Originally nicknamed for the State Normal School — a teachers college — Normaltown now is a trendy area with a mix of older homes and local businesses. The University of Georgia’s Health Sciences Campus opened in the old Normal School campus in 2012 bringing an infusion of campus life into the area.
What to See and Do
Bishop park — Huge park with tennis courts, a pool, trails and playing fields. On Saturdays it hosts the Athens Farmers Market.
Normal Hardware — You find Radio Flyer tricycles, rocking chairs and every fixture imaginable at this old-school store.
Normal Books — Browse classic and recent releases and attend readings and events at this cozy indie book shop.
Health Sciences Campus — The campus’ historic buildings include a gorgeous former Carnegie library (shown above).
Where to Eat and Drink
Half-Shepherd Market & Cheese Shop — Carries specialty cheeses and wines and also offers lunch and picnic-to-go items.
Ike & Jane Cafe and Bakery — Known for inventive doughnuts, this spot also serves lunch. (Try the BLT.)
Marti’s at Midday — A destination for a healthy and hearty lunch, Marti’s serves loaded sandwiches and savory soups.
Automatic Pizza — Located in a renovated service station, Automatic serves up thin-crust pies that can be customized.
Agua Linda — Draws loyal crowds (especially on Friday evenings) with its generous platters of Tex-Mex staples.
Hi-Lo Lounge — A laid-back neighborhood favorite, Hi-Lo hosts special events such as trivia nights and drag shows.
Old Pal — Serious mixology and an elegant atmosphere set this establishment apart from the college-town bar scene.
Normal Bar — Lovable and dive-y with great service and specials.
This article originally appeared in the spring 2019 Visitors Guide