• Kristen

5 Reason to visit Athens, GA on a Non Game Day weekend!

If you are an SEC College football fan, you know how exciting it is to be in a college town during a game day weekend.

Athens, GA, home of the University of Georgia, is no exception. I've spent many memorable Saturdays between the hedges cheering on my beloved DAWGS!

Let's talk for a minute about why it's worth a trip to Athens when it's not game day.

This list could get really long but I'm highlighting 5 of my family's favorite reasons to visit the Classic City when it's not football season.

If you have a favorite that isn't mentioned, please send me a comment and let me know!

1. The OTHER Sports!

Have you ever watched the gymdogs? These girls are amazing athletes and it's non-stop fun in Stegeman Collesium during a meet.

We've watched baseball and basketball games and had a blast. That's just naming a few- check out all the teams at Georgiadog.com.

Anna Kate cheering on the Gymdogs

This past weekend we stayed in town while my son we to the Kirby Smart Youth Football Camp.

The way this camp was run made me proud to be an alumni! Luke learned so much and had an incredible time. And, yes, Kirby Smart is actually there at practices every day, all day!

Kirby Smart Youth camp at the indoor facility

Catching a glimpse of camp in the reflection on the side of Stegeman Collesium

Watching a girls basketball camp

2. Exploring the campus without the crowds

There is so much to see around this historic campus. The University was established in 1785 and there are several historic buildings on campus. You can visit Herty Field where the first intercollegiate football game was played in the state of Georgia and one of the first to be played in the deep south.

Go ring the chapel bell. Ringing this bell after a victory is one of the university's oldest traditions.

Go take a peek at the stadium- without anyone in it! We recently went in January and the only people there were maintenance crews replacing bleachers. We also got to see this Chair of Honor for Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.

My kids always love to go see the Arch. It's located between downtown Athens and North Campus. Waiting to walk under the Arch until after you graduate from the University is a long standing tradition. A less forgivable offense to walking under the Arch is calling it "the arches".

It's singular, the Arch!

3. Shopping

My kids' favorite store is the University Bookstore right next to Sanford Stadium. It's filled with everything red and black you can imagine.

Downtown Athens is also full of unique shopping. I love the super soft UGA shirts at JCG Apparel. There's also Heery's Closet, Dress Up, The Red Zone, High Country Outfitters, and many, many more. Stop by Jittery Joe's for a quick, local pick me up!

Dress Up in downtown Athens, GA

4. Local Restaurants

I haven't had a chance to try all the 5 star review restaurants that Athens has to offer. It's a long list! Here are some of my tried and true favorites:

Last Resort Grill- This may be my very favorite! Serving southwestern inspired southern cuisine. Arrive early or you may have to wait (which would absolutely be worth it).

The Place- I just recently found this little gem. It boasts refined southern fare in a super cute atmosphere.

The Grill- Go ahead and throw your diet out the window. Located in the heart of downtown, this restaurant has been a staple since 1981. Feta fries and a milkshake are a must.

DePalmas- Outstanding Italian food. If the downtown location gets too crowded, there are 2 other locations nearby.

Hilltop Grille- This is a locally owned steak and seafood restaurant with UGA themed decor throughout the restaurant. It's also where Bulldog Brunch airs from every Sunday morning following a Georgia football Saturday. Just a few minutes outside downtown.

"The Place" restaurant in downtown Athens, GA

5. Finding the " We Let the Dawgs Out" statues

Originally a public art exhibit, these statues which are all unique can be found throughout the Classic City. Find a list of all of them at visitathensga.com. My kids love finding and pointing these out!

Anna Kate with "Dawg Walker", a tribute to Herschel Walker

Do you have favorite Athens spots or events that you love? Please let me know!

Happy traveling and Go Dawgs!