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Travel

Athens, GA City Guide

by Sabrina Smelko

Athens-cityguidetemplate

Today’s city guide brings us to Athens — Georgia, not Greece! Though it’s not as romantic-sounding as its European counterpart, Savanna Jane Osburn aptly describes her neighborhood of Normaltown, “the most perfect little city.” Savanna has traveled the globe (but no, while it’s on her bucket list to visit Athens, Greece, she’s only been as close as Israel — I had to ask!), but the more time she spends away from her hometown, where she was born and raised on a farm, the more she realizes Athens, GA, has everything she needs.

Athens is a city with a progressive, relaxed and eclectic reputation. Known for its collaborative community and culture, it came as no surprise that Savanna partnered with The Broad Collective — who share in her kindred belief in the local Athens experience, economy, and bringing the people together that support it — to write today’s guide, broken down by neighborhood. Additionally, they’ve put together this custom Google Map with all of the below listings. Enjoy! — Sabrina

Savanna@1000 Faces

FIVE POINTS

Eat + Drink

Independent Baking Co. – A delightful little bakery that has quite the assortment of delicious baked goods. I really enjoy their buttery, flaky, chocolate-filled croissant. Get there early, because Athenians love this place.

Five & Ten – Athens’ most nationally known and awarded restaurant, this elegant spot created by Hugh Acheson finds its fit in a historic house on Milledge Avenue. Not only are the food and beverages incredible, the dining experience is altogether unforgettable. Included in the restaurant are a beautifully designed coffee area and bar.

Two Story – The perfect environment to converse, study or work, this intimate coffee shop is great for grabbing a pour-over or French press with friends.

Condor Chocolates – This unique chocolatier from Peter Dale (the man behind The National and Seabear Oyster Bar) carries many wonderful delicacies. They are a bean-to-bar Ecuadorian chocolate shop. Not only can you smell and watch chocolate being created, but you can dine at their bar or cafe seating. The bourbon truffle and sipping chocolate are unparalleled.

The Pine – I wish I could enjoy their biscuit brunch every Sunday. This restaurant is great for a date night as well. I especially love the communal tables; just one of the many things bringing the Athens community together.

ThePine

LRG Provisions – This pop-up and catering locale from the team behind the iconic Last Resort Grill is such a fun and unique experience that everyone should catch. You’ll have to keep an eye out for their availability, but it’s well worth it. This place also has one of the coolest interiors in town.

Cali-N-Tito’s – One of my favorite eateries in town. Their Cuban sandwich, tacos, and quesadillas are delicious. There is nowhere in Athens that looks quite like Cali-N-Tito’s and kids love the outdoor area filled with whimsical playthings. As an added perk, it’s also BYOB.

Cali-N-Tito's

Add- Drug Pharmacy Counter – A step back in time, this 1950s-style pharmacy counter is a great spot to enjoy a burger, a milkshake, and a friendly conversation.

Five Points Bottle Shop – This shop is lined from floor to ceiling with all kinds of wine, liquor, and beer. Their whiskey and bourbon selection is second to none. The friendly staff are great at helping you narrow down your libation of choice.

Five Points Growlers – A sophisticated walk-up beer stand that has over 45 taps full of local favorites like Creature Comforts and Terrapin, along with a ton of other great choices from the region and beyond.

Kelly’s Authentic Jamaican Food – A local Jamaican joint whose jerk chicken will not disappoint. The food and the atmosphere are authentic. Kelly’s will make you want to hop on a flight to Montego Bay.

Lumpkin Cafe – A great place for a quaint and elegant lunch. They are open every day but Sunday, and take dinner reservations. Their chicken salad is especially tasty and fresh.

Jittery Joe’s – This local coffee brand is nationally recognized and also has many cafes in the Southeast. Jittery Joe’s is one of Athens’ pride and joy. Stop in and grab a coffee or beans! Watch out for fun roasting collaborations like “Terrapin Midnight Project.”

Royal Peasant – A lively English pub that townies (local Athenians) love. The perfect place to grab a beer and watch a soccer game. I often crave the English Blue Crisps and their signature Lamb Burger.

TheRoyalPeasant

Shop

Archipelago Antiques – A stunning store with many collectible and unique antiques. I especially love the rugs and furniture they often have in stock.

BMA At Home – This interiors, art and consignment store will instantly make you want to redecorate. This store is the perfect balance of elegance and approachability. Good luck trying not to purchase everything!

Hawthorne House – This fine furnishings and lighting gallery carries classically designed pieces. Step in, look around, and hopefully score that beautiful piece you have been looking for!

