Bobcats in Athens

Welcome to Athens

Hello Bobcats! Welcome to your new home for the next four years! Athens is a town filled with rich culture and heritage, a thriving music scene, an inspiring and renowned arts community, eclectic shopping and dining… all in the beautiful, rolling hills of Appalachia. You might say we are best known for Halloween or for the numerous street fests, but we beg to differ. Athens is nationally recognized as a ‘garden of eatin’ with our abundance of nearby farms, local food markets, food-producing venues and outstanding festivals (you must check out the Pawpaw Festival and Ohio Brew Week). Below are our Top 10 things you must do or see before you leave Athens. Enjoy your home away from home! 

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Athens Farmers Market


You must check out the Athens Farmers Market and find out why it’s one of the best in the nation! Open every Saturday year-round and on Wednesdays April through December. The market is open 10:00am – 1:00pm at the Market on State, which is only a couple miles from campus. Take the bike path and you’ll be there in a jiffy! Stock your dorm room or apartment with fresh, local goodies. There’s no need to gain the freshman 15!  (Click photo for more info)


Uptown Athens Shopping and Dining              


Directly north of College Green, you’ll find Uptown Athens which is decked out with funky shops, local eateries, inviting taverns and great coffee shops. With so many Athens’-only businesses, you’re sure to find that thirst quenching, caffeine boosting and stomach pleasing haunt. As if that's not enough, stop into the many uptown shops for some much needed retail therapy. The heart and soul of Uptown Athens is the unique, local businesses. So, make sure you explore more than just the logos and brands that you’re already familiar with.  A must see is Passion Works Studio where you can find the colorful, knockout Passion Flowers which is the official flower of Athens. To further enhance your Uptown experience, check out this historical walking tour. (Click photo for more info)

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30 Mile Meal

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The 30 Mile Meal Project is a collaboration of the ACCVB, the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) and 130+ local food partners. This initiative pushes the envelope on the growing 100 Mile Meal movement with our own 'super-local' effort to assist visitors and residents in finding local foods and places where you can savor the flavors and food experiences of our region.

(Click photo for more info)    

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Hockhocking Adena Bikeway


Feeling a little adventurous? Grab your bike and explore the 19-mile Bikeway that connects Athens and Nelsonville. You’ll quickly find out why the bikeway’s name means “bottleneck” or “twisted”. The Bikeway is a great resource to get to Nelsonville and see Stuart’s Opera House, the Historic Square Arts District and Rocky Outdoor Gear Store. Or, use the Bikeway to head east to Athens Farmers Market, Athens Community Center, Athens City Pool and Market on State. Do not worry if you are car-less, the Bikeway makes it much easier to travel places around Athens. (Click photo for more info)

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Kennedy Museum of Art

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On the other side of the river, visit the Kennedy Museum of Art for FREE! The museum is located in historic Lin Hall at the Ridges, which was formerly the Athens Lunatic Asylum. The museum has world-class exhibits, Native American Textiles and jewelry, contemporary print collections and a brand new Café. The café is open for breakfast and lunch. Be sure to check out their special events where they host workshops, lectures, grand openings and tours. It’s the perfect place for refined art, relaxation and inspiration. (Click photo for more info)


Athens County GeoTrails


Ever heard of geocaching? This growing pastime combines treasure hunting and technology, where anyone armed with a global positioning system (GPS) and a specific set of coordinates can search for caches containing hidden objects. Once you discover a cache, you log your find on a variety of caching websites. We just launched two brand-new GeoTrails for Athens County. We have caches hidden all over the county.  If you’re up to the task, borrow a friend’s car, bring your smartphone, and complete the puzzle! For your hard efforts, we’ll award you with the much beloved Athens County GeoCoin! (Click photo for more info)


Strouds Run State Park

Strouds - OU Boys

Just a few miles from campus, Strouds Run is an incredibly popular destination for OU students to sun bathe, swim, hike, canoe, toss a Frisbee and play sand volleyball. The beach is open in the spring and summer months for swimming. It’s a fun place to grill out if your apartment or house doesn’t have the space. It’s also a great place for your pooch to stretch its legs and explore the hiking trails. You can even hunt, fish and go horseback riding at Strouds! (Click photo for more info)

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Dairy Barn Arts Center


Our most beloved arts center, the Dairy Barn, is a great place to take your family to experience a premiere art gallery and unique shopping. The Dairy Barn boasts several exhibitions all throughout the year and hosts numerous shopping events. The Holiday Bazaar in December is a fantastic opportunity to purchase that novelty gift for mom or dad. The Dairy Barn Fest on Mom’s Weekend features artists and vendors from around the region with hundreds of handcrafted goods. The Dairy Barn is located right next to the Ridges, just down Dairy Lane. (Click photo for more info)




Our community gateway to the arts! ARTS/West is a multipurpose community arts space. They host plays, rehearsals, workshops, music lessons, poetry readings, dance parties, acting classes… and so much more! What’s even better, most of their events are FREE! It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind arts facility that is just off campus. Follow West State towards Miller’s Chicken and you’ll spot the brown, brick building on your way. (Click photo for more info)


The Ridges

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There’s a lot more to The Ridges than what you have read or heard about. Formerly the Athens Lunatic Asylum, The Ridges is known for its lush grounds, historic buildings and acres of hiking. The Ridges Cemeteries Nature Walk winds you through several cemeteries, up Radar Hill (the highest point in Athens) and down brick slopes. Home to Ohio University’s Challenge Course, you can also enjoy the zip-line, ropes course and climbing wall. There’s even a free putt-putt course, shelter house and corn hole! The Ridges offers plenty of recreational and sight-seeing options in an astounding setting of natural beauty. (Click photo for more info)

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