16 Best Things to Do in Helen, GA
By VacationIdea Staff on April 20, 2023 - Updated
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The town of Helen, Georgia offers tourists a taste of Germany just ninety minutes from Atlanta, making it a great weekend getaway for the whole family. Tubing along the river is a popular activity in the area during the warmer season. The festivities of Oktoberfest abound in the fall, and hiking opportunities can be enjoyed year-round. Helen also draws visitors with its local vineyards and unique wines produced at the wineries. There’s no shortage of delicious food to be found in town, including great German cuisine.
1. Unicoi State Park
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Situated just outside of Helen in the mountains of North Georgia, Unicoi State Park is one of the most beloved state parks in Georgia. Enthusiasts of outdoor recreation activities can find opportunities for mountain biking and hiking along the scenic mountain trails, including the easy lake loop, the 3-mile trail towards downtown Helen, the 7.5-mile rugged singletrack bike trail, and the challenging Anna Ruby Falls trek. The lake also offers activities like canoeing and swimming. For guests wanting to stay overnight, the park includes a modern campground, fully equipped cottages, and a hotel-style lodge, as well as a restaurant.
1788 GA-356, Helen, GA 30545, Phone: 706-878-2201
2. Chattahoochee River
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Located near the Chattahoochee River headwaters, the Upper Chattahoochee River Recreation Area in Helen, Georgia provides a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, such as fishing, hiking, picnicking, and camping. The Chattahoochee River is particularly well known as being one of the north Georgia region’s best trout fishing streams. There’s a campground that lies at an elevation of around 2,2200 feet and one of the most visited waterfalls in the state, Anna Ruby Falls, is only a short walk from the campground. The Appalachian Trail is also located nearby, along with the Horse Trough Falls Interpretive Trail.
F. S. Rd. #44, Helen GA 30545, Phone: 706-754-6221
3. Habersham Vineyards & Winery
© Habersham Vineyards & Winery
Since 1983, the Habersham Vineyards and Winery has been producing award-winning wines in the North Georgia Wine Country and is one of the largest and oldest wineries in the state. Situated one half-mile to the south from Alpine Helen, the winery is open to visitors seven days a week for wine tastings, which include a sample of five different wines. Along with the selection of wines grown and produced in Georgia, the tasting room at the Habersham Winery also includes a gift shop selling wine specialty items and gourmet foods from throughout the world, including perfect picnic items.
7025 S Main St, Helen, GA 30545, Phone: 706-878-9463
4. Cool River Adventures
© Cool River Adventures
With three different outposts located around the area, Cool River Adventures is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families that love enjoying recreational activities together. Guests can choose to visit either the Chattahoochee Outpost, the Headwaters Outpost, or the Mainstreet Booth, each of which has activities catered to the area that it’s in. For example, the Headwaters Outpost is perfect for aerial adventures like ziplining, tree adventure courses, or climbing opportunities. Meanwhile, the Chattahoochee Outpost is perfect for tubing and is the point at which all Cool River tubers end up. Enjoy a leisurely float down the river on top of a relaxing tube and see all the gorgeous sights that mother nature has to offer along the way.
590 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, Georgia 3054, Phone: 706-878-2665
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5. Georgia Mountain Coaster
© Georgia Mountain Coaster
Take an exciting, adrenaline-pumping ride through the forest within a tiny but speedy cart thanks to the Georgia Mountain Coaster. It holds the distinction of being the first alpine coaster in the entire state and has been delighting visitors from near and far, no matter the age, for many years now. The coaster zips through the alpine forest at over 28 miles per hour, and carts are equipped with brakes to help slow them down when the ride gets a bit too fast. The Georgia Mountain Coaster is open to all guests over 3 years of age with cart drivers needing to be at least 54” tall and over 16 years of age. After a quick briefing on how to use the cart and its brakes, visitors will soon be soaring on the coaster rails and soaking up the beautiful view of Helen’s alpine landscape.
8409 S Main Street, Helen, Georgia 30545, Phone: 706-878-1347
6. Hofer's of Helen
© Hofer's of Helen
Located in the charming downtown district of Helen, Hofer's of Helen welcomes guests to taste delicious European desserts, meals, and beverages. Breakfast is served here seven days a week, featuring a menu that includes popular dishes like Alpine French Toast and Belgian Waffles. Guests can also enjoy a lunch in the authentic Bavarian dining room of this European restaurant. Hofer's of Helen also includes an award-winning bakery that offers traditionally baked breads, pastries, and cakes with the Old World quality that the bakery is well known for.
8758 N Main St, Helen, GA 30545, Phone: 706-878-8200
7. Mully's Nacoochee Grill
© Mully's Nacoochee Grill
Mully's Nacoochee Grill is a family owned and operated restaurant in the town of Helen, Georgia that specializes in “comfortably upscale” American and Southern cuisine and offers unique, chef-created daily specials. The restaurant is especially well known for its fried and grilled local trout, grilled fresh salmon, hand-cut ribeye steaks, and shrimp and grits. Other popular dishes at Mully's Nacoochee Grill include the smoked cheddar grits, grit fritters, and smoked ribs. A full bar and a broad selection of wines are available as well that pair nicely with the food options here, including wines from vineyards in the local area.
7277 S Main St, Helen, GA 30545, Phone: 706-878-1020
8. Old Heidelberg German Restaurant & Pub
© Old Heidelberg German Restaurant & Pub
Formerly known as the Old Heidelberg, the Heidelberg German Restaurant and Pub is a three-floor music hall, pub, and restaurant specializing in German fare. Located in a corner of the Main Street square of Helen, Georgia, this locally owned and operated dining establishment was established in 1975 and was the first German restaurant to open in town. A German-style pub can be found downstairs, with the main restaurant dining room located upstairs. The menu at the Heidelberg includes a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, sausage specialities, schnitzel specialities, and German delicacies, such as Gulasc, Sauerbraten, Hühnerbrust, and Kasseler Rippchen.
