A Fairytale Celebration

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member, Editor, and Author: Franci Hoffman

Founder & Owner-BrewNSpew

-Millionaire’s Digest Contributor, Inspirational & Motivational Writer

Article Credits:  Franci Hoffman

Since my birthday and Father’s Day were on the same weekend, my husband and I took a road trip to Helen, Ga. The city is about an hour and a half from where we live and a pleasant drive through the lovely countryside and small mountain towns.

The State of Georgia’s third most visited city

I was excited about this trip because we haven’t been to Helen in a couple of years and we have such fond memories of our previous trips to this charming little city. Memories returned of when I was a child and so full of anticipation about taking a trip. I was filled with those same antsy feelings about the weather, what we were going to do, and what to pack. Silly me since this was just a short weekend trip.

The hotel I chose was one where we had stayed before. It is located directly on the Chattahoochee River. 70% of the rooms face the river and have terraces and/or balconies offering a lovely view. When I made the reservations, there was no availability of rooms with a river view, which I was disappointed. However, when we arrived at the hotel, I was able to upgrade the room to one with a river view. We were thrilled!


Our hotel, The Helendorff Inn, is absolutely charming and within walking distance to downtown Helen.  The hotel was built in 1973 with add-ons in the seventies, eighties, and nineties. The property is constantly being improved on making the hotel a popular spot to stay.

The Helendorff Inn – American owned and Army family operation for over 41 years

The city of Helen is a replica of a Bavarian Alpine town located in the southern Appalachians. The architecture of every building is classic south-German style. This design was adopted and mandated in 1969. Even national franchisees must adapt to the style.


The main industry went from a declining logging town to tourism, which the city’s peak time is in the fall when the leaves change to their brilliant autumn colors. The city becomes a wonderland displaying twinkling lights and filled with the traditions that go with the fall season. The city hosts Octoberfest from September through November which Helen becomes very crowded, to say the least. This is Helens largest celebration with music, dancing (waltzes and polkas), good food and drinks.

Population 510 as of the 2010 census

Sister City – Fussen, Bavaria


On the day of my birthday, we found a great German restaurant and bar in an alleyway. Helen has several alleyways located off the main drag, which are lined with quaint little shops, restaurants, and bars.

We sat at the bar because we find bartenders to be most informative and entertaining. We were spot on with our decision because our bartender’s personality and service were beyond our expectations.  He nudged me into ordering a hot pretzel with beer cheese dip. So, my idea of eating a light salad wasn’t going to happen and the pretzel was huge, but delicious. Then he surprised me with a complimentary apple strudel, which was also delicious. This German restaurant was not only welcoming but very charming with live German music, German decor and the wait staff wore traditional German clothing.


Old Bavaria Inn, 8619 N Main St, Helen, Ga

After my fun birthday lunch, we walked back to the hotel for a break. We relaxed on the balcony and watched the tubers float down the river. This is entertainment at its best because there are some people that should not even think about river tubing. Some of the tubers float down the river with cell phones, cameras, and even their pets, never dreaming they will fall out of their tube. Even though the water is shallow, it is not easy for some to get back on their tube. It’s great fun to watch.



After our break, we decided to take in some live music at a restaurant and bar across the street from the hotel. There we found some of the same regulars and wait staff that we met 2 years ago. And even the same bartender that told us she shot her ex-husband in the derriere with a shot gun! Yep, never a dull moment in Helen, Ga.

Paul’s Steakhouse and Seafood, since 1965

While we were at Paul’s Steakhouse, we noticed a lot of activity in their parking lot, which we found was due to a double rainbow. Many people were taking pictures and I took a few myself because I have never seen a double rainbow. According to the AccuWeather site, double rainbows are not uncommon and usually ahead or behind a rainstorm. Also, I learned there are triple and quadruple rainbows, however, they are a rare occurrence.


After a full day and a full night of adventure and fun, we were pretty tired and decided to call it a day. Our cozy room was very welcoming and calling our names – it’s time to rest. After all, this was only day one and we had two more days to go.

ATM painted on the outside of a building

The next two days were almost a repeat of the first day, except we found new places to shop, eat and drink. We met so many nice people, which makes any trip worth while, in my opinion. We left for home on Monday morning and topped off our trip with a fabulous brunch at a local restaurant called The Broken Egg. This was a perfect ending to my birthday and the Father’s Day celebration.

If we decide to make the trip to Helen, Ga next year, I wouldn’t change a thing, except getting a year older.


Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member, Editor, and Author: Franci Hoffman

Founder & Owner-BrewNSpew

-Millionaire’s Digest Contributor, Inspirational & Motivational Writer

Article Credits:  Franci Hoffman







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