Spring in Athens is all about appreciating the beautiful weather, getting outdoors, and enjoying spring festivals and events. It's one of the best times of the year to visit, because there are so many things to do in Athens in the spring. We know you'll love these nature walks, patio dining, the Athens Beer Trail and just enjoying one another's company along with the wonderful weather. Check out these other ideas, too!
Best Things to Do This Spring in Athens
1. Head to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is worth a trip to Athens, all on its own. The Garden is a 313-acre preserve with plenty of attractions and activities to capture the imagination of all ages.
- There are over five miles of trails for exploring, including a new ADA-accessible trail to the river.
- Themed gardens tell the stories of plants throughout Georgia's history, plants that grow around the world at the same latitude, and more.
- The Children's Garden is an interactive and immersive experience spread over several acres.
- The Porcelain & Decorative Arts Museum is the newest attraction at the Garden. It explores the connection between arts and nature with eight galleries of exhibits from near and far.
Parking and admission to all areas are free!
2. Dine Outdoors
Athens is definitely known for its creative approach to food. The restaurant scene attracts discerning diners from metro Atlanta and far beyond. Spring is a wonderful time of year to head to Athens to check out the laid-back, casual vibe on restaurant patios throughout town.
- We love the family-friendly menu and patio space at Ted's Most Best and Clocked!, downtown.
- Plenty of other downtown restaurants have also upped their patio game, including Last Resort (yay, greenhouses!) and The National.
- The shaded, tropical oasis of Cali N Tito's, along with the flavors on the menu, will transport you to the Caribbean.
- Dine with a two-time James Beard winner on the porch of the historic home on S Milledge Ave. that houses Hugh Acheson's Five & Ten.
- Head to the Boulevard neighborhood and discover fun patios in reclaimed spaces: Heirloom is in a former old-time gas station and White Tiger is in an old corner grocery store.
There are plenty more outdoor dining options-- head over to our Outdoor Dining page to discover them all!
3. Take a Hike (or Walk, or Bike)
Athens may be better-known for its nightlife and music clubs, but there are plenty of under-the-radar outdoor trails to discover where overcrowding is never an issue.
- The Oconee Rivers Greenway, which goes right through Downtown Athens, has paved trails like the Firefly Trail that welcome all non-motorized transportation.
- For a more remote hike, head out to Sandy Creek Park or Ben Burton Park.
- Athens has plenty of wonderful nature trails for families, even with young children.
- Mountain bikers will enjoy the trails at Walker Park.
4. (Re)Discover the University of Georgia Campus
The University of Georgia's historic North Campus has some of the oldest properties in town. Step across Broad Street in Downtown Athens and you'll step back over two centuries in time. Did you know? The University of Georgia is the birthplace of public higher education in America (1785) and actually pre-dates the incorporation of the city of Athens. The early UGA presidents were Yale men and modeled the campus after that venerable institution. The quad is beautiful at any time, but the spring blooms are really something special and are not to be missed. If you're a UGA grad, you'll love revisiting your glory days and sharing (some) stories with your family. Even non-alumni will enjoy walking through North Campus. You'll see Old College (1801), one of the oldest buildings in Athens, and Herty Field, where the first football teams played. Here's a self-guided tour.
5. Discover Local Flavors
There are so many opportunities in the spring to see the creative energy of Athens on display. Every Saturday morning the Athens Farmers Market takes over Bishop Park and the offerings go far beyond produce. You'll find all sorts of fresh choices for your menu, your home, and your bath & body routine. Every third Saturday, Indie South hosts its Abnormal Bazaar, which is a fun lil' flea featuring all kinds of vendors selling everything from soaps and jewelry to vintage and vinyl. At both spots you'll be able to buy coffee and tea as well as pastries, so you can have some breakfast while you shop.
Indie South is also bringing back its Springtacular. This annual event is a modern makers market with truly one-of-a-kind finds.
6. Take a Garden Tour of Athens
Another one of Athens' favorite annual events is back this spring: The Piedmont Gardeners' Garden Tour of Athens. Enjoy the spring weather and take the opportunity to visit inspirational gardens in Athens. Bring a friend, your Mama or Sister, drag your spouse along, grab your walking shoes and immerse yourself in the self-guided tour filled with garden creativity and ideas. The tour takes place rain or shine -- find out more here.
7. Relax at an Athens Craft Brewery
Athens is now home to six breweries! The new Athens Beer Trail is a self-guided tour where you can get stamps to earn prizes and is a must-do for all beer lovers. Each Athens brewery has its own specialty and vibe.
- Creature Comforts, in downtown Athens, gained acclaim for its Tropicalia IPA and is also known for its sours (we see you, Athena!)
- Akademia has expansive patio space and as a brewpub offers a full food menu in addition to great beer.
- Southern Brewing Co. hosts great concerts in their big backyard. Tip: try their Red & Black, or Cherokee Rose beers.
- Athentic has brought a great in-town vibe to the bustling Normaltown neighborhood. They have a great selection of rotating seasonal special beers as well as regular favorites.
- Normaltown Brewing Co. is the perfect neighborhood watering hole tucked away in the Tracy St. warehouse district.
- Terrapin Beer Co. is where Athens beer began. It has the OG backyard and tasting room and is still turning out inventive brews as well as favorites like Hopsecutioner and the Golden Ale that first put them on the map.
- Keep an eye on our events calendar, as Athens breweries host plenty of special events like craft fairs, live music, farmers markets, art exhibits and pop-up partnerships with local businesses.
Discover more about our local Athens craft breweries and pick the one -- or ones -- right for you!
8. Pack a Picnic
Spring weather is picnic weather!
There are plenty of picnic spots in Athens for spreading out a blanket and relaxing over good food and drink. Slow down, enjoy the scenery, the company and the conversation.
Make Your Plans and Book Today
We look forward to seeing you this spring in Athens!
Why wait? Book your Athens Spring Getaway today!