I’ve been visiting Helen, Georgia, a replica Bavarian Alps town in North Georgia, for longer than I can remember. My parent’s have a timeshare at a beautiful resort right on the river, and we’ve spent so many weeks relaxing and exploring the small town.
Now that I have my own kiddos, it’s been so fun going back and doing all the things I grew up doing. Some of them are just as wonderful and fun as I remember, and some seem a little strange now that I’m older. (Like watching the birth of a baby doll out of a cabbage…)
But if you live in the South East, you may want to put Helen, Georgia on your travel bucket list. The town is cozy and quaint, and you can find some great eats and some amazing outdoor views and adventures!
Exploring Helen, Georgia with Kids
Where to Eat
We love the German food at the Troll Tavern. It’s right on the river and it’s a great place to eat, grab a beer, and watch people tubing!
Another great place to get authentic, delicious, German food is Muller’s Famous Cafe. It’s my favorite restaurant to visit! The first time we ate here, the owner brought out a huge bucket of Legos for Graham to play with. Needless to say, this is Graham’s favorite restaurant too!
For breakfast and lunch, you can’t beat Hofer’s Bakery. Their pastries and sandwiches are amazing!
When you’re ready for dessert, you’ve got to visit Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen. I suggest a caramel apple or some fudge, but Maddie would tell you to go for a giant lollipop.
What To Do
After you’ve fully stuffed yourself with all the delicious food Helen has to offer, you’ll want to try out some of the fun activities in and around Helen.
You need to tube down the river at least once in your life. While this isn’t my favorite activity, as much as I love being outdoors, I think it’s something everyone should experience! Make sure to wear your swim suit and be prepared to get out and walk in a few places if there hasn’t been much rain lately. There are two different companies that offer tubing – Cool River Tubing and Helen Tubing. Helen Tubing also has a water park, but we haven’t been there yet. Next trip we’ll try it out!
Hiking and exploring the river (minus the tube) is more my speed. There are some really beautiful hiking trails in and around Helen. My kids love playing in the river – looking for rocks, splashing, and finding fish. You know there’s nothing I love more than being outside in the sun with my family, so this is one of my favorite things to do in Helen.
Another fun activity we always love to do is mini-golf. The kids are still a little young for it, but we love to go anyway. There are a bunch of great places to play around Helen. Check out Pirate Cove, Bavarian Mountain, or Alpine Helen Mini Golf.
Helen also has a bunch of great playgrounds! Some of them are right by the river and have beautiful views.
Another fun activity is taking a horse-drawn carriage ride around the town. We haven’t done this yet with the kids, but we did take a romantic ride one winter when Josh and I came up for a little get-a-way. Maddie wanted to pet the horses during this trip, but I guess this guy thought my hat looked tasty!
Lastly, if you have kids, you’ve got to visit Babyland General – the home of the Cabbage Patch Kid. Everyone should visit at least once. This place is…interesting, to say the least. You’ll be able to witness a live “birth” of a cabbage patch kid out of Mother Cabbage, complete with nurses, IVs, and injections of “imagicillin.” You’ll also be asked to yell “push!” to Mother Cabbage as she gives birth to the doll. (I know, weird, but kids love it!) Then the doll is available for adoption…with a $200 adoption fee! Maddie was in love, but we will never be spending $200 on a doll… (Maddie is probably thinking “Challenge accepted!”) They also have lots of other gift items, some more affordable dolls, and a small play area for kids. It’s free to enter, and makes a great rainy-day activity.
And finally, you’ve got to stop by the Christmas Shoppe and get your picture with Mr. Claus himself. We’ve made it a family tradition!
Have you ever been to Helen? What’s your favorite thing to do?
Here are some other fun places to visit in Georgia!