Best Spots to Hear Live Music in Athens

Originally published on visitathensga.com

It’s no secret that Athens, GA is a music town. From classic favorites like R.E.M. and The B-52s to newcomers like Mothers and New Madrid, the music industry has been getting a taste of Athens for generations. On your visit to Athens, check out some of Athens’ best spots to hear live music to stay up to date on the local music scene and possibly catch Athens’ next big star!

Georgia Theatre

This Athens classic has a rich history that makes for a unique concert experience. Built in 1935, this art-deco inspired venue started as a cinema before becoming one of Athens’ most renowned places to see live music. Over the years the Georgia Theatre has accumulated an impressive repertoire of bands that have performed on its stage, from Alabama Shakes to CeeLo Green to Florida Georgia Line. With a show almost every night, you’re sure to find one that catches your eye!

The 40 Watt Club

Most music lovers in Athens are familiar with this iconic venue. The 40 Watt Club has been a stomping ground to big name musicians, including R.E.M., the B-52’s, Drive-By Truckers, Of Montreal and so many more. With low ceilings and warm atmosphere, a show in The 40 Watt puts the emphasis on the music and will have you thinking of the days when legends called Athens home.

The Foundry

Longing for a classic southern atmosphere complete with good beer and comfort food? The Foundry offers handmade southern favorites such as cornbread and grits while diners can sit back and enjoy live music—or even perform yourself! On Tuesdays, you can join in the fun with live band karaoke. The Foundry is a great place to catch a concert earlier in the day, with some afternoon shows for the whole family or an evening of smooth jazz.

Nuçi’s Space

Located on the edge of downtown on Oconee Street, Nuçi’s Space is more than a music venue. It advocates and raises money for the prevention of suicide and ending the stigma associated with mental illness. This is a perfect spot to enjoy a show while supporting a worthy cause.

Caledonia Lounge

This quirky venue is a great way to catch up-and-coming musicians in an intimate setting. Highlighting indie-rock, the close space of Caledonia Lounge creates a sense of being a part of the performance which can be ideal for music lovers. Need some air? The patio out front is the perfect space to catch a breather during a show.

Hedges on Broad

Bigger than it looks on the outside, Hedges is the go-to place for outings with a group of friends. The large brick venue often hosts DJs and country music—anything to get you dancing. The performances at Hedges are often upbeat and lively. Hedges kicks it up a notch on holidays, with balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling.

Flicker Theatre and Bar

Popcorn and cozy couches add to the charm of this Athens favorite. Grab a drink and see bands from all over the country in this snug venue. Local artists also have the option of performing at open mic. Check out Open Toad Comedy Night for standup and improv!


Nestled in the heart of scenic Prince Avenue, Hendershot’s combines a love for coffee and music. A wide range of music styles come to Hendershot’s to showcase their sound, including jazz, folk, and blues. A perfect spot to unwind with a neighborhood feel.

The Classic Center

If symphonies and musicals are more your scene for live music, The Classic Center is a great change of pace. Its capacity of 2,290 seats allows for hosting larger performances such as the Blue Man Group and the Beach Boys. It is home to the Athens Symphony Concerts and the Broadway Entertainment series, bringing the magic of Broadway to Athens.

UGA Performing Arts Center

The Athens music scene goes far beyond the local sound of Athens. Musicians travel from all over the world to perform at the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center. Symphony Orchestras from as far as Ukraine will travel to play in Athens this season, as well as world renowned pianist Seong-Jin Cho.

Want all things Athens music? Discover more venues and events on Live Music Athens or learn more about Athens music history on a walking tour!


A Romantic Valentine’s Getaway to Athens, GA

Originally published on visitathensga.com

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and the pressure is on for couples to find the perfect romantic getaway. Don’t stress—Athens, Ga. has got you covered with some of the best Valentine’s trip ideas in Georgia.

Where to stay

If you’re looking to turn Valentine’s Day into a weekend getaway, these Athens hotels are perfect for couples.

