10 Places to Visit in Athens When at a UGA Game

Between the Hedges in Athens

Between the Hedges | Photo courtesy of The Broad Collective

It’s that time of year again and if you are a Georgia Bulldogs fan, there is no place you’d rather be than in Athens, Georgia watching football on a Saturday. A fall breeze in the air, the smell of the grill while tailgating and a cold drink in your hand tends to conjure up all sorts of good memories for so many Georgians.

We live here every day so we get to see how great this city is up close and personal all the time. So we thought we would give you some recommendations for ten great places to check out when you’re visiting Athens for a UGA game.

We broke them into three categories for you so that no matter your mood or what point in the day you were at, you could ramp up your partying, kill some time with shopping or wind down before the long drive back to the real world. And better yet, all the recommendations are within walking distance to Sanford Stadium and your tailgate!

The Ramp Up

Creature Comforts in Athens

Creature Comforts | Photo courtesy of The Broad Collective

Creature Comforts – One of the best new breweries in the country. While they have only been around for less than two years, they have already won multiple national awards for their beers. They are in the old Snow Tire building that they beautifully renovated with the help from local woodworkers, Oneta Woodworks. It is a warm and inviting place and with four or five beers in their regular rotation there are plenty of options to choose from.

All Good Lounge – This bar is typically packed but they have two floors complete with a rooftop bar so there is plenty of room to spread out. Being in right in the heart of downtown, they leave their garage door open to let their energy out onto the street and the street’s energy into the bar. While it may be bustling, they have three distinct bars that run the length of the building so you won’t wait long at all and will have your choice of cocktail or beer.

Trappeze Pub* – An Athens staple for years, Trappeze not only has a ton of great beers on tap, but they have really good food to go with them. You won’t find many domestic beers here but you will find the most exhaustive beer menu in Athens full of craft beers from around the world. The best bet is to tell your knowledgeable bartender or server what kind of beers you typically enjoy and then let them go to work finding something that you’ll love.

The Georgia Theatre Rooftop* – When rebuilding the Georgia Theatre in 2011 after the fire that destroyed it, the owners wanted to add a new layer to the concerts they were famous for. So they added a rooftop bar that mixes great drinks with a great view. Food service is provided by the Branded Butcher downstairs and offers a great selection of burgers, sandwiches and tacos. So you can eat or drink (or both!) all while overlooking beautiful downtown Athens.

The Time Killers

Wuxtry Records in Athens

Wuxtry Records | Photo courtesy of The Broad Collective

Kristen Ashley Artist Shop/Dynamite/Community – We are cheating here: this is really three great businesses but since they are all right next to each other we thought we’d combine them into one. Kristen Ashley Artist Shop opened this year and is a beautiful art supply shop full of handmade stationary and other local art. Dynamite Clothing is one of the best vintage shops in Athens, which is saying a lot. Community is a gorgeously designed and decorated retail shop focusing on fashion and the products from local artists including many Athens themed items.

Wuxtry – One of the more popular spots for Athens visitors, it absolutely worth a trip. Wuxtry has been consistently showing up on ‘Best Record Store’ lists for years. And with their additional adjacent building for discounted records, Wuxtry Side Car, and their comic book shop upstairs, Bizarro-Wuxtry, they have the whole corner of College and Clayton to themselves.

Frontier – A great gift shop that carries a wide selection for both men and women. Many of the items come from local artists in Athens and the ones that don’t are carefully selected to reflect seasons and trends. From soaps to art to jewelry, Frontier has something for everyone and being in the middle of downtown, it’s an excellent space to pop into to escape the heat . . . or the game day crowds.

The Wind Down

The World Famous in Athens

The World Famous | Photo courtesy of The Broad Collective

The Grill* – Odds are if you’ve been to Athens, you’ve been to The Grill. You also know there is nothing better than gorging on their famous feta fries after a long day of football. A classic grill setup with jukeboxes and fountain drinks, it’s both a throwback for alumni and a savior for newbies.

