Every now and again, I travel to a small or medium-sized town and realize just how unsung or underappreciated it is- and folks, that’s definitely how I feel about Athens, Georgia. College football fans and most southerners think of Athens as simply the University of Georgia and the revered Bulldogs. And music fans know of Athens thanks to hometown bands such as the B-52s and R.E.M.
But I’m here to tell you that for a lover of vintage, it is SO MUCH MORE than college football and alternative rock. And here’s the skinny- I hit a BUNCH of shops without even getting into the heart of downtown where all the vintage clothing shops and mid-century modern home décor stores reside.
So, you see, my friends? It’s a vintage/junk/retro destination…just check the Saturday game schedule before you make the trip…ha! I hit it up the first Saturday of Spring Break, which was the perfect time to go junkin’… want to see what I discovered?
So, let me tell you- this shop was a complete and utter surprise…AND I swear, it’s truly a case of “If Sadie was a store”. From the moment we parked (in front of gorgeous salvaged gates), to the moment we walked in (two stories of well-curated vintage pieces, repurposed art, and architectural salvage), to the moment we finished paying for our treasures (chippy spindles from the friendliest gal imaginable), it was love at first sight AND purchase. I highly, highly recommend this shop- to anyone who enjoys quirky vintage and project inspiration.
This shop was quaint and cute, tucked inside a little white house. After some of the colorful, eclectic shops we’d hit earlier, it seemed far more sophisticated! But it was not without character- that’s for sure…an entire room of wonderfully organized record albums and LPs made sure of that! And I couldn’t help but swoon over the vintage-y kitchen at one end of the house. I almost asked for a cuppa while I was there, but it seemed a bit forward…
Another little shop tucked into a small white house- two on the same trip! But instead of antiques, this one was a charming little thrift shop. It was full but organized and boasted plenty of vintage treasures in its housewares area. They had a really lovely collection of old books- If I had been in the market for some, they would have come home with me! But I found some ‘70s crewel that I just couldn’t live without- and I’ll definitely go back next time I’m in town.
This shop had been on my “need-to-check-out” list for a while…I don’t recall how it ended up on my radar, but it did and it didn’t disappoint. My favorite part, though, was the front yard- scattered with fun & funky “junk”, like wrought iron pieces, old potting benches, and plant stands. Don’t get me wrong- I certainly enjoyed poking around the booths inside- but my treasure (a big ole’ aluminum kettle) was found out in the yard. Now I just need to figure out what to do with it!
This shop, located just outside of Athens in Watkinsville, is crammed to the gills with unique collectibles. This was our second visit, in part because it boasts a huge collection of “mantiques”- such as swords, knives, and memorabilia from the Civil War and both World Wars. Jon enjoys pawing through the weaponry, whereas I love to browse the vintage costume jewelry, old linens, and other vintage treasures- like these old, old marbles that are actually made of… marble! Imagine that.
We simply ran out of time to hit everything- for instance, I would have loved to hit Agora Vintage again…but it’ll just have to wait until next time. But we DID find time to eat at our favorite spot in Athens- Heirloom Café.
What else did I miss in Athens?? Let me know…and as always, I’m constantly on the hunt for new southern towns to explore, so send me your suggestions!
Here are a few fun affiliate links for YOUR next pickin’ road trip!