Athens may only be 70 miles northeast of Atlanta, but its small town charms make it seem a world away. Once best known for Georgia football and alt music bands like R.E.M. and the B-52’s, nowadays, Athens is home to a surprisingly sophisticated dining scene, rooted in homegrown ingredients and casual Southern style.
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Where to stay
Hotel Indigo — A contemporary boutique hotel, with a bar, restaurant, music venue and art gallery. 500 College Avenue, 706-546-0430, www.hotelindigoathens.com.
Foundry Park Inn & Spa — A refurbished motel-style property with a restaurant, music venue and spa. 295 E Dougherty Street, 706-549-7020, www.foundryparkinn.com.
What to do
40 Watt Club — One of the most famous rock clubs in the U.S. with a history that includes R.E.M. and the B-52’s. 285 West Washington Street 706-549-7871, www.40watt.com.
Georgia Theatre — Gutted by fire in 2009, rebuilt and reopened in 2011, the theatre presents a wide variety of music. 215 North Lumpkin Street, 706-850-7670, www.georgiatheatre.com.
Manhattan Cafe — A classic dive bar that’s home to hipsters and cheap drinks, like the signature Maker’s Mark and Blenheim spicy ginger ale. 337 North Hull Street, 706-369-9767.
Terrapin Beer Company — Athens iconic craft brewery offers tours, tastings and live music, Wednesdays- Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. 265 Newton Bridge Road, 706-549-3377, www.terrapinbeer.com.