Athens is among the most ancient cities in Alabama it was founded in 1818. It was initially known under its initial name Athenson however, it was later changed following the city that was once located in Greece.
It is a well-known early cotton city and railroad that has a rich history that has turned into a paradise for lovers of history.
There is a wide assortment of Civil War sites, museums, and Antebellum structures that exude southern charm. It has a number of nature parks in the vicinity and provides a broad selection of activities for everyone to take advantage of.
Let’s take a look at the Top activities to enjoy during your stay in Athens:
1. Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives
The museum is situated in the middle of downtown Athens, Alabama, and has a huge collection of artifacts from a variety of eras beginning with the Revolutionary War until the present current.
Find out about military uniforms, weapons, and medals. Listen to the stories and quotations of those who have lived through the whole thing.
The museum is among Alabama’s top attractions. It offers guides, gift stores, and an annual coffee morning when people from the area and visitors alike can exchange their stories.
With thousands of visitors every year, Athens is an experience to not miss if you’re traveling through or staying in Athens.
2. Isom’s Orchard
The farm was first able to plant cotton on its land more than 100 years ago. in the present, 259 lush acres are still plentiful but not with cotton, but with fruits.
No matter what time of year you’re in Alabama There’s always fresh, juicy fruit ready to pick.
If you are looking forward to sampling fresh apples, juicy peaches blueberries, or plump plums you’ll leave with bags full of food.
In the fall, take your children to explore the wonderful pumpkin patch, and don’t forget to sample the delicious cider slush before leaving.
3. Joe Wheeler State Park
Nestled on the shores of Wheeler Lake, approximately 22 miles away from Athens, Alabama is the beautiful Joe Wheeler State Park.
In the midst of emerald forests with lodges on the water and an 18-hole championship golf course, hiking trails, and restaurants, it is easy to take a day to explore the region.
Tennessee River flows across the entire park and divides it into two.
Anglers flock to the area all year round who come to catch catfish, bass, and Bream.
If you’re feeling fit and want to get moving, take a stroll through the stunning mountain biking and hiking trails, or enjoy glasses of beer or wine from the region at the restaurant along the river.
4. Athens Saturday Market
Every Saturday The Athens Market springs to life in the city’s central area.
In aiding local businesses This lets farmers, artisans, and other creatives meet and sell their products to tourists and locals.
People can shop for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as baked goods, and arts and crafts. And on certain days of the year, there are barbecues as well as live music.
5. The Richard Martin Trail
Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a full day taking a stroll along The Richard Martin Trail.
It is located close to Elkmont located 10 miles to the north of Athens The trail is home to an array of activities that are suitable for everyone.
While traveling you’ll come across refurbished railroad cars, a historic depot, and a wide variety of wildlife and flora.
You can walk, cycle or ride a horse, along the way, as you travel through homes, across bridges, and across beautiful cotton fields.
There are many sites of interest to visit that include Civil War battlegrounds, memorials, and wetlands that are brimming with wildlife.
6. Antebellum Trail
The Limestone County Antebellum Trail, is a walk or driving tour of the towns in Athens, Mooresville, and Belle Mina and showcases beautiful houses and structures that date back to the post-war period.
Visitors can visit any of the buildings during open hours, which includes Mooresville Post Office and Athens State University.
While it is an unguided tour If you’d like to know more about the homes of the Antebellum and the patrons they served during your journey, you can purchase an audio CD that will provide local history at the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center.
7. Robert Beaty Historic District
Robert Beaty was an Irish immigrant who came to America and settled in Virginia.
He moved to Athens, Alabama in 1818 He purchased land to develop. He together with John Read, John Coffee, John D. Carroll, and John Read, became one of the founding members of the city.
Robert Beaty Historic District is the home of Athens oldest buildings that display a range of changing styles of architecture from Greek Revival and Federal, to Italianate, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Victorian styles.
The area currently is part of the National Register of Historic Places and should not be missed when you’re in Athens.
8. Point Mallard Water Park
If you’re traveling with children and visiting the Athens area in the summer you can have the day having fun with them at Point Mallard Water Park.
