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One Day in Athens, USA

One Day in Athens, USA

One Day in Athens, USA

Traveler Profile: Ashleigh, 35, USA

Location: Athens, USA

Time of Year: September

Traveler Goals: Go hiking   

With a curious spirit and a map filled with my favorite destinations I want to visit, I set out to uncover the history tucked away within this Southern metropolis. My day was meticulously planned. Each stop promised a unique experience that I chose to try and gain a deeper understanding of my Southern roots.

The State Botanical Gardens

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ichirou Tsumori

I began my adventure at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, an oasis in the middle of the city’s urban area. Stepping through the gates, I was immediately aware of the tranquil sense in the atmosphere. The air was filled with the smell of fresh, blooming flowers. Wandering along winding paths, I lost myself in the beauty of nature, admiring the colorful flowers and towering trees. I felt a sense of peace with each step taken in this welcome respite from my hectic city life.

Fellow Traveler Tip: Explore Athens’ natural beauty by exploring its parks and outdoor spaces. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, or just enjoying a stroll, there are plenty of green spaces to explore, including the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Sandy Creek Park.

Lunchtime

Image Credit: Pexels / Szabó Viktor

After getting lost in the serenity of the botanical gardens, I venture onward to find some lunch. I picked GrindhouseKiller Burgers and tried the Cowboy-style burger. It had an old-time serial killer kind of theme going on. It was entertaining, and the burger was delicious.  

Art Appreciation Time

Image Credit: Pexels / Gianna P1

Next on my itinerary was the Georgia Museum of Art, which was just a hop, skip, and jump from the restaurant. Once I’d walked over to the museum, I looked at their permanent collection. After that, I checked out their current traveling exhibitions on display from different places. I’m not very knowledgeable about art, but I still like to look at it and attempt to interpret the artist’s intent.

Fellow Travelers Tip: Athens has a rich arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters. Check out the Georgia Museum of Art or catch a performance at the Morton Theatre to get a feel of the city’s creative side. 

Nature Lover Hike

Image credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

I wanted to see more of the city’s nature, so after the art appreciation, I went to Oconee Forest Park, eager to explore its trails. The trails there were really long to walk, but they were well-worn. The forest was beautiful. In some spots, it almost looked like a fairy tale. After about a one-hour hike, I probably only covered one percent of Georgia’s national forest. Even so, by then, it was about time to find some food, so I started toward my next destination.   

Southern Comfort Food

Image Credit: Pexels / Gonzalo Acuña

For dinner, I took a cab back into town. I ate at Mana’s Boy Restaurant because I had been craving good old-fashioned soul food. I had country-fried steak with white gravy, collard greens, and sweet potatoes. I could not have picked a more comforting meal. It reminded me of my great-grandmother’s food.  

An End to the Day

Image Credit: Pexels / David Bartus

After leaving the restaurant and just wandering down the street, I was drawn to Athens I Love, a hub of arts and entertainment that pulsed with creative energy. Inside, I was greeted by the vibrant sights and sounds of local talent on display, from live music to interactive art installations. It is a great place to find the local emerging talent.    

 I make my way to Reese and Pope Park, a charming playground in the center of the urban area. There, swinging on a swing set beneath the stars, I got my last few moments in Athens before calling the day a wrap.

The Bottom Line

Image Credit: Pexels / Matthias Cooper

Georgia summers can be hot and humid, so stay hydrated, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and take frequent breaks in the shade to avoid overheating. 

Tourist Information: VisitAthensGA.com

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