There is nothing quite Athens in the fall. The hills turn colors that match the bricks, the cooler days inspire everyone to get outdoors and there are so many uniquely Athens things to do. Whether you’re new to town or a seasoned Athenian, these 10 experiences are sure to make this fall in Athens memorable.
1. Fall Foliage Train. If you want an experience that you can find only in Athens County, then hop aboard the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway Fall Foliage Train. Take a ride on this historic train for a special view of all the vivid fall beauty Southeast Ohio has to offer!
2. Athens Farmers Market. In the mood to bake some homemade pumpkin bread? Need fresh apples for that apple pie you’ve been craving? Check out the popular Athens Farmers Market for a taste of local food and culture before it heads indoors for the winter. Once you go, you’ll soon see there’s a reason it’s been named one of the nation’s best farmers markets!
3. Bobcat football. O-H-I-O! What’s more fun: Cheering on the Ohio University Bobcats, dancing along to the Marching 110, or hanging out with Rufus? Thankfully, you don’t have to choose! When fall rolls around, so does Ohio University football season, and the games are a blast.
4. Parks and recreation. Enjoy the crisp, mild temperatures at one of the many beautiful parks within a hop, skip and a jump from Athens. Pack a fall picnic to enjoy at one of the many outdoor spots in our region. Afterwards, go for a hike on a wooded trail, or even set up camp for the night! Climb to the top of Radar Hill from The Ridges for a birds-eye view of the colorful foothills.
5. Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. Soak up the fall colors and get a breath of cool air with a bike ride, jog or walk on the 21-mile long Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. The trail runs alongside the Hocking River, past Ohio University, and into beautiful Athens woods, all the way to Nelsonville.
6. Seasonal Brews. Athens is known for its abundance of delicious brews, and there’s nothing better than putting a fall twist on local classics. With more than 30 bars and a rapidly growing craft brewery and winery scene, you have your pick of seasonal brews. Try a Barking Pumpkin from Jackie O’s while enjoying a live band for an “absolutely Athens” fall evening.
7. Fall festivals. You be the judge as teams from around the world will compete at the Ohio Smoked Meat and BBQ Festival in Nelsonville the third weekend in October. Enjoy live music, food and family fun, including pumpkin decorating, at Appalachian Color in the Hills Festival on Oct. 11-15.
8. Athena Theatre. When fall evenings start to cool down, head to the legendary Athena Theatre on Court Street. The Athena turned 100 years old this year and is celebrating each month by showing a classic film. This theatre is an Athens staple and will make you feel like a native.
9. Autumn java. The flavors of fall are some that local coffee shops and cafes do best. From Court Street Coffee’s pumpkin lattes to Donkey Coffee’s spiced chais, and everything in between, Athens is your one-stop-shop if you want to sip fall from a coffee mug.
10. Halloween. If you want to do Halloween right, come to Athens. Known as one of the most haunted towns in the nation, Athens offers many ghost stories and haunted spots to get you in the Halloween spirit. The HallOUween block party is among the world’s largest Halloween celebrations. It starts out with an impressive puppet parade, featuring larger-than-life puppets made from recycled materials and created by local artists who are part of Honey for the Heart. Stick around for live bands and to see plenty of costumed characters take over Court Street.
Now, isn’t it time for you to fall for Athens? Check out one of our wonderful hotels, cabins and B&Bs for a refreshing fall getaway. We’ll see you in Athens soon!