Andree’s Essential Soaps Inc.  My favorite place in town for essential oils and natural soaps. I could spend hours perusing through all of the different fragrances and products.

Do

5 Points Yoga  A great yoga studio offering many classes to yogi’s of all experience levels.

 

COBBHAM/BOTTLEWORKS

Eat + Drink

Hendershot’s – Among other things, Athens is known for its music venues, restaurants, and unique culture; Hendershot’s is an impressive culmination of these. You can grab a cup of coffee and meet a friend in the morning, a delicious sandwich for lunch, a beer at the bar and/or you can catch one of the many shows or open mic nights. With their cozy interior and nice, big patio, this is an easy place to relax or do business.

Siri Thai Cuisine – For authentic Thai, Siri is delectable, fresh, and savory. Their Pad Thai is my menu item of choice.

Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe – An enticing Mediterranean restaurant that is ideal for a quick to-go order or a dine-in date night. Their lamb gyro and lemon orzo soup are great before a stroll through the Bottleworks shops.  

Viva! Argentine CuisineViva! is a great placeto grab an empanada and a cupcake while you relax in their sun-filled restaurant or their shared outdoor patio.

Viva!

Big City BreadThis quaint breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant is one of my favorite settings in Athens. You can grab a chai tea latte or delicious bagel when you’re out and about or you can enjoy a meal on the patio decked with string lights and a chiminea.

BigCityBread

Donderos’ – An inviting brunch locale with the most beautifully aged interior and heavenly baked goods.

The Grit – This restaurant is a pillar for me in the Athens dining scene. If you are a vegetarian, you will fall in love. If you are not a vegetarian you will not even miss the meat! I love the Mid E. Platter and the quesadillas. It’s worth it to also stop in and choose a dessert item from the case. Their cookbook also allows you to experience their great food from home. Fun, delicious, and does not break the bank.

TheGrit

Seabear Oyster Bar – A stately restaurant serving the finest oysters from all over the country, as well as local and seasonal food. Seabear was that place I had been waiting for where I could indulge in delicious crab cakes and lobster rolls without having to drive to the beach! Their oysters are, of course, phenomenal and I can’t get enough of their steamed buns; for a unique cocktail, this is another great spot. The interior is deluxe, and the patio is very enjoyable, too.

Seabear_2

Shop

Avid Bookshop – A wonderful little red-and-yellow shop with a great selection of books. Avid is one of those places I love to go for its ambiance. They have just about every book you could want and are always happy to discuss their picks. They have a fantastic section that is adorable and fun for kids! Avid also hosts the occasional New Town Revue.

AvidBookshop

Daily Groceries Co-Op – This independent co-op carries premium organic groceries. They have an abundance of vegan and vegetarian products. Stopping in from a bike ride or walk to grab a sandwich, some ice cream, or a bag of coffee is always a highlight to my day.

The Pope on Prince – I am thrilled these owners packed their bags from Portland, OR and decided to open up shop in Athens. Their shop is always stocked with vintage vinyl records, clothing, and music gear. Please take note of the beautiful historic bones of the place, too.

PopeOnPrince_2

Olive Basket – A one-of-a-kind store with every balsamic vinegar and olive oil that you could imagine. You can try the products before purchasing to help narrow them down.

Suska – It is hard to believe that this place is a consignment store. The interior is modern and well designed, yet the prices are very reasonable. They have taken reduction and recycling to a whole new level.

Black Petti Coat – This women’s clothing boutique has a great mixture of casual and formal wear. Their collections are feminine and strong, offering prime choices for work or daily clothing.

Cullen and Co. – An alluring interior design store with a vast selection of furniture and decor items. I love the various pattern and designs that they carry, including many fabrics you can use to customize your furniture.

Revival Yarns – Not only does this place seem to sell every color and type of yarn imaginable, it also hosts a great community of knitters and crocheters. They offer several knitting groups for people of all experience levels.

Do

Arrow – Every town needs a place like Arrow — a unique gathering for families with young children. They are a non-profit group with options for childcare and play time. When it comes to the collaboration of imagination, the natural world, and caring for children, this organization has it down.

Escape the Space – Explaining this unique and quirky experience is difficult to do. Combine other people, a room, and mind puzzles and you have ETS. Just try it — you will definitely never forget it.

All Body Studio – A trendy pilates studio with dedication to help you focus your mind and work your body, too.

Model Citizen Salon – Run by some of the best salon artists in town, Model Citizen will provide you with the best quality cut, color, and/or wax. The environment is so open and inviting and they always have great reading materials and beverages while you wait!

