Helen in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, Helen is a modern day recreation of a traditional alpine village, complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers. This Northeast Georgia destination has a rich history.
Once the center of Cherokee Indian culture, the area has attracted settlers in waves, first because of it’s gold, then it’s timber and finally it’s railways. The Gainsville and Northernwestern Railroad came up the Chattahoochee and converged in this mountain community; in 1913 the valley was officially named „Helen,“ after the daughter of the railroad surveyor. In 1968, local Helen Businessmen met to discuss what be done not to attract the next wave of settlers, but to stabilize and improve their town.They approached a nearby artist, who had been stationed in Germany, to sketch the new Helen. Shortly thereafter, Helen was rebuilt, complete with gingerbread trim, cobblestone alleys and all the colors and details of an auhtentic Alpine town.
A mountain village with a touch of Bavarian, Helen has created a unique experience for the millions of visitors it hosts each year. Accommodations include cozy log cabins, quaint village inns, charming bed and breakfast and inviting mountain resorts. The area is perhaps best known for hosting the world’s longest Oktoberfest, from the middle September through the first of November. Enjoy oompah Bavarian music, German food and drinks along with polkas and the infamous „Chicken Dance.“