Tucked away in the northern Georgia Mountains is the quaint Bavarian village of Helen. Located along the Chattahoochee River, Helen is the perfect spot for various water sports, as well as a host of other outdoor activities. From cozy waterfront cabins to modern condos featuring swimming pools, tennis courts, and other convenient amenities, there are an abundance of unforgettable vacation rentals in Helen. Enjoy beautiful views of the changing leaves in the fall, as well as the towering trees that provide cool shade. Check out 10 popular activities in Helen for families with children.
1. Play a Round of Alpine Mini Golf
Located along the main thoroughfare in Helen, Alpine Mini Golf is a picturesque course with a touch of German flair. Whitewashed fences line the way, with plenty of flowers and shade to enjoy in the spring. The course takes about an hour, and it is conveniently located to most of the vacation rentals, shops, and restaurants in the area.
2. Go Tubing on the Chattahoochee
You can’t visit Helen without taking a trip down the Chattahoochee on a brightly colored inner tube. Start your trip at Cool River Tubing. From there, you and the kids can grab a ride on one of the many buses that take you up to the drop-off location up the river. Choose the short trip or the long trip depending on how long you want to float in the water. From here, you’ll have an amazing alternative vantage point of the town.
3. Experience Excitement at the Helen Water Park
If you prefer swimming in a pool and dont like the work that tubing can require, head to the Helen Water Park with the kids for some old-fashioned fun. The 1,000-foot lazy river takes you on a loop around the park, or you can slide down one of the four towering water slides. Afterward, have lunch in the park or grab an ice cream for dessert in town.
4. Swim at Duke’s Creek
Popular for both vacationers and locals, Duke’s Creek includes a 2-mile round trip hike to a beautiful viewing platform. At the top of the platform, a series of flat rocks form a natural slide into a deep pool of water. Young and old alike can slide down the rocks and beat the heat from a summer day in the cool water below. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch from your vacation rental, and enjoy a meal under the trees.
5. Hike Whitley Gap Trail
This short half-mile hike takes you up to the top of Wildcat Mountain. Children have no problems traversing the easy walk of the Whitley Gap Trail which leads up a gentle grade. Fairyland shrubs with pixies, gnomes, and fairies line the route to enjoy. At the top of the trail is a tree designed for climbing, and the views of the valley below are spectacular.
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6. Ride Horses at Chattahoochee Stables
If you didn’t bring your horses to your vacation rental, you can still enjoy the Chattahoochee Forest on the back of a beautiful horse from Chattahoochee Stables. Trained guides take you and the kids through the water and trees to spend the day exploring the wilderness. On the ride, guides tell you about the history of the Sautee Nacoochee Valley while you explore 3.5 miles of valleys and mountain scenery. The ride is appropriate for all skill levels.
7. Kayak With Wildwood Outfitters
Wildwood Outfitters offers four different kayaking and canoeing adventures. Choose a slow leisure trip with younger children, or opt for a challenging whitewater rapids trip with teens. If you bring your own equipment, hop aboard the shuttle and join the adventure with a guide for a small fee.
8. Take a Carriage Ride Tour of the City
The Alpine Carriage Company operates in downtown Helen. Sit back in a horse-drawn buggy and view the beautiful buildings, go across the stone bridges, and travel through the resorts for a lazy view of all the area has to offer. Kids can feed the horses and pass out treats before and after the ride. Depending on where you are staying, the ride may take you past your vacation rental. Afterward, explore the shops and be sure to pick up some homemade fudge or ice cream.
9. Go Geocaching
Helen has plenty of spots for those who love geocaching in the state parks. Start in the Smithgall Woods State Park, and then head to Unicoi to locate all of the hidden treasures. While in the parks, you can also go trout fishing and swimming, and even let the kids take part in the Ranger program where they can learn about nature.
10. Visit Babyland General Hospital
One of the unique places near Helen is the Babyland General Hospital. Home of the famed Little People Babies (aka Cabbage Patch Kids), Babyland lets your children adopt their very own original Appalachian artwork kid. Take a tour of the facilities to watch babies being born from the cabbage patch, and you can even take part in the birth.
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