Athens is a small town big on southern hospitality nestled among the thick forests, rolling hills, and bountiful lakes of the Texas Piney Woods. Everything about Athens hollers Texan, from its downtown square lined with unique shops and interesting eateries to the numerous rodeos and livestock shows held in town. But at its core, Athens is a charming and peaceful hamlet that offers a few surprises of its own. Here you can go scuba diving at a clear water lake in town, fish at one of the most bountiful lakes in the state of Texas, or sip a glass of locally crafted wine at a scenic vineyard. And you can do all of this in just an hour’s drive from Dallas, making it an ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of hectic big city life.
The city of Athens was indeed named after Athens, Greece, by one of the town’s earliest residents. Since Athens was founded in 1850, the town has built an interesting history. For instance, the infamous criminal duo of Bonnie and Clyde frequented a diner in the Athens town square. In addition, Athens is known statewide as the Home of the Hamburger because, in 1904, then resident Fletch Davis introduced the meat sandwich at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Athens is also the birthplace of Clint Murchison Jr., who founded the Dallas Cowboys football team.
Today, Athens is a thriving community that hosts its fair share of bigtime events, such as the Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival, and has no shortage of things to see and do. One of the city’s top attractions is the Athens Scuba Park, a rare facility in East Texas that offers ample diving in a warm spring-fed lake minutes from downtown. For oenophiles, the Tara Vineyard & Winery is the ultimate escape from city life. The winery crafts its own wine from grapes grown in its vineyard, which you can explore at your leisure. Some of the best fishing in Texas can be found at Lake Athens, located just a few miles east of downtown, and the Cedar Creek Reservoir nearby.
With a convenient location and plenty of fun things to do, any trip to Athens is a no brainer. Plan your next trip here and you’ll see why Athens is a great place to visit.