A couple of weeks ago, Cathy and I headed up to Athens for the day to explore. We’ve both been in the past, but I went as a college student whose main goal was to party, and Cathy twice for work. So Athens to us, is still a new city we haven’t really explored. With it just being a little over an hour from Atlanta, it’s an easy day trip to make to explore all the fun things it has to offer. We initially planned to do an overnight stay and REALLY get to explore, but someone named Irma really put a cramp in that plan. Don’t worry, we fell so hard for the city, that we already have plans to go back for more than just a few hours to get to see it all in its Bulldog glory (and hang with some of our local Athens blogger friends).
For this mini road trip we teamed up with Toyota to test out their new RAV4 for a smooth ride. Fun fact, my parents wanted me to get this car in high school as my first car. It’s got amazing safety ratings, a nice price point and she’s pretty cute, right? Cathy and Adam had one of these for years (which I got to drive a few times) and have been big fans. There’s been so many new features added like rearview camera (hello! How do I not have this?!) and heated power front seats.
Currently, I’m a sedan driver and anytime I get in a bigger car like an SUV I always say I want one. It feels so great to be high up and overlook the whole road. Not to mention, the seats were SO comfy. I didn’t get much sleep the night before, so I was tempted to nap while Cathy drove us home. Unfortunately, I drove while she ate boiled peanuts from a gas station. Okay, I had a few too.
We popped our first stop on the road trip, The Grit, into the Toyota Rav4 GPS and we hit the road! Off to Athens for the day to explore.
Things To Do In Athens Georgia
Breakfast At The Grit
First things first guys, breakfast! As soon as we arrived in Athens, we headed to The Grit for breakfast. It’s a vegetarian spot but still had loads of options. I went with the french toast, Cathy the granola with milk. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I ordered french toast, but it was so good! I recommend the half order, the whole one was HUGE. It was so nice out this morning, like a perfect crisp fall day. We sat outside and watched the dogs walk by and took in the perfect weather.
A Sweet Treat At Independent Bakery
After breakfast we rode around the city a bit with the windows down and blasting some good tunes. And yes, I’m all about that new TSwift. But just the second single, I’m still not sold on “Look What You Made Me Do”. It was such a pretty day! We drove past all the giant sorority and fraternity houses. It was so crazy because for me, I went to Georgia State, we didn’t really have that. It was super neat to see how the UGA kids live. We drove through Five Points and then headed for a little pick me up at Independent Bakery. We grabbed a coffee and a giant chocolate chip cookie. It was delicious of course. Also, be sure to pop across the street to Condor Chocolate. A local chocolate company that apparently makes the best hot chocolate around.
Next up was heading to downtown Athens. This is where a lot of good stuff is you guys. From cute little shops like Red Dress Boutique and Fab’rik, to Georgia Theatre and more great restaurants. Spend a few hours in downtown exploring all the great shops.
A popular site to visit, the Georgia Theatre is great to see a show but they also have a rooftop restaurant and bar that overlooks the area. Stunning views! This building has been just about everything, from a music store, hotel to now a restored music venue after a devastating fire in 2009. I’ve known many friends to make the drive up to Athens just to see a show at this venue. They always have tons of great artists coming in and if you ever get a chance to see one of your favorites there, go!
After one last shot of the pretty Georgia Theatre sign and wrapping up a late lunch, we headed back to Atlanta. On the way back we grabbed some boiled peanuts to snack on for the hour drive. It’s one of Cathy’s go to road trip snacks and thankfully she’s down to share with me. Since the trip was cut so short, we started to plan out what we want to do on our next visit to The Classic City. And it, of course, involved more eating and shopping!
My Roadtrip Essentials
Before heading out on a road trip, I like to make sure I have all the things I need for a great time. From snacks, to an instant Polaroid camera and destination info! Here are a few road trip essentials and tips to make sure you have a great time.
The best part of a road trip are the snacks. Pack a few good snacks to keep you occupied on your drive. I like all things salty like pretzels, chips and Cheez-its. But also make sure to pack something with more substance like a protein bar in case you really need something more filling. I like Perfect Bars for this. They’ve got a lot of protein in them! And don’t forget to hydrate.
Podcasts And Audiobooks
I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks on road trips. They make the time pass way faster than just music. Make sure to download them ahead of time in case you’re in an area without great cell service. Here are my favorite podcasts at the moment.
If I’m in the car, I want to be comfortable. So there is no shame in wearing your most comfortable outfit while driving and packing your outfit for once you arrive. Even if it’s just swapping your jeans for sweats, that will make your long road trip so much more enjoyable.
I know we all have a camera on our phone, but sometimes you want to take additional photos with either a nicer camera, or fun photos with an instant Polaroid.
This may be just a list on your phone, but write down your plan! Have your destination saved in your phone, screenshot the directions for an emergency. Whenever I plan any trip whether it’s a weekend getaway or an international trip, I like to have an idea of the places I want to visit.