Things to do in Athens this Fall
Think fall is just for football in Athens, Georgia? Think again!
Athens is one of the best places to travel in the fall. As much as we love the Bulldogs and revel in those Saturdays between the hedges, there is so much more to do in Athens in the fall. Athens always has plenty of fall festivals, and this year there are even more, due to some pandemic rescheduling. Fall weather in Georgia is wonderful, making it the perfect time for fall activities and outdoor adventures. So, plan your fall weekend getaway! We're even going to start a little early, with events in mid-August leading the way towards fall:
Top 10 Fall Festivals and Events in Athens
1. SouthernFest Southern Rock Jam
August 14: Southern Brewing Company hosts a full day of music at SouthernFest. Featured performers include Freebird "The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Experience" along with Southern Accents (Tom Petty tribute) + special Southern Rock DJ sets by DJ Osmose. The Inaugural SouthernFest benefits ESP (Extra Special People) and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. Get your tickets and get ready to rock!
2. Athens Twilight Criterium
August 20-21: Get your bike and beer on at Athens Twilight Criterium. The course start-finish line is on Clayton Street at College Avenue, but the fun is everywhere downtown. There's an outdoor food court, the Twilight Expo, and of course amazing restaurants and cycling action, since the course is set up to circle through downtown streets. Veteran Twilight Criterium race fans scope out the best sidewalk dining spots along the course and settle in for the evening. As CyclingTips.com puts it, "The streets of downtown Athens, Georgia, become a block party. Fireworks in the parking lot, bars overflowing, thousands of screaming college kids lining barriers. Oh, and there’s also a bike race happening. This is Athens Twilight, the pinnacle of criterium racing in the United States."
3. Classic City Brew Fest
August 28: If you or someone you love gets geeky about beer, The Classic City Brew Fest is for you! Georgia's longest-running beer festival, the Classic City Brew Fest will be held on Hotel Indigo's beautiful covered patio and observation deck. Come enjoy 50+ unique, one-off cask ales with special ingredients, live music, food, and the opportunity to meet local craft beer celebrities. Tickets are limited, so be sure to grab yours in advance!
4. AthFest Music and Arts Festival - CANCELED
September 24-26: After skipping a year in 2020, the 2021 AthFest Music & Arts Festival returns to downtown Athens, GA. This multi-day, free, outdoor festival includes live music on three outdoor stages, an artist market, KidsFest, food, and retail vendors, plus multiple beer gardens. AthFest showcases the best in local and regional performance and visual arts, and is a true celebration of the creative energy this town is known for. It's the absolute best opportunity for music lovers of all ages to sample Athens' famous music scene and discover some new favorite talent.
5. Zombie Farms Haunted Trail
October: Zombie Farms will be OPEN every Friday and Saturday night of October for the 2021 season. Want a screaming good time? A ¾ mile walk through the creepy, haunted woods full of spooks will do the trick. And if you’re the friend who likes to sit the spooky stuff out, Zombie Farms also has s’mores pits and a brand new rope maze! Tickets are $20-25/person.
6. North Georgia Folk Festival & LatinX Fest - CANCELED October 9: Two great annual events are happening and we can't pick just one! The North Georgia Folk Festival returns to Sandy Creek Park. The musical lineup this year will feature all local-to-Athens bands and solo performers on two stages. In addition, there will be artists, traditional craft demonstrators, and food vendors. Kids activities include music and arts and crafts, as well as the ever-popular dinosaur playground.
The LatinxFest celebrates the diverse cultures of Central and South America. The festival aims to recognize the economic and cultural impacts the local Latinx community has on Athens. Enjoy live music, food, dancing, kids activities and much more, all in downtown Athens.
7. Historic Athens Porchfest
October 10: Take a stroll through Pulaski Heights, Newtown, Boulevard, Buena Vista, Normaltown, and Cobbham Neighborhoods on Sunday, October 10 from 1 - 8 PM and you’ll be surrounded by music. It’s Historic Athens Porchfest, where an amazing lineup of 100+ musicians bring their tunes outside on an array of lovely front porches and yards. Athens' historic neighborhoods and musical heritage are a natural fit, and you'll be glad you took part in Porchfest.
8. The 2021 AthHalf Half Marathon & AthHalf 5K
October 23-24: AthHalf 2021 is the 12th annual half marathon and 5th annual 5K! The 5K is October 23 at 2:30 PM, and the half marathon is October 24 at 7:30 AM. The AthHalf is a fundraiser for AthFest Educates, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting high-quality music and arts education programs for K -12 youth in Athens-Clarke County. The course highlights Athens' vibrant downtown, beautiful historic buildings, University of Georgia campus, and the world-renowned music scene. AthHalf does sell out, so get your spot today.
9. Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade & Spectacle
October 30: If you’ve ever wanted to be completely surrounded by joy and absurdity, the 13th Annual Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade & Spectacle is for you! All are invited to participate in the Wild Rumpus by dressing in costume and marching in the parade, or you can line the streets downtown and watch the monsters and ghouls march by. Pick your own costume, or gather a group of friends and go as a themed brigade.
Athens Pride 2021 Street Festival -Canceled November 13: It’s time to cut loose and shed the existential dread for a spell, and what better way than at an outdoor Pride Festival complete with Athens Pride’s FIRST-EVER Pride Parade on November 13! Also enjoy the Pride street festival with local vendors and organizations, local musical and performance artists, the Annual Starlight Showcase, and the 2021 Athens Pride After Party.
More things to do in Athens in the fall:
- Explore Athens hiking trails at Sandy Creek Park (header image) and other off-the-beaten path spots
- Take a nature walk with the family at Memorial Park's Birchmore Trail or the Sandy Creek Nature Center
- Take your road or mountain bike out for a spin
- Enjoy a delicious meal on the patio of a favorite Athens restaurant
- Take a Haunted Athens Tour
- Relax at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
- Plan the perfect UGA Football weekend
If this fall is the right time for you to venture out, we'll be ready. Athens has committed to Go Safely.