Museum Mile: Historic House Tour – Join this historical tour to view a collection of stunning houses built in the 1800s.

DOWNTOWN

Downtown

Eat + Drink

Shokitini – An authentic Japanese dining experience (mostly known for its fresh sushi) with karaoke and a rotating menu.

Sister Louisa’s Church – This bar started in Atlanta and quickly became a favorite of locals and visiting celebrities. Their second location in Athens has been welcomed by beer and ping-pong lovers alike.

Louisa'sChurch

Ted’s Most Best – Consistently noted around town as having one of the best outdoor dining areas, Ted’s is the perfect place to cool down after an afternoon of cycling for a hand-tossed pizza and beer. They also have a great bocce ball and sandbox area equipped with fun toys for kids.

TedsMostBest

The National – A timeless restaurant and culinary cornerstone of Athens, GA. The National is a must-visit on any traveler’s list. This Mediterranean-inspired menu, created by Hugh Acheson and Peter Dale, has a memorable plate for just about everyone. Their pork tenderloin is a must-have!

TheNational_3

The Branded Butcher – Whether you’re looking for an amazing meal, a superbly crafted cocktail or a high-class dining experience, The Branded Butcher has been one of my favorites since I first stepped in. They offer one of the best brunch menus in town and it usually arrives accompanied by perfectly golden donuts!

Georgia Theatre Rooftop – Serving equally delicious food from The Branded Butcher and a well stocked bar you can get a gorgeous view of the city while you wait on one of the Georgia Theater’s many shows to start. They also have an excellent series of free concerts on the roof.

GeorgiaTheatre

Walker’s Coffee and Pub – Walker’s definitely has that rich, yet worn-in pub feel and its proximity to campus makes it a college student staple. It’s intimate, lively and a great place to grab coffee by day or beer by night.

Manhattan Cafe – An iconic Athens bar that has grown with the town. This tiny storefront bar packs a big punch.

ManhattanCafe_2

The World Famous – This is it! The World Famous is the perfect spot to catch an intimate show of your favorite band or artist, while munching on their unbelievable chicken and waffle club sandwich. The drinks are great and their food is sneaky-good!

TheWorldFamous

The Globe – The Globe is an Athens great; they have tried-and-true delicious menu items and a newly renovated upstairs area of the restaurant that is a great hangout spot for groups. Check them out on Sunday afternoons for a free Irish music jam session made up of locals.

TheGlobe_1

Clocked! – Some of the best burgers in town, Clocked! is equal parts mid-century American Diner and French sci-fi movie, with its eclectic posters and pharmacy-style bar. Make sure you try a milkshake and they proudly use organic, local and natural ingredients.

New Orleans ‘N Athens – This restaurant really does bring New Orleans to Athens. This fine, Cajun-inspired menu will keep you coming back and will make you want to drive to LA to try more.

Etienne Brasserie – This French Cuisine restaurant is a great place for a date and fine dining experience. The calamari and duck confit are unbelievably good.

The Place – The Place just decided to grace us with its presence. This trendy restaurant offers some of my favorite southern food.

Highwire Lounge – After a long day, Highwire is the perfect place for a gathering of friends new or old.  With plenty of large booths, bar space and vintage lighting, it boasts a healthy crowd on a nightly basis.

South Kitchen + Bar – A sister restaurant to Trappeze Pub, this beautifully marbled restaurant has amazing, rich food and also great wine and dine specials.

Five Bar – Five Bar takes its name directly from its menu, where five fantastic entrée options are featured daily. Check out their jazz on Sundays!

Trappeze Pub – Regularly voted as one of the best pubs around, Trappeze has an ever-changing, yet massive draught list and some of the most creative and tasty food in town. The Pub Burger or Asian Pork Taco are great choices.

Little Kings Shuffle Club – A large corner bar, Little Kings is always buzzing on summer nights, thanks to their patio, multiple corn hole sets, and dance parties with DJ Mahogany and others. The trailer and boat in back make for a whimsical environment.

LittleKingsShuffleClub

Last Resort Grill – This brightly muraled restaurant is another iconic Athens favorite. Last resort keeps great business because people just love the food! Some of my favorite menu items are the chicken in parchment and their lunch burger. My husband and I often go at night for cheesecake and wine.

Goodie Two-Shoes – The new sister of Mama’s Boy, Goodie Two-Shoes is a great lunch spot. The restaurant is open and airy and has chosen to support local Sons of Sawdust woodworkers in the construction of their tables.

