North Georgia Mountains

Activities in Helen, Cleveland, and Atlanta, GA. Lodging at Country Hideaway at Mountain Lakes Resort.

North Georgia Mountains

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by bnStanza on September 9, 2006

Vacationing in the North Georgia Mountains offers several activities oriented primarily for young children and nature lovers. The scenery is beautiful and the hills are gentle and obviously very popular with cyclists. Tubing, water falls, boating, and fishing for the water lovers. Good specialty shopping at Helen. Restaurants and grocery stores for any kind of food needs. Peace and quiet, which is perfect for rest and relaxation.${QuickSuggestions} Swimsuits - lots of water activities in the summer.
Ingles card - discounts at best grocery store in Cleveland that is comparable to grocery stores in larger cities as far as selection is concerned.
Walking shorts for Helen.
${BestWay} You will need a car to get here because it is not very close to anything - you are in the mountains. It is a little over 2 hours without traffic from the Atlanta airport. To get around to the water falls, Helen, Cleveland, shopping, etc., you will need a car.

Country Hideaway At Mountain Lakes

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by bnStanza on October 14, 2006

Mountain Lakes Resort is located between Cleveland and Helen - two popular tourist destinations in the North Georgia Mountains (rolling hills). The cities are Northeast of Atlanta and a little over a 2-hour drive from the Atlanta airport.

Mountain Lakes Resort is divided into two main sections - cabins (County Hideaway section, which is available to rent and for timeshare exchange) and owned lots (which are filled with trailers and small houses). A manned guard gate is at the entrance to the resort - an odd, but nice feature for the backwoods.

We stayed in a 2-bedroom lakefront cabin. Standard furnishings include master bedroom with queen-size bed and bathroom upstairs, 2nd bedroom with 2 twin beds and full bathroom downstairs, living area with sleeper sofa, DVD/VCR TV, full kitchen and dining table, and porch with swing and a small table. Upon request, the resort also supplied a highchair and a Pack-N-Play (crib) for our toddler. The furnishings are nice, not top-of-the-line stuff, but appropriate for the rustic, quiet atmosphere of the resort.

Amenities for the resort include lake access for fishing and boating, an indoor pool and hot tub, 2 outdoor pools, waterslide, putt-putt golf, gameroom, exercise room, and more. The lake is tiny, but pretty to look at. The waterslide is fun and a nice thing to have on-site. Wired and wireless Internet access is available at the resort office. One very nice benefit was the towel exchange. You could bring your towels to check-in and get fresh ones every day. All the amenities are free with guest cards you get at check-in. Activities are planned throughout the week, but we did not participate.

The 2-bedroom cabin was available to rent for $150 per night and a 2-night minimum stay. The price is a little higher than some of the area hotels, but the amenities at the resort are better.

Overall, the resort is nice and quiet. It is clean and has enough space for larger groups. The pools and waterslide make it a nice place for families with young kids. The location is excellent for getting to Cleveland and Helen. Downtown Atlanta is about 2 hours away.
Country Hideaway At Mountain Lakes
75 Enchanted Way
Cleveland, Georgia, 30528
(706) 865-7666

Alpine Helen, Northeast Georgia

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by bnStanza on October 14, 2006

Helen is the cute little German town in the North Georgia mountains. The city is tiny and can be toured on foot without difficulty. The shops and restaurants are all bunched together to make it easy to get from store to store.

My favorite stores include Candlestix for unique candles and the candy store for homemade fudge. Decadent little treats while you are on vacation.

Restaurants are scattered throughout the shopping area. There are two restaurants that are on the Chattahoochee River, so you can eat and watch the tubers go down the rapids.

Parking is cheap ($3 for the day) and is one block from the main street.

Tourism board site:
Alpine Village of Helen
Main Street
Helen, Georgia

Georgia Aquarium

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by bnStanza on October 14, 2006

The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the world! It has 8 million gallons of fresh and sea water and more than 100,000 animals per their website (

It has five sections with different types of fish in each section. Their prize animals are four whale sharks. Each section has a large viewing window that gives you room to move around or sit and watch the fish for a while. Amazingly, the pictures come out fairly well even through the glass (acrylic) windows.

They have a 4-D movie that is worth seeing. With the special glasses, you get the 3-D effect, but then they are additional real effects (such as, water, flashing lights, exploding ribbons, etc.) to get the fourth dimension into the experience. The movie showing in summer 2006 was Deepo's Undersea Wondershow, which is cute and worth seeing and very reminiscent of Disney's Finding Nemo.

One of the five viewing sections is a play area for younger visitors. It includes interactive exhibits for the children, including a "petting zoo" for some smaller fish.

One interesting item to note is that the aquarium was originally funded by a single donor, who is a co-founder of The Home Depot. For all the other donors, there is a wall with each of their names. A computer next to the wall lets you search for each person by name and then the wall lights up to show you where that person's name is. It's pretty neat.

The gift shop is a must for all the people you need to buy gifts for when you return home. Some of the items available are shirts, toys, collectible souvenirs, books, etc. You can spend a long time in there.

Daily admission costs $22.75 per person over 12 (free for children 0-3, $17 for children 3-12, and $19.50 for persons over 55).

The aquarium is still a relatively new attraction (opened in November 2005), so it is very crowded. It is highly recommended to make reservations on-line or by phone ahead of time. Going during the week and during the afternoon is also recommended for smaller crowds. The reservations are to allow you entry during a specific hour (e.g. 2-3 pm). You can then stay as long as you like.

Parking is available next to the Aquarium for $10. It's next door, but a little bit of a long walk to the entrance.
Georgia Aquarium
225 Baker Street
Atlanta, Georgia, 30313
(404) 581-4000

Cabbage Patch BabyLand General Hospital

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by bnStanza on October 14, 2006

Watch a Cabbage Patch Baby get delivered live! It is a unique experience and not to be missed by families with young girls. The audience also gets to name the baby as soon as he/she is delivered.

The one joke I can remember is when the delivering nurse said "I see head first, which is good. Otherwise it would have been a branch delivery."

Touring through the hospital is free. There are several setups of the dolls. Premie dolls in incubators, children in a classroom, and children hanging out around Mother Cabbage, who delivers each of the dolls.

All of the dolls on display are available for adoption. These are the handmade versions of the dolls and are considerably more costly than the factory made ones available in the gift shop at the exit of the hospital.

The entire experience (except the gift shop) takes less than half an hour. You can spend as long as you like looking throughout the hospital.

Parking is free and across the street from the building.
Cabbage Patch BabyLand General Hospital
300 Nok Drive
Cleveland, Georgia, 30528
(706) 865-2171

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