Athens Holiday Gift Guide:
Shop local this holiday season and give Athens gifts as part of a Georgia Made, Georgia Grown holiday! Athens is home to a long list of locally-owned businesses that offer a variety of unique and locally made items and experiences. Even Expedia named Athens as one of the "Best American towns for Holiday Shopping!"
Here is a list of some favorite Athens shops to find holiday gifts for friends, family, and everyone in between! While you're in Athens this holiday season, be sure to visit these wonderful shops and take home a piece of Athens for the special people in your life!
Gifts For Mom
Urban Sanctuary: Moms work hard, so give the gift of relaxation this holiday season. Urban Sanctuary offers a variety of services including massages, nails, facials, waxing, makeup and more. Treat yourself and your mom as part of your visit, and gift her with a certificate to return!
Aurum: Aurum, a jewelry and art gallery downtown is the perfect place to find that unique piece for your jewelry-loving mom. Aurum's prize-winning artists will even craft jewelry per your request and specifications. Pop into what is known to be "the finest display of artwork in North Georgia" and pick out something one-of-a-kind for your mom this season.
State Botanical Garden of Georgia: We are so lucky to have the State Botanical Garden right here in Athens, so share that gift with mom. The gift shop is full of beautiful plants to bring home, a variety of books and branded souvenir items that might make your mom want to come see the State Botanical Garden of Georgia herself. The gift shop offers a great selection of local products, including honey made from beehives kept right on the grounds, stationary, jewelry, and artwork from local artists. Seriously, this is one of Athens best kept secrets!
Andree's Essential Soaps: Stop by Andree's on South Milledge Ave. and pick up natural made soaps, bubble oil bombs, candles, and lotions. All are made right in the basement of the shop. Andree has a line of products she developed for cancer patients and others who have special needs for skin care and moisturizing without chemical additives. Featured in the gift bags for the International Emmy awards, Andree's has gained popularity among celebrities worldwide.
Gifts for Dad
Masada Leather: For those with dads that love quality leather, Masada is the place for you. Owner Irvin Alhadeff is one of the few craftsmen in America who still creates handmade sandals. He also crafts great pieces including belts and wallets. Masada Leather has a great selection of outdoor gear as well. Not just for men, find the perfect leather bag and jewelry for yourself while you are there!
Clocked!: Clocked! is a great place in downtown Athens that locals swear have the best burgers in town with clever flavor combinations such as the Blackberry Bacon Jam Burger, the Roasted Garlic Cheeseburger, and the Bayou Burger. Swing by and pick up a gift card so that you can have your dad join you in Athens for a great meal.
Active Climbing: For those dads that need a burst of adrenaline, Active Climbing is a high flying adventure he will never forget. This indoor rock climbing facility boasts spectacular boulders that are 20-feet high with textures and forms that will blow you away, and terrain you'll find at pro comps. The facilities also feature 20-feet tall roped walls (lead and top rope), a 40 foot long roof traverse, padding with lots of crush pads, more than enough to cure you from being afraid of falling! They offer passes by the hour, day, month, or year, so this is the perfect gift for beginners and experts alike.
Gifts for the Foodie
Local Athens Coffee :
Local Athens Breweries:
Athens, GA is now home to six craft breweries, each with a distinctive point of view that's evident in both their anytime favorites and special seasonal and session brews. They've also got some of the coolest swag around, so be sure to include a tee, hat, stein and other apparel and home goods in your beer-lovers' gift basket.
Connect with all of them from our Athens Craft Breweries page.
Sweets for the Sweet
Condor Chocolates is one of Georgia's only bean-to-bar chocolate cafes. Up your box of chocolates game this holiday with this local, small-batch goodness. You'll find a variety of bars, truffles, toffee and other delicacies at this shop in Five Points, as well as online.
Bear Hug Honey Company: If you haven't already, head over to Bear Hug Honey, in Downtown Athens. From soaps, to chapsticks, to candles, to jars upon jars of fresh honey - you can find just about anything for just about anyone. Best of all, owner and UGA graduate Sam Johnson works closely with local beekeepers to keep his artisan shop stocked with only the most authentic honey products.
And, don't forget Athens restaurants! An Athens restaurant gift card is always a welcome gift for the food lover in your circle!
Gifts for the Fashion-Forward
Community: Community is a small boutique located on Jackson Street that sells a variety of vintage clothes, shoes, and accessories. They are very eco-friendly, but without sacrificing style. For those interested in fashion themselves, Community offers classes that teach sewing and knitting.
Red Dress Boutique: The Red Dress Boutique started in Athens, GA and has grown wildly in popularity as one of the success stories of the hit television show Shark Tank. They have all different types of clothing for year-round wear at modest prices and are located on College Avenue as well as a huge online selection.
Heery's: Calling Athens home since 1959 is none other than Heery's, Athens' signature high-end retail store where you can find brands such as Tibi, BCBG, Tory Burch, Rebecca Taylor and many more. You can't go wrong at Heery's for the fashion-obsessed one in your life.
Metal + Petal: A modern and eclectic full-service design firm owned and operated by husband and wife duo Graham and Jade Joyner, Metal + Petal is the perfect place to choose a beautiful home accessory or a special gift for the one who loves to bring beauty to their home and life, without breaking the bank.
