1,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountains wilderness surround this lodge, which is near Unicoi Lake and has two restaurants
Property at a Glance: Unicoi State Park and Lodge
Unicoi State Park and Lodge overlooks the rolling landscape of northern Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Nestled near Unicoi Lake, its spacious cabins and lodge rooms are set amid more than 1,000 acres of protected wilderness. Postcard-perfect views can be had from the lodge’s picture windows and the cabins’ outdoor spaces.
- Lodge rooms have WiFi and are close to the restaurant and the tavern.
- Cabins sleep up to eight guests and are outfitted with fireplaces and full kitchens.
- Locally sourced ingredients power the Southern-inspired menu at Unicoi Restaurant.
- Local beers and custom pizzas are enjoyed at Smith Creek Tavern.
- Things to do: Hiking and biking trails weave across the park, and guests can fish for trout from lakeside docks or stream banks.
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.