6 Best Sights in Athens, Central and North Georgia

State Botanical Gardens of Georgia

Fodor's choice

Just outside the Athens city limits, you'll find this tranquil, 313-acre wonderland of aromatic gardens and woodland paths. It has a massive conservatory overlooking the International Garden that functions as a welcome foyer and houses an art gallery, gift shop, and café. There's also a 2½-acre children's garden with interactive elements designed to engage children through all their senses. New in 2021 is a porcelain and decorative arts museum featuring eight galleries of nature-inspired artwork.

2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA, 30605, USA
706-542–1244
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free, Grounds: Apr.–Sept., daily 8–8; Oct.–Mar., daily 8–6. Visitor center: Tues.–Sat. 9–4:30, Sun. 11:30–4:30

Church-Waddel-Brumby House

The streets of Athens are lined with many gorgeous old homes, some of which are open to the public. Most prominent among them is the Federal-style Church-Waddel-Brumby House. Built in 1820, it is the town's oldest surviving residence. The museum is home to the Historic Athens Welcome Center, where you can pick up information and arrange for tours.

Creature Comforts Brewery

Founded in Athens in 2014, Creature Comforts has made an imprint in the craft beer community with its award-winning year-round and limited-release beers. Try them all plus creative concoctions like a "Beermosa" at its downtown Athens taproom housed in a former 1950s tire shop. There's often live music and events on the weekends.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Georgia Museum of Art

On the campus of the University of Georgia, the museum serves a dual purpose as an academic institution and the official public art museum of the State of Georgia. The permanent collection contains a wealth of 19th- and 20th-century paintings—some from noted American artists like Georgia O'Keeffe and Winslow Homer. It also houses the Samuel H. Kress Study Collection of Italian Renaissance art. Special exhibitions display cherished works of art from around the world.

90 Carlton St., Athens, GA, 30602, USA
706-542–4662
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free, Tue.–Wed. and Fri.–Sat. 10–5; Thu. 10–9; Sun. 1–5, Closed Mon.--Wed.

Lyndon House Arts Center

This community visual arts complex centered around the 1856 Ware-Lyndon House features art galleries, artist workshops, and a gallery shop featuring pottery, paintings, jewelry, and more by over 100 Athens-area artists. You can also tour the meticulously restored historic home, Admission is free. Check online for gallery shows and events.

University of Georgia

Athens has several splendid Greek revival buildings, including two on campus: the university chapel, built in 1832, just off North Herty Drive, and the university president's house that was built in the late 1850s. Easiest access to the campus in downtown Athens is off Broad Street onto either Jackson or Thomas Street, both of which run through the heart of the university. Maps are available at the visitor center in the Four Towers Building on College Station Road.