7 Things To Do In Athens, GA This Spring

Spring in Athens is all about appreciating the beautiful weather, getting outdoors, and enjoying spring festivals and events. It’s one of the best times of the year to visit, because of all the options for activities, events, and more! We know you’ll love patio dining, exploring the Athens Beer Trail, and just relaxing in one another’s company alongside the wonderful weather and blooming flowers. Check out these other ideas, too!

BEST THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING IN ATHENS

1. HEAD TO THE STATE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF GEORGIA

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is worth a trip to Athens, all on its own. The Garden is a 313-acre preserve with plenty of attractions and activities perfect for the gorgeous Spring weather. There are more than enough opportunities for taking pictures as well!

  • There are over five miles of trails to explore, including an ADA-accessible trail to the river.
  • Themed gardens tell the stories of plants throughout Georgia’s history, plants that grow around the world at the same latitude, and more.
  • The Children’s Garden is an interactive and immersive experience spread over several acres.
  • The Porcelain & Decorative Arts Museum is a world class facility, two stories high and 8,750 square feet. It explores the connection between arts and nature with eight galleries of exhibits from near and far

Parking and admission to all areas is free! 

2. DINE OUTDOORS

Athens is definitely known for its amazing food. You’ll never run out of places to eat! The restaurant scene attracts diners from metro Atlanta and beyond. Spring is a wonderful time of year to head to Athens to check out the laid-back, casual vibe on restaurant patios throughout town.

  • We love the family-friendly menu and patio space at Ted’s Most Best and Clocked!, downtown.
  • Plenty of other downtown restaurants have also upped their patio game, including Last Resort (yay, greenhouses!) and The National.
  • The shaded, tropical oasis of Cali N Tito’s, along with the flavors on the menu, will transport you to the Caribbean.
  • Dine with a two-time James Beard winner on the porch of the historic home on S Milledge Ave. that houses Hugh Acheson’s Five & Ten.
  • Right on the edge of downtown lies Big City Bread Cafe, a perfect spot to grab brunch with friends. Their shaded, but comfortable outdoor seating is great for a photo op!

There are plenty more outdoor dining options– head over to our Outdoor Dining page to discover them all!

3. (RE)DISCOVER THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CAMPUS

The University of Georgia’s historic North Campus has some of the oldest properties in town. Step across Broad Street in Downtown Athens and you’ll step back over two centuries in time. Did you know? The University of Georgia is the birthplace of public higher education in America (1785) and actually pre-dates the incorporation of the city of Athens. The early UGA presidents were Yale men and modeled the campus after that venerable institution. The quad is beautiful at any time, but the spring blooms are really something special and are not to be missed. If you’re a UGA grad, you’ll love revisiting your glory days and sharing (some) stories with your family. Even non-alumni will enjoy walking through North Campus. You’ll see Old College (1801), one of the oldest buildings in Athens, and Herty Field, where the first football teams played. Here’s a self-guided tour.

4. DISCOVER LOCAL FLAVORS

There are so many opportunities in the spring to see the creative energy of Athens on display. Every Saturday morning the Athens Farmers Market takes over Bishop Park and the offerings go far beyond produce. You’ll find all sorts of fresh choices for your menu, your home, and your bath & body routine. On the third Saturday of each month, Indie South hosts its Abnormal Bazaar, which features all kinds of vendors selling everything from soaps and jewelry to vintage and vinyl. At both spots you’ll be able to buy coffee and tea as well as pastries, so you can have some breakfast while you shop.

Indie South’s Springtacular is also happening, May 4th and 5th. This annual event is a modern makers market with truly one-of-a-kind finds.

5. RELAX AT AN ATHENS CRAFT BREWERY

 

Athens is now home to six breweries! The Athens Beer Trail is a self-guided tour where you can get stamps to earn prizes and is a must-do for all beer lovers. Each Athens brewery has its own specialty and vibe. 

  • Creature Comforts, in downtown Athens, gained acclaim for its Tropicalia IPA and is also known for its sours (we see you, Athena!)
  • Akademia has expansive patio space and as a brewpub offers a full food menu in addition to great beer.
  • Southern Brewing Co. hosts great concerts in their big backyard. Tip: try their Red & Black, or Cherokee Rose beers.
  • Athentic has brought a great in-town vibe to the bustling Normaltown neighborhood. They have a great selection of rotating seasonal special beers as well as regular favorites.
  • Normaltown Brewing Co. is the perfect neighborhood watering hole tucked away in the Tracy St. warehouse district.
  • Terrapin Beer Co. is where Athens beer began. It has the OG backyard and tasting room and is still turning out inventive brews as well as favorites like Hopsecutioner and the Golden Ale that first put them on the map.
  • Keep an eye on our events calendar, as Athens breweries host plenty of special events like craft fairs, live music, farmers markets, art exhibits and pop-up partnerships with local businesses. Fortunately, the Annual Athens Beer Fest is right around the corner, on April 21st, so don’t miss out on the fun! Hosted at The Classic Center, this is the perfect event to grab some food, enjoy live music, and relax with a nice, cold beer.

Discover more about our local Athens craft breweries and pick the one — or ones — right for you!

 

6. PACK A PICNIC

Spring weather is picnic weather! There are some great picnic spots all over Athens, whether your prefer parks, lakes, or both! This is your chance to spread out a blanket and relax over good snacks and drinks. Slow down, enjoy the scenery, the company and the conversation.

7. HIT A FESTIVAL

Whether you’re into music, bike races, or arts and crafts, Athens has got you covered with a roster of stunning Spring festivals!

  • The Georgia Rodeo is back on April 12! The Georgia Rodeo is an incredible one-day music festival in Athens, GA focused around an all-star music lineup. And yes, there will also be a Nationally Sanctioned Rodeo happening, as well! 
  • Longing for fall days between the hedges?  Cheer on the DAWGS and get an exclusive look at the recruiting class at G-Day, the UGA Spring Football Game on April 13.  Whether you are cheering for red or black,  Dawgs win!  Tickets are $5.
  • The Twilight Criterium, now in its 38th year, attracts 150 eager cyclists from around the world and is a top stop on the national cycling tour circuit! As a fan favorite for its unique evening format in downtown Athens, large, energetic crowds are sure to gather on April 26 and 27. Not only will bikers be able to test their stamina and find the challenge they seek, but various races and kid-friendly events will keep supporters, families and racers entertained.
  • Indie South’s warm-weather modern makers market, the Indie South Springtacular, returns for 2024. Shop local for Mother’s Day and Graduation with 100+ artists, makers and vintage curators. Food trucks, music and good times!

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