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Anyone who has lived in Athens, Georgia can attest to its strange magnetism.  With strong ties to the alternative music scene, Athens spawned such acts as R.E.M. and the B-52’s back in the day, and many since.  The constant influx of students from UGA breathes new life into the downtown area and keeps the watering holes hopping when school’s in session. But there’s more to Athens’ pull then music and libations; the earthiness and innovation of the creatives that call it home makes for a heady mix.  You’ll find amazing restaurants that have garnered widespread attention, such as Hugh Acheson’s The National, alongside cult favorites like The Grill and a cultural scene which reflects the quirkiness of its residents including the Sprockets International Music Video Festival and AthFest.  While the lush woods and trickling shoals provide many opportunities to commune with nature, Athens’ decidedly Southern pace may coax you into sitting a spell.  And why not? If ever there was a quintessential college town, Athens is it. Make like the locals and slow your roll for a bit.

 Downtown

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Mama’s Boy  Apparently this boy’s mama schooled him on making some pretty tasty biscuits. Stop by for breakfast or brunch.  Yep, parking may not be ideal for this bustling little spot just shy of Broad St., but trust us, the walk will do you good on a full belly of Fried Green Tomato & Pulled Pork Benedict with Carolina fire hollandaise. (not technically downtown, but durn close) 197 Oak St. (E)

While you’re out that way, drop by R. Wood Studio Ceramics on Georgia Drive to see artists at work in one of the largest pottery studios in the states. Rebecca’s collection will beguile you with its rich palette and organic shapes. R. Wood is a great place to pick up a gift for a foodie friend (and perhaps inspire them to throw a fete). Open 10-5 during the week and 10-2 weekends. 450 Georgia Dr. (S)

Weaver D’s Fine Food  The full Athens experience surely includes a little Southern soul food at Weaver D’s. R.E.M. named an album after them. That’s almost like naming your kid after somebody, right? 1016 E. Broad St. (E)

DePalma’s Italian Cafe is a great place to linger over a nice glass of wine and some pizza or pasta.  Their breadsticks are legendary and worth the wait. DePalma’s is a lovely place to wind up after a leisurely stroll through north campus. 401 E. Broad St. (E)

Zombie Coffee & Donuts 350 E. Broad St. (E)

The Place  This cozy meat and three place is all the comfort food you’ll need. Winner of this year’s Flagpole Favorites Best New Downhome/Southern restaurant, The Place is bustling, so plan accordingly. With a fantastic view of the arches, The Place serves lunch, dinner and a popular brunch. Save room for a slice of Cecilia’s cakes or Tammy’s cheesecakes. 229 E. Broad St. (E)

South Kitchen + Bar  Walk a few blocks uptown to the gorgeous Old Georgian Hotel and South Kitchen + Bar for a slightly more refined vibe. This is a nice stop for cocktails, Shrimp and Grits, or for those in search of the wildly overgarnished Bloody (we know you’re out there) head over for their weekend brunch. They’ll be serving the Double Bloody Mary skewered with a slider burger, fried chicken tender, & pimento cheese stuffed fried jalapeño. You’re going to need a nap. 247 E. Washington St. (E)

Jittery Joe’s Coffee  Rolling Stone magazine crowned Jittery Joe’s one of the top 24 hour coffee houses in America. They tend the small batches of roasting beans like a mother hen to ensure your best cup ever. You also can buy twelve ounces of Whoop-Ass in a Can, and that makes us happy.  297 E. Broad St. (8 additional locations around town) (E)

Agora Vintage is the sister store of the uber-popular Atomic (formerly Agora) on Clayton. If you are seeking a more ordered and upscale vintage shopping experience, check out the Broad St. location. 233 E. Broad St. (S)

Dynamite Clothing  Looking for that ironic tee or a pair of shades to up your hip factor? 143 N. Jackson St. (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Community  If you haven’t made it to Community, put it on your list immediately.  Local designers’ wares, vintage clothing, gorgeous jewelry, handmade chocolates, artisan gifts and decor in an airy, elegant space with a view to downtown. Community offers personal styling, alterations, and sewing classes. Owner Sanni Baumgartner is at the helm bringing sustainable fashion to Athens. 119 N. Jackson St. (S)