Weaver D’s – Automatic for the People. Dexter’s southern style restaurant has been open for years and the home-style food is delicious. Their slogan may also remind you of an REM album.

Shop

Agora Vintage – If you love vintage designer purses, jewelry and clothing, then you need to visit Airee at Agora. She has the best well-conditioned collection.

Wuxtry Records – Wuxtry is one of the best and longest running record stores in the country and appears on every “Best Record Stores List” out there. They have a vast selection of vinyl and CDs from all genres. I could spend hours discovering and reminiscing, crate after crate.

Wuxtry_1

Masada Leather and Outdoor – They carry some of the best outdoors apparel and goods, and also craft amazing leather goods in-house.

Jackson Street Books – This eclectic and classic book store carries over 50,000 titles and that familiar and pleasant bookstore environment. You will want to give yourself lots of time to enjoy their selection.

JacksonStreetBooks

Frontier – Carrying candles, kitchen wares, jewelry, cards, etc. Frontier is a great place to stop in and buy yourself a little something. Whenever I need to buy a gift I always stop in to see what I can score!

Heery’s Clothes Closet & Heery’s Too! – A clothing store that has been well-loved by Athens for a long time, Heery’s has a great selection of the latest fashions and Heery’s Too! carries items for home that make marvelous gifts as well.

Native America Gallery – A jewelry gallery with pieces you can buy straight from the case or as separate materials in case you wish to customize something for yourself. They also have a selection of Minnetonka moccasins on-hand year-round!

Flirt Boutique – A tasteful boutique with some of the latest fashions and trends in women’s clothing.

The Red Dress Boutique – This boutique has a great selection of womenswear, as well as a popular online shopping presence.

Keeping it Natural – All of the organic cosmetics and body products one could ever need.

Margo Sterling Silver – Margo has an incredible selection of jewelry-making supplies. You can buy a great pre-made product or personalize a piece for yourself.

Aurum – A well-crafted jewelry store that also hosts art from local artisans.

Low Yo Yo Stuff Records – A real record-lover’s shop; Low Yo Yo is one of my go-to spots for records, tapes, or CDs. They have a great in-store selection, and can get you just about anything you’re looking for.

Get Rad Skateshop – Located inside of Low Yo Yo Stuff, this skate shop is Athens’ best spot in town to get your board re-gripped or grab some new bearings.

Adams Optics – Check out their various styles and options for eyewear. They have some of the coolest frames if you are looking for a new pair or two.

Kristen Ashley Artist Shop – A perfect upstairs shop with first-rate art supplies and paper goods. Kristen carries great personalized cards and hosts multiple workshops and shows in her space.

KristenAshleyArtistShop_1

Community – A brilliant little upstairs clothing and goods shop. Community carries jewelry, soaps, cleaners, prints, etc. from local creators. They also design their own clothing and carry vintage clothing. Community embodies what I love most about Athens: artists coming together to create community. Keep an eye out for Community’s fashion shows!

Dynamite Clothing – An excellent vintage clothing store for men and women. I love stopping in to look through their flannels, t-shirts and shoes.

Atomic Vintage Store – One of the most fun stores in Athens, carrying vinyl records, furniture, clothing and more. I feel like half of the furniture in our home is from Atomic, we just love it!

AtomicVintage

Chick Piano  – Chick Piano has been the staple downtown Athens music store for decades. A family-run company, Chick has lessons, instrument sales and rentals, and you guessed it, pianos.

Modern Star – A great collection of vintage goods, Modern Star has some of the best mid-century modern furniture, kitchen items, decor, and more.

Do

The Foundry – This venue, restaurant, and bar formerly known as the “The Melting Point” is my favorite venue in town to see a show. Many great music artists come through town to play this venue. The cafe style and balcony seating make for an intimate viewing environment. The food and drinks are delicious as well! Try and catch Rabbit Box at The Foundry, too, for a unique storytelling event.

40 Watt Club – This iconic venue has been an Athens favorite for more than 30 years and has hosted incredible artists from all over the world. It’s such a personal experience with the artists onstage.

Lyndon House Arts Center – A multi-use center with camps, exhibits, festivals, and other events. Check in to see what’s happening.

Ciné – An enchanting cinema and lounge with a great selection of films. I especially love how many different independent movies they choose to show. Grab a cocktail, beer, or coffee from their bar and enjoy the show! Check out the Ciné Summer Film Series if you’re in town for the summer!