BMA at Home: Owned by local interior designer Breckyn Alexander, BMA at Home showcases designs personally curated by Alexander and offers the finest in a boutique setting. Stop in and browse all that BMA has to offer and maybe pick out a gift card for the one who has probably been wishing to have a reason to browse BMA and add some swank to their home.
Archer Paper: Based in Atlanta at the trendy Ponce City Market is Archer Paper Goods, the shop has recently made a home here in Downtown Athens. A stationery-lovers dream, Archer boasts an elaborate selection of greeting cards as well as "the pencil shop", and many appealing gifts and knick-knacks. A customer favorite tends to be the ever-popular Aviate hats, as well as some Athens-centric items.
Epiphany: If you want to give in more ways than one this season, stop by Epiphany's spacious storefront to find boho-chic clothing, unique gifts, and charming home goods. Every purchase at Epiphany benefits the poor and underserved in Athens and around the world.
Gifts for the Music Fan
Wuxtry Records-Athens: For those who know the music history of Athens, Wuxtry Records is a perfect place to pick up vintage and recent records. Wuxtry Records is known for its extensive vinyl and used CD collection. A favorite among local bands and musicians still today, you never know who you will be rubbing elbows with. For the R.E.M. lover: this is where the band first met.
Chick Music: Chick Music is located in downtown Athens and is your music destination. They have a variety of different instruments, music books, lessons, and anything else you need to teach or expand anyone's musical talents. This is the go-to place for many of Athens' local bands.
Gifts for the Die-Hard Dawgs Fan
UGA Bookstore: The UGA Bookstore is a great place to find anything and everything you need with the Dawgs logo. They have everything from apparel to stuffed animals to dishes for your dining room table.
Gifts for the Art Aficionado
R. Wood Studio: Housed in a modest warehouse where you will find artists at work while you shop, R. Wood is a local warehouse studio completely full of beautiful handmade dinnerware and one-of-a-kind pieces that you truly cannot find anywhere else. When you give the gift of R. Wood, you might start someone's collection for years to come.
Good Dirt: Good Dirt is an art studio that has classes for both children and adults so it is a great gift for an art fan of any age. The owners Rob and Jess Sutherland also sell their beautiful pottery in their gallery room at the studio, for browsing by appointment. If you want to get your hands dirty, use one of their wheels to create your one-of-a-kind pottery to take home and display at home. You can create and paint your clay, and they will fire it for you in the kiln.
Lyndon House Arts Center: In addition to galleries with lovely exhibits, Lyndon House has one of Athens' best gift shops, as it is home to the Athens Area Artists Guild shop. It's a one-stop shop for locally-made gifts in all sorts of mediums, from textiles to papercrafts to multimedia to gorgeous paintings and pottery.
K. A. Artist Shop: Let your creativity be your guide as you peruse an amazing selection of art supplies, calligraphy, journals and calendars, and craft kits. You can shop in person by appointment, or order online and choose curbside pickup, free local delivery, or shipping.
Gifts for Kids
Frog Stomp Studio: Located in the Chase Street Warehouses, Frog Stomp is a distinctive children's art studio for ages 2+, even adults are encouraged to come and join the fun, there is no limit. Frog Stomp is an open-studio environment, meaning there are no classes or schedules - come as you please during the week and pay by the hour. Your kids will never want to leave this creative and unique place.
Treehouse Kid and Craft: A children's shop with toys, clothes, and a DIY center, Treehouse offers well-designed and well-made items for kids and crafters! Give the gift of a DIY class for kids or families.
Other Places that are just too Amazing to Miss
Avid Bookshop: Athens' favorite community bookshop has a dedicated staff that seriously loves books and helps Athens love them too. They also offer eclectic and whimsical gifts and stationary. It is no wonder that Publisher's Weekly named them one of the Top 5 bookshops in the US. Don't miss out on this hometown jewel. For the 2020 holiday shopping season, they are closed for browsing but are offering online ordering and contactless pickup.
Escape the Space: If you think all escape room experiences are the same, you couldn't be more wrong. Locally owned and operated, Escape the Space proves a great experience for first-timers and quiz-masters alike. With clever puzzles and elaborate storylines, this is an activity that you will not forget. Now offering a competitive room in which teams race the clock, and each other, Escape the Space is a great gift for those who love to be challenged and want to encounter something new.
More Local Athens Holiday Gift Ideas
- Athensmade has released a beautiful gift guide to some of Athens' most amazing local finds, for everyone on your list, including YOU! Get inspired.
- Indie South hosts the Holiday Hooray market every year, but they also have a brick and mortar shop on Hawthorne Avenue filled with quirky gifts, beautiful jewelry and lush plants. If you tried, you could probably find a gift for almost everyone on your list at this one spot.
Christmas, Winter and Holiday Markets
- There are a number of outdoor Holiday Markets happening in Athens this season, providing a wonderful opportunity to browse a variety of makers in one stop. Check out our Holiday Events page for more details on when and where to find a Holiday Market and winter activities.
As you can see, Athens truly has something for every single person on your list this season. Look no further than the local shops and restaurants that Athens has to offer for the perfect gift that will keep your friends and family thanking you for years to come.