Hotels in Helen, Georgia

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Helen Hotels

Helen is a place where liquid flows freely – whether it’s the water of majestic waterfalls plummeting through thickly-forested woodlands, or the steady guzzling of distinctive German beers during the village’s annual Oktoberfest celebrations. In 1978, a decision was taken to transform Helen into a typical Bavarian Alpine village - in a bid to increase the number of visitors – meaning the destination is now a living, breathing gingerbread village. The picturesque white buildings are surrounded by the olive green Chattahoochee and Nantahala national forests, where you can’t help but let you imagination run wild as you hike - or mountain bike - through spindly trees, while living out your very own German fairytale.

Things to see

Barrels of hoppy German beers, spirals of meaty sausages, and truck-loads of lederhosen are shipped in during late September, as the village gears up for one of the biggest and best Oktoberfest celebrations in the US. Gulp down the friendly atmosphere as you slurp from boots filled with 2 liters of beer, before strapping on your breeches and dancing to the trumpeting and parping of genuine oompah bands. While Oktoberfest is the highlight, the festival feeling never leaves Helen, and there’s always something to celebrate – whether it’s the swarms of rainbow trout arriving during spring, or the sky filling with colorful teardrops during June’s Hot Air Balloon Festival. Soothe your head after a night’s celebration by riding one of the longest lazy rivers you’ll ever see. With tubing points located all along the winding Chattahochee River, you can lie back on a rubber ring, and let the current gently spin you downstream - all the while admiring the rugged mountain scenery and listening to the soothing river as it gurgles around you.

Hotels in Helen

Stay in rustic log cabins, next to shimmering mountain lakes, where you can sit outside below a ceiling of stars, before heading inside to poke flaming logs on your open fireplace. More traditional chain hotels in Helen are also available, if you’d rather swap the trees for the shops and restaurants of downtown. Free breakfasts – with endless supplies of bacon, croissants and coffee – are on offer, and you can enjoy access to WiFi, Cable TV, and outdoor swimming pools in many of the village’s cheap hotels.

Where to stay

Start your own Bavarian fairytale by staying in the heart of the village. Browse tiny shops, with tall shelves crammed high with trinkets and souvenirs, before bobbing into coffee shops where generous servings of buttery sponge cake await. Or, you could leave the village, and follow cobblestone paths out to more secluded accommodation options - which are sensitively integrated into the reaching arms of the surrounding forest. Late October sees the colors of fiery sunsets spreading through the trees, as the leaves put on a spectacular display, which is best enjoyed from your cabin’s wooden balcony.

How to get to Helen

Helen is about an hour and a half’s drive from Atlanta, which is an easy city to reach from practically anywhere on the globe. Home to the world’s busiest airport - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – and served by Amtrak’s Crescent service, which visits New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, Atlanta is incredibly well connected. Renting a car and driving over is the easiest way to cover the distance to Helen, and the area’s low snowfall means driving is usually problem-free all year round.

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