Take a guided bus tour with the Athens Heritage Tour or Museum Mile Tour, or schedule a customized tour tailored to your specific interests. Sight see at your own pace with one of six self-guided tours.
Athens Music History Tour - $20
Saturday, June 24, 10:30 am
Sunday, June 25, 10:30 am
“Think you know about Athens music history? Think again….” – Paul B.
The Athens Welcome Center and Classic City Tours will host Athens Music History Tours on two mornings during AthFest. Athens music historian, Paul Butchart, shares first-hand tales from back-in-the-day and other evidence that Athens had music in its veins from its very beginning. Paul is a raconteur of the burgeoning ‘Art Rocks’ scene, where art and music merged to grow bands like the B-52s, REM, and Pylon. The tour will explore the sights and sounds that cultivated our rich musical heritage. This combination bus & walking tour will cover Downtown, a visit to Wuxtry Records, current and former music venues, the Steeple, Nuci’s Space, and the REM Trestle, among many other stops.
As Athens’ official music historian, Paul Butchart was an integral part of the music scene in the late 1970’s, through the 1980’s, and beyond. His own band – The Side Effects – was the opening band for REM’s very first show at the Old St. Mary’s Church on Oconee Street. As a relentless researcher, Paul never stops seeking information about Athens’ music from the early days of the 1820’s through today.
Tours depart from the Athens Welcome Center at 280 E. Dougherty St.
$20 per person; Allow 2 hours; Space is limited.
Athens Heritage Tour - $15
Dig deeper into what makes Athens THE Classic City of the South as we introduce you to this vibrant Mecca of the arts, culture, and classic Southern living. Begin your tour inside Athens’ oldest surviving residence – the home to two University Presidents – and learn how this great college town began in the up-country that was once Native American territory. Then board the bus for a one-hour overview of magnificent Antebellum homes and historic neighborhoods with a wide variety of architectural styles; see the eclectic Downtown, the University of Georgia campus, the world’s only “tree that owns itself” and double-barreled cannon. Allow 90 minutes.
When: Offered with reservations at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Also offered on a first-come, first-serve basis at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, if the Museum Mile Tour is not requested. Other seasonal and private group tours may pre-empt this schedule. Minimum 4 participants.
Reservations 24 hours in advance - Call 706-208-8687. Walk-ins accommodated when possible.
Museum Mile Tour - $20
Experience 100 years of gracious Southern architecture and interiors through a guided interior tour of Athens’ Antebellum house museums. This in-depth tour covers life-ways of distinct epochs in Southern history. Explore the interiors of four historically accurate homes representing the Federal, Greek Revival, and High Victorian perios. Allow 2 ¼ hours.
When: Offered with reservations at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. Also offered on a first-come, first-serve basis at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, if the Athens Heritage Tour is not requested. Other seasonal and private group tours may pre-empt this schedule. Minimum 4 participants.
Reservations 24 hours in advance - Call 706-208-8687. Walk-ins are accommodated when possible.
Specialty Seasonal Tours
Let Classic City Tours craft a memorable experience for your event or conference. There are many options: Choose a walking tour of historic downtown and the UGA North Campus, and tours of Athens Music History and African-American History. Any tour can be combined with visits to a number of local museums and attractions. Ask about our seasonal tours such as the Athens History & Hauntings Tour and the Holiday Spirits Tour of Athens House Museum Interiors, offered in December.
• Music History Tour (Offered in June during AthFest and at other times of year with advance request/reservation)
• History & Hauntings Tour (Offered in October and at other times of year with advance request)
• Downtown Walking Tour (Offered with advance request/reservation)
• Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour (Offered in December – this special Holiday version of the Museum Mile Tour showcases the history of Christmas in Athens)
Step-On Tour Guides - $60/hour
Let one of our professional tour guides step onto your bus or vehicle for a guided tour of Athens. Allow one-hour for the Athens Heritage driving tour or spend all day in Athens and let us craft a special itinerary for your group. Other specialty and custom tours are available and a one-hour bus tour can be combined with step-off visits to our house museums, the State Botanical Garden, Georgia Museum of Art, and other local attractions at your request.
Cost: $60.00/hour (2 hour minimum) for one step-on guide. Advance reservations required.
Shuttle Service - $80/hour
Let us attend to the details of your special event with our professional shuttle service on the Classic City Tour bus. Transportation service is available for weddings, events, meetings, and conferences. Choose our 19-passenger tour bus or spacious 14-passenger transit van. Shuttle reservations require a non-refundable $50 deposit, advance payment information, and a signed Confirmation Agreement. A four-hour minimum is typically required.
Call 706.353.1820 for availability and details.
Self Guided Driving Tours
Download one of our unique walking or driving tours:
Athens Music History Tour - Developed by the Athens Welcome Center and the Flagpole Magazine, the Music History Tour is a comprehensive approach to all the places that have made Athens the music mecca that it is today.
Downtown Athens - Carry this tour as you stroll through the local historic district full of shops, restaurants, and pubs. Watch UGA students walk around the arch and soak in the atmosphere at one of the many outdoor dining areas.
Milledge Avenue - Home to many UGA sorority and fraternity chapter houses, this tour will tell you about the families who once claimed these large stately homes as single family residences. 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.
African American Driving Tour - Since these sites are spread throughout the City, it’s best to use your car to see Hot Corner, the historic Reese and Hancock neighborhoods, and the Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery.
Cobbham Historic District - Meet many of Athens’ most influential figures who resided in Cobbham – from Civil War leaders such as Howell Cobb and T.R.R. Cobb, to “Georgia’s First Aviator” Ben Epps to today’s international celebrities like the musicians R.E.M. and Pulitzer Prize winners. Enjoy some of the most beautiful architecture of many eras – Federal, Antebellum, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, American Craftsman and others.
Dearing Street - One of Athens’ local historic districts, Dearing Street, boasts a wide selection of House styles, from the most grand, to the most modest. Be sure to make your way to the Tree that Owns Itself, at the corner of Finley Street and Dearing.
Civil War Tours of Athens - Separated into 3 areas, the Civil War tours are a great chance to see sites in Athens that played a role during the Civil War. From the world’s only double-barreled canon, to the newly restored T.R.R. Cobb House the tours will guide your through Antebellum Athens.
UGA Self Guided Tour of Campus - This tour provides visitors with a comprehensive guide to the walking portion of the guided campus tour as well as highlights of the driving portion of the guided campus tour.
Downtown Athens Podtour
Click on the map below to view the podtour videos. Click here to download the printable map.