Georgia’s Alpine Helen-White County: The Charm of Bavaria, in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains

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Helen, Georgia | I-75 Exit Guide

Kick up the family adventure in your vacation with a visit to Alpine Helen-White County in North Georgia, about an hour and a half from Atlanta. A replication of an Alpine Bavarian Village, Helen offers an affordable, family-friendly experience with unique shopping, outdoor recreation and great restaurants.

Funky fun for Families

Alpine Helen-White County offers a few things that make you go “hmmm,” as well as some adrenaline-pumping favorites. Spend a little time planning and you can land some of the craziest and most exciting things that will jazz up your trip. Memories for a lifetime are guaranteed!

Feeling lucky? Take the bunch to pan for gold at Dukes Creek Mines in nearby Sautee Nacoochee. A trained staff will facilitate the hunt for treasure including gemstones like rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethyst and more. Spend a little time exploring at Dukes and you’ll find an outpost where you might hit pay dirt, a model railroad exhibit (Charlemagne’s Kingdom), the Alpine Speedway with a slot car track and the newly renovated Heidi Motel with roomy suites, fireplaces, kitchenettes and private patios.

Georgia Mountain Coaster is the first of its kind in these parts and offers a thrilling ride down the mountain. Enjoy the scenery and the wind in your hair as you wind your way to the finish line. Find it in downtown Helen and note that the stairs to the coaster are next to Paul’s on the River.

Adventure courses, climbing walls, ziplines (closed for COVID at the moment) and river tubing are all part of the marvelous outdoor offerings at Cool River Adventures in Helen. Highly trained guides oversee the ziplining activities where you’ll have state-of-the-art gear including an automatic braking system for a hands-free adventure. If you have never zipped across the Chattahoochee River, put it on your list. (Remember to check the website before visiting to obtain information about opening post-COVID.) Shoot the ‘Hooch with Cool River enjoying a leisurely float down the Chattahoochee. This season, all-day tubing is not available and the waterslide is also closed.

Woody’s Mountain Bikes proves to offer the ultimate in family adventure with their shuttle rides. Choose from The Gap (waterfalls and swimming in the ‘Hooch covering 14 miles), Dukes Creek Gold Mines (wildlife, streams and Heritage Preserve hardwoods over 18 miles) or Tray Mountain Extreme (nine miles of downhill, fast and rocky riding—for experts). If you’re under 18, bring an adult with you. Bike, helmet and shuttle is included.

No family trip is complete without a competitive round of mini golf and Bavarian Mountain Mini Golf & Arcade offers two 18-hole courses. Finish up and head to the arcade for pin ball, bowling, pool and more. Bavarian Mountain Mini Golf is located on South Main Street where the views are amazing. Also, check out Pirate’s Cove where adventures and legends of infamous pirates come to life in an award-winning theme park setting. Putt through caves, over footbridges and under waterfalls all the while playing amidst Mother Nature.

North Georgia Zoo & Farm is located close-by in Cleveland and is home to more than 300 animals. Enjoy animal encounters with otters, kangaroos, wolves, zebras and see the exotic livestock…even feed the camels! Kids love to see the baby animals, visit the petting zoo area, and the Safari Drive-Thru is a hit with everyone. Join their newsletter online to receive a $5 coupon for a Behind the Scenes Tour.

While in Cleveland, head over to Babyland General Hospital – Cabbage Patch Kids, located in a beautiful antebellum home on a lovely tract of sprawling land. Witness a birth and adopt a Cabbage Patch baby—it is truly a magical place that will be surprisingly loved by everyone in your party.

Food and shopping in Alpine Helen-White County

Food is inherently necessary no matter where you travel and the flavors of Bavaria are awaiting your arrival to Helen. Taste authentic foods to the German culture from schnitzel, pretzels and sausages to bakery favorites and craft brews. Browsing options ahead of a visit will typically help with decisions come mealtime.

The local shops of Alpine Helen offer a plethora of authentic and sometimes edible souvenirs to take back home. Local confections and wines, as well as Amish-crafted furniture and arts/crafts make for great gifts, too.

Plan your trip filled with over-the-top, family-friendly fun in Alpine Helen and you, too, can experience the charm of Bavaria in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

It’s the charm of Bavaria, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit www.HelenGA.org for more information.


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