A Visitor’s Guide to Helen, Georgia – What to Do, & Where to Eat, & Where to Stay!
So, you’re planning a trip to Helen, Georgia? It’s one of my favorite places to visit & I go often. Here’s my guide of the best things to do, where to eat, & where to stay!
The Alpine town of Helen takes it’s inspiration from the villages of Germany. The stores, boutiques, restaurants, and even some hotels, apartments, etc are all modeled after German towns. It’s very unique place to take a stroll through.
Best Places to eat in Helen Georgia
As a town that is modeled after villages in Germany, obviously there are many restaurants in Helen with German cuisine. That’s not the only kind of food that you will find in this unique town though. There are a variety of options that will suit just about everyone’s taste buds.
Here are my personal favorites!
Muller’s Fried Cheese Cafe – Did someone say fried cheese? Everything that I have tried here is amazing but my very favorite thing is their cheese kabob. It features brie, cheddar, & mozzarella all deep fried and served on a kabob. On the menu, it’s served as an entree with side items but you can also get just the kabob itself for half the price of the entree. The ranch that it is served with is absolutely delicious too. You can find their website here.
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & Pub – out of all of the German restaurants in Helen, Hofbrauhaus is my favorite. The restaurant is designed and fashioned after the famous Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany. In fact, they even have pretzels flown in from Munich. Those pretzels, along with their beer cheese, are my favorite thing to eat at this place – hands down. You can find their website here.
Betty’s Country Store – Betty’s is Helen’s only grocery store. Not only do they have groceries, they also sell biscuits at breakfast time and freshly made sandwiches at lunch. There is also a refrigerated deli area that has things that are ready to go. Don’t miss out on their giant homemade cookies! They are as big around as your head & the flavor is just as big. You can find their facebook page here.
Hofer’s Bakery & Cafe – Hofer’s is one of my top two places to get breakfast at in Helen. (The other one is Cimmi’s and that one is next on this list). Hofer’s has the ambiance of an authentic German cafe. When you walk in the door, you walk straight into their bakery area where you can get all sorts of treats to take with you. If you walk around the corner, you will walk straight into their cafe area. Everything that I have had here is delicious but my favorite thing on their breakfast menu is their Apfelküchle, which consists of apple slices dipped in batter, pan fried, dusted with cinnamon sugar, & topped with whipped cream. Their biscuits and German gravy is another Breakfast favorite. They also sell sandwiches at lunch time. You can find their website here.
Cimmi’s Courtyard Cafe – Cimmi’s is my other favorite spot to get breakfast in Helen. Nothing fancy, but just a good plate full of classic breakfast favorites. You can find their facebook page here.
Sheliah’s Village Market – So, Sheilah’s is not actually in Helen – it’s in Sautee, which is about 5-8 minutes away from Helen. It’s so good that it needed to make this list! They have a variety of sandwiches, including one that was one that won one of Georgia’s Top 100 Plates Award in 2019 – The Stairway to Heaven. I love love LOVE that sandwich! It features roasted cream cheese stuffed jalapenos, pecan wood smoked bacon, 4 cheeses, & blackberry pepper jelly between two slices of sourdough bread and grilled to absolute perfection. They also have a refrigerated section with food you can heat up at home too. I really love their chicken pot pie! You can view their menu here.
Things to do in Helen
Downtown Helen – take a stroll though downtown Helen, which features Bavarian style buildings filled with shops and restaurants. Make sure you stop in Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen, The Glassblowing Shop – and my personal favorite store in all of Helen, Honey on the Hill. Honey on the Hill sells some flavored whipped honey that will rock your socks off. My personal favorite is their key lime & their lemon. I love to mix them into my hot tea.
Tubing – During the warmer months, so many folks flock to Helen to go tubing down the Chattahoochee River. Cool River Tubing is where we go when we want to tube down the river. Pro tip – bring a long stick, like broom handle or something similar. If your tube gets stuck on a rock (which is most likely will!), the stick is what you use to push yourself off of it. Otherwise, you will need to purchase one at the tubing place.
Anna Ruby Falls – Although there are many waterfalls near Helen, Anna Ruby Falls is the most visitor-friendly one since it is accessed by a paved trail. It’s named for Anna Ruby Nichols and is actually made up of two waterfalls.
Sautee – take a short 8 minute drive from Helen and check out Sautee, Georgia. You can visit Nora Mill Granary Grist Mill, which is an authentic working grist mill nestled alongside the Chattahoochee River to see how corn is ground into grits. Nora Mill grinds corn daily using either the original French burr stones that are powered by the Chattahoochee River or by a more modern “Meal Master” stone grinding system located on the second floor. Make sure you stop at the Old Sautee Store too., which was established in 1872. Stepping through the front door is like stepping back in time. Bring some change with you to use their old coin operated machines. Some of them only take a penny! We try them out every single time we go, it never gets old! There are lots of other awesome shops there too. You could easily spend a day exploring this adorable area.
Hiking – There are so many places to go hiking (or bike riding!) in this area such as the Appalachian Trail, Mount Yonah, & Unicoi State Park. You can find some more options here.
Panning for Gold & Gems – Want to try your luck panning for gold or gems? Check out Dukes Creek Gold & Ruby Mines!
For more ideas of things to do, check out the visitor’s guide on Helen’s official website by clicking here.
Where to Stay in Helen
My favorite place to stay at when visiting Helen is a riverfront cabin that is walkable to downtown. Downtown Helen charges a parking rate of $5 to $10 so when you stay at a place that is near downtown, you are saving that money and can go to downtown as often as you like without paying that parking charge each and every time. That’s a win in my book!
I always rent from Cabin Rentals of Helen when I go to the area. I have personally stayed in two of their gorgeous river front cabins and they are both walking distance to downtown. They also both have hot tubs that overlook the river, which is absolutely amazing!
Here’s my ’go-to’ cabins to book:
- Lost Soles of the River – This place is my absolute favorite rental in all of Helen! You can do a ’walk through’ of this cabin with me on Facebook by clicking here or on TikTok by clicking here. It is an exquisite, newly renovated home right on the Chattahoochee River and just a few minutes walk to downtown Helen’s shops and restaurants! The name “Lost Soles” comes from the home for all those lost soles that came floating down the river. This gorgeous home has so many incredible features and amenities including a large deck with a hot tub overlooking the beautiful Chattahoochee River with a TV to stream your favorite music or watch your favorite show. Enjoy sitting around a great rustic fire pit and charcoal grill a delightful meal – all with plenty of seating so you can relax, enjoy, and make memories of a lifetime. There are a few steps right down to the river so you can fish, put your tube in for a stroll down the river, or just put your feet in. There is a badminton area, a large fire pit, swings, picnic tables, and a smoker grill all in a beautiful park-like setting. So many fun activities are offered right in your own backyard. This gem must be on the top of your list to stay in wonderful Alpine Helen, GA! With a short drive, there are plenty of beautiful waterfalls and nearby hiking. Visit the rental page for this cabin here.
- Lazy River Days – This log cabin home literally sits on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in downtown Helen. It’s an easy walk to all of the downtown restaurants and attractions. Great trout fishing is within a few feet from the porch. This property offers true log construction with a metal roof. The spacious porch/deck overlooking the river offers a relaxing spot to pass the time. Lazy River Days is a very nice home in an unbelievable location. View the rental page for this cabin here.
They also rent some very affordable condos that overlook the Chattahoochee River, like this one.
You can view all of their rentals by clicking here. They have something for everyone & every budget!
What are YOUR favorite things to do in Helen?
Tell me in the comments!