The World Famous* – More bar than restaurant, The World Famous often gets overlooked for having some of the best food in Athens. The bar feels like a Pinterest board come to life thanks to its creative design and the Mason jars that all of their drinks come in. Local chalk artist Chris Collins also keeps their chalkboard colored with UGA-themed artwork during the season. Whether it’s a day game or night game, this is the perfect spot to grab food and drink as you wind down.

Seabear* – Relatively new to the Athens food scene, Peter Dale (The National, Condor Chocolates), Patrick Stubbers (The Four Courseman) and Chris Luken (Normal Bar, The National) opened Seabear Oyster Bar in the Fall of 2014. Since then they’ve been flying in fresh daily oysters from across the country with some of the best bar service in town with their signature cocktails and their well-thought-out beer selection. This is a great spot to stop on your way out of town and if you time it right, you can hit one of their two daily oyster happy hours when all oysters are $1.50.

* Also have food.

The Broad Collective Logo

The Broad Collective is a development engine for the artist, creative and small business community in Athens, Georgia. Their goal is to foster and advocate for a healthy and sustainable Athens by nurturing the community’s economic, communal and cultural growth. 

Tailgating in Atlanta this Football Season

Tailgating at BASG

Beer Tower at Braves All-Star Grill | Photo courtesy of Gigi Dancourt

You have the folding chairs, you have the cornhole boards, you have the football – now all you need for your tailgate is the food (and drink). If you’re tailgating in Atlanta this football season, here are some restaurants to check out for your tailgating needs:

Braves All Star Grill
As the official game-watching destination for the Georgia Bulldogs this football season, Braves All Star Grill offers the ultimate tailgating experience! A prime venue to enjoy watching all sports, the restaurant keeps fans coming back with its chef-inspired menu. Along with big, juicy burgers, perfect wings and ballpark fare, Braves All Star Grill features menu items such as the ahi tuna tacos, Reuben egg rolls, seasonal salads and flatbreads, as well as entrees like cedar plank salmon and beer can chicken. Oh, and then there is the beer tower! Perfect for groups, the 96-ounce beer tower allows guests to refill at their leisure through the game. Braves All Star Grill also offers multiple catering options and spreads for taking home or to the game.

Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta
Whether you’re looking for a place to catch the game this football season, or looking for pre- and post-game grub, Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta has got you covered. Call in advance to order to-go catering for your tailgate, complete with Hard Rock’s selection of mouth-watering appetizers and Smokehouse items. Located minutes from the Georgia Dome and Bobby Dodd Stadium, the restaurant and bar is a convenient stop along the way.

Shake Shack
Win your tailgating pals over with the ultimate menu this season: Shake Shack. Pre-order your Shackburgers and crinkle fries three days before the big game and strut your Shack style at the pre-game.

Tailgating at the Shake Shack in Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

Twenty-Two Storys
Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s beer-forward gastropub, Twenty-Two Storys, serves up Georgia beers and ales, a tasty, beer-influenced menu of dinners and small plates, and the best pretzels in the city. To top it off, the restaurant boasts 17 televisions so guests don’t miss a single moment of the game. Tailgate-friendly menu items include malt vinegar chips and dips with roasted tomato hummus, beer cheese and raw veggies; hops-smoked chicken wings with sweet bourbon hot sauce, ranch and celery; and Bavarian soft pretzels with beer cheese, duck rabbit stout mustard and creamy horseradish.

10 Degrees South, Biltong Bar, Cape Dutch and Yebo
Restaurateur Justin Anthony of South African dining destinations 10 Degrees South, Yebo and soon-to-come Biltong Bar and Cape Dutch swears by South African braai for all his tailgating needs. In South Africa, you can find locals grilling out before a game, otherwise known as a “braai,” featuring boerewors, a traditional Farmers sausage, steaks, burgers and boerewors rolls, a type of South African hot dog. Anthony enjoys his South African-style tailgate favorites with a beer, similar to a tailgate we’re most familiar with, in addition to brandy and coke, and slices of biltong, a fresh, air-dried beef jerky.