The K. A. Artist Shop  Kristin Ashley’s happy little art nook is packed with local art and handmade gifts, art supplies and whimsy. Go for a gallery show, a bit of shopping, or take a class. See the workshop schedule here. 127 N. Jackson St. (S)

Atomic  While Athens boasts no shortage of vintage shops, it will quickly become clear why Atomic is different. This co-op combines the eagle eye of 50 individual sellers to bring you the nirvana of vintage shops.  Men’s and women’s clothing, swell jewelry, mid-century furniture, records, art, lighting and accessories to funk up your place–if it is retro, it is here, somewhere. 260 W. Clayton St. (S)

The Caledonia Lounge is a small venue where you’ll likely to hear a relatively obscure band with a bunch of people who are really into music, if you’re into that sort of thing. 256 W. Clayton St. (D)

Grant Henry’s popular Atlanta nightspot, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, gains its second location in the classic city. This irreverent bar features plenty of Henry’s own artwork as well as bounteous libations and most importantly, ping pong!  Whether it’s the Rapture or a rage, Church is sure to transport you to a higher plane. 254 W. Clayton St. (E)

Keeping it Natural  Keep your gorgeous skin hydrated with all-natural products that won’t do anything bad to you or the environment (and smell nice at the same time). They’ve got beard oil too, gents! 220 E. Clayton St. (S)

The Grill  Their fries were voted the best in Athens by Flagpole readers. But more than fresh-cut potatoes, The Grill is tradition in the best sense of the word. Don’t leave without gracing the black and white tiled 24 hour diner, and have a malt for us. 171 College Ave. (E)

Wuxtry Records and CD Exchange and Bizarro-Wuxtry Comics and Stuff   You could wax poetic about all the incredible music history that has occurred within Wuxtry’s walls (numerous life changing connections were formed here), or you could just go, and check it out yourselves.  We vote for the latter.  Bizarro (upstairs) is also not to be missed if you are a fan of comics, or pop culture, or both. 197 E. Clayton St. (S)

Athens downtown at duskFrontier  Drop in to a pick up some handmade soap, card, or quirky gift from this beloved downtown staple. 193 E. Clayton St. (S)

Encore Clothing, Shoes, and Gifts has been helping Southern gals look more fetching since, well, before some of their current clientele were born.  You’ll find a mix of high end and affordable pieces. 186 E. Clayton St. (S)

Pouch  Get yourself a little meat snack encased in puff pastry. 151 E. Broad St. (E)

The Globe  Slink back into the tufted leather sofa, a scotch in hand, and watch the world go by serenaded with a bit of Irish music floating in the background.  We hear the food’s pretty good too. 199 N. Lumpkin St. (E)

Georgia Bar  If you are looking to strike up a conversation with someone with a colorful past, you have hit your mark. A longtime hangout for some of Athens’ most infamous miscreants, writers, artists, intellectuals, and good ole boys.  159 W. Clayton St. (E)

The Last Resort Grill  Melissa Clegg’s bistro will turn your head. The delectable New Southern dishes are beautiful and satisfying. You’ll go home with Blackbird Bakery’s luscious cheesecakes still lingering on your lips. Would brunch be too soon to call? 174-184 W. Clayton St. (E)

Georgia Theatre   The Athens’ music community was devastated after a fire gutted the storied theatre three years ago; but we are happy to report, she is back in full swing. Don’t miss a chance to tread where many of the greats have trodden. Be sure to make it upstairs to the rooftop for lunch (brought to you by the folks at Branded Butcher) or enjoy a free concert during their American Mondays Rooftop Series. We hear the rooftop bar is pretty happening.  215 N. Lumpkin St. (D)

The Branded Butcher  We love chefs that are so good they can put fried pork rinds on the menu beside mussels with saffron brodo and charred fennel marmalade. (Excuse us for a minute as we look up what “brodo” is.) The Branded Butcher’s Matthew Palmerlee is that kind of chef. He and his crew can do no wrong in our eyes.  Get in there.  225 N. Lumpkin St. (E)

