ATHENS, GA (January 6, 2020) — The vibrant, energetic and music-infused town of Athens, Georgia, is bringing exciting new tourism products to the Classic City in 2020. The community is constantly striving to create a place where people want to live and visit. The city’s mix of preservation and constant renewal allows visitors to revisit favorite spots and experience new restaurants and attractions, keeping every visit to Athens new and thrilling.

Whether a visitor enjoys art, music, or food, Athens will provide each one with an experience to remember. Visitors can discover new restaurants, tours, public art and more with a visit to the Classic City in 2020.  

MUSIC WALK OF FAME

Athens Music Walk of Fame - Athens has always been known as a “vibrant music scene.” From the B-52s to R.E.M., many bands hail from the Classic City. Now, the community is preparing to honor these performers with the Athens Music Walk of Fame. The Music Walk of Fame will include plaques, designed by a local artist, located on the sidewalks in Downtown Athens with the first installation scheduled for summer 2020. Each plaque will be dedicated to a notable musician who started their music career in Athens. To learn more, click here.

PUBLIC ART SCENE IN ATHENS

Hot Corner Mural - The city of Athens welcomed Dominican-muralist Elio Mercado to the Classic City this past summer, to install the new Hot Corner Mural: An Athens Legacy.  Local Athens artist Broderick Flanagan also assisted Mercado with installing this historic mural in Downtown Athens on Lumpkin street. The Hot Corner Mural pays tribute to African American entrepreneurs and rich history of Hot Corner—the intersection between Hull and Washington street. The mural features former and current Athens residents Monroe “Pink” Morton and Homer Wilson. Morton built the Morton Theatre, the first and the oldest surviving vaudeville theatre in the United States, in 1910. Wilson is the owner of a local barber shop and founder of the Hot Corner Celebration and Soul Food Festival. To view the mural, click here.

Play On, Athens: Public Pianos - The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) has revealed its latest art project, a series of functional pianos hand-painted with unique designs by local artists. The pianos have been installed at four public locations: the Athens-Clarke County Library, Bishop Park, The Classic Center and the Athens Community Council on Aging. The pianos will remain on display for at least two months or longer if the weather permits. Then the pianos will be donated to a secondary location for long-term installation. The ACAC plans to organize another round of public art piano in the fall of 2020.

Cobbham Triangle Park: Art Installations - This art-centric park opened in the fall of 2019. A 12-foot structure entitled “Spirit of Inspiration” created by local Athens artist Harold Rittenberry has stood on the land that intersects Cobb Street, Harris Street and Prince Avenue for five years. Now, more art pieces have been installed permanently and others temporarily.  A few other features in the park include: a robot, created from an old newspaper stand, (which is used as a free library and solar-powered charging station), donated sculptures of ping-pong tables and more. For more information, visit : http://www.historiccobbhamfoundation.org/park/.

TAKE A TOUR IN THE CLASSIC CITY

Bone Appetit Food Tours – Bone Appetit Food tours is a new food tour that will provide nourishment for the mind and stomach as visitors dine at restaurants as well as learn about some of the history of the city. This food tour is offered Mondays and Fridays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at various times. For more information, visit https://www.boneappetitfoodtours.com/.

Athens Haunted History Walking Tour - It does not have to be October in Athens for a spooky tour. Explore some of those haunted and spooky sites with local historian Jeff Clarke, as he takes visitors on a journey through time to hear haunting and historical stories about popular sites and landmarks in Athens. This haunted tour is offered all year, except during UGA football games, holidays and Downtown festivals. For more information, visit https://www.visitathensga.com/event/athens-haunted-history-walking-tours/25684/.