Hotel Indigo

A boutique hotel located in the hub of downtown Athens, Hotel Indigo will bring a hip, modern flare to your romantic weekend. On February 11th, Hotel Indigo’s  Rialto Club will team up with local vendors for an elegant dining experience featuring some of Athens’ finest, including Terrapin craft beer, Jittery Joe’s coffee, and Condor Chocolates. Go all in  book an overnight stay in one of Hotel Indigo’s king penthouse rooms for a romantic weekend in Athens that will not disappoint.

The Colonels Bed and Breakfast

This quaint bed and breakfast is reminiscent of an antebellum plantation, complete with breathtaking magnolia trees and 30 acres of charming scenery. Relax in a rocking chair on the front porch or take a stroll to see the horses in the barn. A weekend at The Colonels Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to stay for couples looking for a more intimate setting, however the hustle and bustle of downtown Athens is only a few miles away. Book a romantic two-night weekend getaway package that includes champagne or Belgian beer, fresh flowers, and snacks in a lovely setting by candlelight. The package is offered from February 10th to the 19th at $500 per couple.

Graduate Athens

For the entire month of February, Graduate Athens will be offering a special Valentine’s Day package. Pick out a special bouquet from their collection arranged by Flowerland which will be waiting upon arrival along with a sweet treat from GiGi’s Cupcakes! If you’re looking to unwind, book a couples massage at The Spa at Graduate Athens.

For the Foodies

Valentine’s Day is not complete without a romantic dinner for two. Athens is now known throughout the South for our food scene.

Five & Ten

Use the holiday as an excuse to dress up and go out with your sweetheart. Five & Ten is the ultimate fine dining experience with mouthwatering food from James Beard award-winning chef Hugh Acheson.

The National

Another Valentine’s Day go-to, The National will be offering a 4-course prix fixe menu at $50 per guest. This Mediterranean style restaurant with a twist offers an extensive wine list and the atmosphere of a European café.

Heirloom Café

This quaint café sources as much of their ingredients as possible from local farmers and artisans to create fresh, delicious dishes. Heirloom’s charming patio filled with flowers is perfect for a brunch to start out your Valentine’s weekend.

Condor Chocolates

After dinner, walk through the lovely Five Points neighborhood to Condor Chocolates to satisfy that sweet tooth. Condor Chocolates produces and sells bean-to-bar Ecuadorian chocolate. From truffles to macaroons to gelato, it’s impossible to leave without tasting some of these irresistible creations!

For the Low-Key Couple

Want to skip the fuss of dressing up, or try something offbeat or unusual for Valentine’s? These options are great for couples looking for a carefree night.

Athens on Ice

Through February 16th, Athens on Ice is open to the public! Ice-skating is great for mixing up the traditional date night and spending quality time with your loved one. After skating, take a stroll through downtown Athens.

The Rook & Pawn

Perfect for a double date, The Rook & Pawn is a cozy board game café with pub-style food and drinks. Its seemingly endless selection of board games is stacked from the floor to the ceiling. So bring your couple friends and browse the vast selection of games for a fun-filled night!

Georgia Museum of Art

Head over to the Georgia Museum of Art for a creative evening that won’t break the bank. With free admission, you and your loved one can browse the extensive art collection containing over 10,000 works of art.

Botanical Garden

Take a stroll through Georgia’s State Botanical Garden for some fresh air and beautiful scenery, with trails and gardens that make for a perfect Valentine’s photo op. Stay for dinner in the glass conservatory surrounded by tropical plants! During Orchid Madness, a nearly month long fundraiser benefiting the UGA Horticulture Department, the Botanical Garden is offering a unique Valentine’s package that includes live music, a champagne toast, and a buffet complete with beef tenderloin and grilled salmon. Every couple will be sent home with an orchid plant at the end of the night.

For the Music Lovers

Wrap up Valentine’s Day in Athens with a bang with these live performances at our world-renowned music venues.

The Georgia Theatre

For an evening of blues and rock, head over to the Georgia Theatre on February 14th to see Anders Osborne with an opening performance by The Ghost of Paul Revere. Leave the kids at home for this one, as the event is open to those 18 and over.

The Foundry

The 10th Annual Sweethearts Duet Hoot will be held at The Foundry on February 13th with free admission. The Athens Folk Music and Dance Society will present this evening of duets as musical couples perform a selection of songs.

Get started on planning your Valentine’s getaway in Athens.