Trappeze Pub  We know Trappeze is known for their epic selection of craft beers, with over 200, but we were equally impressed with their signature cocktails. The Appaloosa, hard cider kicked up a notch with honey, vodka, and a squeeze of lemon, is our new favorite warm weather drink. 269 N. Hull St. Suite 6 (E)

Ted’s Most Best  It didn’t take too long for Ted’s to claw its way to the top of Flagpole’s Athens’ Favorites list. You’ll know why the moment you bite into one of their gourmet brick oven pizzas.  Plus a sandbox for the littles, a twinkly patio, and Tuesday night bingo–what’s not to love? 254 W. Washington St. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Clocked!  Options will not be an issue at this funky little burger shop, however, making a decision might be. Their all-natural, humanely raised beef burgers have earned them a loyal following in town. The blackberry bacon jam burger and peanut butter bacon burger might just change the mind of burger purists. Try the raspberry-habanero ketchup and sweet potato fries. 259 W. Washington St. (E)

Next door is Low Yo Yo Stuff Records who shares the space with Get Rad Skateshop. You’ll likely  find some rare vinyl in their bins. Follow their facebook feed for occasional ticket giveaways and get the jump on new arrivals from their secret stash. 261 W. Washington St. (S)

Flicker Theatre and Bar  Depending on the night, you might stumble upon live music, a poetry reading,  a screening of entries for the 24 hour Film Festival, or some sort of performance art (and poker a couple of times a month if you’re feeling lucky). You’ll definitely find tasty libations and free popcorn anytime. 263 W. Washington St. (D)

40 Watt Club  Legendary. That is all. See some music, soak in the vibes, buy the t-shirt. 285 W. Washington St. (D)

The World Famous has been getting a bit of press of late, and rightly so.  Funky interior, live music, and steamed pork buns are only a few of the reasons why this is Athenians’ favorite hang.  351 N. Hull St. (E)

Creature Comforts Brewery  Peanut Butter & Jelly Reclaimed Rye…don’t pretend you’re not curious. 271 W. Hancock Ave. (E)

Looking for something a little different to spice up your week? Mamba into Little Kings Shuffle Club on a Wednesday (6:30-8:30) for SALSAthens’ cuban-style salsa lessons. No experience or partner required. 223 W. Hancock Ave.

Cine is a wonderful arthouse theatre in downtown Athens. Take advantage of their happy kinship with The National, and make reservations for Dinner+ Movie Combo on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday (pay $40 per person for a movie, tapas, and a prix-fixe dinner). 234 W. Hancock Ave. (D)

The National  Acclaimed Head Chef Peter Dale serves up Mediterranean fare inspired by locally farmed ingredients. Winner of Food and Wine’s Best New Chef Southeast, Dale artfully blends the familiar with the unexpected. Try the Stuffed Medjool Dates and their Summer Salad of watermelon, peach, basil and house ricotta. 232 W. Hancock Ave. (E)

Once you are pleasantly sated, pop next door to vintage store Modern Star and imagine you’re in a Rock Hudson/Doris Day movie. 228 W. Hancock Ave. (S)

Prince Ave./Boulevard District

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

The Taco Stand  For those times when you’ve tripped the line into hangry, get to Taco Stand.  Tasty, quick and filling Mexican grub in a laid back atmosphere (because when your blood sugar gets low, you know how you get). 670 N. Milledge St. (E)

Dondero’s is in the Historic Cobbham District. There’s no better way to soak up the vibes of a town than to step inside its architecture.  Have a little lunch in this restored home on Milledge. 590 N. Milledge St. (E)

The Grit is an Athens staple for vegan and vegetarian fare.  Every townie seems to have a favorite Grit dish, vegan or otherwise. They serve ample portions of wholesome food. Get yourself a nifty tee.  Come back for brunch. 199 Prince Ave. (E)

Hendershot’s Coffee Bar Music  We love that we can walk in at any hour and see a wide swath of humanity convened in various shadowy corners of Hendershots, all quietly pursuing the day in communal harmony. 237 Prince Ave. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Seabear Oyster Bar  The green curry mussels, the horseradish green beans with smoked trout roe, the mini lobster roll…it’s a tad too early to call–but we’re optimistic.  If you’re in the mood to slurp a few bivalves, hit Seabear up at Happy Hour for $1.50 oysters. 297 Prince Ave. (in Bottleworks) (E)