Cine

Creature Comforts Brewing Co. – An incredibly cool brewery that is perfect for hanging out with friends in the amazing interior or in the side lot with live music. The beer is top-notch and you can tour the brewery. The front-opening garage doors and communal tables make this place an especially great hangout spot for spring, summer and fall.

CreatureComforts

Caledonia Lounge – A great music venue to catch local and up-and-coming Athens artists.

PAGEBOY Salon -A well-skilled salon offering the best in cut, color and style. The stylists at PAGEBOY are experts at accomplishing vintage style with new salon technique.

Morton Theatre – A beautifully restored historic theatre, the Morton hosts anything from weddings and concerts to poetry reading and lectures.

Georgia Theatre – This alluring theatre is one of my favorite venues in Athens. It was built in 1889 and burned down in 2009, but it was restored and reopened in 2011. It has a classy yet modern feel, and I have happened to see most of my favorite concerts at the theatre. Along with the 40 Watt, it is where you are most likely to see bigger, national-touring bands.

The Classic Center – A diverse convention center hosting unique events year-round. I have seen great bands, Christmas performances, stand-up shows, and I have ice skated all within The Classic Center.

Stay

The Graduate – When planning to stay in Athens, I would highly recommend The Graduate. This hotel is beautifully designed and offers spa services. You can also easily catch a show next door at The Foundry!

Hotel Indigo – Though you may see these hotels around the world, our Athens Hotel Indigo is absolutely a one-of-a-kind stay. You’ll feel right at home anywhere in this hotel, with its bold colors, friendly staff and sleek, modern design. You’ll find a gallery area that often features local artists in the southwest corner of the building. And grab a drink at the Madison Bar & Bistro or Rialto Room, which boast classy parties and events.

 

NORMALTOWN

Eat + Drink

Automatic Pizza Brand new to the Athens scene, yet owned by a neighboring business owner, Automatic has delicious pizza for the whole table or by-the-slice. Automatic is a renovated gas station turned restaurant — definitely a cool look.

 Ike & Jane Okay, Ike and Jane is easily one of my most frequented spots in Athens. This donut and breakfast sandwich spot is so much fun; it’s also a great place to sit outside. Don’t forget to look for the daily slogan to say to receive a discount.

Ike&Jane

The Old Pal – An opulent bar that is the perfect place to grab a cocktail and have a date night. Many local chef’s can be found winding down at The Old Pal after a long day. If you hear they are having a wine tasting, go — it’s a great time.

TheOldPal_1

Marti’s at Midday – This quaint restaurant is easily one of my favorite lunch spots in Athens. Walk through the doors of Marti’s and feel right at home — their pimento and chicken salad are the best in town and I’m a little obsessed with their mint sweet tea.

Hi-Lo Lounge – Hi-Lo is that cool bar that you want to hang out in all the time. They have trivia nights, board games, lots of space, and awesome hot dogs.

Hi-Lo

Agua Linda – A delicious taqueria with an outdoor patio and string lights right in the heart of Normaltown. Let’s be honest, you can’t top sharing a bowl of queso and a pitcher of margaritas with your friends.

Normal Bar – An awesome bar with the chillest atmosphere from Bain Mattox, the man behind Automatic Pizza and The World Famous. Grab a drink and share a bowl of boiled peanuts while you play darts and watch the game.

Sips Espresso Cafe – A great little cafe offering local coffee and a breezy patio.

Shop

Normal Hardware – A local hardware store that has everything you need. It’s your classic small town shop and I love the nostalgia when walking around inside.

Athens Farmers’ Market – The best Saturday morning activity is going to the farmers’ market to grab local, organic, and seasonal groceries. It is good for the soul to eat a chocolate croissant or a honey-pop, listen to talented musicians’ instruments and voices fill the air, and purchase fresh produce and goods. Saturday morning you can stop in at Bishop Park for the market, or they are set up beside Creature Comforts on Wednesdays. Check the website for opening and closing dates.

Do

Healing Arts Centre – Offering various types of healing arts like massage and yoga classes. Beautiful interior that offers a little healing to the soul.

Vision Video – We consider ourselves lucky here in Athens that we still have a great local video store. Vision has all of the latest releases and the classics. They also have fun staff picks that you should check out.

Double Dutch Press – A screen printing studio and staff that are so generous in their services. They offer many great workshops and they also have some of their own tea towels, prints, stationery, etc. that you can purchase.

DoubleDutchPress

Bishop Park – A beautiful park with a track, a large field, summer swimming, and playground. It’s a great place to picnic or join a pick-up game. It’s also home to our Saturday farmers’ market.

