Helen is a quaint town in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains, with natural beauty and a rich history that is tied to the Cherokee Indians. The town is renowned for its architecture, which re-creates a Alpine village, complete with cobblestones, gingerbread trim and towers. The area's attractions for outdoors enthusiasts are numerous and perhaps obvious in the mountainous surroundings, but it also holds a few surprises.
Smithgall Woods is a mountain retreat set amid Helen's picturesque landscape. Visitors can explore Smithgall's five miles of trails and miles of roads to explore the woods, streams and wildlife of Helen. Anglers can enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing in Dukes Creek on certain days; call ahead for a schedule. The retreat also includes picnic areas, guided tours, hunting, photography walks, educational events and a visitors center. Visitors can also stay overnight at Smithgall Woods, which has five cottages with a total of 14 bedrooms.
61 Tsalaki Trail
Helen , Georgia 30545
Charlemagne's Kingdom calls itself the largest Alpine railroad museum known. It has 400 feet of track and computerized H.O. scale trains. The elaborate scenery includes Alpine cities and towns as well as a 22-foot "Matterhorn," cars on the Autobahn, lakes, a circus, lights, music and sounds, along with thousands of hand-crafted figures. The train display measures 20 by 50 feet. Three times a day, at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., carved wooden figures do a German dance in traditional German dress.
8808 N. Main St.
Helen, Georgia 30545
Producing wine since 1983, the Habersham Winery is renowned for its award-winning varietals and distinctive blends. It is open every day for free tastings and self-guided tours and features a gift shop where visitors can purchase Habersham wines and gourmet foods. It is located in the Nacoochee Village, which offers other shops, dining, antiquing and a historic grist mill.
7025 S. Main St.
Helen, Georgia 30545
Article Written By Serena Norr
Serena Norr has been a New York-based writer and editor since 2001. Her articles have appeared in "Time Out New York," "Tea & Coffee Trade Journal," "Time Out New York," "Film Monthly," "Shecky's," "Princeton Review" and "Beyond Race." Norr specializes in health and wellness, motherhood, and beauty-related topics. She attained her Bachelors of Arts in English at Hunter College.