Suska  Shop this upscale consignment boutique to be the envy of all your friends. Suska’s lips are sealed. 297 Prince Ave. Suite 11 (in Bottleworks) (S)

Cullen and Co. Interior Design Studio and Shop  We love it when a talented designer opens up a studio and lets us poke about in it.  You might pick up a few hints or the right mirror for your space. 297 Prince Ave. (in Bottleworks) (S)

Tacqueria Del Sol  Flagpole readers named them best taco; that really is saying something in a town with no shortage of Southwest eateries. This Atlanta based operation turns up the flavor.  John T. Edge waxes poetic about their greens, and Bon Appetit named them a “Top American Restaurant”. Join the fervor. 334 Prince Ave. (E)

Avid Bookshop  If you don’t live in Athens, you’ll wish you did after stepping into this quaint little bookseller on Prince. While it has only been open a few years, Avid quickly became Athens’ favorite bookstore. Hand written signs and staff recommendations lend to Avid’s charm, as does its busy community event schedule of readings, book signings, and Avid Kids’ programming. 493 Prince Ave. (S)

Model Citizen  Since barber shops are “in”, we thought we’d draw your attention to the most hip salon/barber shop hybrid in town.  Great folks who care about the community and who can make you look and feel awfully rad. 497 Prince Ave. (S)

Daily Groceries is your local co-op extraordinaire going on 22 years.  Buy real stuff–your insides will thank you. 523 Prince Ave. (S)

The Pope on Prince  This little gem of a thrift/vintage store just recently opened on Prince. Well curated men’s and women’s clothing and accessories in a lovely space upstairs from Daily Groceries. The owner’s eye for detail will have you feeling as if you stepped into a Wes Anderson movie set, or perhaps the wardrobe department at any rate. A delightful place to pick up some new duds.  523 1/2 Prince Ave. (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Big City Bread  Go get a nosh, or a coffee and sit under the elm lined patio with or without a furry friend. Pretty sweet. 393 N. Finley St. (E)

White Tiger Gourmet  We respect any allusion to a campy Jane Fonda film. That being said, White Tiger has so much more going for it than simply a Barbarella reference–rockin’ BBQ and casual eats in an old general store. If you join them for brunch, they suggest you bring the champagne; they’ll bring the juice. Brilliant. 217 Hiawasee St. (E)

Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market  Father and daughter team Jessica Rothacker and Travis Burch are at the helm of this popular farm to table restaurant. Dog friendly patio, bocce, wine tastings on 2nd Tuesdays, and excellent re-imagined heirloom dishes will make you wish you lived in the neighborhood. 815 N. Chase St. (E)

Athica: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art  Check out the cool kids on the block on Third Thursdays. See art, participate in funky events like Speed Laureate Poetry Jam. Good stuff. 160 Tracy St. Unit 4 (D)

Don’t miss Third Thursdays and a chance to soak in some culture at these venues:  Georgia Museum of Art, Lamar Dodd School of Art, ATHICA, Lyndon House Art Center, Hotel Indigo Gallery and Glass Cube, and Cine. Every month, 6-9 pm. Details here.

Hip Pops can be found at their shop next to Canopy Studio at the Hip Pop Shop, 160 Tracy St. or look for the Hip Cart. We’re not sure what we love best, the names or the flavors. Both are pretty awesome.

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Canopy Studio is non-profit community arts center that encourages you to explore a Cirque du Soleil moment. Seriously. Learn trapeze, dangle from fabric hanging from the rafters, or watch others do it. Your call. 198 Tracy St. (D)

Broad 9A is a Work and Play space with frequent artisan marketplace pop-ups. 160 Tracy St. Unit 10 (S)

After all that exertion, swing by 1000 Faces Coffee and pick up a bag of expertly roasted fair trade beans at 585 Barber St. (E)

Looking to push your limits?  Try Active Climbing, one of the best indoor climbing facilities in the region. They host climbing camps and parties, youth climbing teams–even yoga. 665 Barber St. (D)

