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Stay at Misty Mountain & Discover Helen - Not Always a German Town

Escape to the tranquility of the North Georgia Mountains and discover the charm of Misty Mountain Inn and Cottages, your gateway to a memorable getaway. Situated amidst the breathtaking scenery of the Chattahoochee National Forest, our inviting Boutique Inn - Bed & Breakfast and cottage style cabin rentals offer a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. Our cozy cabins and large spacious Inn suites, each uniquely appointed with rustic elegance, provide a perfect retreat for couples, families, or groups seeking to immerse themselves in nature's embrace. Misty Mountain Inn and Cottages is centrally located between Blueridge and Helen Georgia. To get to Helen, you simply take a left out of Misty Mountain Lane and head for the Russell Scenic Highway. This 21 mile journey will take you through some of our countries scenic roadways. Once you arrive, you will quickly discover that Helen is a quaint town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is known for its German-inspired architecture, charming shops, and beautiful scenery. You will find this little town is brimming with rich history and "Southern German" esque hospitality. Stroll along Helen's charming streets, lined with Bavarian-inspired architecture and delightful shops. But few people know that Helen was once a thriving logging town, as the Matthews Lumber Company sawmill was the center of commerce in Georgia.

Main Street Helen circa 1913

Main street Helen-July 10, 1913. Photographer unknown.

The town of Helen was founded in 1913 and named after the daughter of a railroad surveyor. For the next several decades, Helen operated as a dedicated logging town. The logging industry kept Helen at the center of commerce in Georgia. But by the 1930s, the timber company and the sawmill abandoned the town of Helen, and residents left for other opportunities. Helen might have folded, except the Federal government created the Chattahoochee National Forest, bringing both tourism and additional lumber opportunities to Helen through the 1950s.

Helen Georgia Lumber mill circa 1910

Photo: Byrd-Matthews Lumber Company circa 1910 In the 1960s, a group of local businessmen decided to revitalize Helen by turning it into a Bavarian-style tourist destination. They built new shops and restaurants in the style of traditional German architecture, and they encouraged residents to adopt German customs and traditions.

The transformation was a success, and Helen quickly became a popular tourist destination. Today, Helen is a thriving town with a population of over 2,000 people. It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, who come to enjoy the town's unique charm and beautiful scenery.

Helen Mine Cicra 1900
Helen Georgia

Helen (White County), ca. 1900. The Helen Mine, owned by Jarrett and Patton

Here are some of the highlights of Helen, Georgia:

  • German-inspired architecture: Helen's downtown is lined with charming shops and restaurants in the style of traditional German architecture.

  • Shopping: Helen is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts.

  • Dining: Helen offers a variety of restaurants, from traditional German fare to American cuisine.

  • Outdoor activities: Helen is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and there are many opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing.

  • Events: Helen hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the Oktoberfest, the Helen Arts & Heritage Festival, and the Helen Festival of Lights.

MOdern Day Helen

The Helen Oktoberfest is the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States. The 2024 Helen Oktoberfest runs from September 5-8, 12-15, 19-22 and September 26 through October 27 (daily). The South’s oldest balloon event and the United States’ only long distance hot air balloon race will begin (weather permitting) with a mass ascension of around 20 bright and colorful hot air balloons, in North Georgia’s Alpine Village – Helen. Race competitors and local flyers will take to the sky at 7:00 am, Thursday, May 30, 2024. If the weather conditions are too windy or storms are forecast, the take off will be postponed until conditions are acceptable.

If you are looking for a charming town with a unique history and beautiful scenery, Helen, Georgia is the perfect place to visit. Helen tends to get very crowded and lodging can be scarce, so avoid the crowd by booking your stay with us at Misty Mountain Inn and Cottages in Blairsville.

Additional information about Helen, Georgia:

  • Population: 2,034 (2020 census)

  • Location: White County, Georgia

  • Elevation: 1,500 feet

  • Climate: Moderate, with four distinct seasons

  • Things to do: Hiking, biking, fishing, shopping, dining, sightseeing

  • Events: Oktoberfest, Helen Arts & Heritage Festival, Helen Festival of Lights

  • Website:

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