Spend a Memorable Time Exploring Interesting Sites in Athens, AL
Athens has Much to Offer in the Form of Museums, Historical Homes and Recreational Parks
Unbeknownst to many, the city of Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the State of Alabama; it got its start in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll and John Read. The city however, was deeply affected by the Civil War, as it was seized by Union forces and businesses and residents suffered. With that said, it is of no surprise at all that there is quite a number of museums and historical sites related to the Civil War erected in the city so, historians are going to be in for a real treat.
However, museums and historical sites are not the only attractions in Athens. Thanks, in part, to its close proximity to Decatur, visitors will also find that kid-friendly recreational centers, parks and entertainment outlets are a short drive away from the historical Athens. You can organize a field trip to Point Mallard Waterpark for some fun in the sun, check out the breathtaking artwork at Carnegie Visual Arts Center, go for a shopping spree at U.G. White Mercantile or learn about local wildlife at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. The great news is that most of these wonderful attractions cater to events and make picture-perfect backdrop for wedding photos and spots of picnics, outdoor gatherings, corporate team-building events, birthday parties, school field trips, church outings and other social events.
And if you are a wedding planner or event organizer looking for the right ride for the events that you are planning, you are in luck! US Coachways has decades of experience in helping our customers all about Alabama and nationwide find ground transportation for their events, be it personal or business. Get in touch with us today to find out more about vehicle options, including of charter buses, mini buses, school buses, party buses, limousines, vans, tour buses and other modern exotic vehicles. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Top Things to do and Attractions to Check out in Athens, AL
To help you make the most of your time and plan your itinerary, we have shortlisted some of the city’s best attractions below. Here are some of Athens’ best tourist attractions and historical points of interest
that we think you should find out more about.
- Entertainment & Amusement Parks — Cinemagic Theater is a nice and cosy venue for visitors to catch the latest films from Hollywood and it also features some really good foreign films as well as quality independent movies. With fantastic weather all year round, any time is a good time for some fun in the sun at Point Mallard Waterpark. It also features the largest Hot Air Balloon Festival in the state of Alabama and if you are lucky, there are cool events to be a part of you, like an antique car show or concert. If you have kids with you during your vacation, include a trip to Cook’s Natural Science Museum into your itinerary. The exhibits will let the kids into a world involving anything and everything about rocks, live specimen, meteorites, reptiles, insects, birds, fossils and much more. For a self-guided tour, there are lots of explanations and scriptures that tells parents more about how to make the most of the hands-on activities on site.
- Art & Culture — If there is a good starting point for your trip, it would be Athens Visitors Center located in the heart of the city center. The building itself is a historic structure and there is also a quaint, cozy garden for you to have a stroll with your family and friends after the visit. Get your hands on important information and schedule about festivals, local events and details of many famous attractions at this visitors center. For even more art and culture, bring the charter bus to Carnegie Visual Arts Center where there are mesmerizing and inspiring lineup of artwork, paintings and thought-provoking photographs to check out. This non-profit art organization is also the organizer of Carnegie Carnival during the city’s Mardi Gras.
- Restaurant & Shopping — If you need to get the shopping bug out of your system, you have a large variety of stores to pick from. U.G. White Mercantile is just the type of quaint shopping outlet that has everything you may need for your trip. They offer products like cast iron, blankets, knives, handmade soaps, kitchen gadgets, accessories, bath and body products, etc. You can easily spend a few hours browsing through the bargain buys and promotional items. If you like to get up close and personal with the locals, bring the charter bus for a few hours of shopping at Athens Saturday Market. Thanks to the local thriving dining scene, you can find a wide range of cuisine in downtown Athens. For instance, you sample local barbeque at LawLers Barbecue Express 3 on US Highway 72 E, eat in an intimate and cozy atmosphere at Clark’s Restaurant, sample some Southern comfort food at LuVici’s, fiery Mexican fanfare at Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant and fresh Japanese cuisine and tuna sashimi at Samurai’s Steak House. If you are in a hurry, grab a sandwich and baked goods from the simple Suzanne’s Bakery and Eatery.
- Historical Sites & Landmarks — For the history lovers in you, making a pit-stop at the The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives would be well worth the time as it is also a great opportunity to pay tribute to the contributions of our Veterans and Service men. This humble attraction is packed with a lot of history and arranged in a convenient chronological manner so that it is easy to absorb and learn about the importance of each war. This attraction is also perfect for school-going children because most of the things that they learn in school comes to life in this meaningful museum. Another fun place to have a field trip with the kids is Houston Memorial Library and Museum in the middle of Athens. The attraction was the former home of a former Alabama governor and U.S. Senator, George S. Houston. The exhibits will tell you in-depth stories about the life and achievements of this prominent local public figure and national authority. Another great historical site to pop over includes the Blue and Gray of North Alabama; come explore Civil War weapons, collectibles, rare reunion ribbons, pictures, flags, costumes, and much, much more.
- Parks & Outdoor Activities — When you are looking for an easy and intermediate hiking trail in Athens, you can’t go wrong with Richard Martin Trails. The trails are easy to navigate, clean and provides visitors with a place for hiking and horseback riding. It also runs through the charming little town, Elkmont, which has quaint stores, restaurants and a nice place to kayak and paddle boat with your fellow travelers. Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, in the meantime, is mostly run by passionate and committed volunteers who are professional and helpful about sharing tips on the best ways to enjoy your time at this outdoor attraction. Through a moving and educational short movie, you will be presented with facts and what to expect at its grounds and when you are done, stop by the 2-floor observation site and try spot some natural wildlife in their natural habitat. It is truly the perfect place for school-going children of all ages.
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