Pulaski Heights BBQ  The ribs, pulled pork or smoked chicken salad is the way to go here. Go upstairs to enjoy the views and maybe a whistle or two from a passing train. 675 Pulaski St.,The Leathers Building Suite #100 (E)

Smokey Road Press  You can look cool or learn something at Smokey Road Press. Try both: stationery, letterpress printing and bookbinding classes are taught year round; they offer a residency program for artists and a full printing studio available for members, as well as a sweet little shop on the first floor where you can purchase cards, fine art prints and hand-bound books. 675 Pulaski Street, The Leathers Building, Unit 600 (S)

The Melting Point  If you want to get away from the downtown scene and see some live music in a slightly more subdued setting, head over to Foundry ParkThe Melting Point showcases great acts in a beautiful, intimate space with plenty of seating on two levels and tableside service available. 295 E. Dougherty St. (D)

Sr. Sol  Consistently voted Athens’ favorite, Sr. Sol is your “go to” for fresh, sit down Mexican fare. The menu is extensive, from pastor tacos to tortas to mole. 175 Tallassee Rd. (E)

Normaltown

Tlaloc El Mexicano  Hugh Acheson touts their pupusas and sopes, and he’s not alone. Once you’ve eaten at Tlaloc, it may be all you ever talk about. 1225 N. Chase St. (E)

Marti’s at Midday  Famous for their chicken salad, pimento cheese and mint sweet tea, Marti’s packs a crowd at lunch, but it is soooo worth it. 1280 Prince Ave. (E)

Ike and Jane  We’re told the cuffins are popular. Yeah, that’s the happy marriage of a cookie and a muffin.  Get your feel good doughnut here, or try their popular breakfast fare. 1307 Prince Ave. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

The Old Pal is effortlessly both hip and cozy.  You can have a bit of fun ordering up a  Sno-Kone Klassico or kick it old school with the Caipirinha; it’s all the same to them. They have four craft beers on tap as well as bottles and cans, and an interesting selection of wine. (We like the idea of Zapp’s potato chips with our bubbly.)  For the hard stuff, they’ve got an extensive list of scotch and whiskey only. 1320 Prince Ave. (E)

Hi-Lo Lounge  Vegans, you too can have delicious late night bar noshes. All hail the Tofurkey Club. But wait, there’s more–Cincinnati-style chili served any “way” you please, plus fish and chips and a whole ‘lotta Hebrew National love (or veggie dogs, if that’s how you roll). Hi-Lo serves Sunday brunch, too. 1354 Prince Ave. (E)

Normal Bar  Southern Living named them one of the 100 Best Bars in the South. Tasty cocktails, firepits when the weather is chilly, boiled peanuts, darts and dim lighting–all the things you need for a laid back evening in Normaltown. 1365 Prince Ave. (E)

Agua Linda  Let’s start by saying that Agua Linda’s margarita has dominated Flagpole readers poll for five years straight. Show this Athens institution some love. 1376 Prince Ave. (E)

Double Dutch Press  We love Double Dutch!  They offer kid’s art sessions, teach woodcut workshops, help Girl’s Rock! Athens print their own t-shirts–and to top it off their front of studio shop stocks “totes adorbs” tea towels, coasters, stationery, and prints. We just popped in by chance, and we’re glad we did.  You should too. Hit up their website to see a list of workshops and artistic services. 1377 Prince Ave. (S)

Automatic Pizza  You can look cool and retro (and whatnot) eating your New York-style slice at this former gas station, or you can have it delivered to Normal Bar. Hmm…decisions, decisions. 1397 Prince Ave. (E)

Five Points and points near

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Cali N Tito’s.  Fish tacos and tostones is pretty much our ideal meal.  Good thing this fun little purple shack does them right. Order at the counter, cop a squat, and wait for your delectable Latin American food to be brought out. BYOB (plus $2 fee) and cash only. 1427 S.Lumpkin St. or try their new Peruvian place on the Eastside, La Puerta del Sol. 1254 Cedar Shoals Dr. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

home.made  You will love Mimi Maumus’ food.  Don’t think about it–sign up for the next supper club or stop by for lunch. Of course, home.made is still providing the catering services that made them famous in these parts.1072 Baxter St. (E)

