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8 U.S. towns with a Bavarian twist

By: Josh Lew on Dec. 17, 2013, 11:15 a.m.
Helen, Georgia, Alpine village, Bavarian

Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Shutterstock

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Helen, Ga.

Located in Georgia's far north, Helen, a former logging town, fought off an economic decline by reinventing itself as a German-style alpine village. Unique zoning laws, established in the late 1960s, require buildings to have Bavarian architectural elements, even structures housing fast food chains and franchises. The result is an authentic-feeling Bavarian destination in the heart of the Appalachians. Helen boasts over 200 shops selling both locally made handcrafts and goods imported from Germany (and other parts of the world as well). Being mainly a tourist destination, Helen also offers amusement park attractions, activities on the Chattahoochee River, golf courses, spas and adventure experiences in the mountains.