Athens is known as the home of the hamburger, first created downtown at a small cafe in the late 19th century. Today the city celebrates that invention with the annual Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival, held each September. The city is also known for its black-eyed pea production and is a favorite with antiques shoppers. One of its most popular attractions is the Edwin L. Cox, Jr. Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, a joint effort between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Athens, featuring over 300,000 gallons of indoor and outdoor aquariums. Although it’s not dog-friendly, if you have a travel companion to watch your dog, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Purtis Creek State Park. Located in the historic region that was once home to Wichita and Caddo Indians, this park is home to many petroglyphs left by these early residents. Activities include camping, fishing, boating, hiking and picnicking as well as paddle boats. Leashed dogs are allowed in the park but not inside park buildings. From Athens, travel 12 miles west on US 175 to Eustace, turn north on FM 316 for 3.5 miles to park.
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Photo credit: Earl Nottingham, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department