I’ve lived in Athens, GA for seven years now, so I have developed some of my favorite spots. These are highlights of my favorite restaurants, venues, parks, etc. in and around Athens in no particular order.
Ben Burton is great! They put in a canoee/kayak launch about a year and a half ago. Recently, I’ve seen some groups load in there to float down the river. I love Ben Burton for this little spot close to the entrance. It’s a nice little creek area where I can let Olivia off leash (#rulebreaker) and she just goes nuts! They also have great walking trails. I haven’t explored those too much, mostly because Olivia just wants to run around in the creek just as soon as we park the car.
If you know me, my standard breakfast of choice is a bagel with cream cheese. I’ve gotten a bit more adventurous recently and done a bagel with peanut butter and bananas too. Ideal Bagel has a ton of different bagel options, shmear options, and even “plates” where you can add on lox and stuff. The staff is super friendly, and it’s amazing (and dangerous for my bank account) that it’s right on my way to work.
Habitat ReStore on Barber St.
This is a hidden gem! There are two ReStores in Athens. The one on Barber St is HUGE. I got an old wing back armchair from there a couple of years ago that I just loved. They literally have everything: furniture, clothing, books, lightbulbs, sinks, floor tiles…you name it, it’s there. If you feel like digging a bit, you can probably find something pretty cool.
Rubber Soul Yoga
I would not have known about this place if it weren’t for one of my friends. Rubber Soul Yoga is this itty bitty studio with yoga classes offered. It’s a “pay what you can” model. The first time I went, a few of the ladies mentioned that they would put in a “large sum” for a month and then not worry about it. The teachers were super friendly, and they even have equipment you can use if you don’t have any.
The Hill is one of my absolute favorite spots in Athens. If/when I get married, I think the dream would be the first week in May at The Hill. The property is owned by Lee Epting, and rented through Epting Events. I had the opportunity to work a few weddings there, so I’m familiar with the place. The houses are historic and well cared for, and you can get the ENTIRE property the weekend of your wedding! We actually took some of my sister’s wedding photos there.
Man, does Mama’s Boy make the best biscuits. I’ve never actually been to the restaurant, though they’re opening a new location soon! We had them cater a work event in July, and used to get their biscuits for breakfast. You have to try one of the biscuits with the poppyseed butter and jam. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
My favorite venue. I also got to work a couple of weddings here, and they were amazing. If you’re unaware, Georgia Theatre actually caught fire a few years ago. They worked for a long while to restore it, and it finally reopened my sophomore year in college. The first time I ever saw Needtobreathe was there, and I now have two upcoming concerts there in the next couple of months. They also have a great rooftop bar with a lovely view of downtown Athens. Just be wary of the elevator. When they’re having events, they stuff as many people as they can in there, and it’s ancient.
My favorite bar in Athens! They make amazing cocktails and have a tremendous selection of bottled beers too. They have a great white sangria that is almost always out by the time I get there. I’m also a fan of the Blueberry Buck. I mean, they muddle fresh blueberries right in your glass!
Southern Brewing Co.
This is the newest large-scale brewery in town, and my favorite. I think their beers are more accessible and appealing than Terrapin. Compared to Creature Comforts, Southern Brewing Company has a lot more space to spread out. Olivia always likes going because they usually have boiled peanuts, and someone is bound to have dropped a few. If you go on your birthday, you drink for free! They usually do watch parties for UGA football games, so I might try one of those this year.
I’m keeping the name of this last one quiet. I rarely see people at this park (except for the last time I went when there was some large family reunion or church picnic). It’s a nice walk that’s shaded with some water for Olivia to play in. This park is one of our favorite Sunday morning adventures.
Those are my favorite parts of Athens. I think a lot of people have a lot of favorite parts. A lot of these I only learned about within the last couple of years! Hopefully I’ll find a few more here soon.