We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The Ultimate College Town” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Athens

Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Athens, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
15 helpful votes
“The Ultimate College Town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2008

I can honestly say I fell in love with Athens the minute I drove into town. Cruising down Milledge Avenue past the charming southern-style houses as the sun was setting, I knew I could see myself here. Athens, home of the University of Georgia, is a perfect combination of a small southern town with a lively college atmosphere. Its vibrant, restored Victorian-era downtown teems with art galleries, trendy boutiques, renowned nightclubs and distinctive dining. Historic architecture and impressive gardens complete the unique blend of traditional heritage and trend-setting Southern culture.

The downtown scene is perfect for college students - and those looking to relive their college years. There are hundreds of bars and restaurants, including The 40 Watt and Melting Point (both listed as "Top 40 Music Venues in America" in Paste magazine, May 2007) and The Globe (named one of the "Best Bars in America" by Esquire magazine, October 2007). Music fans come from around the world to discover the roots of legends such as R.E.M., the B-52’s, and Widespread Panic, as well as hear the current crop of hundreds of bands playing downtown nightly. For information about what’s going on in Athens any night of the week, pick up a FREE Flagpole magazine from any of the bars or restaurants downtown, or visit their website at http://flagpole.com/. Some of my personal favorite restaurants downtown are Last Resort Grill, East-West Bistro, and Speakeasy, but you honestly can't go wrong with the unique menus you will find. Farm 255, which opened in the summer of 2005 by Full Moon Cooperative Farm, strives to bring the story of local sustainable farming to the table and connect people to the source of their food.

With red and black everywhere, fan shops full of Georgia gear, and artistic bulldog statues throughout downtown, it’s hard not to become a Georgia Bulldog fan when you visit this town – especially if you’re lucky enough to be there on a home football weekend! Saturdays seem like holidays when the population doubles, people celebrate from 7 am on, and everyone in town is dressed in UGA colors.

So whether you’re a prospective student, a Georgia alumni, or just anyone looking to relive those college years (we all know they’re the best of your life), Athens is the place for you. From music to shopping to wining and dining there’s definitely something for everyone in this eclectic college town.

*A great resource for Athens information and recommendations is: http://www.visitathensga.com

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 helpful votes
“Friendly, fun college town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2008

I've been to Athens twice now, once in late winter, once in early spring - both times have been a blast. Everyone is VERY friendly -and being from the South, I'm already used to expecting friendly people, so that came as a surprise.

It's a small college town, built around the University of Georgia itself, which was started around 1800 and is the oldest state university in the country (according to the charter date).

There are a lot of small, inexpensive restaurants and bars downtown with great atmospheres (try the Mellow Mushroom - now a regional chain pizza restaurant). And downtown is within walking distance of several motels/hotels. I actually thought I was being undercharged on at least 2 occasions, but no, it's a true college town with cheap food and beer. There are a few more upscale restaurants if that suits you. Personally, I like walking everywhere and paying next to nothing for food/drink - not really a 5-star kind of person.

The Georgia Theatre is a good venue to see some of your favorite artists. Again, another laid back, friendly place with great sound. There are several other places that offer live music, but I've pretty much gone specifically to see bands at the Georgia Theatre, so I can't comment on them.

Also, if you like plants and the outdoors, go visit the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia. Beautiful and informative place.

It's nice to go back to "college" with a steady income and no classes - maybe that's why I like Athens so much. If this sounds like your kind of town, definitely find a reason to check it out sometime.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southwest Virginia
Level Contributor
182 reviews
373 helpful votes
“Typical College Town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2008

In December 2007, I had the opportunity to attend the Wake Forest – Georgia Basketball Game at Stegeman Coliseum on the Campus of the University of Georgia. While in Athens I found that it is a typical college town and most of the people are passionate about UGA Sports especially football. But despite their passion I found that most people were respectful and polite to someone wearing the black and gold of the Demon Deacons. My visit to Athens was while the students were on Christmas break and getting around Athens was rather easy, I would think that when the students are on Campus traffic could get rather slow. There are many restaurants, and bars in the downtown area adjacent to the campus that caters to the students. Sports rule in Athens, Football at Sanford Stadium, Baseball at Foley Field, and Basketball and Gymnastics at Stegeman Coliseum. Located just off of the University of Georgia Campus is historic Oconee Hills Cemetery where several historic figures are buried including Dean Rusk former Secretary of State from 1961-69, under presidents John Kennedy an Lyndon Johnson an Dr. Crawford W. Long who was the first physician to use ether as an anesthetic during an operation. While visiting Athens I found the people friendly and very passionate about their “Dawgs.”

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Athens: Great Southern Culture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2002

Athens Georgia defines sophisticated Southern culture. This thriving educational community offers a unique blend of Southern heritage and contemporary entertainment. There are 14 historic districts for great self-guided driving tours, and 3 house museums open to tour. The restored Victorian-era Downtown is an eclectic mix of specialty shops, art galleries, and great restaurants. Of course live music is on tap nightly in the clubs that continue to produce world-renowned music such as REM, the B-52's, and Widespread Panic. Broadway musicals, headline performers, and some of the world's top orchestras can be enjoyed at The Classic Center or the University of Georgia's Performing Arts Center. The Georgia Museum of Art and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia are must-see attractions at UGA, as is the historic North Campus of America's first state-chartered university. Don't miss two of Athens' most unique attractions, the world's only Double-Barreled Cannon and the Tree That Owns Itself. Most attractions are free or charge minimal admission, so you'll get a lot of bang for your buck. The Athens Welcome Center and the UGA Visitors Center offer daily tours.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Athens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos