Athens: A Pet-Friendly Guide
Your complete guide to places to stay, where to eat & things to do with your dog in Athens.
With a variety of pet-friendly accommodations, an array of activities and plenty of places to eat, Athens is the perfect town for you and your pups to visit. Here is a complete list of everything to do and see in the classic college town. While you’re there, please use #exploregeorgiapup to share your photos with us!
Places to Stay
With plenty of pet-friendly options around Athens, you and your pup can stay in style at these fabulous accommodations.
Perfectly located near the heart of downtown Athens, The Graduate is a funky boutique hotel that is sure to make you and your pup feel right at home! The Graduate was built in what used to be the Foundry, where blacksmiths once crafted famed works such as the iconic UGA Arch and the Double-Barreled Cannon, so you’ll be staying where old meets new!
Pup Guidelines: 50-pound weight limit, $50 fee per pet, up to two pets allowed.
If you’re looking to take your time in Athens to the next level, then this boutique hotel that brings together classic charm and contemporary ambiance is for you! You and your pooch will be treated to some of the finest accommodations in Athens during your stay at Hotel Indigo.
Pup Guidelines: $75 fee
Situated in the Athens Historic District, the Best Western is surrounded by beautiful pre-Civil War antebellum homes, which make for nice views as you and your dog stroll around town! The Best Western has an extremely convenient location and is cozy and affordable for your Athens getaway.
Pup Guidelines: 80-pound weight limit, $20 per day fee
The Comfort Inn & Suites is located away from the hustle and bustle of the UGA campus and downtown area, but close enough to get anywhere in town within 10 minutes. After a long day of exploring Athens, you can guarantee a good night’s rest for you and your pup at this hotel.
Pup Guidelines: 25-pound weight limit, $25 per night per pet fee, a maximum of two pets per room.
Things to Do
Cruise Down Milledge Avenue
A trip to Athens isn’t complete without a drive down the gorgeous Milledge Avenue. Pack up the pups to enjoy a drive to see the historic homes and learn the history of their previous owners. Take note of President’s corner at Milledge and Broad, and look close to see the iron dog statue that was used in Gone With the Wind!
Paint with the Athens Area Plein Air Artists
The Athens Area Plein Air Artists meet on the second Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. This group of artists likes to paint, draw or photograph, in plein air (out of doors) in the medium of their choice. After the painting session, they often go to local restaurants to look at each other’s work and encourage each other about their creations. No one teaches, and there are no fees. This group is open to all.
Spend the day at Sandy Creek Park
Sandy Creek Park is the perfect place to take your family and your furry friends to enjoy a full day of fun in the sun! This beautiful park surrounds Lake Chapman and has activities for everyone. Pack a picnic lunch and some dog treats, then lounge by the lake, or go for a walk or jog on the trails throughout the park.
Tailgate for a UGA Football Game
Athens is known for its tailgating scene! There's nothing more magical than experiencing a UGA Football Saturday in Athens. Grab your pup and root for the Dawgs! Tailgate on North Campus by The Arch.
Take a stroll through Memorial Park
Memorial Park and Bear Hollow Zoo is a hidden gem of Athens that you must check out! There is a mile-long nature trail to enjoy with your pet after you walk along the small wildlife trail in the zoo.
Walk by the river at the North Oconee River Greenway
You’ll get a little bit of an Athens history lesson as you and your dog walk, jog or bike down the 3.5-mile path along the North Oconee River. There are more than 50 interpretive panels found along the path that illustrate Athens’ rich history. Need a break? Pack a picnic and eat at one of the many picnic areas located along the Greenway.
Wander around UGA’s campus and Downtown Athens
You can’t leave Athens without visiting the historic and vibrant downtown scene! Several downtown shops have pet-friendly policies, so you and your dog can enjoy all that downtown has to offer together.
Where to Eat
Known for its outdoor dining courtyard, Big City Bread Cafe is the perfect spot to dine out with your pup! Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Big City Bread will always satisfy your cravings! Your dog will love the environment and might even make some new pup pals.
If you and your dog want to eat where all the local Dawgs eat, Cali N Tito’s is the place to be! This Cuban restaurant with an authentic Latin American flare has a unique, vibrant atmosphere complete with crazy decor and music that will make you want to dance.
Insider Tip: The location on South Lumpkin Street only accepts cash and checks, so be sure to swing by the ATM on your way there. This location also has outdoor seating, which is perfect if you’re bringing your pup along!
Bonus: Order El Sandwich Cubano, one of the most popular items on the menu, and don’t forget to ask for their limeade!
You can’t go wrong with Heirloom Cafe, a farm-to-table cafe and market that was featured in the 2016 and 2017 “100 Plates Locals Love”. The cafe is located in the Boulevard Neighborhood, which is full of historic Athens homes and true Athenian people. The food served at Heirloom is created using as many locally sourced ingredients as possible from local producers, farmers and artisans. Go when the weather is nice, and you and your pup can take a seat on the spacious outdoor patio.
Mama’s Boy, a local favorite, serves up delicious breakfast and brunch that appeals to everyone’s taste buds! They were even named one of “The South’s Best Biscuit Joints” by Southern Living. And what better brunch partner than your four-legged best friend? Grab a table outside and enjoy!
Pulaski Heights BBQ is your go-to-stop for some of the best BBQ in town! Enjoy delicious smoked meats and one-of-a kind sides, all while sitting outside with a view of the beautiful Pulaski Heights neighborhood. The spacious patio is perfect for you and your dog to kick back, relax and enjoy a delicious meal.
Known as the restaurant behind R.E.M.'s "Automatic for the People," this is a local favorite and hidden gem. Weaver D’s serves up the best soul food in the city! The picnic tables are the perfect spot to enjoy delicious fried chicken, collard greens and sweet tea.