Head to Athens, an eclectic college town 60 miles northeast of Atlanta. A vibrant, restored Victorian-era downtown teems with boutiques, artwork, local products, renowned nightclubs and distinctive dining. Historic architecture and impressive gardens complete the blend of traditional Southern heritage and contemporary style. The vibe and energy that gave birth to R.E.M., the B-52s, and Widespread Panic is alive and well today!
- Southern Brewing Company, Athens' third craft brewery, opened in May 2015 and joins Creature Comforts Brewing Company (opened in spring 2014) and Terrapin Beer Company (2002) in offering public tours and tastings.
- One of the largest mountain biking trails in the southeast at Trail Creek Park opened in April 2015 with more than five miles of professionally constructed trails.
- Athens was named the "#1 College Music Scene in America" by Rolling Stone, and for good reason. World-class and local acts grace the main stages of the
- The annual music and arts festival AthFest each June highlights and celebrates this culture that is so ingrained in the identity of the city.
The Georgia Museum of Art is the state's official art museum and features more than 9,000 pieces in its permanent collection. The Lyndon House Arts Center is home to large galleries and children's programming. The Third Thursday visual art tour highlights seven of Athens' major art locations monthly.
Athens is a foodie paradise, highlighted by James Beard Award-Winner and Top Chef Hugh Acheson's Five & Ten. Acheson is also a partner at The National, where chef-owner Peter Dale has made a name for himself with a Mediterranean-inspired menu. Dale has also opened Seabear Oyster Bar with chef Patrick Stubbers.
Athens Food Tours tells the story of Athens' local goodness through walking tours and tastings at favorite restaurants and Farmers Markets.
Niche shops, coffee roasters and craft breweries comprise a unique Athens artistry that can be found nowhere else.
- Three Athens breweries are producing award-winning craft beer and make for Athens' best happy hour with tours and tastings:
- New specialty shops have added to the variety of the city:
- Visitors can experience the coffee roasting process at
- January - Athens Wine Weekend
- February - Taste of Athens
- March - Slingshot Music Festival
- April - Twilight Criterium Bike Race, Classic City BrewFest
- May - Athens Human Rights Festival
- June - AthFest Music & Arts Festival
- July - Sprockets Music Video Festival
- August - Classic City BBQ Festival
- October - North Georgia Folk Festival, AthHalf Half Marathon, Wild Rumpus & Halloween in the Clubs
- November - UGA Spotlight on the Arts
- December - Downtown Parade of Lights, Christmas at The Classic Center
- The University of Georgia is the oldest state-chartered university (1785) in the U.S.
- Athens was named one of America's "Prettiest Towns" by Forbes.
- Creature Comforts was named one of the "Best New Breweries in the U.S." by The Daily Meal.
- There are 10 recording studios and hundreds of active bands in Athens.
- The 313-acre State Botanical Garden is an All-American Selections Garden and an Audubon Important Birding Area.
- The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Athens as a Distinctive Destination.