There’s nothing like a little sunshine to get those wanderlust longings running. Luckily for us, North Georgia is full of cool mountain towns to visit, offering everything from a Bavarian village to treehouse villages, waterfalls to horseback riding trails. Keep reading for three of our favorite towns in the North Georgia mountains to explore.


For sure, Helen is not what you might expect as you travel north to the mountains. But don't look a gift horse in the mouth, because it's a town that bestows upon its visitors thrill after thrill—and loads of memories, to boot. Feast on delicious German delicacies and float the beautiful Chattahoochee River, which flows gently through Helen, a town that's taken a theme and run with it. A re-creation of a Bavarian Alpine village, complete with cobblestone streets, local history is linked to the Cherokee Indians and early settlers who came to mine for gold and work in the lumber industry. Helen now has more than 200 specialty and import shops offering everything from candle making and glass blowing to cuckoo clocks and quilts.

Dining options range from traditional German fare to traditional Southern (we are still in Georgia, after all). It's charming, looks like it came from a storybook, and is filled with whimsical shops and attractions. In warmer months you can float through the middle of town in a tube, and Oktoberfest is a huge month-long affair with live music, authentic German food and plenty of beer.

New to Check Out: The Georgia Mountain Coaster, the only alpine coaster in the state, speeds through the woods and ends in easy walking distance to grab a bite and a beer riverside at the Troll Tavern, or head to Paul’s on the River, where you'll also find a margarita deck .

Staying Overnight? Cabins with a view of practically every mountaintop in Georgia can be leased through airbnb.

Blue Ridge

Hiking, waterfalls, delicious restaurants and a scenic railway—not to mention scores of other ways to explore the great outdoors—might add up to a compelling reason to pay Blue Ridge a visit, but the chance to stay in a treehouse (a real one... not a shack surrounded by trees) built by The TreeHouse Guys from DIY Network only a few miles from Downtown and IN A VINEYARD pretty much catapults Blue Ridge to the top of all our to-do lists.
For the Train Lover: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a hit no matter the season, because it takes you back in time to when train travel was not only common, but elegant (but not too elegant to take your kids). Leave some time when you return to browse through the downtown shops before heading to to grab "pizza with pizzaz" at Mystic Mountain Pizza
About that Tree House: The Blue Ridge TreeHouse is located at Bear Claw Vineyards. You'll stay in the trees overlooking a working vineyard with views of the vineyard and creek that run through the property. The town of Blue Ridge is less than four miles away.


Known to some as "Atlanta's Haven" and with a motto "The Mountains Are Closer Than You Think," Clayton is an ideal mountain community to check out. A beautiful downtown filled with great shopping keeps it from being too rustic, farm-to-table dining abounds, and The Foxfire Museum of Appalachian Heritage make it a nice soft landing into the wilds of the mountains.
Don't Miss: Stop by the old-fashioned soda fountain at the Clayton Drug Store for a malt or a brown cow before white-water rafting on the nationally designated "Wild & Scenic" Chattooga River. Afterwards, hit Tiger Mountain Vineyard or Stonewall Creek Vineyards for al fresco dining outdoor eatery on the decks and patios and room for the kids to run. 
Hiking Highlights: Warwoman Dell and Dick's Creek Falls are great trails, and a trip to Wander North Georgia will get you outfitted with everything you'll need for a day outdoors

Featured image by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash


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