, what to see & do, and where to eat in Helen Georgia, the BEST German town in America?
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Where to STAY in Helen, Georgia
As I mentioned, Helen Georgia is NOT a large town. There are several places to stay right in the city, which is really convenient for walking the cobblestone alleys to all the best places. As you might have guessed, it’s not as cheap to stay in town, BUT I think it’s TOTALLY worth it if you are able to.
The Heidi Motel:
Your family will have a great time at this German inspired motel. It has a huge windmill out front, which is great for a photo opportunity. The Heidi Motel ranks #5 out of #19 hotels in Helen on TripAdvisor. It is located toward the edge of town.
There are so many German themed places to stay, which makes the experience even more fun. Keep in mind that most of the lodging is based on a novelty, so they are not typically updated, but they are fun!
Hampton Inn Helen:
I stayed at the Hampton Inn Helen because it was a good price, good location, and the reviews helped me to know that it was clean. On TripAdvisor it ranks #6 out of #19 Hotels in Helen. It is located toward the edge of town, and it was a great place to stay.
As a member of Hilton Honors, staying at this hotel helped me to earn points for discounts and perks on future stays. One of the things I like about being a member of Hilton is that they offer a discount to military families.
If you stay outside of town you will have to drive approximately 20 minutes to get there, sit in Main Street traffic, and then pay for parking. You DEFINITELY want to see Helen in the morning AND at night when it’s all lit up. Staying in town allowed me to easily run back to the room to drop off food, change my clothes, and take a nap in the afternoon. (There are LOTS of wineries and German beer in Helen, so day drinking might lead to afternoon napping.)
Now that you have a place to stay… let’s explore Helen Georgia, the best German town in America!
What to SEE and DO in Helen, Georgia
There is SO much to do in this little town, with different types of activities for everyone in your group. You can expect to find: souvenir shops, nature to explore, mini-golf, beer & wine tasting, a waterpark, ziplining, mountain rollercoaster, train ride, carriage ride, and more in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains!
We only spent two days in Helen, so we focused on shopping, exploring nature, and eating. Here’s a video of the highlights from a weekend in Helen.
Shopping in Helen, Georgia
If you like shopping then you are in the right place. Helen, Georgia has over 200 specialty shops. I LOVED shopping there because each of the shops were unique and most of them had products that were locally made. There were several stores in Helen that offered a military discount, so my daughter was happy that we could take advantage of that perk.
Honey on the Hill:
This was our FAVORITE store in Helen! Honey on the Hill represents so many things that I appreciate. The owner, founder, and head bee keeper is a veteran, and this store offers a military discount, which is greatly appreciated. This is a local business that sells quality, all natural products, that are locally made.
This store had a variety of items and everything was SO CUTE! Aside from honey, they also have all natural beauty products, candy, candles, jewelry, and more. I bought the cutest earrings from a local artist!
The best part is they have honey tastings and it was DELICIOUS. I bought a ton of Christmas gifts, and I bought plenty of things for myself as well. It’s easy to find gifts and souvenirs at Honey on the Hill!
Christmas Tree Shop:
Helen Georgia, the best German town in America, is not just a popular location during the longest running Oktoberfest, but it is REALLY beautiful to see the Christmas lights at Christmas time. The town has even more lights and decorations than usual during this time of year. The Christmas Tree Shop is open year-round. TripAdvisor ranks it #26 of#42 specialty shops in Helen, Georgia.
The Mason Jar Shop:
This was my second FAVORITE shop in Helen. I was surprised that TripAdvisor ranked it #27 out of #42 specialty shops because it had SO many unique and cute gifts. The name definitely threw me off because it’s really not about mason jars. They sell candles, jewelry, novelty souvenirs, food, Christmas and home décor, and more! I bought several gifts, and some things for myself while I was there. The coffee and gelato shop next door has amazing reviews as well.
Alpine Olive Tree:
If you’ve never tried olive oil tasting then you should! I’ve done it a few times and I like it. They also have vinegar to taste. The first time you try it, you think it’s a little weird, but then it’s actually fun! TripAdvisor ranks the Alpine Olive Tree store #11 out of #42 specialty shops in Helen, Georgia. It’s a great opportunity to try something new!
Exploring Nature in Helen, Georgia
Although Helen is a cute town with lots of shopping and food, you might want to venture outside of the main town a little bit for some outdoor activities in the Georgia State Parks.
We would shop then take a short drive and go for a short hike in the afternoon. It was cooler in the woods when it was warm in town (and the crowds were the highest in town in the afternoon). There are two nearby waterfalls that are really pretty! Don’t be afraid to venture outside of the downtown area to explore the Appalachian mountains.
Anna Ruby Falls:
This is one of the most visited waterfalls in North Georgia and it’s only 5.7 miles from the center of Helen. TripAdvisor ranks Anna Ruby Falls #1 out of #25 things to do in Helen, Georgia. It takes approximately 30 minutes for the light 1/2 mile walk to the top where the double falls are. This is a great option for some family fun. The path is paved and it’s easy to navigate with a stroller.
