Athens 101: A Guide for New Students and Parents

For students and parents alike, the move to Athens to start Ohio University in the fall can be both exciting and a bit overwhelming. Here are six things incoming Bobcats and parents might not know about students’ new home away from home:

Athena Uptown CroppedUptown Athens is the center of the action. 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 all of the student bookstores, a pharmacy, shops and restaurants and coffee shops. Enjoy a family meal before the parents head home at one of the many unique local restaurants!


3285060440_2a0dfa2076Local food, arts and music are woven into our fabric. Athens is home to the nation’s first “super local” food campaign; the 30 Mile Meal, which celebrates foods and spirits crafted within a 30-mile radius of Athens. More than 160 local partners participate, including favorite Uptown restaurants. Catch live music almost any night at Casa Nueva, and brighten up dorm walls with a Passion Flower; the official flower of Athens. Ohio University is home to the largest in-vessel composting system at any college or university in the nation and has a huge investment in recycling.




Under cover market produceGrocery shopping is easy—and it’s easy to find locally-made foods. Kroger is just over two miles down East State Street, Seaman’s Grocery is an easy walk from campus and the Undercover Market at the Village Bakery is just a few blocks from Uptown. Look for the “Food We Love” banner at either store to take home a taste of Athens. Stop by the Athens Farmers Market on Wednesday or Saturday mornings (and Thursdays through September) to taste fresh foods produced just miles down the road, and get to know local farmers.



11425132_858360117588723_6040469552133462048_nOutdoor adventures await, right on Athens’ doorstep. Ohio University has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, but take time to step off-campus from time-to-time for an adventure in the beautiful Appalachian foothills. From hiking trails in Hocking Hills and Wayne National Forest to renting a canoe or hydro bike at Stroud’s Run State Park and catching the best view in Athens from atop Radar Hill, there’s always something new to explore in the great outdoors.




OUvMarshallCheer on the home team. As a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), Bobcat athletics bring crowds together. Ohio University fields 15 intercollegiate teams (six men’s teams and nine women’s teams) and has several championship titles. The town will bleed green and white on Saturday, Oct. 10, when the Bobcats take on Miami University (Oxford) for the annual Homecoming football game.


Donkey BannerThere’s no shortage of local java joints. You’ll hear it from locals, students and visitors alike: Athens has exceptional coffee shops. Fuel up for class at Donkey Coffee, rated Best Coffee House in Ohio, or grab a Court Street Mocha at Court Street Coffee. Visit Brenen’s Coffee Café for a Milkyway, made with steamed chocolate milk, or Fluff Bakery for a House Mocha, paired with a fresh-baked cookie or giant cupcake, of course.


Get to know Athens by getting out there and exploring. Don’t wait forParents Weekend in mid-September, Athens is a great place for a weekend trip any time of the year!