Tailgating at Yebo in Atalnta

Boerewors from Yebo | Photo courtesy of Biltong

Lovell Bros. Spirits
For a special touch to tailgating this fall, try the “spirit of the mountains” Lovell Bros. Spirits. The hand-crafted whiskey offers a refreshing spin to any experience. The authentically Southern whiskey is crafted with local ingredients and distinct methods of production. Georgia Sour Mash Whiskey and Georgia Sour Mash Spirit allow for all sports fans to create multiple different cocktails to satisfy everyone at the party! Try it neat and enjoy the smooth, vanilla-like flavors or mixed into a favorite cocktail.

Tailgating at Bourbon Bar in Atlanta

Bourbon Bar | Photo courtesy of Sara Hannah Photography

Bourbon Bar
What’s better than football and bourbon? This fall, watch the big game at Bourbon Bar, a Southern-inspired bar that has been named one of “America’s 55 Best Bourbon Bars” by The Bourbon Review for three years. And for good reason: Bourbon Bar offers a well-cultivated selection of more than 70 American bourbons, including favorites like Early Times 354, Old Crow Reserve and Four Roses Single Barrel. Pair any of these delicious flights with an artisanal ham and charcuterie board full of regionally cured heritage breed hams from the Ham Bar, located in the Southern Art lobby beside Bourbon Bar. Settle in for the big game with more than 70 seats to choose from, including an outdoor terrace.

September in Savannah

Savannah Bacon Fest

Bacon Fest | Photo courtesy of the Savannah Waterfront Association

September in Savannah is filled with festivals and fun. Every weekend there’s a new reason to explore one of the state’s most historic cities!

Bacon Fest – Rousakis Riverfront Plaza plays home to the second annual edition of the popular pork-filled festival on September 4-5, 2015. While you’re in town for the festival, be sure to check out some of Savannah’s great breakfast locations where you can get bacon like Henry’s on Drayton Street.

Savannah Craft Brew Fest – On September 5 200 different beers from 68 different breweries are able to be tasted during the annual event. While you’re in town for the Craft Brew Fest, be sure to check out some of the city’s local breweries like Moon River Brewing CompanyService Brewing Co. and Southbound Brewing Company.

Savannah Craft Brew Fest

Savannah Craft Brew Fest

Tybee Island Beach Bash – Though not properly in Savannah, if you’re in town you won’t want to miss the kid-friendly event featuring live music during the day and fireworks at dusk. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the beach and pier scene at sunset.

Savannah Pride Festival – On September 12, everyone is invited to celebrate the diversity of the city during the annual Savannah Pride Celebration in Forsyth Park.

Savannah International Food and Wine Tasting – This September 13 event features 50+ wines and dishes from nearly 20 of the city’s most beloved restaurants with proceeds benefiting Meals on Wheels.

Coastal Arts Fair – The first edition of this Tybee Island festival kicks off September 26 in Memorial Park. Artists from across the Southeastern U.S. will be showcasing their work. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out local artists’ work at galleries in City Market in downtown Savannah or at Art by the Sea on Tybee Island.

2013 Savannah Jazz Festival in Forsyth Park

Savannah Jazz Festival | Photo courtesy of the Coastal Jazz Association

Savannah Jazz Festival – For eight days, September 20-27, individuals and families are invited to listen to the sounds of the festival, all for free! While you’re in town, be sure to check out Savannah’s nightlife when live acts play in local clubs and bars around town.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Dahlonega with Kids

Crisson Gold Mine in Dahlonega

Crisson Gold Mine

Thinking of spending fall in the mountains? Dahlonega is a superb destination, with educational excursions, hiking opportunities and more. Here are five places to visit in Dahlonega with kids and two family-friendly dining opportunities.

