Nestled in the foothills of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is a quaint little Bavarian Alpine village. Helen is home to more than 200 different specialty shops; it was in these shops that my son discovered his new best friend. We entered Tim’s Wooden Toy Store and there he was…Franz practically jumped off the shelf and into my son’s arms. Instantly falling in love, my son gave me those puppy eyes and asked “Mom can I keep him?” How could I say no? A special leash was made for Franz and within minutes we were proud owners off a new adorable train. Proudly my boy pulled along his new toy train as we explored this cozy and festive town.

Rich aromas and polka music led us down the cobble stone walk ways of Kings Court Yard to Hansel and Gretel’s Candy Shop. This family owned business has been in operation for over 30-years. Best part about this candy shop is getting to sample the sweets. It was hard to make a decision between all the delicious confections of tasty peanut brittle, heavenly fudge, divine toffee and endless sweet treats. After much deliberation we walked out well stocked with a block of fudge, a chocolate covered apple and two lollipops bigger than my boy’s faces.

Like most pets, Franz was in need of a walk so we took a delightful stroll that led us under a beautiful stone bride to the banks of the Chattahoochee River. We found a comfy spot where we could sit and watch families beating the heat by tubing down the river. A charming restaurant overlooking the water caught our eyes, so we made our way over to The International Café. I was excited to experience the flavor of Bavaria with authentic menu options of schnitzel, pretzels, sausages, German potatoes and craft beers.

Next time you are in Georgia be sure to plan a visit to Helen to experience the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, scrumptious alpine cuisine and artisan crafters. Just be careful, you might end up taking home a new friend!

Travel Info: www.helenga.org