Two-Night Open Spaces Escape to Athens

Looking for a quick getaway from Atlanta, North Georgia, or the Carolinas? Athens has plenty of outdoor adventures for all ages. 

Athens is known as one of the best college towns in America, and we know you'll see why after hanging out here for a few days. 

Here's a fun two-day itinerary full of wide open spaces and fun places to explore. Check out these walking, hiking, and biking trails, plus parks with plenty of activities and lovely gardens.

Your Itinerary:

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Welcome to Athens!

  • Leave the crowds and stress of your workweek and regular life behind-- relax, you're in Athens! Drop your bags at your hotel and set out to explore.

restaurant iconRelax & Refresh


craft beer iconEvening Fun

Day 2:

restaurant iconBreakfast

  • Some local favorites include:
    • Mama's Boy, Southern fun dining for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Authentic and impressively-sized biscuits, specials, and cheat day highlights like “Chocolate Cake for Breakfast.”
    • Big City Bread, with one of the largest, shaded patios in town, plus an impressive menu of pastries and hearty breakfast fare.

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State Botanical Garden of Georgia

  • Athens is home to Georgia's official botanical garden. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia encompasses over 300 acres of themed gardens, nature trails, and a modern, soaring tropical conservatory. The Garden has been named an important birding area by the Georgia Audubon Society, and is beautiful any time of year.

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Lyndon House Arts Center

  • The Lyndon House Arts Center is a multi-faceted attraction that includes a soaring, modern art gallery connected to one of Athens’ loveliest historic house museums, the Ware-Lyndon House. Visitors will enjoy local, regional, and national art exhibits, as well as souvenirs and works for sale by the Athens Area Artists Guild. The house museum includes an Athens heritage room with plenty of artifacts from the community.

restaurant iconLunch

  • Named an “American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation, Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods is also known far and wide by music fans, since one of R.E.M.’s most famous albums was named after chef-owner Dexter Weaver’s slogan, “Automatic for the People.” You’ll find a full selection of classic Southern Soul Food here, including fried chicken, pork chops, to-die-for greens, and old-fashioned macaroni and cheese.

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Take a Hike

Shopping iconShop & Stroll in Five Points

  • Athens' Five Points neighborhood is definitely a must-see. A cozy collection of shops and restaurants highlight a Victorian-era neighborhood that remains one of Athens' residents most sought-after addresses. The area has a fine selection of cute shops, including Avid Bookshop, known as a top independent book store in the South. 
  • Next door to Avid is Condor Chocolates, a bean-to-bar cafe with decadent Equadorian chocolate creations of all types. Summer treats include gelato sandwiches, smores kits to go, and more!
  • Craft beer fans will want to make a stop at Five Points Growlers for a wide range of local favorites.
  • Want more time in Five Points? Great!

Shopping iconShop & Stroll Through Downtown

  • Downtown Athens is full of local and independent shops offering fun and one-of-a-kind finds, plus a few familiar favorites thrown in along the way. Be sure to take time to pop into all the cool shops along Clayton Street. You can browse through vinyl and music memorabilia at Wuxtry Records or Low Yo Yo Stuff  and the hippest vintage stores ever, like  Atomic Athens, Dynamite, and Agora Vintage. Plus there are plenty of other independently-owned shops, such as Community displaying items from local makers and some curated collections of Athens gift boxes that make the perfect souvenirs.

restaurant iconDinner & Dessert

  • At Ted's Most Best, everyone can order their own brick oven individual pizzas, including fresh seasonal creations. Salads and sliders are also highly recommended. The shady, expansive patio is a downtown oasis.
  • Last Resort Grill is an Athens tradition, and now has an all-new patio! Last Resort is known for a fresh take on Southern food, a full bar, and one of the largest dessert cases you've seen with an amazing array of cakes.
  • Or, take an after-dinner stroll over to Alumni Cookie Dough for a real indulgence.
  • We've listed about 50 Athens restaurants with outdoor seating.

Day 3

 Explore iconFirefly Trail

  • Just on the edge of downtown Athens, the Firefly Trail is an unexpected and convenient recreation spot that runs  behind The Classic Center and the Homewood Suites. The Firefly Trail is a multi-use rails-to-trails project which will eventually extend 39-miles from Athens to Union Point. The first 1-mile segment, including a 500' bridge over the North Oconee River and a connection to the North Oconee River Greenway and Dudley Park, is now open. 


Explore iconHeritage Trail

  • You can learn more about Athens' heritage while walking along this lovely portion of the North Oconee River Greenway. Over 50 interpretive signs are on a half mile of the Greenway and illustrate the area's rich history.

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Self-Guided Tour of Athens

  • Classic City Tours at the Athens Welcome Center has a number of self-guided tours available to download. You can choose from driving, walking,and podcast tours!
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University of Georgia's Historic North Campus

  • Cross over Broad Street through the iconic Arch and you'll be stepping back in time over two centuries, to the birthplace of public higher education in America. The University of Georgia was chartered in 1785 and the Historic North Campus was modeled after Yale. Magnificent Greek Revival buildings date back to the start of classes in the first decade of the 19th century. Take a self-guided walking tour, which includes the UGA Chapel, the Chapel Bell, and Herty Field and Fountain.

restaurant iconRefresh & Refuel

What craft beer and restaurants haven't you tried yet? We hope you've got time for another leisurely dinner & drink!


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