 

BROAD

Eat + Drink

Ideal Bagel Co. – Most Saturday mornings I wake up wanting to grab breakfast at Ideal Bagel Co. Bagel sandwiches and Counter Culture Coffee make for the perfect start to the weekend.

The Varsity -If you are visiting Georgia, or you just haven’t been, you should check out this classic restaurant. Who doesn’t love a frosted orange, a fry, and hearing “What’ll ya have?”

Preserve – An intimate restaurant that has that vintage diner feel. Their menu is enticing and you just can’t beat the experience.

Home.Made – This restaurant is truly delectable. They are really good at what they do — the dates and pickled veggies are a great choice!

home.made

Saucehouse – Ever find yourself wishing your BBQ sandwich was a little more sweet or heavier on the vinegar? Well at this restaurant you will be able to choose one of many different sauces. I have heard that it’s tasty, but we won’t know till it opens up — coming soon!

Shop

Treehouse Kid & Craft – An adorable shop filled with the best kids books, toys, and clothing. Treehouse offers several craft workshops for children and they offer craft supplies in-store that your little artist can use to create at home, too.

Treehouse

Ben’s Bikes – A full-service bicycle shop that has an array of choices; I dream over some of the refurb bikes myself.

Vic’s Vintage – A store filled with some of the nicest mid-century furniture, and decor items. If you love furniture from this time period, do yourself a favor and go!

Starlite Showroom – New to the scene, Starlite also carries great mid-century and vintage furniture and decor items. The prices are unbeatable and they have a collection of vintage music equipment as well.

Satisfactory – A top-of-the-line graphic design and t-shirt printing studio. If you have an idea, they will bring it to life ensuring great quality.

SatisfactoryPrinting

Athens Interiors Market – A pretty marketplace with a variety of decor items and furnishings. I appreciate many of their antique and contemporary pieces.

West Broad Farmers’ Market – Not only is this another great farmers’ market, but it’s also an Athens-only, community-based urban farm. This farm is dedicated to helping provide fresh and affordable produce.

 

BOULEVARD

Boulevard

Eat + Drink

Heirloom Cafe – This amazing restaurant has one of the best menus in town and most of the food is locally sourced from organic farmers. The environment is light, airy, and sunny and they have a great patio and bocce court.

HeirloomCafe

White Tiger Gourmet – A savory BBQ restaurant between the trees. This is the best place to grab lunch in the summer and sit outside at the picnic-style tables with the rest of the neighborhood.

WhiteTiger

Shop

Guise and Dolls Costumes – A shop that offers quality costumes for theatre and fun. They also host various workshops and make-up classes.

Do

Boulevard – This tree-lined street is a great walking spot to catch some fresh air and take in the beautiful scenery of historic houses and the great outdoors.

Urban Sanctuary – The most relaxing place in Athens, Urban Sanctuary is a gorgeous spa offering first-class services. Get a massage, facial or pedicure, and swoon over all of the natural and organic products that they sell.

 

NEWTOWN

Eat + Drink

Jittery Joes Roaster Tasting Room – This local coffee roaster has a cool tasting room where you can drop in and smell coffee roasting and grab a cup of Joe.

JitteryJoe's

1000 Faces Coffee – A 2013 and 2014 Good Foods Awards Winner, 1000 Faces is another local coffee roaster where you can stop in, grab a pour-over and hang out right next to where the beans are roasting up a sweet aroma. Alton Brown even named it one of his favorite coffee stops of 2014!

1000Faces

Tlaloc el Mexicano Restaurant – An authentic Mexican restaurant that constantly has the town talking about how good it is.

Shop

Baxendale Guitar – Home of the famed Harmony conversion process, Scott Baxendale’s guitar shop is a wonderful combination of storefront, luthier’s workshop and luthier’s school. The skill of guitar-building is passed on to ambitious luthiers through the Athens Luthier Academy.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Though not specific to Athens, it’s great to stop in and see what kinds of vintage and secondhand items you can score to take home for yourself while benefitting a good cause.

ATHICA – A gallery that is driven by its desire to be a phenomenal showplace of contemporary art.

Canopy Studio – A flying dance trapeze studio — you should catch a class!

LoveHawk Tattoo Parlor – Incredibly skilled David Hales tattoo parlor.

Lovehawk_3

Broad 9A – Opening soon! Broad 9A is a one-of-a-kind collaborative office and community space from the team behind The Broad Collective.

Hip Pops – Sweet, locally made popsicles to make any warm day even better.

Pulaski Heights BBQ – The best BBQ sandwich I have ever had! I love this restaurant; located right next to a train track with a cool interior and wonderful outside patio.

