It's summer, and that means that it's the perfect time to load up the car, grab some of your closest gal-pals, and head to Athens, Georgia for a Girl's Only weekend getaway! Spend your mini-vacation catching a great concert via Athens' exciting live music scene, exploring downtown's eclectic stores and boutiques, enjoying an afternoon massage at a local spa, eating at  fabulous restaurants with award-winning chefs, and then collapsing into a restful night's sleep at one of the Classic City's luxury hotels.

Friday


Kick off your Friday night with dinner and an evening concert. Athens' growing foodie scene offers lots of options.  Farm 255 features an authentic farm-to-table experience. Sip mojitos made with fresh basil picked from the restaurant's farm earlier in the day, and dine on locally sourced vegetables and meats. Or, head to the Five Points area to dine at the much-acclaimed Five and Ten, the restaurant home to James Beard Award winning chef Hugh Acheson. Come early for a discounted, three course meal for $25 a person!

Athens is known for its live music, and there is plenty to be had.  Experience live music at any one of Athens' famous concert venues, including the 40 Watt Club, the Georgia Theatre, and the Melting Point. From country to alternative rock, and everything in between, Athens hosts a wide variety of live shows covering all genres of music. For a complete list of summer music events, check out the Athens Calendar of Events at http://www.visitathensga.com/things-to-do/events/, and search for “Music.”

Shokitini is another great option for those girls who want to create their own music! This sushi bar offers an assortment of quintessential Japanese fare, as well as private karaoke rooms for rent by larger parties. 




When you're ready for bed, the Hotel Indigo- Athens is an eco-chic, LEED-Gold certified upscale property that carries through the Athens music and arts vibe in both common spaces and guest rooms. Or, check into the Foundry Park Inn & Spa for a hotel offering  traditional Southern charm and great amenities, including an on-site spa, a live music venue, and two delicious on-site restaurants. The Georgia Gameday Center is an excellent option for those die-hard University of Georgia fans! All rooms are luxuriously UGA-themed, making this a unique way to experience Athens. For a more quiet, historic setting, The Colonels Bed & Breakfast is located about 10 minutes from downtown. Originally established in 1860, this historical mansion is nestled peacefully away on more than 30 acres of land, complete with a pond, walking trails, and direct access to Rock and Shoal Outcrop Heritage and Natural Area. Check www.VisitAthensGA.com for current  Athens GA hotel deals, and be sure to explore all Athens, GA hotels and book your stay at http://www.visitathensga.com/places-to-stay/hotels/.

Saturday
Spend Saturday morning exploring the streets of Athens! Downtown offers a great shopping experience, from cute clothing boutiques to locally owned and sourced craft and gift shops, vintage stores, and more!

The Athens Farmers Market is another great Saturday-morning attraction, open April through December at Bishop Park. Browse rows of tables and tents offering fresh food made by local farmers and art made by local artists, all while listening to music performed by local bands and performers. 

After a tasty lunch at favorite locales the Five Star Day Cafe or Clocked, indulge in a relaxing afternoon at The Foundry Park Inn Spa or Urban Sanctuary Spa. Both places offer a wide array of treatments, including massages, wraps, manicures & pedicures, and facials. 

Athens' best happy hour can be found at the Terrapin Beer Company, offering tours and craft beer tastings every Wednesday-Saturday night from 5:30-7:30, as well as live music to be enjoyed by guests!


After drinks and music, treat yourself to a variety of ethnically diverse fare. Etienne Brasserie offers traditionally rustic French dishes, while La Dolce Vita's kitchen cooks up wonderful Italian dishes. Enjoy an authentic Latin American meal on the expansive patio of Cali N Tito's, or a freshly caught, Caribbean-inspired dinner from Square One Fish Company.

Can't decide on just one Athens restaurant? To sample the many culinary options offered in the Classic City, take an Athens Food Tour, which leads participants all over town to try foods from a variety of places. 

Once you're full from supper, make way to The Volstead or Pauley's Original Crepe Bar for after-dinner drinks! The Volstead houses the only ice rail in town, for keeping drinks cold to the bottom of the glass, while Pauley's is known for being the perfect place to crack open and share a bottle of wine with girlfriends! 


Still in the mood for more live music? There is plenty to be had in the Classic City on Saturday nights! Check out Flagpole's Athens Music calendar for a full list of concerts, performances, and events.
Sunday
The market at the Heirloom Cafe offers an assortment of goodies,
perfect for any girl's drive back home after a great weekend getaway!
Before heading home on Sunday, make one last stop for brunch! Try Mama's Boy or the Heirloom Cafe & Fresh Market for a delicious breakfast spread, or Big City Bread Cafe for freshly home-baked breads, pastries, and cakes from their bakery. For a more elegant brunch menu, head to The Branded Butcher, The Last Resort Grill, or Five and Ten.

After a long and stressful workweek, sometimes all we need is a few days with the gals to rejuvenate and get us feeling back to normal. Why not take some time for yourself, call up your closest girlfriends, and head to Athens for the perfect Girls Weekend Getaway trip!


--Elizabeth Bertrand