Just over an hour from Atlanta, the quintessential college town of Athens is a wise choice for a quick getaway. Visitors are immediately struck by the town's creative energy.  Well-known as a hotbed of live music, hundreds of bands call Athens home and perform in a wide variety of genres to suit many tastes.  More recently, Athens has arrived on the culinary scene with chefs such as Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten (James Beard finalist, Top Chef Masters contestant, Top Chef judge), Whitney Otawka of Farm 255 (Top Chef: Texas contestant), and Peter Dale of The National (Food & Wine Magazine's People's Best New Chef Southeast) receiving national acclaim.  Spring is a wonderful time of year to visit Athens, for patio dining, outdoor music stages and blooms at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the gardens of Athens' four historic house museums. With the beautiful weather out in full force, a weekend getaway to Athens,GA is perfect for enjoying time with loved ones and friends!

Athens' Music Scene
Home of the The B-52's, Pylon, R.E.M., and Widespread Panic, Athens' music scene offers entertainment suited to every taste. The newly-renovated Georgia Theatre hosts a wide variety of musical performances. Enjoy the wide open floor space in front of the stage, or spacious seating in the balconies. You can check out the Georgia Theatre's upcoming performance calendar here. The Georgia Theatre's new rooftop bar is sure to impress. The rooftop bar also offers a menu including a delicious array of their signature sandwiches and salads. The Georgia Theatre has recently launched a new rooftop dance party series named Get Up Get Down. This series takes place every Tuesday night from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in April and May, and runs through June 5th. The focus of Get Up Get Down will be on the aesthetic of "music people can dance to" showcasing local, regional, and national talent. Guests 18+  can attend the weekly showcase for just $2.00 a cover and will be able to enjoy $2.00 drink specials.The Georgia Theatre is located at 215 N. Lumpkin Street in? Athens, GA. 

The Melting Point is another popular local music venue. The Melting Point is a blend of old and new: vintage modern decor in the oldest building on the Foundry Park Inn & Spa property. A 30 foot smoke stack anchors the venue's entry tower while three glass and metal garage doors blend the exterior patio with the interior space for al fresco dining and listening in pleasant weather. Savor, sip and socialize in style with a mix of locals and travelers alike in an atmosphere like no other.This intimate music venue hosts a variety of music styles and is a favorite of a wide range of fans. Why end your night here? With the beautiful Foundry Park Inn & Spa next door you can enjoy a night of luxury in their boutique hotel, or melt away stress and restore the soul at the spa. 
There are even more local music venues in Athens, GA. A complete list of the live music venues can be found here http://www.visitathensga.com/live-music/where-to-hear-live-music/.

Athens Dining
Athens is also known for their local dining selections. The creative energy of Athens, Georgia is alive and well in local Athens restaurants, with masterful artwork on both the walls and the plate. Dozens of unique independent eateries offer a distinctive culinary experience, from traditional southern soul food to trendsetting nouveau southern cuisine. Relax in ambient settings from sidewalk and courtyard cafés to dining rooms overlooking the University of Georgia's historic North Campus, with menus that feature exceptional wines and Italian, Sushi, Steak, Cajun, and farm fresh offerings from local Athens growers. Farm 255 is a unique and local dining location that  serves local, seasonal & sustainable food. The menu is a mix of Mediterranean & Southern influences and changes daily. And, the music is as homegrown as the food, with performances typically held on the patio. Farm 255's Executive Chef is Whitney Otawka who competed on Top Chef: Texas in 2011. With patio dining available you can enjoy delicious food and the beautiful weather. There are several other delicious restaurant spots to satisfy any craving including the Cajun favorite, NONA, the vegetarian based menu from The Grit, delicious fresh seafood from Square One Fish Co, and many more! A complete listing of local Athens restaurants can be found at http://www.visitathensga.com/restaurants/. 

Athens Welcomes Pets
Athens also welcomes those who want to visit with their dogs! There are several dog-friendly places and events around the Classic City. You can enjoy a delicious meal on the patio with your dog at several restaurants including Five Star Day Cafe, Mama's Boy, Farm 255, Big City Bread Cafe, East West Bistro, Square One Fish Co, and several other unique and local places. Terrapin Brewery is also a fun and exciting dog-friendly location. Terrapin Brewery offers brewery tours and tastings every Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Experience live music and tastings of Terrapin's full line of award winning beers while observing the brewing process first hand. For only $10, you'll get a Terrapin beer glass for tastings, a tour of the brewery, and access to their lively atmosphere. Their spacious outdoor area is perfect for enjoying Terrapin's wide selection of beer and the company of your dog. As a completely pet-friendly hotel, The Hotel Indigo in Athens also has a unique opportunity for you and your pup! Every Wednesday from 5-7 p.m., they host a Canine Cocktail Hour where your beloved pet can hang out with other pets, and you can enjoy $3 special Salty-Dogs or Greyhounds. 

Upcoming Events
There a several upcoming events and festivals taking place in Athens,GA, including:

  • Professional golf returns to Athens April 30 - May 6 during the Stadion Classic at UGA. This is one of two Nationwide Tour stops in Georgia. The Stadion Classic at UGA is the only event on the Nationwide Tour that is owned and operated by an institution of higher education.  All net proceeds from the event will support need-based scholarships for UGA students through the Arch Foundation. Tickets can be purchased through the TICKETS Fore CHARITY program which supports non-profits in Georgia and nationwide. 

  • The 34th Annual Athens Human Rights Festival will be May 5 - 6. This is a springtime political and cultural tradition in Athens. The festival features a dynamic, educational, and family-friendly weekend of oratory, music, activities for the children, and street theater performances in an outdoor setting. 

  • The Athens live music scene is ready to kick off the 16th Annual AthFest Music and Arts Festival June 20 - 24. This has been named a Top 20 Event by The Southeast Tourism Society. AthFest features more than 150 bands on outdoor stages and in Athens' renowned clubs. Between the live music, art, local film screenings and KidsFest, there is entertainment for all ages. 

With so many exciting things to do in Athens, make your visit a weekend getaway to ensure you get the full Classic City experience! Athens has many beautiful and accommodating hotels to make your visit even more special. With many convenient downtown locations, you can enjoy both the music scene and the famous local restaurants without even driving! A complete listing of hotels in Athens, GA can be found at this website, http://www.visitathensga.com/places-to-stay/.

For more information about spring events taking place in Athens, along with special offers and discounts on accommodations, activities, shopping and dining, visit www.visitathensga.com/spring or contact the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau at 706-357-4430, toll-free 800-653-0603. 

What festivals and events that are taking place in Athens,GA are you looking forward to?