PulaskiHeightsBBQ

Shiraz – Wine and gourmet food shop with weekly wine tastings!

Shiraz

Smokey Road Press – A local letterpress studio with beautiful work. They also sell bound journals that make great gifts.

Rubber Soul Yoga – Not only a great Beatles record album title, but a refreshing yoga studio.

Do

Terrapin Beer Co. – Take a tour, grab a beer, and enjoy discovering more about nationally renowned Terrapin Beer Co. They have a freshly renovated interior and a great outside area adjoined to the brewery. You can bring your friends, listen to live music, play corn-hole, and taste great beer simultaneously.

Active Climbing – An indoor climbing gym for all ages. A great way to be active and have fun on a rainy day.

 

CHICOPEE DUDLEY 

Eat + Drink

Mama’s Boy – This breakfast and brunch restaurant is a favorite of pretty much anyone who has ever stepped foot in Athens. The biscuits are huge and the orange juice is fresh. The line is usually out the door, so get there early!

Shop

R. Wood Studio – Globally recognized artist, Rebecca Wood, has an open studio for you to purchase locally! It is a goal of mine to collect and utilize many pieces of hers as time goes on and I love walking around the studio to decide what I most desire next.

RWood_1

Do

The Greenway – 3.75 miles of concrete path, perfect for a walk or bike ride with the family!

The R.E.M. Steeple – R.E.M. played their first show at a church where just the steeple remains. A cherished spot for R.E.M. lovers and definitely a cool place to see.

Nuci’s Space – A non-profit health and music resource center. Nuci’s offers affordable practice space, gear rentals, and even camps for budding musicians, like “Camp Amped.”

The R.E.M. Trestle – Also known as Murmur Railroad Trestle, this old train track can be seen on the cover of R.E.M.’s first album.

 

EAST SIDE

Eat + Drink

La Puerta Del Sol – Sister restaurant to the amazing Cali-N-Tito’s, LPDS is equally as fun and delicious, just in another part of town. The indoor seating is spacious and kids love circling the place on tricycles!

Shop

Greer Amps – Nick Greer hand-builds amazing amps and pedals that are quickly becoming a heavyweight in the music gear industry. Greer Amps has a new shop you ought to visit; visitors are welcome! My husband personally owns and plays some of his gear and raves about it!

Do

Let it Be Yoga – A sister yoga studio to Rubber Soul, known for being distinctly beautiful and natural.

 

COLLEGE DISTRICT

Georgia Museum of Art – Make sure to look into current exhibits and tours.

Georgia Museum of Natural History – A fascinating museum — take a tour or see an exhibit.

Trails at Lake Herrickk – These trails are great for a quick hike or run. There is also a hotspot for dog lovers and their dogs to come and play. There is a great geocache, too.

 

Around Town + More

Thomas Orchards, Greenhouse & Giftshop – A good place to buy plants and gardening supplies or just enjoy looking in the greenhouse on a nice day. You can buy a bucket of fresh peaches or homemade peach ice cream during the summer in the gift shop!

Athens Antique Mall – My favorite antique mall in town, Athens Antiques has many great vendors and even better prices.

Power Surplus Treasure – This place truly is full of antique treasures. They have rugs, furniture, and lots of taxidermy!

Statham Antiques- Factory Antique Mall and More, Statham is just about 20 minutes outside of Athens. It is worth the quick drive for these great antiques.

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia – The gardens are fascinating and I could spend hours in the conservatory listening to the Sunday afternoon hymns choir and reading about all of the plants. The garden also has lots of wooded hiking trails that are worth exploring.

Cook’s Trail – This trail accompanies Sandy Creek most of the way and is a very leisurely hike. The trail is one-way and is 8.2 miles round-trip.

Good Dirt Clay Studio – A ceramics studio that offers courses for all ages. Take one of their “Try Clay” classes and see what you can do!

Broad River Outpost – Hop in a kayak or canoe and enjoy a ride down the Broad River. Though you may get a good arm workout, the experience is very calming and refreshing.

Sandy Creek Nature Center – Explore the creatures at the nature center, hike the trails, or even participate with your kids in an educational program.

Washington Farms – Whether it’s a corn maze, hayride, strawberry-picking, or selecting the perfect pumpkin or Christmas tree, this farm has a fun activity any season of the year. Kids will especially love the giant bounce area.

 

Events

Catch a UGA Sports Event – Football, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, tennis and more

Indie South Fair – A artisan market of independent goods.

