Destination Guide

Destination: North Georgia Mountains

The North Georgia Mountains are one of the state's great treasures. There are fewer simple pleasures than a leisurely drive through northeast Georgia on a cool fall day, the leaves displaying a tapestry of colors and the pace of life still slow by comparison to most places.

The Alpine Village of Helen is a replica of a quaint Bavarian town. Each fall the town comes alive with Oktoberfest, but visitors can always find bratwurst and sauerkraut on the menu. And a carriage ride can make the experience truly memorable.

The jewel of the North Georgia Mountain region is the Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris, built and operated by the state. The 7,500-square foot spa, which was inspired by native Cherokee people, offers a wonderful place to relax. The stables offer guided trail rides that match the level of all equestrians. The accommodations at the resort are warm and inviting, from the rooms in the lodge to those who choose to stay in a cottage.

One of the highlights of Brasstown Valley Resort is the golf course, designed by Georgia architect Denis Griffiths. The highly rated course winds through wildlife preserves, ponds and streams and concludes with a very challenging uphill par 4.

There are several other courses in the mountains to try, as well. Griffiths designed, owns and operates Old Union G.C. in Blairsville, which incorporates a true Scottish feel and has one of the best practice facilities in the area. Sky Valley was redesigned by Atlanta architect Bill Bergin and gets high marks for its playability and scenery. Innsbruck G.C. in Helen plays only 6,502 from the tips, but is known for its dramatic elevation changes.

When you've spent your allotment in greens fees, you can try your luck panning for gold in Dahlonega, site of the country's first major gold rush. And if you do find some fortune and uncover a nugget, you can spend it at Babyland General in Cleveland, home of the world-famous Cabbage Patch Dolls. Babyland is free to visit and kids (and adults) get a kick out of seeing the dolls come to life. The real dolls are available for adoption, if you're willing to pay for the privilege.

If you're in the mood to go camping, the North Georgia Mountains offer plenty of options. Among the favorite destinations is Vogel State Park, which features cabins and campsites that surround a large lake. It's ideal for swimming and canoeing, and there are plenty of hiking trails.

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Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Highland Walk Golf Course at Victoria Bryant
Tee Times
Royston $14
Innsbruck Golf Club
Tee Times
Helen $24
Traditions of Braselton Jefferson $53
Cateechee Hartwell $50 - $75
Chimney Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Homer $12
Kingwood Golf Club and Resort Clayton $35 - $50
Currahee Club Toccoa $85
The Links at Lake Toccoa Toccoa $9 - $15
Hartwell Golf Club Hartwell $12 - $25
Elberton Country Club Elberton $25
Rabun County Golf Club Clayton $22 - $29
Double Oaks Golf Club Commerce $22 - $33
Green-Way Golf Course Maysville less than $50
Mossy Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Cleveland $19
Sky Valley Country Club
Tee Times
Sky Valley $28
Waterfall Golf Club Clayton $100
Piedmont Golf Club Demorest N/A
Orchard Golf & Country Club Clarkesville $55 - $75
Apple Mountain Resort
Tee Times
Clarkesville $17
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