In our last blog post, we highlighted all that the Nacoochee Village south of Helen, Georgia has to offer. It’s “cousin”, Sautee is just down the road at the junction of Hwy 17 & Hwy 255, only a few minutes’ drive from downtown Helen.
A famous local landmark and visitor favorite is the Old Sautee Store. In continuous operation since 1872, this general store/antique store/gift shop is chock full of exceptionally unique items. They are famous for their Farmer’s cheese, which you can sample while you shop for other exotic and homemade food items, from old time candy, to jams and jellies, to fresh baked goods. They also have unique jewelry, clothing and gift items. Even just browsing around this store is fun. Many have described it as “Antiques Roadshow on Steroids”! You can find some really interesting items, such as the 1911 Nickelodeon, which is still working!
There are several other shops within walking distance, all with their own unique blend of merchandise, including the Green Stone Soap Company, Sweetfield Mountain Merchandise, Shapiro’s, and Prairie Trails, to name a few. Here you will find an eclectic mix of items, not found in downtown Helen. A truly unique place to visit is Scarlett’s Secret, Gone With The Wind Museum and Collectibles. It is an awesome collection of memorabilia that is worth a visit, even if you are not a fan of the movie!
When you begin to get hungry, The Market is right next door to the Old Sautee Store, with indoor and outdoor seating. They are well-known for their excellent sandwiches, which are made to order with freshly baked bread. Or stop in at Sweetwater Coffeehouse, where they serve Fair Trade Certified organically grown coffees and teas. They also have baked goods, honey, and jams. Their motto is, “Sleepless in Sautee”!
Or stop in for a tasting at the local wineries. Sautee-Nacoochee Vineyards has a lovely porch to sit on and enjoy the view, perhaps sipping on one of their delicious wines. Try the “Valley Mist” rose! They offer tastings (see website for hours) and monthly Live Music events during the summer.
Yonah Mountain Vineyards is nearby, too. Stop in at their tasting room (pictured) to sample their award-winning wines and say hello. Try the “Traminette”-it is scrumptious!
By now, you should really be getting a feel for these local mountain communities. If you head out on HWY 255 away from the Old Sautee Store and surrounding shops, on your left you will see the
Sautee-Nacoochee Center, which houses a Folk Pottery Museum, art and dance studios for classes, a Heritage Site and a Nature Preserve. The Center is operated by the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association, for the preservation of Heritage and Arts. Check their website calendar as they often have entertainment, craft fairs, and other fun events.
If you travel further down Hwy 255, you will come to the site of another Sautee- Nacocchee legend- the Stovall Mill Covered Bridge. It will be off the road on your right, located by an historical marker. Built in 1895, it is said to be haunted. Rumor has it that if you stand near the bridge at night, you can hear babies crying and horse-drawn carriages! This bridge was also featured in the 1951 movie, “I’d Climb the Highest Mountain”. It is a very cool piece of our history, right here in the North Georgia Mountains!
Our cabins and condos are conveniently located a short drive from all the Sautee-Nacoochee Valley has to offer. We hope this information will help ensure your vacation is a memorable one, and you will be able to answer the question- What the Heck is A Sautee Nacoochee?!
What else would you like to know about the area surrounding Helen, GA? Do you have a favorite place to visit near Helen? We’d love to hear about it.