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Vacation - Helen Ga?

1 post
Vacation - Helen Ga?

Was thinking about taking a 1 week vacation to the Mountains around Helen GA. Is that too long? Does anyone know what there is to do around that area? Gatlinburg or Helen???

Suggestions for any place in GA or TN mountains. Thanks!

5 replies to this topic
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
6,677 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: Vacation - Helen Ga?

You know that TripAdvisor has a "Things To Do" section for each destination, right? You might have a look through these and see what catches your eye:


You'll find that a lot of the locals here are not enamored of Helen the town (I am one who is not), but the area around it is absolutely beautiful, with many opportunities for hiking, waterfall viewing, etc. If your goal is to spend the entire week in Helen the town, then that's about 6.5 days too long IMO. However if you mean to explore the surrounding area then that's a little better.

Gatlinburg to me is very similar to Helen - just a tourist trap with lots of cheap attractions. There are those who like it though.

You might start by sharing what you are interested in (and what attracted you to the area to begin with). What is the makeup of your group - solo traveler? couple? family with children? What ages? Also the time of year you are planning your visit - many more options for seasonal activities in the warmer months.


Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
Level Contributor
12,314 posts
103 reviews
2. Re: Vacation - Helen Ga?

Both are good locations if you want to do outdoorsy things like hiking. The towns themselves are tacky with low and touristy shops and restaurants. You could not pay me to spend time in town in Gatlinburg or Helen.

Edited: 29 March 2018, 11:54
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
629 posts
1 review
3. Re: Vacation - Helen Ga?

Go to a small town in North Carolina with charm. We like Bryson City, Waynesville and Brevard. All close to hiking waterfalls and nice places to eat.

Level Contributor
3,185 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Vacation - Helen Ga?

re: "f your goal is to spend the entire week in Helen the town, then that's about 6.5 days too long IMO. "

That had me chuckling and nodding in agreement at the same time. On a busy weekend, you could spend half that .5 days sitting in traffic.

We need to know what you like to do, also what time of the year?

If you like hiking and/or fishing, you could spend a month or so.

Lots of interesting, small towns (not Helen or Gatlinburg) but places like Dahlonega, Blue Ridge, Bryson City, Clayton, Highlands,.........

Some history, lots of scenery, lots of beautiful drives, lots of antique shops. There are lots of chain hotels in the larger towns, lots of B&B's to be found everywhere.

Day trips into the Great Smoky Mtns, or into ATL or The Biltmore in Asheville or a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway or the CHerohala Skyway, lots of waterfalls, several train rides! Also Chattanooga, great city - btw, if you want to stay in a city, this would be my pick (or Asheville).

Rather than Gatlinburg or Pigeon FOrge, I'd opt for Townsend, no big deal other than the closest town to Cade's Cove in the GSMNP.

Fernandina Beach FL
Destination Expert
for Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach
Level Contributor
1,951 posts
225 reviews
5. Re: Vacation - Helen Ga?

Agree with the others about much better options than Helen or Gatlinburg as your base camp. Bryson City is a great location for fanning out in all directions based on what your interests are. You can head west to the Nantahala River to watch or do some river rafting or lots of trails and then take the Cherohala Skyway over to Tellico Plains TN. Head east to Cherokee for some gambling and then up into the Great Smokey Mtns or further east to Asheville, Drive various sections on the Blue Ridge Parkway. So much to choose from.

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