5 Reasons to Spend a Day in Athens, GA
(and how to make the most of your day trip)
1) Southern Charm
Athens is an eclectic college town located about 70 miles outside of Atlanta, GA. Even though Athens is a college town the place oozes slow classic southern charm like a setting out of a story book. Enter off athens perimeter highway, take exit 15 to Milledge Ave. You will quickly find yourself driving beneath imposing oaks adorned with sleepy spanish moss. Stop at Five Points intersection and enjoy a cup of locally roasted Jittery Joes Coffee while preparing for your day. To really experience the southern charm of Athens, try one of these Classic City Tours.
2) The State Botanical Gardens of Georgia
The State Botanical Gardens of Georgia make up 313-acres of garden space including five miles of nature trails weaving through native Georgia habitat. There are several themed gardens each equally magnificent. Enter through the visitors center where you will notice that admission is free -a donation is customary and polite-. You will find yourself in the 3 story conservatory, this is one of the most impressive attractions at the Bot Gardens. Go slowly, take it all in. Grab a beverage from the cafe before venturing out into the themed gardens.
3) The Music Scene
Athens is home to one of the most exciting and diverse music scenes in the world. Bands like R.E.M and The B-52’s put Athens on the map and the music scene has steadily birthed many notable acts since. Examples include, Widespread Panic, Indigo Girls, Neutral Milk Hotel, Danger Mouse, and many more. Walking around the streets of downtown will reveal the soul of Athens art and music scene. Street musicians provide a cinematic soundtrack to the backdrop of old southern storefronts. There are many notable venues to visit. With only one day in Athens grab a ticket to whatever show is happening at The 40 Watt Club, enjoy a locally brewed pint or a cocktail at Flicker Bar and Theatre a few doors down, and then set off to enjoy whatever performers will be gracing the stage of the Historic 40 Watt!
4) Food Scene
The food scene in Athens is growing. Being a small town means the breadth of options are not very wide, but what Athens lacks in variety is made up in quality. With a growing street food culture the food scene is destine to reach great new heights. For breakfast Big City Breads, Mammas Boy, or Ike and Jane all are fantastic options. The french toast at Big City Bread is addictive, Ike and Jane’s egg and cheese biscuit is my personal favorite! For lunch, walk into any place that inspires you. The best restaurant for dinner is hands down Farm 255. The ingredients are sourced from a variety local farmers, as well as full moon farms and moonshine meats operated by the Farm 255. I always order the pistachio manhattan and enjoy whatever the dinner special happens to be. This place does it right.
5) Walkable Shopping Streets
There are many unique shops in Athens and the majority of them are within walking distance of one another in downtown. Agora is a great vintage shop stuffed with unique items, for cool gifts and local art check out Helix. You will also come upon native american themed stores, bead stores, outdoor gear, upscale clothing boutiques, and a couple of great record shops. The slow moving charm of the downtown area provides a sense of ease as shoppers stroll from one store to the next. Enjoy your time and chat with business owners who typically man their own storefronts.