Helena is conisitently ranked as one of the top cities in which to live in Alabama, and the United States! Tucked into the Southwest corner of the Birmingham area, Helena is a fantastic small town loaded with charm, character, and some fantastic homes too! Probably the thing I like best about Helena are the community activities and numerous playgrounds and parks.
Officially incorporated in 1917, Helena has a wonderful History. Although known by a few different names, the final name was derived from Helena Station, named by a train engineer in honor of his sweetheart Helen Lee, during the reconstruction following the civil war. Interesting enough, the original mayor of Helena in 1917 was the grandfather of current mayor Sonny Penhale.
Helena could be sliced into two distinct areas. The first being the Old Town area. This section includes the post office, city hall, Buck creek, amphitheater, and the old downtown area. The second is the area that includes Publix, Winn Dixie, and neighborhoods such as Old Cahaba, Riverwoods, and Hillsboro.
The old town side of Helena features some really neat older homes, and a sprinking of newer homes designed in to “fit” right into the area. Each time my family drives through this part of town, we always keep our eye on one house in-particular, waiting for that “FOR SALE” sign to appear. Unfortunately, I’m not saying which one… One section in Old Town features some really neat “row” houses, similar in design to the brownstones of the north. This little area is very inviting. Situated next to Buck Creek, these homes have front row seats to all the festivals, city activities, and events that occur at the Helena amphitheater .
Old Cahaba, Riverwoods, Hillsboro
The west side of Helena features the new developments in the area. Along with new shopping at the Crow’s Nest Shopping Center (Publix, Little Ceasar’s, Ace Hardware, Walgreens) are the new residential areas. The subdivisions include, St Charles Place, Old Cahaba, Riverwoods, and Hillsboro. Probably the largest and most ambitious development is Old Cahaba. I am always amazed about how large this development has become over the years. Now, there are new entrances and a new elementary school as well. Another nice spot in this area is the Cahaba Lilly Park. This little playground area is a great spot for kids to play, and with covered pavilions, the Cahaba Lilly park is also a great place to have a party or enjoy a snack!
As previously noted, Old Cahaba is a very large neighborhood. However, even though it is a big place, that shouldn’t discourage home shoppers from taking a look. Many of the homes are designed with the small family in mind. Most have plenty of bedrooms, storage, and decent sized yards for all those toys that seem to just grow everywhere. There are a few small lakes sprinkled throughout the development and if you keep your eyes open, you may find one of the waterfront homes in the neighborhood for sale!
I have always been a fan of Riverwoods. In fact, my wife and I met with one of the builders a few times to discuss building a home in Riverwoods. However, the timing never seemed right for us. Riverwoods has some really neat homes. The styles of homes change with each section, yet the one consistency I have found in the homes is the quality of craftsmanship. Riverwoods has also expanded over the years and now offers homes bordering on the Cahaba River. If you are looking, these lots and homes are located towards the end of the main throughway.
Hillsboro is one of the most recent Helena neighborhoods. Hillsboro offers some really well designed and beautiful homes. Hillsboro is reminiscent of traditional neighborhoods from years past. The homes have character and charm. It’s not uncommon to see flags and flowers in the front yards, kids playing, and neighbors chatting on the sidewalk. Don’t be surprised if someone gives a polite wave while you pass by either.
Helena is a great place to consider if you are moving to the Birmingham area. If you like a small town atmosphere but want to be close to just about everything, Helena is definitely a place you want to visit. You’ll soon discover why Helena was voted one of the best cities in which to call home in the United States. If you would like to view a home for sale in Helena, simply contact us at 205-475-5437 or 205-612-8152!