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Helen Fall Events

Alpine Helen, Georgia: A Hotbed of Fall Activity

As the weather cools off, things start to heat up in Alpine Helen, GA and the surrounding areas. Fall will be here before you know it, which means you can count on numerous activities in North Georgia. Less than 2 miles from downtown Helen, Unicoi State Park & Lodge is the ideal location to take advantage of the fun, while leaving the bustling streets behind when it’s time to retire for the night. Here’s how you can make the most of the fall in Helen and North Georgia while staying at Unicoi State Park & Lodge.

In Alpine Helen, October is spelled with a ‘K’

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Just like the leaves change every year, the Bavarian-themed city of Helen, GA hosts its annual Oktoberfest. Running for nearly a half-century, 2019 marks the 49th year of the weeks-long festival, which serves as a hallmark Helen, GA event.

Perennially among the top five most popular attractions in the state, Alpine Helen is no stranger to a party. As the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States – Sept. 5 through Oct. 27 in 2019 – the celebration boasts heaps of beer, brats, bands, and Lederhosen.

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The Helen Festhalle is the epicenter of the event which features German-style bands and beers from across the world, plus an abundance of traditional bratwurst, pretzels, and other Bavarian treats. The first three sessions are weekend only before going full tilt from Sept. 26-Oct. 27.

Admission is $8 during the week, $10 on Saturdays, and free on Sundays, with food and drink available for purchase. The doors open at 6 p.m. throughout the week and at 1 p.m. on Saturday, ending no later than midnight.

While Oktoberfest is billed as kid-friendly, offering discounted entry fees for ages 6-12 and free admission for children under 6, the weekday celebrations that begin in late September are ideal for empty nesters looking for a mid-week escape to the mountains. There are few things better than dancing the weeknight away to polka while you sip Bavarian libations – trust us!


The regular shuttle service from Unicoi State Park & Lodge to Helen makes it exceptionally easy for overnight park guests to enjoy the buzzing downtown atmosphere and make it home safely once the party’s over. The free shuttle runs on the hour from the Lodge. Since we avoid the crowded streets, it’s one of the features our guests are most grateful for each fall.

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Apple Festivals: Take a Bite Out of Life

Apples are a hot commodity in North Georgia every fall. Whether it’s a ‘you-pick’ orchard or an entire festival centered around the delicious crop, we challenge you to take a bite out of life and create a long-lasting memory.

In nearby Cornelia, the Big Red Apple Festival draws crowds from all over the Southeast. Set for September 28, the 2019 edition will have live entertainment at the historic train depot plus local artisan booths, a car show, food vendors, and a kid zone.

Less than 90 minutes away, Ellijay, GA hosts one of the largest apple festivals in the South. Now in its 48th year, the Georgia Apple Festival has grown into a two weekend affair. Set for Oct. 12-13 and Oct. 19-20 at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, this community event boasts booths from more than 300 vendors with hand-crafted items, plus many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made. Other event highlights include an antique car show at the Civic Center on Oct. 12 and a parade through historic downtown Ellijay at 10 a.m. on Oct. 19.

Where to Stay When You Play

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These iconic events are great excuses for a North Georgia getaway, but no vacation to the mountains would be complete without a secluded, natural place to stay. That’s where Unicoi State Park & Lodge comes in. Our North Georgia Mountain resort boasts one of the finest lodges in Georgia’s State Park system and has affordable Helen, GA cabin rentals, plus additional accommodations to suit a range of desires.

The stately lodge features cozy hotel-style rooms while the Georgia State Park cabin rentals are ideal for family vacations or friendly weekend getaways. If Georgia State Park camping is more your style, our RV and tent campsites are some of the finest in the Southeast. From full RV hookups to secluded tent campsites to the distinct outdoor experience of the Squirrels Nest, Unicoi provides a night in nature at your desired level. Thousands of visitors flock to the area each year and Helen, GA hotel rooms fill up quickly. Don’t delay in booking your accommodations at Unicoi State Park & Lodge.

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