Although Athens is the epitome of a college town, it is well worth a visit by everyone, student or not. The Classic City is home to a slew of attractions unrelated to the University of Georgia, including the iconic Georgia Theatre, which hosts local and national acts almost every night, a ridiculous number of dive bars (one of which is named Sister Louisa’s Church, bless it), and one of the first African-American-owned and operated vaudeville theatres in the United States. There’s something for everyone in Athens, and we made this list to prove it.
Give a Tour To Local Breweries
Athens has fantastic breweries, as one might expect from a city with numerous blocks dedicated nearly entirely to bars. The Southern Brewing Company is farther northeast, and Akademia is closer to Bogart, while Creature Comforts and Terrapin are in the middle. Take a look around one or all of them.
Take a Food Tour
The dining scene in Athens is diverse. In 2017, USA Today named it one of the South’s most underappreciated cuisine destinations. Skip the chains and go to some of the locally owned favorites instead: classics include The Grill (for a retro diner experience, but expect a wait on weekends), Last Resort Grill (yes, grills seem to be a trend), Clocked (get the Bayou Burger and thank me later), and Cali-N-(FYI, Tito’s it’s cash only). You don’t want to wait an hour for a seat at Last Resort because you’re in town for a special event. Try George’s Lowcountry Table’s crawfish etouffee, South Kitchen + Bar’s shrimp and grits, or The National’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.
Appreciate the History of Morton Theatre
Morton Theatre is a must-see on any Athens itinerary since it is one of the first and still operating vaudeville theatres in the United States, established, owned, and run by an African-American. Musical performers such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Bessie Smith visited its stage during its heyday. It now serves as a venue for concerts, dance performances, and other community activities in addition to being a historical site. Check out the events schedule to discover who’s performing while you’re here.
Slowly Nod Your Head In The Direction Of Incredibly Ancient Art.
If you’re the kind who says, “I like art,” the Georgia Museum of Art is for you. Yes, it’s on the University of Georgia’s campus (sorry), but it’s on East Campus, where you’ll mostly see athletes, hyper middle schoolers on field excursions, and the tired souls who have to walk from there to central campus, where the majority of classes are held. Furthermore, entry is free. Here you may find information on current and forthcoming exhibits.
Visit Taylor- Grady House
This National Historic Landmark was built in the 1840s and is managed by the Junior League of Athens.
This building’s magnificent Greek Revival design makes it a fantastic setting for social events, weddings, and vacation photos. This home is steeped in history and is a US National Historic Landmark.
Learn more about the house’s fascinating history by taking a guided tour. After your quick tour, you may also head to the gift shop and grab some nice souvenirs.