Do Athens Like a Local: 8 Hidden Gems

Sells Bike Cropped

This cyclist is enjoying Athens like the locals do: at Sells Park.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy in Athens. Whether you’ve never been here or are a regular visitor, there are several hidden gems tucked away among the brick streets you may not know about. If you want to see Athens like a local, here are eight spots you can’t miss the next time you’re in town.

Not Guilty Food Cart

You can always feel good about what you eat from the Not Guilty Cart.

Larry’s Dawg House: Two words: Weenie Wednesday. Enjoy 99-cent corndogs and hot dogs all day long. Add to the fun by sipping on a milkshake (more than a dozen flavors!), or dip a spoon in one of 20 Artic Swirls. Find the locally-owned restaurant on West Union Street by the Athens County Fairgrounds. [410 W. Union St. /]

Not Guilty Food Cart: This 30 Mile Meal food cart offers healthy comfort food and uses local ingredients to make mouth-watering grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, salads and smoothies. The menu is based on what’s in season and freshly available. The food cart is often located near the Class Gate on College Green and is at regional festivals. [E. Union St. at S. Court St. /]

Smiling Skull Saloon: Looking for a place to listen to live music? Look no further. This bar has a booming music scene and is always jumping with great tunes and a good time. The Skull draws in a crowd from all backgrounds, from students to townies and bikers, to enjoy classic rock, metal and blues music. [108 W. Union St.]

Smiling Skull Band

Looking for great live music? Find it at the Skull and at Tony’s.

Tony’s Tavern: This one-of-a-kind spot is a local favorite and lets visitors get swinging to smooth jazz every Tuesday night. [7 W. State St. /]

Beads & Things: Once named the best bead store in Ohio, visitors can create their own jewelry, embellish textiles or find unique gifts and collectibles. Discover beads from around the world, with the help of knowledgeable staff. [8 N. Shafer St. /]

Athens Underground: Uncover treasures hidden in a basement gem at the end of Court Street. This vintage store has several rooms of clothing and an ever-changing inventory of cool shoes, jewelry, wigs, music, books and other unique items. [90 N. Court St. /]

Radar Hill Summit

Enjoying the view from Radar Hill. Photo by Kyle Brooks


Radar Hill: Climb to the highest point in Athens! The view of the town, tucked among the Appalachian foothills, will take your breath away. A short hike on a well-maintained trail, which can be picked up at The Ridges, will take you to this rewarding site. [The Ridges /]

Sells Park: Truly a hidden treasure and a local favorite, this park is tucked quietly in the hills, with more than 21 miles of trails for leisurely or more strenuous hiking and mountain biking. Enjoying nature and appreciate the great outdoors next to the pond or from the top of a hill to overlook a great view of Athens County. [Strouds Run State Park /]



Cross off items on your Athens bucket list and hit all of these spots – we promise you won’t be disappointed. Or better yet, stay an extra night and really explore Athens’ great local gems.