For Kevin’s birthday we decided to do a weekend getaway in Helen, GA. Helen is a town in the Blue Ridge Mountains that is re-creation of an alpine village. It is about an hour and a half North of Atlanta. We rented a cabin for 2 nights and brought the dog! What a fun, eccentric trip!
We looked into getting a hotel in town, but rates were astronomical ($300+ a night for Hampton Inn), so we decided on a cabin. Our cabin rental was pretty inexpensive. It was only about $115 a night and the cabin included a full kitchen & bathroom, hot tub, and TV. We found the cabin on a vacation rentals website. Although the cabin was clean, it was a little rustic for our taste. Hotels are definitely preferred. The amenities were old and it smelled kind of musty. Sometimes you get what you pay for. We were slightly weary when we saw the trash can outside the cabin was inside a steel cage (in case of bears). YIKES. If we ever did this trip again, I’d spend some extra money for some nicer digs.
After taking a nature hike in the mountains with our dog Mandy, Kevin and I headed over to Helen’s 43rd Annual Oktoberfest! We spent several hours in the beer tent watching drunkards do the chicken dance and polka. It was quite entertaining. We spent the remainder of our day wandering around the little shops in the village (fudge/candy stores, souvenir shops, etc). The best way I can describe Helen was a Southern version of a Bavarian village. My husband and I enjoy beer, so we really made the best of our experience, and the people watching was out of this world. A “highlight” on our last day was “Goats on the Roof” – a gift shop & deli where goats roam on the roof outside. Yes, real goats. See below. Be sure to have a designated driver or stay overnight close-by – it is easy to lose yourself in the fun, and driving all the way back to Atlanta after a day of drinking is not cool.
We learned something important on this trip: having the dog along really limited our activities. If we bring her on trips, we need to make sure some kind of doggy day camp is nearby.
When we go back to Helen, it will be to “Shoot the Hooch.” Helen is famous for its inner tubing down the Chattahoochee River. Aside from that, the Oktoberfest experience is one we’ll try to enjoy every year!