Considered one of the top college sports towns in the country, Athens, Georgia has a community of passionate fans who love to welcome new athletic events of all kinds. On top of the supportive and enthusiastic community, Athens features elite sports venues, comfortable and affordable accommodations, and some intriguing attractions for athletes and visitors to enjoy.
What to do in Athens, Georgia
When you visit Athens, Georgia, you will be swept away by its lovely mixture of southern heritage and contemporary ambiance. The city was not only home of America’s first state college, but it also has 15 neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places. Discover the historic beauty of the area by taking a tour of the four house museums in Athens: T.R.R Cobb House, Ware-Lyndon House, Taylor-Grady House and Athens Welcome Center.
Visitors can take a stroll through the University of Georgia North Campus, modeled after Yale University and featuring some of the oldest buildings in Athens that date back to 1801. You can also wander through the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, which includes a tropical conservatory and five miles of trails.
Athens loves its art, and there are dozens of great galleries and public art displays sprinkled throughout the city. You can take the time to visit a few of these artsy spots, or you can check out the Georgia Museum of Art, which is home to a permanent collection of more than 10,000 works of art.
Home of legendary bands such as R.E.M. and B-52s, Athens is known as a great live music city. You can browse through records at Wuxtry, where the members of R.E.M. first met, or shop around Lo YoYo Stuff and Atomic Athens to find vintage apparel and hard-to-find albums.
Families can enjoy an afternoon at Memorial Park and Bear Hollow Zoo or Sandy Creek Nature Center, which offers interactive animal exhibits. You can also spend some time walking along the banks of the North Oconee River or take a nice kayak trip down the river.
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Athens Boasts Premier Sports Facilities
Sports: Hockey, roller derby, cheerleading, volleyball, taekwondo
Home to the 2016 SECHC Champion University of Georgia Ice Dogs and Classic Cirt Rollergirls, Akins Arena is a great multi-purpose facility that can host a variety of sports events. The arena offers telescopic seating for up to 2,000 fans and features a 17,000-square-foot removable ice rink, a 20,000-square-foot covered pavilion, a 45,000-square-foot arena and concessions.
Classic Center Grand Hall
Sports: Dance, cheerleading, martial arts, other indoor sports
Located in the heart of historic downtown Athens, the Classic Center is a convention venue with modern spaces perfect for a sports event. The Grand Hall features 55,000 square feet of space that can be split into eight different spaces to accommodate a wide range of indoor sports.
Sports: Baseball, softball, soccer
Holland Youth Sports Complex is a 62-acre multi-purpose facility with five baseball fields, four soccer fields, three batting cages, one softball field and one tee-ball field. Each field features an attached concession stand for easy access to refreshments during tournaments and athletic events.
Sports: Swimming, kayaking, tennis, basketball, running, soccer
Sandy Creek surrounds Lake Chapman and features a seven-mile trail that circles the lake. There are also three multi-purpose, non-turf fields, two tennis courts and two basketball courts. Lake Chapman can be used for fishing events and non-motorized boating tournaments.
Athens-Clarke County Tennis Center
This facility accommodates year-round play for leagues, open play, clinics, instructional play and tournaments. It features 12 lighted, hard-surface courts with viewing areas, a covered pavilion, restrooms and meeting space. Ten of the courts offer blind lines for youth play.
Getting to Athens, Georgia
Located in Northeast Georgia, Athens is easily accessible by car and plane. Athens is 61 miles northeast of Atlanta and can be reached by major highways I-85 and I-20. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is one of the country’s busiest airports and is served by most major airlines.
Athens is a hardcore college sports town with a community that welcomes athletes of all kinds. Combine that with its first-class sports venues and long list of attractions, and Athens is a sports planner’s dream location.