This beautiful park, located 19 miles to the south of Athens is the perfect spot to spend a fun day with your family.
The site of the United States’ First Wave Pool and a number of flume slides and a picturesque lagoon where you can play and soak in the sun’s rays from dawn until the time of dusk.
If you’re not looking to do anything vigorous, you can choose too.
Just float down on the Lazy River, lounge on the beach that has been made by man, or go to the picnic areas for food and drinks.
9. Southern Gayles Golf Course
Golf enthusiasts touring Alabama have a choice of beautiful championship courses on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail However if you’re within Athens and don’t want to go further, you can take a swing at the Southern Gayles golf course.
The course is fun and offers more than 6700 yards of golf starting from the longest of tees and also has the putting green, driving range, and snack bar.
It’s accessible to all who are interested and you are free to go and play any time you want to.
10. Big Spring Park
If you’re not looking to drive too far and would like to have a picnic with your family or a stroll with your family, Big Spring Park is the perfect spot to be.
There are plenty of shaded and grassy areas, there’s also a pond that houses ducks, and two fountains at the center.
You can challenge your friends or other locals to a match of tennis, or have an afternoon picnic at the pavilion, stocked with fresh food purchased at the Athens Saturday Market.
Children don’t have to be left out at Big Spring Park either, there’s a play area that allows them to play and play around for long periods of time.
11. High Cotton Art
Let your creativity blossom in High Cotton Art in Downtown Athens.
The amazing art incubator provides the opportunity for creatives and artists to showcase their talents through numerous art-related events, education workshops, and gallery spaces.
Grab your paintbrush and your imagination, and go to the painting studio.
You’ll make new friends and explore various methods and methods together with other like-minded individuals in a relaxed, welcoming setting.
12. 306 BBQ
Established in 2011, this family-owned restaurant located in Athens serves those who love the authentic Southern type BBQ. The barbecue is slow-cooked and served with homemade side dishes The casual eatery will keep customers coming back to eat more.
Every meat and fish is dry-rubbed before being cooked slowly on the wood of hickory.
The beef, poultry, or pork dishes are tender and well-seasoned that it doesn’t require sauce. However, they do provide dips to spice up your food further.
If you’re craving food, take a bite of the whole chunk of ribs or the whole chicken. For an enticing bite, go for salads or fluffy jacket potatoes.
13. Houston Memorial Library and Museum
Houston Memorial Library and Museum was the former home of Governor George Smith Houston, a famous figure and a prominent and important citizen from Athens.
Following his demise, His estate made a donation of his house to the city with the condition to use it as a museum as well as a public library.
It is currently the main building in The Athens Historic District, showcasing huge reading materials, old furnishings, and photographs.
The facility is available to the public and can cater to special occasions.
14. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
One of the birding spots located in Alabama, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is a kind of holiday destination for migrating and winter birds.
With more than 300 species documented in the reserve, comprising Bald Eagles and Whooping Cranes There are plenty of opportunities for avid ornithologists.
Bring your binoculars with you, and you might be able to spot Northern Cardinals and Red-bellied Woodpeckers while you travel.
The wildlife sanctuary is 23 miles to the south of Athens It is an ideal spot to take a day trip.
Pack an outdoor picnic, camera, and walking shoes and spend the day enjoying the stunning Alabama wilds with lots of birds!
15. U.G White Mercantile
If you’re looking for that ideal souvenir or gift for a loved one go to U.G White Mercantile, located in Athens.
This gift shop from the past is an experience in shopping from the past in Alabama.
Since the year 1917, this shop has served the workers at cotton mills, farmers, and developers, who would buy everything from cast iron cookware to plows drawn by horses.
Today, people can go out and enjoy shopping for clothing as well as candy, gifts, as well as kitchen products for the kitchen.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, head to Downtown Athens or Huntsville and explore this historic hardware store, now a gift shop and you’ll not be disappointed.
Also, check the Top 15 Things to Do in Anniston of Alabama