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Hello Helen

Having lived in Germany for three years, I came to appreciate much about the German culture, atmosphere, soccer, and food. When I heard there was a “German” town in the Southeast, I had to go see for myself – Hello Helen (Georgia).

North Georgia is very hilly with a taste of mountain tops. I had the pleasure of going through Pinnacle Cabins and reserving a mountain view cabin for me and many of my family members – it was great.

Driving into Helen immediately puts you into an “old world” mentality with almost all of the buildings carved into an Alpine setting with a Deutsch look. You can walk from one end of Helen to the other in about 15 minutes as long as you don’t stop at the German restaurants, bakeries, drinking establishments, and all of the stores that entice you to enter.

There is much to do in and around Helen … inside and outside. Research yourself and decide what you would like to do while visiting Helen; but, here are my Top-3 Ja’s and Na’s to consider:

Ja 1. Bodensee Restaurant: The food is prepared by authentic German chefs and everything tasted just as I remembered it when stationed in Germany. The atmosphere is cozy and you’ll need to be prepared to wait in line depending on the day and time … but, it’s worth it. I had a dish called Baunerfenle … and I might have to go back just to savor that meal again.

Ja 2. Anna Ruby Falls: Anna Ruby Falls, just like Helen, is the named after a daughter of someone (?) who roamed and found the falls. A short drive from Helen, the 30-minute paved hike to the Falls greets you with a view that you would think you would see somewhere else … but, it exists right there in Georgia.

Ja 3. Christmas Lights: Helen lights up at night for the holidays with decorated trees combined with lighted signs, symbols, and so much more. It was made clear to me that Helen wants their visitors to feel the holiday spirit.

Nein 1. Parking: Unfortunately, Helen has gotten greedy and wants their visitors to pay to park everywhere within the City limits. Why? People are already spending on hotels, food, drink, and souvenirs – why parking too?

Nein 2. Types of places: Although the location looks and feels authentic, 90% of the places that you enter are nothing more than cheap souvenir shops that you can find in any beach town etc. And, why Helen decided to allow a Wendy’s, Hampton Inn, and other known-brands into their city limits is beyond me — it took away from the authentic feel. There were only a few places that sold quality and/or authentic stuff … and you couldn’t find a quality t-shirt for less than $24.95. For the most part, the stores were tacky and those that worked them could care less about your experience.

Nein 3. Crowded: I can’t imagine what Helen is like for an Octoberfest or any other event day they have planned. I was there for a non-event weekend and it was overly busy with long lines to try and eat almost everywhere (other than Wendy’s).

Bonus Ja: Outside of Helen, the Cabbage Patch Hospital where Cabbage Patch dolls are born resides. This is a free attraction that will surprise you – a must-see … no parking costs and no entrance costs; but, be wary of who you bring with you as you could get sucked into buying something like so many I observed did.

Am I glad I went – Ja. Would I go again, probably Nein … but, there is something about Helen that makes me want to go in the summer.

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