Hop-On Athens Shuttle Tours – The new HopOn Athens Shuttle is now offering one-hour guided tours of the University of Georgia campus and historic Downtown Athens. The driver will share historical facts and information about some of Athens most cherished landmarks including Sanford Stadium, the Arch, Herty Field, Stegman Coliseum, the Tree That Owns Itself, and many more. Tours are available Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.hoponathens.com/tours

Athens Food Tours: Another new delicious tour in Athens is the Athens Food Tours. This tour will take visitors on a culinary experience walking through the Classic City beginning at Depalma’s Italian Café and four other restaurants. As visitors walk through the Classic City, the guide will provide facts about the history, culture and architecture in Athens. These tours are currently offered on Saturdays. For more information, visit https://www.athensgafoodtours.com/city-food-tour/.

FOOD & DRINK

Chuck’s Fish: This new seafood restaurant opened its doors in Athens in 2019. This restaurant is currently the only Chuck’s Fish in Georgia. For more information, visit https://www.chucksfish.com/athens/

Square One Fish Company: Square One Fish Company re-opened this past summer in the Normaltown neighborhood. The restaurant’s specialties include a wide range of fish and shellfish, expansive raw bar, creative cocktails and more. For more information, visit https://www.squareonefishco.com/

Uncle Ernie’s Grub and Pub: The mid-90s restaurant Uncle Ernie’s Grub and Pub is back in Athens. Today, the current restaurant offers burgers, overstuffed sandwiches, wraps, plenty of veggie choices, plus a full bar and plenty of TVs for watching sports. more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/ue.athens/.

I Heart Mac and Cheese: The fast-casual concept restaurant specializing in customizable, made-to-order macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches opened in Downtown Athens in November 2019. The menu combines the creativity of award-winning recipes resulting in a grown-up approach to this classic childhood dish. For information, visit: https://www.iheartmacandcheese.com/.   

Cool World Ice Cream Shop: 15-year-old Victor “Beau” Shells is known as the lil’ ice cream dude in Athens. At age eight, he asked his parents for an ice cream cart and his wish was granted. Now, seven years later, this teen opened his own brick-and-mortar ice cream shop on his birthday on Sunday, June 9. For more information, visit https://lilicecreamdude.com/.

Osteria Athena: This new Italian restaurant opened in the fall in Downtown Athens. Most of the menu is in-house made traditional Italian food. As for now, Osteria Athena is currently only opened for dinner and soon Sunday Brunch. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/drewcharlesmeyer1873/.

More new restaurants: Jinya Ramen Bar (opening 2020)

RECREATION

Classic City Cycling: Athens will soon offer a high-intensity, fun-cardio workout in Downtown Athens. Classic City Cycling is a boutique indoor cycling studio opening in spring 2020. This rhythm-based studio will include workout with interval weight training choreographed to the beat of the music to boost your endorphins. For more information, visit https://www.classiccitycycling.com/

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Normal Bar: Normal Bar is a neighborhood bar with a local feel that’s cozy, dark and homey. This bar will have its 10-year celebration in 2020. More details will be published on the VisitAthensGA.com website.

Classic City Brew Fest: The longest running brew fest in the Southeast will celebrate its 25th anniversary in April. This award-winning festival focuses on cask ale and special local craft beers for tastings. Various breweries from around the state and region will have booths, including local Athens breweries. For more information, visit http://classiccitybrew.com/brewfest.html

COMING SOON

The Classic Center Arena - Athens is excited to announce The Classic Center Arena coming in 2023!  This space attached to The Classic Center’s current facility will have 5,500 permeant seats with an ability to accommodate up to 7,500 concert attendees. It is expected to bring in 125 additional events ranging from concerts, conventions, family shows and sporting events to the Athens area annually. Stay tuned as we begin construction in the New Year! 

For more information about the new businesses, restaurants and more in Athens, contact media@visitathensga.com.

About the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau:

The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau is a proactive sales and marketing organization whose primary goal is to increase the economic impact of the hospitality and visitor industry by attracting individual visitors, group tours and meetings and conventions to Athens. Tourism WORKS for Athens, contributing $330.5 million in spending, 2,973 jobs and $22.6 million in local and state tax revenue in 2018.