With the arrival of summer comes the desire to trade in high-paced city life in exchange for a relaxing getaway. Luckily, located just 70 miles northeast of Atlanta, Athens, Georgia awaits. Whether you want to get your fill of nature, heritage, music, food, beer, or just fuel your creative juices, Athens' summer schedule provides an amazing value for your entertainment dollar and makes the short drive well worth your time!
Get outside and take advantage of sunny Georgia summers at the State Botanical Garden! Within its 313 acres, there are five miles of walking trails, various themed gardens, a conservatory full of tropical and subtropical plants, and a café and gift shop, making the garden an ideal destination for any summer day. The grounds are the perfect place to pack a picnic and spend an afternoon laying in the shade or to get some exercise among gorgeous scenery. Full Moon Hikes and cooking in the garden workshops are favorite special events for all ages this summer. Also, don't miss the Sunflower Music Series at the State Botanical Garden! The luscious garden environment may be the most enjoyable setting imaginable for a concert. The schedule is as follows: For just $15 per adult/$5 for kids, light snacks, beer and wine (for those of age) are included- that's a steal! Tickets for all of the shows are currently available for purchase online. Grab your friends and family, pack a picnic blanket, and come ready to enjoy good music!
- June 4- Shonna Tucker and Eye Candy (musicians from the Drive by Truckers; Alternative Country)
- July 9- Caroline Aiken (Folk/Blues/Rock)
- August 20- Grogus (Latin Jazz)
- September 17- Arvin Scott Quartet (World Beat/Jazz)
For some educational fun, Classic City Toursoffers a variety of themed tours that celebrate Athens' heritage and are sure to teach you a few things. We recommend including the Athens Heritage Tour on the top of your to-do list; it's offered daily at 2 p.m. Featured on the tour are the world's only remaining Double Barreled Cannon, Athens' oldest house, and the only National Historic Landmark in the area, the Taylor-Grady house. Other tours to consider are the African-American Heritage Tour and the Museum Mile Tour of Athens' four historic house museums. If you're feeling more independent, self-guided and audio tours are available as well! Reservations may be booked via phone at 706-208-8687. As Hunter S. Thompson said, "Good people drink good beer." We're sure that his Athens getaway would include touring Terrapin Brewery free of charge. A $10 souvenir glass comes with eight tickets that may be redeemed for half-pours of their award-winning beer. Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m., come taste and learn about award-winning beer while enjoying live outdoor music. Tell your pets that they're invited to join the fun as well, so long as they agree to stay on their leash! For more information on the performers, events, and Terrapin beer, see the Terrapin website. Perhaps good beer's biggest rival is good food, and Athens keeps the competition alive with its growing culinary status and multiple Top Chef and James Beard winners. With all of the delicious dining options in Athens, choosing just a few restaurants to experience during your visit can be challenging. Fortunately, Athens Food Tours not only eliminates the decision, but the tours make an event of sampling locally sourced foods and beverages from five to seven local eateries and shops. You'll join a guide on an easy-paced walk through a designated area of town. In addition to the scrumptious locally-grown, sustainable food and drinks included in the ticket price, ranging from $28-$44, hearing from local chefs and business owners along the way offers a unique and entertaining touch. Athens' annual summer festival, AthFest, is scheduled for June 19th-23rd, and we cannot wait! Taking over gorgeous downtown Athens, AthFest is a music, art, kids, and film-focused event. More than 150 bands and artists will perform during the five-day celebration- and it's free! Among other AthFest activities are an artists' market, a club crawl, film screenings, and KidsFest, which is an area especially for children and features kid-focused performances and interactive activities. AthFest wristbands are only $20, and they provide unlimited access to participating club crawl venues and discounts for other affiliated events. Show schedules can be viewed and wristbands may be purchased on the AthFest website. AthFest packages at Hotel Indigo Athens, Holiday Inn Express, and Foundry Park Inn & Spa start at a reasonable $105 per couple and make planning your one tank summer getaway a cinch! The packages include everything you need for the weekend: your hotel room, wristbands, AthFest CDs, and t-shirts. Find out more and purchase your AthFest package here. Decompress with some artistic therapy at Good Dirt Studio, Artini's, and Pints and Paints- all located in the heart of downtown Athens. Good Dirt Studio offers an assortment of clay classes, including "Try Clay" clay sessions on the wheel from 7-9 p.m. every Friday (ages 8+) and "Try Clay" hand-building classes for all ages every Sunday from 2-4 p.m. If you're more of the painting type, fuel your inner Monet and check out Artini's and Pints and Paints for a fun guided art lesson. The $20-$35 fee covers the supplies and guidance, and you'll surely to be impressed with your masterpiece!
For more ideas to satisfy your Georgia road trip cravings, visit the Athens Visitors & Convention Bureau website or call 706-357-4430. The possibilities in Athens, Georgia are endless this summer, so mark your calendars and plan your summer getaway as soon as possible!