Alpine Helen, Georgia: Top Destination for Holiday Lights, Festivities and Fun

This mountain town brings Bavarian charm to seasonal celebrations

776
Downtown Helen at Christmas | I-75 Exit Guide
Christmas in Helen, Georgia. | Credit: Alpine Helen White County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Have a colorful Bavarian Christmas without leaving the Southeast in Alpine Helen, Georgia, about an hour and a half north of Atlanta in the Northeast Georgia mountains. The town’s Alpine architecture and holiday scenery are so delightful that Lifetime Christmas movies “Christmas Love Letter” and “A Taste of Christmas” were filmed here, and the town is consistently noted as a top holiday destination for lights, festivities and fun.

 For a nighttime experience, don’t miss the Annual Lighting of the Village in Edelweiss River Park, 5-7 p.m., Friday, November 24, 2023. Decorated with 8,000 lights and 800+ ornaments, the 20-foot-tall tree and the entire town is dressed up and illuminated every night until February. The town’s shops and restaurants don’t close at 5 p.m. here! Visitors come from all over to see the festive shop windows and streets, savor authentic German beer and cuisine and to buy German Christmas tree ornaments.

Don’t miss the 15th Annual Christkindlmarkt at the Marktplatz on November 25-26 and December 2-3. This traditional German event offers everything from unique gifts and decorations to an assortment of savory and sweet foods, drinks and candied treats. Join in a Victorian Christmas in the historic settlements of Sautee-Nacoochee at two events. At the Hardman Farm State Historic Site see the manor dressed in period holiday décor while learning about traditions from docents in their finest 1870s garb. This open house from 4-7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, from December 1-16, is highlighted by twinkling candlelight and live music. The Sautee-Nacoochee Cultural Center hosts its Holiday Stroll evenings December 15-January 6.

If You Go

Some head for the roads less traveled and quiet mountain cabin hideaways or Unicoi State Park and Lodge adjacent to the Chattahoochee National Forest. It offers on-site dining and nearly every outdoor activity possible, including a spectacular twin waterfall. Others flock to the lively Bavarian-themed town for whimsical Alpine lodgings within walking distance of the festivities. Serious and amateur outdoor lovers rave about the hiking, mountain biking, rafting, tubing, fly fishing, zip lining and more in “Georgia’s Official Outdoor Adventure Destination.” The Appalachian Trail runs through here, and Yonah Mountain is one of the top three rock climbing spots in Georgia. www.HelenGA.org

Calendar of Events

Friday, November 24, 2023 5-7 p.m.
Annual Lighting of the Village
Edelweiss River Park, Helen, Georgia
706-878-2181
On Friday, November 25, the colorful Bavarian village of Helen lights up for a magical holiday season with a huge Christmas tree as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at Riverside Park. Musical performances by local groups will entertain and children are invited to meet with Santa from 5 to 7 p.m.

November 25-26, 2023
Christkindlmarkt on the Marktplatz
1074 Edelweiss Strasse
Helen, Georgia
706-878-1908
No need to visit Frankfurt or Heidelberg for an authentic shopping experience. This traditional German event offers everything from unique gifts and decorations to an assortment of savory and sweet foods, drinks and candied treats. Sponsored by The Helen Chamber of Commerce.

December 1-16, 2023
A Victorian Christmas at Hardman Farm
Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Highway 17, Sautee Nacoochee, GA 30571
706-878-1077
Come see the Mansion at West End in period holiday decor and learn about Victorian Christmas traditions from docents dressed in festive 1870’s garb. Across the street is the landmark gazebo topped Indian mound. Open house Friday and Saturday nights in December is highlighted by twinkling candle lights, live music. Outside are wagon rides, caroling and s’mores. Check website for admission fee, no charge for children 5 and under.

December 2, 2023
5-8 p.m.
Annual Christmas in the Mountains and Lighted Parade
Cleveland Courthouse Square, Cleveland, Georgia 30528
706-865-5356
The Christmas in the Mountains and Lighted Parade in Cleveland will be held from 5-8 p.m., with the parade scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The event features a holiday market in the Cleveland downtown square and Merry Merchants Open Houses

December 2-3, 2023
Christkindlmarkt on the Marktplatz
1074 Edelweiss Strasse
Helen, Georgia
706-878-1908
Christkindlmarkt is a traditional German event that offers everything from unique gifts and decorations to an assortment of savory and sweet foods, drinks and candied treats.

December 9, 2023
2 p.m.
Annual Helen Christmas Parade
Main Street, Helen, Georgia
706-878-2181
Downtown Helen lights up as the Annual Christmas Parade makes its way through the streets with hand-crafted and beautifully designed floats, German Christmas characters, music and dance on Saturday December 9, 2023 at 2 p.m. This don’t-miss family and friends event is a generational tradition.


The I-75 Exit Guide is the Internet’s largest and most complete website dedicated to Interstate 75 travelers. Find detailed exit service listings… lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Michigan to Florida!

On the road? Why not take us with you. The I-75 Exit Guide is mobile-friendly and totally FREE. No App Required.

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit GuideI-80 Exit Guide and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

Previous articleHarrison’s Grill & Bar – Clinton, TN
Next articleChattanooga, Tennessee
I-75 Exit Guide
One of the most complete road travel resources of its kind on the Internet! The Interstate 75 Exit Information Guide features exit service listings for the entire length of I-75 from Michigan to Florida! Food, gas, lodging, rest areas, attractions and more…