John Fernandes, 43, manager at Wuxtry Records, flips through his favorite records in Athens, Georgia, on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Fernandes has been working at Wuxtry Records for over 20 years. (Photo/Jason Born)

Athens always is buzzing with activity from the sounds of guitar strumming at the 40 Watt Club, walking around through the gardens State Botanical Garden of Georgia at UGA or rocking out during AthFest weekend. Readers and editors chose the best events of the year and the best things to do around town and these are the winners. 

  Readers Choice

Best Trivia — Hi-Lo Lounge

Want to show off your trivia skills? This hot spot located in Normaltown hosts a general trivia night weekly on Tuesdays. 

Best Outdoor Hangout — State Botanical Garden of Georgia at UGA 

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A butterfly lands on a flower at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Friday, August 31, 2018, in Athens, Georgia. The garden is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. (Photo/Miranda Daniel)

Whether you decide to walk the grounds in the summer or study underneath the trees in the fall as they change to new shade of orange, the grounds are a top-tier spot to stop at while in Athens.

Best Yoga Studio — M3Yoga

Break a sweat with a hot power yoga class or unwind after a stressful week with restorative yoga classes at M3Yoga. The studio opened in 2018 and has quickly become an Athens’ favorite among both students and locals alike.

Best New Exercise Studio — Pure Balance Pilates

If you’re looking to burn off those extra holiday calories, try the Baxter Street pilates studio that opened in August this past year. You can try out any of its six different class options and pay a one-time fee or sign up for a monthly class pass.

Most Looked Forward to Annual Event — AthFest

Local bands, food vendors and artisans come together for a three-day music festival that takes over downtown during the summer. The event is sponsored by AthFest Educates, a nonprofit that works to advance music and art education.

Favorite football player — Rodrigo Blankenship


Georgia place kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (98) looks off in his signature glasses. The University of Georgia Bulldogs lead Missouri by a score of 16-0 at the half on Nov. 9, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Julian Alexander) 

During the all months many football fans flock to Athens to watch the Bulldogs play, and voters picked their favorite player from this season. Rodrigo Blankenship, the Bulldogs’ placekicker is a redshirt senior became Georgia’s all-time leading scorer with over 428 points after the Nov. 23 game against Texas A&M.

Editors Picks 

Best Big New Idea in the Arts — The tiny ATH gallery 

Tiny ATH Gallery

A patron looks at a work featured at the Tiny ATH Gallery. (Photo/Annie Molchan)

The one room gallery opened earlier this year by artist Camille Hayes fills its small space wall-to-wall with local artists. The gallery’s goal is to encompass and showcase one artist, and be a meeting space to convene and discuss each other’s work. 

Best Place to Become a Movie Critic — Ciné

The local movie house hosts an array of critically-acclaimed films and documentaries which would easily please any average film fanatic. Plus, there’s a bar. 

Best Nap Spot — Myers Quad 

On a nice, warm day you can often find students taking a nap on the large, green space bounded by Myers, Rutherford and Mary Lyndon Halls. 

Most Dog-Friendly Event — Boo-le-Bark 

An event filled with dogs in costume, the Boo-le-Bark parade is a perfect opportunity for local pet-owners to bring their furry friends for a day out.

Best Reason to Get Up Early on Saturday Morning — Athens Farmers Market

Bring your reusable bag to the Athens Farmers Market, located at Bishop Park every Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-noon. Browse tables of fresh, locally-grown produce and food while other vendors sell home-made items ranging from ceramics to jewelry.  

Best Place to Get a Laugh — Moonlight Theater Company

Laugh aloud in the intimate theater off Pulaski Street at ensemble and one character shows. The theater hosts shows produced and performed by local and out-of-town comedians. 

Best Place to Win — The Rook & Pawn

Face off against your best friends with any of the board game cafe’s array of classic, card, party, trivia and strategy games such as Catan and Codenames.

Most Photogenic Stop — Georgia Theatre sign

Photo Gallery: Inside the Georgia Theatre

The majestic sign has long been the centerpiece of the Georgia Theatre. As the words suggest, the building is on the final countdown to its reopening.

One of the first stops for any tourist is in front of the iconic Georgia Theatre sign. With the whirring lights drawing in visitors and the constant shifting schedule of live music, many decide to take the perfect Instagram picture with the venue’s backdrop.

Best Place to Tap Your Feet — 40 Watt Club

The music venue, known for hosting rock greats Pylon and R.E.M., continues to draw nationally-known and local artists alike throughout the year.

Best Place to Catch Some Jazz — Hendershot’s

The coffee and bar venue hosts monthly jazz jams for members of the community to showcase their own talents alongside the house band, Unstarched. Hendershot’s is also known for bringing in touring and local jazz groups and artists.

Best Place to Add to Your Music Collection — Wuxtry

The independent record store houses an extensive music collection of local artists like the B52’s and musicians currently on the Billboard Top 100. The shop is known for vinyl and was ranked by Rolling Stone as one of its top 25 record shops.