This was a sponsored press trip, all opinions are my own.
I’m almost ashamed to admit this but, I’ve been living in Georgia over 22 years and every time I heard about someone visiting Helen, I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. When I thought about Helen, I only knew of 2 things Oktoberfest and the Bavarian aspect. Recently I took an awesome press trip out to Helen and let me tell you how wrong I’ve been! Check out my travel files below.
I know when most people think about Helen, GA the first thing that comes to mind is the Bavarian style town. While that was a fun part of my trip, there’s so much more to explore. Whether you’re someone who likes outdoor activities, a wine connoisseur, or a fan of food and the arts there’s something for everyone! My trip spanned Helen, Cleveland, and Sautee Nacoochee which are all in close proximity, but I do want to clarify for anyone that is looking to plan their own trip in the near future.
I stayed at the brand new Holiday Inn Express, which featured spacious rooms and comfortable beds. The best part is the location of the hotel is really convenient for a walk into the town.
My press trip was 2 fun filled and jam-packed days but I ended up extending my trip 1 more day to make sure I had time to explore the city a bit myself. The first day was all about WINE! When many of us think of wine country, California is the first place that comes to mind. I was extremely surprised and delighted to discover that Georgia has it’s own wine country that’s growing each year. Thanks to VIP Southern Tours we were treated to a tour of 5 wineries/vineyards and then finished the day off with a wine pairing dinner!
The Cottage Winery & Vineyards
Kaya Winery & Vineyards
Yonah Mountain Vineyard & Winery
YouTube- Yonah Mountain Vineyard
While at Serenity Cellars we also got a chance to pair our wine with cheese, crackers and delicious jams from Unicoi Preserves. I ended up purchasing a few jars as gifts, they were so good!
Sylvan Valley Lodge & Cellars Wine Pairing Dinner
After a wonderful day exploring vineyards and wine from our local makers, I was spent. It was an awesome day but the fun wasn’t over yet. Day 2 was more of a cultural adventure.
Breakfast at Hofer’s German Bakery
Facebook- Hofer’s Bakery & Café
Helen Arts Center & Heritage Center (History of Helen Museum)
Hardman Farm State Historic Site
Sautee Nachoochee Arts & Heritage Center
Home to the Folk Pottery Museum of NE GA
Anna Ruby Falls & Adventure Park Tour
Unicoi State Park & Adventure Lodge
Nacoochee Outdoor Adventures
BabyLand General Hospital
By this time I realized that in order to fully enjoy Helen, GA you really need much more time. I was really glad I was staying the extra day. There are a ton of waterfalls that I plan on exploring each time I visit again. Even with this robust tour, I’ve only experienced a snippet of what Helen has to offer. Since Day 3 was my own personal day I just took the time to explore the Bavarian village, try out some more of the local cuisine and do some mini golfing.
All in all, Helen Georgia is the perfect place for a girl’s/guys trip, family trip or a romantic vacation. There are a ton of things to do and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Advice For Planning Your Trip:
Start planning or booking early: Helen is growing each year and accommodations fill up fast especially during Oktoberfest. Make sure you book your accommodations MONTHS in advance, if possible.
Step out of your comfort zone: One of the things I loved were how many type of accommodations that were available. Whether you’re looking for a cabin, camping, barrel cabin, lodging or a hotel Helen has it! So don’t be afraid to try something new each time you go.
Give Yourself Time and Come Back Often! As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot to do so give yourself an adequate amount of time on each trip to really soak up the experience. Whatever you don’t get done the next time, is just an adventure for your next visit.
Last but not least, DO A GUIDED TOUR!