Sunshine Bicycles has been putting Athenians in the saddle for 25 years. Join their women’s riding group, or register for a charity ride. The Sunshine family is behind you all the way. 1063 Baxter St. (S)

Five & Ten  This is the real deal. Hugh Acheson’s Five & Ten put Athens on the culinary map.  With a deep commitment to farm to table, soulful food, Five & Ten delivers one memorable plate after another.  We are enamored with the Corn Soup, but we’d be just as happy to eat Frogmore Stew for…eternity. 1073 S. Milledge Ave. (E)

The Hub Bicycles wants to help you up your game. Whether you are shaky on the wheels, or working up to finishing a full century, The Hub has the expertise to help improve your performance. The Hub sponsors the 706 Project, a top tier cycling program, as well as the Athens Velo Club and ATH CX. 1220 S. Milledge Ave. (S)

The Pine  When you’re having a lazy weekend, the Biscuit Brunch on The Pine patio is a solid choice. Watch Five Points slowly greet the day with a  Pine Smoothie in hand, a clever morning-after concoction of Cathead vodka and Bleinheim ginger ale. Head over for 3rd Wednesday Wine Tastings, from 5:30-7, hosted by The Pine and Five Points Bottle Shop to wind down your hump day on a good note. 1235 S. Milledge Ave. (E)

Independent Baking Co.  We’d walk a long way for Independent’s Pain au Chocolat. The crusty artisan breads might steal the spotlight from anything else you are serving. If you’re local, you should be hitting up this bakery on the regular. 1625 S. Lumpkin St. (E)

Five Points Growlers and Brew Supply  With 45 rotating craft brews on tap, brewing supplies and classes, and an abundance of expertise, Five Points Growlers is our favorite destination to stock up. They’ve got a rad selection of wine too. 1655 S. Lumpkin St. (S)

Condor Chocolates  Nick and Peter Dale’s Bean-to-bar Ecuadorian chocolate shop is a must stop. Watch the masters at work while you demolish an affogato or seasonal truffle. When the weather gets crisp, indulging with a cup of Condor’s sipping chocolate might just become your favorite treat ‘yoself ritual.1658 S. Lumpkin St. (S)

BMA at Home  Athens has always attracted some incredibly talented follks; designer Breckyn Alexander is one of them. Stop by her design studio/shop and draw some inspiration from BMA’s boss mix of antique, modern, and upscale vintage goods. 1662 S. Lumpkin St. (S)

The Royal Peasant  This is a full on British pub with all that entails. Grab a pint and some bangers and mash, or fish and chips (lovingly served on newsprint). If you are up late, The Royal Peasant kitchen serves until 11 p.m. most nights. 1675 Lumpkin St. (E)

If you are stumped for a gift, swing by Homeplace in Five Points. We love the collection of Blenko glass water bottles up front. 1676 S. Lumpkin St. (S)

Two Story Coffeehouse  Chemex, French-pressed, pour-over, cold brew–you choose the method, and Two Story will brew your “perfect cup.” Find a cozy nook in their Five Points home, (we’re kind of partial to the tree deck) and conversate or contemplate over a damn fine cup of Counter Culture coffee. 1680 S. Lumpkin St. (E)

Grinning Mule Clothing Co. 1738 S. Lumpkin St. (S)

Sweetie Pie by Savie  If you have not been to this charming Eastside bakery, you’re just not living right. Don’t pass up a Mini Bacon Pecan Pie or their Thai Chai Latte. Craving something savory? Order one of Savie’s Chicken Green Curry Quiches or Green Tea Taro Croissants. Take home one of Sweetie Pie’s decadent Double Shot Espresso Cakes to be the king of your domain.150 Whitehall Rd. (E)

Manna Weenta is Athen’s own Ethiopian restaurant. You’ll be craving it in no time. Trust us. 1055 Gaines School Rd. (E)

Athens Farmer’s Market–Saturdays in Bishop Park 8am-noon, or Wednesdays at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. 4-7pm. 

