Great Tastes and a Great Stay
Food, Wine, and Accommodations in Helen
Bigg Daddy’s for Big Flavors
If it’s a beautiful day, slip on your sunglasses and head for Bigg Daddy’s Restaurant and Tavern’s outdoor patio. First, you’ll want to order a drink from the fully stocked bar. The bartender can blend delicious cocktails or you can browse the Beer Board’s list of great brews and microbrews. As you savor your drinks, look over the extensive menu with appetizers like Bigg Daddy wings, salads, gourmet sandwiches, burgers, entrees and dessert. Ask your server about the daily food and drink specials like Wednesday’s 50¢ wings and discounted beers, Friday and Saturday Chef’s Creations or Sunday’s discounted Bloody Marys or Mimosas. Every weekend there is live music, making your meal at Bigg Daddy’s even more fun. Of course if your team is playing, you’ll want to watch on one of the seven big screens in the bar, enjoying the same great munchies, tacos and pizza.
Fred’s Famous Peanuts is the kind of place you wish you had in your hometown, or at least close by. Sheena Baber said on Facebook, “Great food, cider and super friendly!! Such a pleasure to stop at Fred’s!! Love this place!!!” What’s not to love? Thirty years ago Fred and Diane Jenkins started selling boiled peanuts in front of their home. Over the years they have created recipes and developed products that line the store shelves: regular and Cajun-flavored boiled peanuts, pork rinds, peanut and pecan brittle, beef jerky, local honey, cider, jellies, jams, preserves, pickles, salad dressings, sauces, sauces and marinades and salsa with many flavors and varieties. In addition Dianne makes crafts including stained glass and grapevine baskets. You’ll want to take photos with the old folks (life-sized sculptures), by the baskets full of seasonal flowers or with the gravity-fed waterwheel.
Fill Your Basket at Fred’s Famous Peanuts
Home Grown Coffee – In Georgia!
The American coffee craze is now a societal fixture. No matter where you travel most Americans are on the lookout for a cup of coffee. And not just any coffee, but good coffee; a variety of flavors, boldness, roasts, etc. Enter the Yonah Coffee Shop on North Main Street in Helen; every coffee lover’s dream to find a coffee shop in such a small town. Better yet, the owners of this shop have started growing coffee beans – in Georgia! While they have not reached a large production yet, a portion of their coffees contain the Georgia beans, the rest are from Honduras and roasted locally. These Georgia coffees have a great flavor. Visit the shop on any given day and you’ll likely be engaged in conversation with the owner who is truly a coffee guru. He knows so much about coffee and knows how to put together a great cup of Joe. He has a list of classic coffees but then expands it to some signature brews of his own design. He can make you the perfect cup, so stop in for some home grown java right here in Georgia.
Stay A Week Just For the Food
Uptown to down home, formal to relaxed, Southern deliciousness to Bavarian flavors, rooms with a view or cozy corners. You’ll have to stay for at least a week to experience all the choices for meals and specialties. Many restaurants, taverns, cafes and bars are locally owned meaning you have a good chance of meeting the proprietors and hearing their stories. You have to try some of the German specialties like sauerbraten, potato dumplings, sauerkraut, spätzle’s, sausages, schnitzels, red cabbage and German potato salad. On another night, plan on Georgia mountain trout, Southern specialties, sizzling steaks or a juicy burger. Try homemade biscuits and grits for breakfast and delis with freshly sliced meats for lunch. Bars offer craft brews, German favorites and local wines. Check the events calendar for live music performed by local musicians before heading to a bakery or ice cream shop for your favorite dessert
One of the Oldest Wineries in Georgia
In historic Nacoochee Village is one of Georgia’s oldest and largest wine makers, Habersham Winery. This is the ultimate farm-to-table stop where grapes in the vineyard end up on your table as award-winning wines. Scarlett is the best-selling red wine but the winery bottles Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Southern Harvest wines with blends of fruits like muscadine, peaches and blackberries. Recently the Cherokee Rose won a gold medal from the Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge. The Creekstone Merlot won a silver medal and three others won bronze medals. Sample five varieties of wine and take home a souvenir glass at one of the daily tastings. Stop by the gift shop in the tasting room for a selection of imported cheeses and all the necessities for a mountain side picnic. Habersham Wineries will host the 24th annual WineFest on Saturday, May 7, 2016 where you can sample wines from all over Georgia.
Wind Your Way Through The Vines
There are so many wonderful wines and vineyards around Helen you won’t be able to sample them all in just one visit. Many have tasting rooms but all have knowledgeable, friendly staffs to guide you through the history of the vineyard as well as their wine selection. Here is a brief description of each winery: CeNita Vineyards & Winery is owned by a family that has farmed the valley for generations. Cottage Vineyards & Winery makes delicious wines and a beautiful setting for weddings. Frogtown Cellars is an underground wine making facility using gravity for vinification. Habersham Winery is one of the oldest in Georgia, producing award-winning wines. Serenity Cellars is a family-owned boutique winery specializing in Old World-style wines. Sylvan Valley Lodge’s micro vineyard is on four acres of gardens and cascading waterfalls. Yonah Mountain Vineyards is family owned and offers tours of the only Georgia wine caves.
Hospitality Plus Breathtaking Views
Many people travel to Helen, Georgia to experience the German-flavor and traditions of the town. Others are looking for a secluded mountain getaway where they can soak in the bounty nature has to offer. Thankfully there are exceptional bed and breakfast inns and lodges to fit your idea of a wonderful vacation. Sylvan Valley Lodge is set on four acres of lush gardens, complete with a cascading waterfall. Savor the panoramic views of the mountains and Sautee Valley from the porch or your room at Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa. Wander through the pasture to a gently rolling creek at the Sautee Inn Bed & Breakfast. The Alpine Hilltop Haus sits above the Chattahoochee River just three blocks from the village center. And whether you want a cabin for a longer stay or a themed honeymoon suite, Black Forest B&B and Vacation Rentals can match you with perfect accommodations.
Check Into Unique
Cabins, motels, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, condominium or vacation rentals? On the mountain, beside the river or in the village? A big group, family or just the two of you? A quick weekend or summer vacation? There are accommodations for all groups and people, tastes and budget. Check into The Unicoi State Park & Lodge or one of the nearby campgrounds or resort RV parks. It’s easy to find the convenience and ease of a motel near the village. If you are looking for unique accommodations, try the bed and breakfast inns and cabins. Many of the rooms are decorated with antiques or around a theme. Dotted along the river and across the mountains are mountain cabins to suit every taste. Some have as many as four bedrooms, some just one for a romantic stay. Most cabin rentals include a hot tub, and all have special amenities to make your mountain getaway memorable.
Reconnect, Reacquaint, Relax
Usually people talk about wanting R&R but we want to suggest R&R&R… reconnect, reacquaint and relax. There is a perfect mountain cabin or rental property calling your name. From rustic cabins with wood burning fireplaces to cottages with luxurious amenities including hot tubs, saunas, porches or extraordinary views, you’ll find the ideal place to get away from everything except each other. Pack a picnic and follow the trail to the closest meadow where you’ll find a spot in the shade to wile away the hours. Have a massage in the privacy of your cabin, pour a glass of wine and enjoy the evening as the sun sets across the mountains. It’s now time to savor your candle-lit dinner for two. Some cabins are so secluded you’ll only hear the sounds of leaves rustling in the breeze or a creek babbling as it makes its way to the nearby falls.