I hope you are as excited to read about the second part of my trip to Georgia as I am to write it. In this part of my Georgia posts I will be telling you about our trip to Helen, GA.
Helen is a German town located on the northeastern side of Georgia, with a very small population. Per the United States Census Bureau the population was 543 residents in 2017. Helen is approximately one hour and forty-five minutes away from Atlanta and a hour away from where we were staying in Canton.
Despite its sparse population Helen is a city rich with adventure and excitement. There are a lot of things to do there like;
- Wedding Chapel (if a lucky couple wants to get married)
- Hiking in the mountains
- Hot spots to eat
- Carriage riding
- Tour the town
- Riding the mountain roller coaster
- I was also told that Helen is great during Oktoberfest.
We drove to Helen mainly because our friends were getting married there, but we did much more than attend a wedding. On the first day we arrived, we checked in at the motel we reserved, The Heidi Motel and Windmill Suites.
The Heidi Motel stands out on top of a hill, along the main strip. With a windmill attached to the top of it. You can’t miss it (see picture above). The standard room we stayed in was very comfortable and cozy. The place is well kept both inside and out. For our room keys we did not get the usual keycards used at hotels, but instead we got regular metal keys.
In the building where the windmill is located you can find the suites and deluxe rooms. Both the King and Queens suites have fire places. The King Suites also comes with a Jacuzzi, if you want to unwind after hiking or touring the town.
Below are images of the room we stayed in
Conveniently, right across the street from the motel is Betty’s Country Store. A grocery store that carries a little bit of everything. You can go there to get a quick sandwich from the deli, cupcakes, dried fruits, vegetables, wine, and other types of groceries. The outside of the store is equipped with tables and chairs so you can sit and enjoy your meal or have a drink.
After we unpacked at the motel we were on our way to Brasstown Bald mountain. Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia with a height of 4,784ft and is located in a neighboring city called Hiawasee. We drove up the mountain and parked our vehicle in the parking lot. There is a fee of $5 per adult which includes the ride of a shuttle to and from the top of the mountain. We chose to walk up to the top and I decided to take the shuttle back down, while my partner, his brother, and my step-daughter decided they were going to walk the trail back down.
It was hard enough walking up, within two minutes of the walk I was blowing hard as if I have been walking for hours. But I must say that the walk to the top was worth it. Once we got there, we headed up to the observation deck and were able to walk in full circle to see the all around view. From the observation deck we were able to see North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. You can check out my video below of the view.
After we left Brasstown Bald we came back to our Motel and stayed in for the rest of the night, except when I decided I was hungry and wanted to go get something to eat. We found the nearest Wendy’s and decided to walk instead of driving to it at 9:30 at night. You maybe saying Wendy’s? and you’re on vacation!. Yes Wendy’s because if you are on a budget you can mix it up a little, you don’t have to go to a high priced restaurant everyday. The prices were the same as they were in Florida, plus It was the only fast-food restaurant on the entire stretch.
The following day I got up well rested and went for a walk along the strip. While walking the strip I ventured into Unicoi park, where there is a playground. After about five minutes on the swing I continued to walk and recorded a video of Helen (which I can’t seem to get right to post it). Other than that not much took place on this day because it was the day of the wedding.
On our checkout day from the motel, we left and went tubing. Tubing is an activity where you sit in round tubes and float along the river. There were two companies across from each other that offered tubing. We went with the Cool River Tubing company. We paid $10 per person for two hours of tubing, but you can choose to do the one hour of tubing for the same price.
If this is an activity you are thinking about doing, I suggest buying one of the sticks that are being sold. At the time we went they were $5 or if you want to save money see if you can find a piece in some dry shrubs. The stick really does help when you are stuck on a rock or between rocks.
I would know because after being stuck between two rocks and found it hard to get out, I started pushing too hard on the tube and I flipped over with the tube on top and I below the water. Lucky for us my boyfriend was able to find sticks along the river bed on our way down, but I will be better prepared next time around🙄. Other than that, It was a really exciting experience and to think I almost did not do it. I was planning to stay on the sidelines and watch, but then I would come home wishing that I had done it.
The Cool River Tubing company also has an American Ninja practice area, so if you are ever in Helen and want to test out your American Ninja Skills, you know now where to go. Their office also has a store, and changing area. They do not keep personal belongings, you will have to securely lock those away in your vehicle. They do, however, keep your driver’s license until you return.
After we were done tubing we headed back to Canton. While heading back to we stopped to look at crystals because my step-daughter is very much into it, but I wanted to find an orchard so I can buy some peach. There were a few orchards that came up on google maps but they were in the opposite direction of where we were headed so we decided not to go. We went back to Canton, rested up and was ready for our trip back to Florida. Read my Tips for a Road Trip article to find out what happened on our way back to Florida.