Broad St. Corridor

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Saucehouse Barbecue scored Flagpole’s Best New Restaurant award in their annual Flagpole Favorites poll. If the BBQ Nachos weren’t enough of a draw (and they should be), there’s Jenga and cornhole to amuse while you contemplate which of their nine sauces will crown your succulent smoked meat next. 830 W. Broad St. (E)

Treehouse Kid and Craft has things to make little brains grow, wonderful and whimsical gifts, plus art and crafting classes for the curious of all ages. 815 W. Broad St. Suite A (S)

Ideal Bagel Co.  Choice bagels and bialys, excellent lox or smoked trout, and Counter Culture coffee–Ideal, you are indeed all the things we want in a friendly bagel shop. 815 W. Broad St. Suite B (E)

Mama Bird’s Granola and Kitchen  Take a cooking class at Mama Bird’s, or look for the many delicious varieties of Mama Bird Granola around town. 909 E. Broad St. (D)

Make sure to drive out to West Broad Farmers Market and Garden on the first Saturday of the month between 10-1 for fresh veggies, community pride and some righteous Ethiopian food. 1573 W. Broad St. (S)

Preserve  This funky little spot “on the edge of Normaltown” specializes in pickled produce. Order the Kimchi Sandwich or the Cuban Reuben with pickle salad. For brunch their Egg Sandwich with the ever sensational bacon jam is always a hit. Both the lunch and dinner menus are small but mighty. While you’re there buy a drink for an absent buddy, and they’ll put it on the Community Bar Tab. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 1660 W. Broad St. (E)

Athens Locally Grown lets you order only what you want from small, family owned farms and pick up your produce the following week at Ben’s Bikes. More info here.  

Let Sons of Sawdust create a custom piece of furniture crafted from reclaimed wood. You’ll love their designs and heirloom-quality craftsmanship. Catch them on social media or check out their webpage. 1260 Greensboro Highway, Watkinsville

Not to Miss..

King of Pops  Two brothers started this company in Atlanta and have now nearly conquered the popsicle loving world. Look for the rainbow colored umbrella. (E)

Terrapin Brewery  Lines form quickly for the craft brew tastings Wed-Sat.5:30-7:30. Enjoy Terrapin’s huge outdoor area complete with picnic tables, cornhole and live music. 265 Newton Bridge Rd. (E)

The Tree That Owns Itself is one block straight uphill from Broad at the intersection of Finley and Dearing streets. Go visit and read in person Col. William H. Jackson’s historic inscription:  “For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection, for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides.” 

Get Out of Doors

Here are some of our very favorite places to hike, bike, walk, paddle, or amble…

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia  2450 S. Milledge St.

Friday Night Paddles and Cook’s Greenway Trail at Sandy Creek Park  400 Bob Holman Rd.

UGA’s Lake Herrick Trail  You’ll find plenty of folks with their dogs here on these short wooded trails. 1400 College Station Rd.

Heritage Park is maintained by mountain bikers; it’s a challenging 11 mile trail. 2543 Macon Hwy. Watkinsville, GA

North Oconee River Greenway is a lovely scenic trail. 205 Old Commerce Rd.

For a day on the Oconee, put in at Newton Bridge and paddle to Barnett Shoals take out. Or hook up with a guide company to explore the Broad River: The Sandbar (check out their facebook page for current conditions) 3435 King Hall Mill Rd. or Broad River Outpost’s webpage here. 7911 Wildcat Bridge Danielsville, GA

Events Around Town

Indie South Fair:  A Handmade Happening  The first weekends of May and December look for Indie South’s big extravaganza of handmade and artisan goods. The smaller markets, Back to Cool and Valentine’s, are definitely worth scoping out as well.

Twilight Criterium  Every Spring professional cyclists descend on Athens–don’t miss it. Get event schedule here.

Athfest hosts a colossal music festival every June to raise money for music and art education programming. Free concerts, a club crawl, an artists’ market, film, and kid’s activities–Athfest knows how to put on a party.

Classic City International Film Festival at the historic Morton Theatre is a must for film fans.

Athens Human Rights Festival  There is probably no event more indicative of the spirit of Athens than the Human Rights Festival, in operation since 1979. This two-day event gathers together “political activists, musicians and artists in a call for action on human rights issues.” Find out more about the speakers, music lineup, and festival activities here.

