The best time to be here is for a special event, such as the Hot Air Balloon Festival, which kicks off the race to the Atlantic Ocean in late May (lasting until June), and Oktoberfest, a pale imitation of the real one in Munich. This beer-drinking fest in alcohol-shy Georgia begins in mid-September and continues to mid-October.

After you've seen all the shows and bought all those beer mugs and lederhosen you don't really need, you can do some serious exploring in the environs of Helen, which many visitors find more alluring than the overly commercialized town itself.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.