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  • Writer's pictureVariant Magazine

Summer Bucket List — Athens, OH

Illustration by Ashleigh Bublinec

By Madison Kopp, Blogger

If you and your friends are bored this summer in Athens, here is a list of places you may have never been to before!

Kennedy Museum of Art

This museum is located in Lin Hall, which was once the administrative building for the Athens Lunatic Asylum, now known as The Ridges. The Kennedy Museum of Art is the only part of The Ridges that is open to the public. The museum showcases exhibits such as jewelry, weavings and a contemporary print collection as well as a mix of smaller displays including paintings, sculptures, ceramics and African masks and artifacts. Visit its website for hours and current exhibitions. 

Southeast Ohio History Center

The Southeast Ohio History Center houses items relating to the history of Southeast Ohio. Some important items include artifacts from the Athens Lunatic Asylum such as nursing uniforms from the early 1900s, the tool doctor Walter Freeman used to perform over 200 frontal lobotomies between 1953 and 1957 and a painting by Billy Milligan, the most well-known patient in the facility. Milligan was the first person to raise a defense of insanity due to multiple personalities. The major motion picture “Split” was based on Milligan and a new series starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy Milligan has just been confirmed as well. The museum also has a genealogy department where visitors can research their family heritage. 

Strouds Run State Park

Located outside of Athens, Strouds Run surrounds Dow Lake. There are miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding that provide scenic views. The lake offers boating, fishing, hunting, swimming and kayaking. The area also has cabins available for rent and there are many other state parks surrounding the Athens area. 

O’Betty’s Hot Dog Museum

We all know O’Betty’s for the amazing hotdogs, but did you know it also displays a hot dog museum inside? O’Betty’s houses the only hotdog museum in the world. The museum has hotdog-shaped buildings, candy, cooking utensils, hot dog cookers, toys, games, children’s books and more!

These are only the start of the unique places that Athens and the surrounding area have to offer. For a full visitor’s guide visit the Athens County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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