Thinking of spending your Labor Day weekend in Helen?
You'll find plenty to do in the quaint Bavarian village area over the holiday weekend (and into the next week). Whether you'd like to sample local wines or enjoy some outdoor adventures, Helen is a great destination for Labor Day that's only about an hour-and-a-half drive from Atlanta.
»RELATED: Your family-friendly guide to the spectacular sites of Helen
Check out the following five things to do in Helen on Labor Day weekend:
Photo: Nedra Rhone/Talk of the Town
Unicoi State Park adventures
1788 Highway 356, 800-573-9659
Experience a variety of outdoor adventures at Unicoi State Park and Lodge. The park covers 1,029 acres, including a 53-acre lake that's nestled in between mountaintops. In addition to its beautiful natural setting, you'll find enough activities to keep you busy for the entire three-day weekend. Take an archery or fly-fishing class, join in a GPS scavenger hunt or go mountain biking on a course designed for the Olympics. You can also go zip lining, take a guided nature hike or sign up for a kayaking class.
Anna Ruby Falls
3455 Anna Ruby Falls Road, 706-878-1448
Anna Ruby Falls is actually a rare pair of twin waterfalls located in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. It's in a quiet, cool area, and you'll know you're approaching the falls when you hear their roar of water spilling over the tall cliff. A paved path takes you on a beautiful hike that's a little less than half a mile from the parking lot to the base of the falls, and if you need a break, you'll find benches along the way. For a more challenging hike, take the 4.6-mile Smith Creek Trail, which leads to Unicoi State Park.
Charlemagne's Kingdom depicts Germany in model railroad form.
Photo: Courtesy of georgiamodelrailroad.com/For the AJC
8808 N. Main St., 706-878-2200
Helen's German theme is on prominent display at Charlemagne's Kingdom, a model railroad museum that depicts Germany in miniature. The unique HO scale model railroad display features hundreds of feet of track and plenty of interesting details like a 22-foot-high Matterhorn. Take your time looking at the display and you'll catch many of the details, such as a moving hot air balloons, an Autobahn with moving cars and trucks, moving cable cars in an Alpine village and more. German music and sound effects add to the effect.
Habersham Vineyards & Winery offers a group of wines to taste every day.
Photo: Courtesy of habershamwinery.com/For the AJC
Habersham Vineyards & Winery
7025 S. Main St., 706-878-9463
Visit one of the area's oldest wineries, Habersham Vineyards & Winery, to sample some of its award-winning offerings. Tastings are held daily and give you the chance to try five wines and keep a souvenir wine glass. You can also browse the gift shop for a bottle to take home or add some imported cheese and other specialty foods to prepare a perfect picnic.
10th Annual Folk Pottery & Arts Festival
Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia, 283 Highway 255 N., Sautee Nacoochee, 706-878-3300
Just four miles from Helen, the Folk Pottery & Arts Festival celebrates traditional crafts and arts on Saturday, Sept. 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Potters from across the Southeast will share their stories, and you'll be able to see – and buy, if you'd like – plenty of unique treasures. Craftsmen and blacksmiths will also demonstrate their techniques at the museum's Heritage Site.