in Shelby County

One of the best qualities of Shelby County is how you can get the best of what a small town has to offer, while never being far away from the amenities of a bigger city. Helena is a prime example. A short drive down Interstate 65 from Birmingham will bring you into town, and you can experience first-hand what makes Helena such a special place. Learn about Helena and everything it has to offer with Discovery Shelby!


About 200 years ago, veterans of the War of 1812 settled in an area near the Cahaba River they called Cove. The peaceful valleys and streams offered the perfect place to set up a town. Another century and another name change later, Helena emerged as it is known today. 

Throughout the 20th century, Helena experienced growth and decline, but by the end of the 1990s Helena was following the rest of the Birmingham metro area and expanding at a rapid rate. Over time, Helena has evolved into a city that offers the conveniences often associated with larger urban centers, all the while upholding its cherished family-oriented ambiance.

It’s amazing to think of how different Helena is today than it was for the first settlers, but what is also amazing is the growth of such a great north-central Alabama town!

Fun For Everyone

Although Helena is small, it is experiencing the same boom as the rest of Shelby County, and this has only helped the community flourish. This is especially true when it comes to family fun!

Helena features multiple parks and recreation centers. Whether you’re into hiking, a casual walk on a well-traveled trail, a fishing expedition, or just relaxing, the parks in Helena are a fantastic place to check out. These parks include the Joe Tucker Park and the Cahaba Lily Park, where visitors can make the most of their days outdoors in a quiet, serene, and safe environment. 

The Helena Sports Complex, which opened in 2003, is your go-to community center and sports facility. There’s something for every athlete with tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, and a basketball court. So, whether you’re looking to hang out and enjoy nature or work on your game, you can do it all in Helena. 

Take a stroll down Old Town Helena. The Old Town Helena has certainly caught the eye of folks and businesses all over central Alabama, sprinkling even more charm into the mix. Right alongside the tranquil housing development snuggling up to Buck Creek, Main Street saunters in with a leisurely shopping experience, adding that extra zing to the area’s nostalgic charisma.

Tons Of Events

The marker for any good community is annual community events, and Helena has plenty! This Alabama town is not skipping out on cultural events; there are numerous arts and crafts fairs throughout the year, and did you know that you can catch a live concert in Helena, too? The Helena Old Town Live Summer Concert series is a great family-friendly outing for all the music and culture lovers out there. You also do not want to miss the annual Buck Creek Festival. This festival features local artists, vendors, and fun for all ages. 

Another highly-anticipated event are the Helena Market Days. Swing by The Church at Old Town every Saturday from the first weekend in June through the last weekend in August and check out all kinds of local goodies from fresh vegetables, flowers, honey, and bread to jams, jellies, soaps, baked goods, and much more! You sure don’t want to miss Shelby Living magazine’s “Best of the Best” farmers market for 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Come experience the magic of Christmas time in Helena. The first weekend of December brings a flurry of events that fill the streets with festive cheer, engulfing everyone in the magical essence of the season. As Friday night approaches, both residents and visitors are treated to a delightful array of music and festivities, culminating in the eagerly anticipated City Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. A Christmas parade featuring Santa Claus is a great way to end the weekend.

Throughout the year, festivals, carnivals, Fourth of July fireworks celebrations, and community events mean that Helena offers non-stop, family-friendly entertainment that is sure to bring you back! Next time you’re making plans, make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date information by checking out all upcoming Shelby County events!

Your Next Adventure

Helena is located right along the Cahaba River making it the perfect place for anglers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Fishing is popular on the Cahaba River and licenses can be purchased online. 

Residents and visitors often take pleasure in strolling along the riverbanks, enjoying the soothing sound of the water and taking in the picturesque views. The Cahaba River not only enhances the city’s beauty but also provides opportunities for outdoor activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching, making it a cherished asset to the community of Helena.

For those who may just want to sit back and enjoy the serenity of the Cahaba River, be sure to be on the lookout for the pride of the Cahaba, the Cahaba Lily. This strikingly beautiful flower grows up and down the Cahaba and only blooms once a year, so don’t miss out!

Great Places To Eat And Drink!

Helena is a haven for food enthusiasts, with an array of eateries that cater to diverse tastes. If you’re looking for upscale, great food with an inviting atmosphere, look no further than the Steakhouse of Helena. Located right on Main Street in downtown Helena, this community staple has something on the menu for everyone. 

Locals and visitors also rave about Home Plate Cooking. Home Plate is bringing gourmet home-cooked meals to your table without any of the work. Check out their website to see how you can place an order!

For those looking for an adult beverage, Goodfellas Social Club is somewhere you just have to visit. Goodfella has premium whiskeys from around the world and an extensive beer and wine selection. Located on Helena Road in an iconic historic building, make sure to head into this Helena landmark next time you’re in town. Also, swing by Oversoul Brewing and enjoy a small-batch beer on their outside deck that overlooks Buck Creek. If you’re feeling adventurous, stick around for open-mic night!

Go Visit Helena!

Helena is a vibrant city in Shelby County that offers so much to do for all ages, a great food and drink scene, and a strong community feel that makes it such a special place to live and visit. Combined with its scenic parks and local natural beauty, Helena is a must-see destination for cultural and nature enthusiasts alike. Explore more of Shelby County and discover new areas and attractions!