Have you ever wanted to visit a quaint Bavarian village with authentic German food, beer, and shopping? Alpine Helen Georgia has all that to offer without leaving the country. It is home to Oktoberfest celebrations, family activities, wineries, and much more.
Helen Georgia Facts
We enjoy going to the Blue Ridge Mountains in north Georgia to visit Helen. Alpine Helen is the state’s third most visited place. The town started as a home to the Cherokee and then got settled by Europeans looking for gold.
People visit today to see the pretty Bavarian village and to get a taste of Germany. The town is only 2.1 square miles with 430 residents. It is filled with cobblestone walkways, Alpine food, several wineries and many shops showcasing Bavarian items.
Helen is most noted for Oktoberfest when they have a huge celebration of Bavarian heritage. It is a big party filled with great music, food and lots of beer. The lines to get into the small town back up for miles, but it is worth it to see the celebration. People dress in German attire; there are bands playing and people dancing in the streets.
Helen has so much to do besides delicious Bavarian food and drinks. There are all types of shops lining the street. They feature handmade items, arts and crafts, and delicious handcrafted chocolate. We love going through all the unique shops to find treasures.
I enjoyed one shop with all kinds of pretty porcelain. I really loved this one set of children as it was so well crafted and eye-catching. The owner was very proud of her work and talked to us about her home.
Each shop has its own flair. You can find a mix of Bavarian items and local items from the Blue Ridge Mountains. I got some geodes to bring home to my nephews. We also looked at handcrafted necklaces with pretty stones. Each one was carved into a different animal shape and had a story to go with it.
As you walk past the shops you cross a bridge over the Chattahoochee River. There is a restaurant overlooking the water where you can see people tubing down the river. It is very relaxing and peaceful to see all the pretty nature that passes by. You can float through the Alpine village and see all the celebrations happening.
We enjoyed looking at all the shops. You go down one long road in Alpine village and there are small shops in various houses. It is quaint as you walk on a front porch and open the door to the shop. They have some that are Christmas themed and others focused on trains and toys for kids.
Our favorite by far is the Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen. You can smell the amazing aroma of chocolate before you even get near. The smell motivated us to increase our pace.
When we walked in they immediately let us sample their latest creation. It was a chocolate covered Frito. I liked it, but my mom was not a fan. We sampled all types of fudge and other chocolates.
The fudge is made on marble tables and you can watch hand-dipped chocolates being made while you are standing there. They had everything you could want from whipped cream caramel to turtles candies. If you can’t decide, they also have gift boxes you can buy with a variety of their treats.
There is case after case of all kinds of delights. They had multiple rooms so you can explore many types of items. The workers are very friendly and will give you suggestions if you get too overwhelmed by the endless possibilities. This must be how the kids felt in Willy Wonka’s factory.
I ended up getting chocolate turtles with caramel and almonds. My mom got a chocolate filled with cream. We both loved our selections.
We had completed going through all of the shops, so we stopped in the main square and people watched. It is fun to see all the activities. There were people from many different countries and everyone was in a festive mood. We enjoyed hearing all the great German music and watching the enthusiastic dancing.
The visit to Helen Georgia was really enjoyable. I love learning about other cultures and seeing the foods they eat. I am part German so it was interesting to be immersed in a Bavarian setting. We had a great time and can’t wait to go back.
If you are in north GA, I would recommend seeing it as it is a unique event. While you are there make sure you do the chicken dance!
Rating (4 stars):
Pros: Unique Bavarian experience, lots of activities, great food
Cons: Large crowds make it difficult to see everything
Priority: Medium – fun to do if visiting GA
Cost: Free to get in the village, $5 to park in some areas
Savvy Tip: Go to Festhalle for dancing, Alphorns, cowbells, and accordions.