10 Things to do in Athens, GA for First Time Visitors

Some people might be more familiar with Athens as Athens-Clarke County. This is because the city and the county performed a merger in 1991, with the result that it now possesses the powers as well as the responsibilities of both kinds of entities in the state of Georgia. With that said, Athens has a music scene as well as a surprising number of sites of interest influenced by its student culture, meaning that interested individuals might want to take a look sometime.

1. Bulldog Statues

There are dozens and dozens of bulldog statues that can be found throughout Athens, which come with a fair amount of variation for that much more visual interest. The whole thing started up in 2003 with the “We Let the Dawgs Out” exhibit, but since that time, there have been new statues as well.

2. Athens Institute for Contemporary Art

The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art is a non-profit gallery that exists for the purpose of showcasing the artworks of contemporary artists in the local region, thus making it a site of interest for the city’s art community. Due to this, people who are interested in contemporary art should make sure to check it out.

3. State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Interestingly, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia is considered to be part of the University of Georgia. Even more interestingly, it is home to numerous species of plants, which are often placed in sections based on a theme. One example is the tropical conservatory, which serves as home to plants from some of the warmest climates in the world. Another example is the medicinal garden, which specializes in plants that have been used for medical purposes.

4. Bear Hollow Zoo

Bear Hollow Zoo helps out by providing care to local animals. Moreover, it incorporates some of these local animals into exhibits that are meant to help interested individuals learn more about the region that they live in, thus raising awareness for various issues.

5. Birchmore Trail

Birchmore Trail is a nature trail that runs for 1.25 miles through an urban hardwood forest. Its most interesting feature might be the Great Wall of Happy Hollow, which was built by a man named Fred Birchmore when he was in his 70s. Nowadays, the structure continues to stand as a reminder of what the college teacher as well as community leader meant to the city of Athens.

6. Double-Barreled Cannon

An Athens man came up with the double-barreled cannon during the Civil War, which was supposed to fire a pair of cannonballs connected by a chain. He presented it to the Confederates, who promptly turned it down. As it turned out, this proved to be a sensible idea because the double-barreled cannon was an uncontrollable disaster, as shown by how its initial test didn’t hit what it was aiming at but instead killed a cow and knocked down a chimney.

7. Georgia Museum of Art

Like its name suggests, the Georgia Museum of Art is the state’s official art museum. Naturally, it has an excellent collection of artworks by artists from the state. However, it has exhibits containing artworks from other places and other periods as well.

8. Georgia Museum of Natural History

Both the Georgia Museum of Art and the Georgia Museum of Natural History are considered to be part of the University of Georgia. Given its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the latter institution covers a wide range of topics, though one of its stand-outs is an exhibit on local fish species.

9. Georgia Theatre

People who are interested in seeing a live performance should make sure to check out the Georgia Theatre, which offers excellent seats, excellent acoustics, and excellent performers on a regular basis.

10. Sandy Creek Nature Center

The Sandy Creek Nature Center is an excellent starting point for people who want to see more of the great outdoors. With that said, while its nature trails are well-worth exploring, it has exhibits such as live animals as well, which might prove more interesting to some visitors.


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