Wildwood Revival is a boutique music festival set on a 30-acre farm outside Athens.This event combines the soul of a juke joint, the wild spirit of a honky tonk, and the camaraderie of a supper club. Our artisan market features vintage clothing, antiques, printmakers, wood workers, 1800’s era tintype photography, leather makers, handmade crafts and more.” Music, camping, shopping, yoga, wiffle ball, Gospel Brunch–Wildwood’s got it all. Find out the deets on the next event here.

Sprockets Music Video Festival  “The longest running film festival exclusively for music videos in the world.” If you know the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first video ever played on MTV, then this is the festival for you.

Wild Rumpus Parade and Spectacle is Athen’s take on a Halloween extravaganza. Imagine the monsters from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are came to life, invited thousands of their fellow creatures to join in and paraded down the middle of town. This Mardi Gras style street party is not to be missed. Get your beast on and join them. More deets on this year’s Rumpus here.

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11 Responses to Athens

  1. Dina Canup

    This is a great list! Though I’m a bit disappointed Town and Gown Players (Athens Community Theatre) didn’t get a mention in the Prince Ave. area list. They’ve done some dinner and a play partnerships with Heirloom Cafe I believe. http://www.townandgownplayers.org if you want to check it out.

    Reply
  2. Emma

    Thorough list, but you left out IDEAL BAGEL and the WEST BROAD STREET FARMER’S MARKET on Broad Street Corridor. And TLALOC in Boulevard/Normaltown! The pumpernickel everything bagels at Ideal are to die for, and they smoke and cure their own fish and blend their own cream cheeses. Athens Bagel Company is also worth a mention. Both places make very fine bagels and we are lucky to have them, considering Athens was bagel-less only three years ago!

    Reply
  3. Susan

    Opa Robby’s Market offers a year round market where local seasonal produce can be found. They have jams, jellies, grass fed meats, handmade butter, raw milk, Georgia grown produce, breads, frozen meals, local artisans crafts, and Georgia wild caught shrimp.

    Reply
  4. Charles N. Davis

    To this excellent list I would certainly add an Athens icon too often forgotten in the swirl: Strickland’s out on the Atlanta Highway, known to generations of Athenians for the best breakfast and banana pudding on the planet.

    Reply
    • Charles Apostolik

      … not to mention some of the best barbecue (pork and/or goat) to be found anywhere.

      Reply
  5. Monira Silk

    Dear friends at Hip Green Scene,

    I love your guide to Athens, Ga, however I think you’ve overlooked one of the most important businesses in our town for anyone who is expecting, has a baby or a young child in their life. You should come check out reBlossom Mama & Baby Shop at 220 N. Milledge Ave. We’ll be celebrating our 5th birthday this December and we offer such a comprehensive variety of services from gently-loved maternity, baby-size 5 gently-loved clothing & equipment, nursing items, baby carriers, cloth diapers, handmade local gift items, new toys & gifts with a purpose, rental services for travel & trial, music & yoga classes, story times & playgroups for all (including dads, grandmas, single mamas, special needs, etc.), as well as entire educational wing with birthing & breastfeeding classes as well as support groups for New Mamas. We’re super green & use recycled gift bags and tags too. We’re located just off the Broad St. Corridor, just south of Normaltown & Prince Ave. I’d love it if you’d consider adding our lovely local business to your list!

    Thank you!
    Monira Silk
    http://www.reBlossomAthens.com

    Reply
  6. Ed Tant

    Nice list but y’all left out the Athens Human Rights Festival that makes downtown’s College Square a liberated zone every spring with speeches, music, street theater and children’s activities. The annual Athens Human Rights Festival has been going on for 37 years and it is always a much-anticipated weekend event in the Classic City. See the festival’s website at http://www.athenshumanrightsfest.org and check out my Rights Festival photos at http://www.edtant.com.

    Reply
  7. Natalie

    Thanks Hip Green Scene for including The Sandbar. I noticed we have got some hits on facebook from your page. We really do appreciate you! If you are in the area come try our new zip lines! We would love to have y’all!

    Reply
    • hiptraveler

      Awesome! Glad to hear folks are checking you out! We’ll definitely swing through when we’re in the area! (bad pun intended)

      Reply

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