8660 N Main St, Helen, GA 30545, Phone: 706-878-0061
9. Fox Winery
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Conveniently located a mile away from Interstate 20, the Fox Winery in the town of Helen produces an array of different wines that appeal to about any palette. Depending on the time of year, visitors may get to see one of the interesting phases of the winemaking process like bottling or maybe even harvesting. The vision of Fox Winery was to create wines with their own distinct character that pair well with traditional Southern food.
3 Old Street, Helen, GA 30545, Phone: 706-878-2924
10. Alpine Fun Factory
© Alpine Fun Factory
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all kinds of family fun, look no further than the Alpine Fun Factory. Tucked away in one of Helen’s back streets, the Alpine Fun Factory offers something for every member of the family in their huge facility. Here, families can go toe-to-toe in an exciting game of Alpine Extreme Laser Tag or test their speed and driving skills on the factory’s Go-Kart Track. Meanwhile, the Alpine Fun Factory’s arcade features 80 different kinds of games, an always-stocked redemption booth, and 10,000 square foot large Bounce Zone to boot. Parties of ten or more participants can also enjoy great deals and group rates at the Alpine Fun Factory.
115 Escowee Drive, Helen, Georgia 30545, Phone: 706-878-8404
11. Helen Tubing and Waterpark
© Helen Tubing and Waterpark
A popular destination in the summer months, Helen Tubing and Waterpark is a fantastic recreational destination and watering hole for locals and guests alike. It is the largest attraction in Georgia and offers endless fun and tubing opportunities for guests of all ages. Take a relaxing float down The Chattahoochee River via a tube which typically lasts up to two hours, or enjoy adrenaline-pumping water slides and other water-based attractions at the waterpark. At the park, there are also a number of picnic areas that families can make use of, as well as clean changing rooms, showers, and even free parking.
222 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, Georgia 30545, Phone: 706-878-7465
12. Nacoochee Adventures
© Nacoochee Adventures
More than just another outdoor experience, Nacoochee Adventures delivers a thrilling recreational adventure alongside an interesting telling of North Georgia’s history with every visit. Nacoochee Adventures’ knowledgeable guides will walk you through each adrenaline pumping experience while telling great stories and historical facts along the way. Get to know all about the Nacoochee region in particular as you participate in canopy tours, zipline from one platform to another, or take a long sail down a half-mile dual zipline. Guests who want to be challenged physically can also attempt the Nacoochee Adventures challenge course or test their off roading skills with one of the ATVs available for rent.
7019 S Main Street, Helen, Georgia 30545, Phone: 706-878-9477
13. Helen Arts and Heritage Center
© Helen Arts and Heritage Center
Dedicated to serving, promoting, and preserving the work of Northeast Georgia artists, the Helen Arts and Heritage Center is a non-profit art gallery, history museum, and pottery studio that was established in 2007. Open to the public at no charge at all, the center welcomes guests all year round to explore the works of local Helen artists as well as the works of those in surrounding towns and counties. Meanwhile, there is also a pottery studio at the center where visitors can learn about the art of pottery. The history museum is a great place to spend some time and learn about the art history of Northeast Georgia while some of the works are also on sale at the gift shop.
25 Chattahoochee Stresse, Helen, Georgia 30545, Phone: 706-878-3933
14. Alpine Mini Golf
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At the southern end of Main Street is Alpine Mini Golf, a beloved miniature golf course frequented by Helen’s locals. The course can easily be described as breathtaking as it is filled with beautiful, manicured gardens and alpine vegetation. Enjoy one or two rounds with family and friends before heading over to the Scoop De Scoop Ice Cream Parlor to end your game and help you cool down. The Alpine Mini Golf Course is open year-round and makes a great activity for visitors of all ages. Not only is the course family-friendly, but it’s pet-friendly too, so patrons can bring their four-legged friends with them for the family’s day out.
7914 South Main Street, Helen, Georgia 30545, Phone: 706-878-3328
15. AxeBilly - Axe Throwing Helen
© AxeBilly - Axe Throwing Helen
Say hello to the only axe-throwing facility in all of Helen at AxeBilly! One of the newer attractions in town, AxeBilly is the perfect place to experience axe throwing for the first time or to test your skills if you’ve already tried this popular pastime before. Great for group outings and nights out with your nearest and dearest, AxeBilly has several lanes and is open 7 days a week. The AxeBilly’s axe-throwing aficionados and pros are ready to teach first-timers the basics, and sooner or later, with a bit of practice and a ton of confidence, you’ll be flinging axes with a lot more precision than you realize.
806 Main Street, Helen, Georgia, Phone: 706-878-0003
16. Nora Mill Granary
© Nora Mill Granary
Tucked away in the North Georgia Mountains foothills, along the Chattahoochee River, is the Nora Mill Granary. Opened in 1876, the Norma Mill Granary still operates as a gristmill to this day and continues to make use of its original 1,500-pound French Burr Stones to grind and create the base for all kinds of corn and wheat-based products. See the granary’s burr stones in action when you visit and watch the hard work and labor involved in creating staples like grits, cornmeal, flour, biscuit and bread mixes, and more. Be sure to drop by the old-fashioned gift shop next door, the Nora Mill General Store, to stock up on great kitchen staples and mill products.
7107 South Main Street, Helen, Georgia 30545, Phone: 706-878-2375
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