Top Spots to visit during graduation

Graduation week is full of reasons to celebrate. Students walk confidently under the arch for the first time and spend time showing their families all the local hotspots. Read on to discover the must-see stops on any graduation week tour!

Taste of Athens

Downtown Athens is famous for its food, and there’s no better way for graduates to share a taste of Athens with their families than by sharing – a literal taste of Athens. With a diverse selection and exciting mix of cuisines, there’s an option for everyone.

Convenience is key during a busy graduation week. Athens Technical College and several colleges within the University of Georgia host their graduations at The Classic Center, which is nestled in the heart of downtown and within walking distance of dozens of favorite local eateries. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian at   DePalma’s, burgers at  Clocked!, or pizza at  Ted’s Most Best, you can find it all in Athens. Visit Athens has a complete list of restaurant and outdoor patio options, perfect for springtime graduation.

Athens Beer Trail

If there’s anything Athens is more well-known for than its delicious assortment of local eateries, it’s the impressive array of craft breweries. If you’re worried about missing any hidden gems or local favorites when making your to-do list, we’ve got a solution – the  Athens Beer Trail! The perfect beer-tastic itinerary has already been made for you. How do you participate? It’s simple. Stop by any of the six participating breweries to grab your field guide. Then, take your guide to the bartenders at the respective establishments to get a stamp. Once you’ve collected all six stamps, you can stop by the Historic Athens Welcome Center at 280 E Dougherty Street every day between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to claim a commemorative prize.

If you have lots of family visiting and don’t want to worry about the hassle of moving multiple cars to multiple locations, there’s a solution for that, too. Hop on the  Athens Beer Trail Trolley! Running on Thursdays and Fridays through all six breweries, tickets allow for hop-on and -off rides during the entire operational window that day.

Which breweries are part of the tour?

Akademia Brewing Company
Athentic Brewing Company
Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
Normaltown Brewing Company
Southern Brewing Company
Terrapin Beer Co.


Explore the Outdoors

Athens is always gorgeous, but springtime is especially beautiful. With ginkgo trees in full glory and an enormous selection of nature trails and parks, Athens has a multitude of places to breathe in the fresh air after you toss your graduation cap.

The  State Botanical Garden of Georgia is free to the public and has a diverse collection of local and international flora. This is a worthy addition to any family itinerary.

Sandy Creek Park has a small admission fee, but the trails and beach picnic area nestled next to Lake Chapman are more than worth it.

Bear Hollow Zoo is a great getaway for anyone with younger siblings or cousins attending graduation. With free admission and an assortment of non-releasable wildlife, this is absolutely an educational stop worth making.

Athens Music Walk of Fame is a new attraction in downtown Athens. Travel through the decades of Athens’ iconic music heritage and see your favorite local artists names honored along the Athens Music Walk of Fame. Some artists include R.E.M., the B-52s, Widespread Panic, and Bob Cole.

Call the Dawgs!

Touring UGA’s North Campus is an absolute must for any UGA supporter. Stroll through memory lane, sip a cup of coffee on the lawn, and show your family the famed chapel bell – rung throughout the night after a UGA victory. Finally, walk under the arch – the one on campus you’ve gingerly stepped around through all your years of classes. You’ve earned it. Congratulations, graduates!