Admission for Anna Ruby Falls is $3.00 for ages 16+, but our admission was free because they provided a military discount. There is free parking on site and there’s a picnic area available. They are open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. This child and pet friendly trail is a MUST SEE!
Dukes Creek Falls:
The first thing you will see when you arrive at Dukes Creek Falls is the amazing mountain view! TripAdvisor ranks Dukes Creek Falls #2 out of #25 things to do in Helen, Georgia. If you go around early November you will get to see the beautiful fall foliage. It is 5.4 miles from the center of Helen. Admission to the falls is FREE, but the fee for the parking lot is $4.00 per vehicle.
This pet friendly wooded trail is down-hill on the way to the falls, and therefore it’s ALL up-hill on the way back. The 2.5 mile hike ranks easy to moderate difficulty with parts of it as a dirt trail and parts wooden. This is a beautiful hike to take in the fall with the changing leaves.
Where to EAT Helen, Georgia
If you like German food and beer then you are DEFINITELY in the right place. There are LOTS of restaurants in Helen Georgia! We found several specialty food stores and restaurants in Helen that offered a military discount. That was a great surprise.
Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen
Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen is ranked #3 out of #42 on TripAdvisor for specialty shops in Helen, Georgia. They have a TON of different types of candy and chocolate here. It’s the place to be if you are looking for fudge, truffles, candy apples, peanut brittle, and so much more. You can also watch them make the candy.
Fred's Famous Peanuts
Fred’s Famous Peanuts is ranked #4 out of #42 on TripAdvisor for specialty shops in Helen, Georgia. It’s a small stand on the side of the road. Fred’s is a little country store with produce, pork rinds, jams, pickles, cider and of course peanuts.
I tried the peach cider, because I never had it before. It was AMAZING. I also tried the boiled peanuts (delicious) and we got a bag of candid pecans. This was a fun roadside stand to stop at for a snack.
Betty's County Store
Betty’s Country Store is ranked #9 out of #42 on TripAdvisor for specialty gift shops in Helen, Georgia. This store is a very unique experience. It’s not just a grocery store, but more like an old fashioned country store. They sell breakfast and lunch sandwiches, groceries, unique food items, candy, wine, beer, and souvenirs.
Chattahoochee Cheese Market
The Chattahoochee Cheese Market is ranked #34 out of #44 on TripAdvisor for restaurants in Helen, Georgia. I would not describe the cheese market as a restaurant, but the food is DELICIOUS! The best time to go here is for breakfast because ALL the places that are in downtown Helen are PACKED at breakfast time. This store is just at the edge of town and you can get a delicious sandwich, bakery items, and specialty coffees very quickly to go.
They have a large store area to buy unique souvenirs, meats, and of course beer, wine and cheese. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that they offer a military discount here as well.
Hofers Bakery & Cafe
Hofer’s Bakery & Café is ranked #7 out of #44 on TripAdvisor for restaurants in Helen, Georgia. This is a deli, bakery, German store, and restaurant all in one. I read many reviews about the traditional German fare so we decided to try it. As one of the most popular places to eat, the wait is VERY LONG and they underestimate the time you will be waiting. They only serve breakfast and lunch and the restaurant closes around 11:30 am to reset in between service. The restaurant area is very small so it’s hard to accommodate a lot of customers at one time.
I would recommend Hofer’s of Helen if you want to buy German items like prepackaged food, deli meats, and baked goods. They have a variety of German novelty items for sale.
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & Pub
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & Pub is ranked #11 out of #44 restaurants in Helen on TripAdvisor. This was absolutely my FAVORITE restaurant in Helen, Georgia! The wait staff is dressed in German style outfits and they serve authentic German cuisine. They have live music on the weekends (but it’s not German themed).
For an appetizer we had the pretzel and beer cheese. It was the BEST beer cheese I’ve EVER had. I had the chicken schnitzel with German potato salad and sauerkraut. My daughter had the cucumber salad and potato pancakes.
For dessert we had apple strudel. My daughter and I have been to Germany and my grandmother was born and raised in Germany. EVERYTHING we ate was DELICIOUS and this is what good German food tastes like. I’d DEFINITELY recommend eating at the Hofbrauhaus Restaurant. It was one of my favorite places in Helen!
Helen, Georgia at NIGHT
Helen Georgia, the best German town in America only, gets BETTER at night! All of the stores are lit up and there are several pubs that have live music playing. This is one of the reasons why I suggest staying in town, so you can walk back to your hotel after spending a night on the town.
There is really SO much more to see and do in the Bavarian village of Helen than what I was able to share with you here. Make sure that you take time to stop by and see it when you are in Georgia. Not only is it a great place to visit for Oktoberfest, and Christmas, but they are a well known place to visit in the summer for the cool river tubing. One of the best reasons to come to this popular tourist destination is for the Helen tubing!
If you liked Helen Georgia, the Best German Town in America , then you might also want to read 10 Unforgettable things you NEED to do in Savannah, Georgia.
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