Thousands of new Ohio University students and their families will be visiting Athens throughout June to attend Bobcat Student Orientation. If you haven’t spent much time in Athens, navigating the brick streets and finding your way around town may be a bit overwhelming.
To help make visiting for orientation a little easier, and a lot more fun, we’ve put together a list of five things to know before heading to Athens.
- Court Street is the main street that runs through Uptown Athens. Step off of Ohio University’s College Green, and you’re on Court Street in Uptown Athens; the center of the city. Here, you’ll find student bookstores, a pharmacy, shops and restaurants and coffee shops. Fuel up for a busy day at Donkey Coffee, rated Best Coffee House in Ohio. To truly experience the unique vibe of Athens, stroll down Court Street, lined with famous Athens Block bricks, and listen to street performers, take in local art and taste cuisine from ingredients produced just miles down the road.
- There are many options for parking in Athens. If you want to venture off-campus and explore Uptown, you can leave your car where you parked it for orientation and take a short walk, or there are numerous metered parking spots along Court Street and surrounding streets. The Athens City Parking Garage Washington Street between Court Street and College Street has nearly 270 metered spaces, too.
- Athens has a vibrant local foods movement and restaurants to please every taste bud. You can’t leave Athens without sampling some local dishes. A few Athens staples include: Casa Nueva, the quintessential “Athens” restaurant, serving seasonal Mexican inspired cuisine; Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery, featuring delicious burgers and pizzas; and the Burrito Buggy food cart, dubbed a “classic Athens experience.”
- Step out of the classroom and get some fresh air. Ohio University is nestled in the beautiful Appalachian foothills, and has been named one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. There are plenty of options for running, hiking and bike riding. The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, which runs right beside campus along the Hocking River, was named one of “15 Fantastic Bike Trails” by USA Today in 2014. Head to The Ridges, overlooking Ohio University and former home of The Athens Lunatic Asylum. While there, stroll along the Cemeteries Nature Walk, or climb to the top of Radar Hill for the best view of Athens.
- Make a mini-vacation out of your visit for a true Athens experience. Consider spending a little extra time exploring Athens and the nearby areas while you’re visiting for orientation. There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs to choose from, both in town and a short drive away. Take a day trip to Hocking Hills; one of the most breathtaking areas of Ohio. Explore campus a little more with your student, enjoy a local meal and do some shopping.
Enjoy getting to know Athens with the new Bobcats and spending a couple days at their new home away from home! Before long, the students will be showing their families around like old pros.
Visit AthensOhio.com for more ideas on what to do, where to stay and what to eat while you’re here!