3 Gold Adventures

Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site. Visit the oldest surviving courthouse in Georgia, and see the real gold laced in the bricks. See gemstone collections, stories about private mints, and a great movie about the history of gold discovery and excavation in Dahlonega.

Chestatee River Diving Bell. See an actual diving bell used to retrieve gold from the river floor in the 1800s.

Crisson Gold Mine. Tour the mine, and see the only working Stamp Mill in Georgia at 130 years old. Kids will love panning for gold and gems.

See more photos from our Dahlonega Gold Adventures.

2 Outdoor Adventures

Springer Mountain Trail. Hike to the southernmost point of the Appalachian Trail. From the parking lot, this is a moderate 2-mile journey. If you have hiking poles, you will want to bring them. At the top you will see a commemorative AT plaque, and cubby in the rock with a notebook for hikers to share their thoughts. See more Springer Mountain Trail info here.

Cane Creek Falls. You will weave through a Methodist Church Camp/Retreat to get to this waterfall. From the parking lot there is only about a 100-yard walk to the falls. You can easily get to the water’s edge for great photos, but splashing and swimming in the water is not permitted. See more Cane Creek Falls info here.

Cane Creek Falls in Dahlonega

Cane Creek Falls

Family-friendly Dining.

Several places on the Dahlonega Square make for a great family-friendly dining experience. We enjoyed lunch at Gustavo’s Pizzaria, with tasty pizza pies, pastas and salads. For dinner, try a seat on the upper patio of Bourbon Street Grille. It’s the perfect view for eating Cajun cuisine (plus burgers and pasta for picky eaters).

See more photos and info regarding family-friendly dining in Dahlonega.

LesliLesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.

Labor Day Outdoors!

Labor Day Weekend is coming up quick. Make your plans for the last blast of summer! Here are some ways to enjoy the outdoors September 5-7.

Paddling
Labor Day Paddle at SweetwaterThe beautiful blazing colors of fall are almost upon us. Get ready to experience the seasonal change in a brand new way by learning to kayak! Imagine taking in the breathtaking scene of trees topped with brilliant golds and reds reflected along the banks of lakes and rivers. Sweetwater Creek State Park offers the perfect chance to prepare with Introduction to Kayaking Classes this Labor Day Weekend. Women, join qualified instructors on Sunday, September 6 or join the co-ed class on Monday, September 7. Reservations are required: 770-732-5871

Biking & Blading
Labor Day on the Silver Comet TrailHead to Rockmart to ride the Silver Comet Trail with Georgia’s Rails Into Trails Society. This annual Labor Day event brings cyclists, runners and rollerbladers together to celebrate the multi-use paved trail. Several options for participating include 13 miles to Brushy Mountain Tunnel, 27 miles to Cedartown, and a 62-mile ride to the Georgia-Alabama state line. Register online or on-site.

Camping
Labor Day Camping at Stone MountainMake camp near Stone Mountain Park‘s tranquil lake and enjoy the last blast of summer this Labor Day Weekend! Spend the day exploring the 5-mile Cherokee Trail, enjoying the view from the top, and playing with the kids on the Crossroads attractions. When night falls, relax on Memorial Lawn for the special Labor Day Lasershow Spectacular.

Hiking
Labor Day Hiking at Tallulah GorgeJoin the Canyon Climbers Club at Tallulah Gorge to enjoy the last swim of summer near Bridal Veil Falls. This is a strenuous trek that takes hikers from the overlooks deep into the gorge. Along the way, hikers encounter a suspension bridge, river crossings and new hiking friends. The 3.5-mile hike takes most of the day, so pack some snacks and wear sturdy shoes! Space is limited, so register in advance for one of the hikes happening Labor Day Weekend. Sept 5, 6, and 7. 706-754-7981

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.