Away Game Guide: Athens

Home Game Guide: Athens

Fall is just around the corner—which means it’s almost time for the Dawgs to hunker down Between the Hedges once again. If you’re traveling to Athens for a home game this season, here’s a guide to all the best hotels, restaurants and attractions for your weekend in the Classic City. 

Where to stay

UGA’s very own Center for Continuing Education and Hotel is a convenient place to stay, just steps from Myers Quad and an easy walk to the stadium. Fun fact: the hotel has a dedicated suite for Uga to stay in on game days—maybe you’ll pass by him on the way to your room. 

If you’d like a boutique hotel experience, The Graduate Athens may be just the place for you. Graduate hotels are located in college towns across the country, each with their own quirky decorative style. 

The Graduate Athens has its own coffee shop and a bar, restaurant and music venue. (Photo: Graduate Athens)

What to eat

Athens has a renowned and diverse restaurant scene. Check out Classic City mainstays downtown like The Grill, a 50s-style diner, or Dawg Gone Good BBQ, a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint. 

Those looking for a taste of Athens’ fine dining options could head to The National, a Mediterranean-inspired favorite founded by UGA alumnus Peter Dale (ABJ ’99). Peter also owns Seabear Oyster Bar and co-owns Condor Chocolates and Maepole, a counter-service health food restaurant.  

On Sundays, brunch options abound downtown at Mama’s Boy, Trappeze Pub and South Kitchen and Bar. Plan for long waits at many restaurants, but know that the food will be worth it. 

Mama’s Boy’s made-from-scratch breakfasts have been written about in Oprah Magazine, Southern Living, Sports Illustrated and more. (Photo: Mama’s Boy)

On game day

Before the game, cheer on the Redcoat Band, cheerleaders, players and coaches as they enter Sanford during the Dawg Walk, which happens approximately two hours before kickoff at Gate 10 of the stadium. Show up early and you can watch the Redcoat drum line perform a concert before the walk. 

Even if you don’t have a ticket to the game, there are plenty of places in Athens to enjoy the game day atmosphere. Tailgaters surround most of the UGA campus, and big-screen viewing of UGA games is available downtown at both Paloma Park and the Georgia Theatre. If you’d like to stay on campus, the Tate Theater inside the Tate Student Center also screens football games. 

After a Dawgs win, make sure to celebrate by ringing the Chapel Bell on North Campus. 

The Georgia Theatre shows most games on their big screen throughout the season, although you must be 21 or older to enter the venue. (Photo: Georgia Theatre)

More Athens attractions

In addition to UGA sports, Athens has lots of opportunities for cultural exposure and outdoor adventure. Explore Athens’s history as a musical hub by taking the Athens Music Walk of Fame downtown, or pay a visit to the Georgia Museum of Art, which features traveling exhibitions plus an eclectic permanent collection including a sculpture garden. 

Enjoy nature by visiting Bear Hollow Zoo, a free zoo of non-releasable, rehabilitated wildlife, or walking the trails of the sprawling State Botanical Garden of Georgia. 

There’s a lot to see in the Classic City! Not making the trip to Athens and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you.