The Big City Break Holiday Market – An annual market in December for holiday goods.

Wildwood Revival – An Americana Folk Music Festival that takes place on a local farm.

Wildwood

Twilight Criterium – An annual pro cycling event in downtown Athens.

Car Shows at the Varsity – Vintage car shows in the parking lot of The Varsity.

AthFest – Annual music, arts, and film festival that takes place in downtown Athens.

AthHalf – Annual half marathon through downtown Athens.

Chick-fil-A Connect Half Marathon – Annual half marathon through downtown Athens.

 

Happenings

View these sites for current happenings in Athens, GA:

Flagpole Magazine Website

The Broad Collective Website

Written by Savanna Jane Osburn. Editorial assistance from Josh and Alex Brown and their team at The Broad Collective. Photos by Alex Brown, Halie Johnson, and Mercedes Bleth of The Broad Collective.

 

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Comments

  • I grew up in a little town about 80 miles south east of Athens. I have traveled and seen a lot of places but I can attest that it is still one of my favorite cities in the world.
    Also, about 25 miles outside of Athens is a little town called Madison, Georgia that is one of the most unique and beautiful small towns in the south. I would highly recommend an afternoon trip for antique shopping, walking around looking at beautiful pre-civil war architecture and grabbing a snack at Perk Avenue Cafe and Coffeehouse.

  • Savanna not only mentioned all of my favorite spots, but now I have a lot of new places to visit the next time I travel there! what a great guide to Athens. thanks, Savanna

  • Pretty great guide, but I wish you guys had taken a closer look at the local theatre scene. Town & Gown, Rose of Athens, Circle Rep… there’s a lot of really high quality performance around Athens.

  • Thanks so much for including us (Arrow) on this great city guide….we’re so appreciative!! We are so grateful to live and work in this quaint, family-friendly, Southern town that has stolen our heart!

  • thank you for including home.made! this list makes me fall in love with athens all over again. if i didn’t live here, i would visit constantly. this list is amazingly perfect. super proud of my town and all of the amazing doers that make up our community. thanks again!

  • This is an incredible guide. I’ve spent a day in Athens, and my friend only showed me the nightlife and general college craziness. I came away thinking that’s all that Athens had to offer. After going through this list, I’m convinced Athens is far more than just a college town.

  • Being from Athens, Greece I’ve always wondered how Athens, GA looks like!! One thing is for sure: both are foodie towns!
    P.S. If you’re looking for an updated guide to Athens, Greece I’d be happy to provide you with one!

  • I kept thinking “but what about…” and then I saw it listed. This is everything I love about my hometown, except maybe a couple truly beautiful secret spaces (I’m not telling! Otherwise, it wouldn’t be Athens and there wouldn’t be anything left to discover). One thing I’ll publicly add, though, is the old, historic and lushly landscaped space of University of Georgia’s North Campus, full of very old Plane trees, magnolias, azaleas, rolling green quads, and fountains. Hidden behind Park and Joe Brown Halls (English, Classics, and Comparative Literature departments) is the beautiful Founder’s Garden, full of arbors, statues, native plants, a sundial, and a koi pond, maintained by UGA’s Garden Club. Definitely worth stumbling upon. http://gardenclub.uga.edu/foundersgarden.html

  • Should have said my “adopted home” or my “current town”–not my hometown (I’m from way up north), but I love it here. Okay, I’ll share one more magical Athens secret: A World Away Market happens only once or twice a year. It’s a magical nighttime arts and crafts market hidden away deep in the woods at an animal sanctuary. Then it disappears. You have to be tuned in to know when it will pop up, otherwise you’ll miss it: https://www.facebook.com/aworldawaymarket

  • WOW! This is SO great! Have lived in Athens since 1970 and have learned about so many new and exciting places from this guide. Will print and share with all visitors. Thank you!

  • I want to start at the top and make sure I have hit everything on the list. We have a truly amazing town with great people and places. Thanks for including us (Escape the Space)! We are honored to be a part of what makes Athens…Athens. :)

  • Just booked a night at The Graduate, all thanks to this post! We were planning to go in a few weeks, and beginning to look into places, when this popped up on the screen this morning. Serendepity! thanks.

  • This is so great! Scott and I have only been here for five years, but we feel so connected to the community. Athens is a town of small business owners that work together to form a lovely place to be. I would have loved to have seen this when we first moved to town, as it is so informative and fun, and is truly a guide to what makes living or visiting Athens, a wonderful experience. I was also delighted to see the mention of our business! I can’t wait to visit and revisit these places.

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