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My best buddy and I are traveling from the west coast to Athens in June for Athfest. We are looking for recommendations from locals for restaurants, clubs, things to do. We are music lovers, of course, and are also on the scout for delicious southern cooking, art/craft galleries, outsider art, outdoor fun, things we just must see and do or we'll regret to the end of our days. Thanks!

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Fort Myers, Florida
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1. Re: Athfest

I used to live in Athens and also traveled back to town to attend AthFest a few years ago. I recommend staying in one of the downtown hotels so you can easily get back to your room to grab a nap or shower. We stayed at the Holiday Inn (not to be confused with the HI-Express, which is just down the hill) and were glad to have a room close by to chill out, especially in the middle of the hot afternoons. Plus we parked our car in the hotel lot and didn't have to worry about finding parking all weekend.

I don't know if they still offer it, but we took a Music Tour - a bus tour with music-related stops all over the city. Ours was led by a local guy who was friends with the members of R.E.M. and the B-52s, so he gave us a lot of first-hand accounts of their time in Athens.

It's been a while since I've been to Athens so my restaurant suggestions may be nixed by current residents. I loved The Grit, a vegetarian restaurant, but it has gotten some not-so-great reviews lately. Clocked and Five Star Day used to be good bets. Weaver D's is known for its southern food, although I never saw what the big deal was. Last Resort and East West Bistro are good choices but a little pricier than the others mentioned.

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