Traveling the SEC: See Athens, Georgia Bulldogs football in new light

When it comes to experiencing the sheer passion of college football, the University of Georgia is unlike any other. Saturdays in Athens are made for Bulldog football. So what do you need to know about coming to town? We’ve got you covered. 


Getting there


The great thing about Athens is that it’s so close to Atlanta, so you can fly into town and just rent a car for the70-mile drive. You could also opt to fly into Charlotte, which is three hours away. Don’t forget you can stay up to date on prices for either airport with little effort with our Price Alerts.

Where to stay
Like many of the SEC schools, UGA is a place where you had better make your hotel reservations way in advance. If you’re looking to stay near campus, then you’ll want to keep an eye on Hilton Garden InnGeorgia Gameday Center and Holiday Inn – University Area – all three of these hotels are within walking distance of campus. But you’re going to find a good deal on hotels all down West Broad Street. 

Things to do


Athens has a lot of great things to do, but the town has its roots in music history. The Georgia Theatre has been where bands like the B-52s, R.E.M. and Widespread Panic got their start here while many of the founding members studied at the University of Georgia. Kids of all ages will have their fair share of fun at World of Wonder. It’s the largest community playground in the state and has enough mazes, swings, tunnels and bridges to keep anyone busy for hours on end. If you’re looking to relax before you get whipped up into a football frenzy, then you’ll can spend time getting lost in the 313-acre oasis that is the State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Eat, drink & play
Playing is all Athens is about in the night before a game. “This is serious stuff,” Georgia alum Holly Hunt says. “The night before the game, everyone goes ‘downtown’ to the restaurants and bars on Clayton Street to start pre-gaming with other Dawg fans and celebrating the impending victory.  Some popular spots for dinner areAmici's (Best. Wings. Ever), Mellow MushroomThe Grit and Transmetropolitan.  For after dinner drinks you can always find a crowd at Flanagan's [and the Half Moon Pub]Allgood Lounge, and Georgia Theater.” Those looking to close out the need with some grub can do it at the local Waffle House or a local favorite, The Grill.

Gameday pointers

Athens takes on a different persona when gameday rolls around. “The guys are often in red pants and black polos, while the girls are in dresses with all of the red and black accessories they can pile on,” says Hunt. The odds of you running into a guy like in the video above, however, is slim. But don’t worry if you’re in town to cheer on the visitors as they’ll welcome you with proper southern hospitality. There’s loads of free parking at the south end of campus, but you’ll need to get there at 7 a.m. (school rule, folks) in order to tailgate. Holly notes the real tailgating comes to life at the North and East Campuses, and near the Coliseum/Snelling Dining Hall. “There are tents for miles, food for days, and lot of coolers with cold beer and whiskey. The mornings usually involve grabbing a biscuit at Chick-fil-A on the way to campus or if you are the real deal, you make breakfast at the tailgate. Of course, there is also a whiskey and Coke or Miller Light in your hand with a UGA koozie.”

Is there a place that we missed that’s makes Athens perfect for a college football getaway? Let us know in the comments section below.