Hotel at a Glance: Black Forest B&B
Private entrances open into each suite, room, and cabin at Black Forest B&B, where wooden ceilings and Old-World accents mirror the Bavarian nature of the surrounding town. Gas log fireplaces and in-unit temperature control keep spaces comfortable in any season, and in-room jacuzzis augment relaxing getaways. But perhaps it's what's outside that really catalyzes peace in visitors, who can gaze at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and access several national parks and recreation areas.
- Add a touch of romance by taking advantage of concierge services such as flower and balloon bouquets.
- Cultural excursion: Visit the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association, whose renovated school building houses a 100-seat theater, a history museum, dance and art studios, and an environmental-education resource center.
- Take a hike on one of five local trails.
- Sign up for a wine class at award-winning Habersham Vineyards & Winery, which has been open for 30 years.
- Tee off or schedule a golf lesson at Innsbruck Golf Club.
Helen, Georgia: Replica Bavarian Village Surrounded by the Appalachians
In 1968, the townspeople of Helen, Georgia—a struggling sawmill town in the Blue Ridge Mountains—hatched a dramatic plan to reinvigorate the economy and boost tourism. Led by local business owners and artists, Helen adopted a German identity, complete with cobblestone alleys, timber-frame cottages, and Old-World towers. Ever since, the town has thrived as a Bavarian-style village, now welcoming nearly two million visitors a year. Several festivals take place in the town every year, most notably a hot-air balloon race, a German-style Mardi Gras, and an eight-week-long Oktoberfest.
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Helen is also home to some incredible countryside scenery. Unicoi State Park and Lodge contains trout streams, mountain-biking trails, and a freshwater lake. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail passes nearby, and the Anna Ruby Falls drop off in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. The area’s natural setting lends itself to scenic outdoor activities, including tubing down the Chattahoochee River.