|Helen, GA - a Bavarian-Appalachian-American-Georgian Village
Do not be confused - you are not in Germany. You are in Northern Georgia. Much like Gatlinburg, Helen is an attempt at a European mountain village, specifically Bavarian. The area was originally populated with miners who were attracted to the discovery of gold. Roughly 35 years or so ago, the townsfolk got a hankering for all-things Bavarian and decided to dress the entire town up as if it were a German village. Soon after, as typical with mountain villages, fudge was discovered.
In Helen you'll find a few German-style restaurants, shops (with an emphasis on Christmas and terrible t-shirts), sweet shops (selling fudge and the other required candy of mountain villages - taffy) and, well, that's about it. There are also an incredible number of horse-drawn carriages in this town. Unlike Gatlinburg, you won't find tourist traps like go-cart tracks or mini-golf. There is a water raft and tubing company located just north of the city, and that's it. The attractions in the area are the mountains, hiking trails and waterfalls (like in nearby Unicoi State Park). In a future post I'll talk about nearby Brasstown Bald and Anna Ruby Falls, both definitely worth a visit.
|High Five, Santa!