This small city in Georgia has a population of about 130,000 people. But despite its size there are a lot of things to do in Athens! The city itself is charming and colorful. There is plenty of nature scattered around the city, and a general sense of green throughout as the streets are lined with vibrant trees.
In the towns quaint and lively city center you can walk across the rainbow crosswalks, have a coffee in one of the cities many local and independent cafes, or stop for a delicious lunch at a restaurant before continuing on to more of the days adventures!
In this post, we'll cover:
11. Taylor-Grady House
One of the cities grandest homes. The Taylor-Grady House is quite the place, with its long white columns and numerous windows lining the exterior, and intricate ornamentation in its interior.
The house has a long history, it was built in 1844 as a country holiday home by the Taylor’s.
Over the next century it was resold various times, and had electricity and plumbing put in. In 1953 it was abandoned after it was unsuccessfully opened as a dance school. The house was vandalized and looted.
Luckily, in 1966 it was bought by the Athens Junior Assembly who renovated and preserved the Historic Landmark. Today it is a popular tourist attraction, run as a museum open for historic tours and rented out as a wedding venue!
10. Athens Farmers Market
Athens Farmer Market has lots of stalls run by local farmers who come to the city to sell their fresh produce, along with lots of arts and crafts stalls. The market is the best place to find local up-and-coming artisans selling their latest work.
The market puts an emphasis on community and sustainability. They aim to only sell products that have a low environmental impact and thrive to create a strong sense of community by only having stalls run by local, independent vendors.
It’s the perfect place to chat to locals and purchase beautiful gifts and souvenirs from your trip. The market has two locations, each open a different day of the week. You can easily reach both with a short ride on the Athens Transit.
9. Sandy Creek Park
The outdoor park is full of recreational activities that visitors can take part in, you can get involved in a sport or simply go for a nice walk. It has a large lake in its center, Lake Chapman, that adds to the area’s beauty and appeal. It’s a great place to visit no matter the season.
If you’re looking to do something different in Athens and you want to have a memorable adventure with your friends or family on your holiday, you can go kayaking, fishing or even horse riding in the park!
There are also baseball, basketball, and cricket facilities at the park, so you can have a friendly match on your visit. The Park is a short drive from the city of Athens and has a very budget friendly admission fee, a great day out for everyone!
8. Double Barreled Cannon
During the Civil War there was fear in Athens that there would be invasions. John Gilleland put his brain to work and came up with a design he thought would help defend the city from attacks. And that’s how, in a local foundry in Athens in 1863, the Double Barreled Cannon was born.
The cannon is one of a kind and considered to be one of the most unusual relics preserved from the Civil War. The idea was that the cannon would be loaded with two canons attached by a chain.
However, in its first and only ever firing, the chain broke, and the loose canons caused rather a lot of chaos, killing a cow and hitting a nearby cabin. The cannon was given to the city and now sits outside the City Hall. It’s a popular tourist attraction in Athens because of its history and peculiar design.
7. Creature Comforts Brewing Co
After a long day of sightseeing, a cold beer with friends is all you need. Luckily, the cities Creature Comforts Brewing Co has you covered! The beer brewery has a wide selection of locally crafted beers, there’s a favorite for every taste at the brewery.
The brewery’s bar is in the company’s taproom, so you can sip on your beer surrounded by barrels of a freshly made batch of beer. The authentic feel of the Creature Comforts Brewing Company adds to its uniqueness.
The venue also hosts lots of interesting events and has a running project called “Get Artistic” that aims to use the company’s resources and space to support local artists and performers. Pop down and meet other like-minded tourists and locals!
6. Georgia Theatre
Since its opening in 1889 the building has served as a number of venues, it was even a Methodist Church for a brief period! In 1919 the Georgia Theatre opened. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed by a fire in 2009.
Thanks to a lot of local initiatives and support from the community of Athens the theatre was rebuilt! The theater hosts performances from musicians from near and far and has been influential in keeping Athens’ music scene alive.
As well as the theater, the venue has a popular rooftop bar that is open to everyone. They sell food and drinks, a great place to socialize on a warm night!
5. Georgia Museum of Art
The cities art museum has over 17,000 art pieces to its name. They run various exhibitions a year, showcasing different pieces from their large collection.
On your visit you can explore a range of artistic styles from different periods. The exhibitions aren’t limited to one type of art either; you’ll see old paintings, modern mixed media art, photography, prints, sculptures, ceramics, and documentaries all in one place. Each piece at the museum is unique.
The Museum has a lot of modern art made by indigenous people and political art too! You can check their online website to explore up-coming exhibitions and buy your entry ticket in advance of your visit.
4. Bear Hollow Zoo
Are you looking for the perfect activity for a warm, sunny day? But struggling to find something that suits the whole family? The cities’ zoo is a great option!
The zoo serves as a rescue center for animals from the surrounding area that have been hurt or abandoned and wouldn’t be able to survive alone. Animals include the American Black Bear, the River Otter and the White Tailed Deer. The center is run by volunteers and relies on donations and charitable funds.
The Bear Hollow Zoo is a great way to combine fun with education. There’s lots of information about the zoo’s rescued animals, a great way for the family to learn about the local fauna together!
3. Sanford Stadium
Sandford Stadium was renovated twice in the early 2000s. Each time the stadium was expanded, bringing the new stadium capacity to 92,746—the fifth largest on-campus stadium in the US!
The venue hosts lots of the University of Georgia’s sports competitions and has made it a top pick for students looking to further their sports career. If you’re time in Athens coincides with a match date, you should really get a ticket!
The cheering crowds, cold beer, and enthusiastic players fill the pitch with an electrifying buzz. If you’re new to the US, this is a must-have cultural experience during your time in the states. It’s also a great way to get to know other locals and sports fans!
2. Downtown Athens
Downtown Athens is a popular area among the town’s university students, locals, and tourists. There’s lots to explore in this vibrant part of town. The red brick buildings in Downtown Athens give the visitor the feeling of being transported into the past.
It’s the perfect place for an early morning coffee in the sun, or a late-night drink. From small independent cafes and artisan shops to concert halls and breweries, Downtown Athens has it all.
If you’ve got a spare afternoon on your holiday or you want to have some time off from sightseeing, Downtown is the best place to go. The quaint streets are ideal for people watching, some light shopping, and food and drinks.
1. State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Are you beginning to tire of the noisy streets and busy tourist attractions in town? Then head down to the State Botanical Garden, the cities best nature spot. Once there you can take a gentle stroll around the grounds and enjoy the peace and quiet.
The State Botanical Gardens has a lot to offer. They have numerous gardens, each with a unique theme and diverse flora. Families can get out and muck around in the specially designed children’s garden, full of edible plants and opportunities to get your hands dirty and try some gardening.
The center runs a variety of educational programs, conservation efforts and offer volunteering opportunities. There’s a strong sense of community in the gardens, and so much to explore!