Athens, GA is a vibrant small city in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. Athens is home to the country’s flagship public university, the University of Georgia. The historic downtown borders the UGA campus and offers great restaurants, bars, music venues and a mix of national and locally owned shops. Athens is known for its music and arts scene, its eclectic residential neighborhoods and its many cultural offerings. Its many residential neighborhoods offer something for everyone.
Athens is host to many great annual festivals, including:
Athens has a legendary music scene, with acts like R.E.M, Widespread Panic, the B52s, Drivin ‘N’ Cryin, of Montreal, Kishi Bashi, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Drive-by Truckers getting their start here and many, many more calling Athens home. Downtown Athens is home to a collection of great music venues, large and small, with local, national and internationally touring acts gracing their stages, including:
- The Georgia Theatre
- The legendary 40 Watt Club
- The Foundry
- Caledonia Lounge
- Hendershot’s Coffe/Bar/Music
- The Classic Center
In addition to music venues, which feature performances from music genres from Americana, Hip Hop, Country, Rock, and tribute bands, Athens offers a variety of classical and world music, as well as dance, at the UGA Performing Arts Center, as well as at The Classic Center. Athens is also home to art galleries, art centers, pottery studios and centers, and cultural events including several community theaters.
The Athens restaurant and food scene is growing every day, with several local restaurants recognized nationally. The food scene offers casual, to fine dining, and food in styles from all over the globe, including: Southern Regional cuisine, Italian, Mediterranean, Peruvian, Mexican, Ethiopian, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, and a top notch oyster bar, to name a few.
The beer scene has grown to include some of the best microbrews in the country, including:
Athens and the University of Georgia are included in dozens of rankings and top ten lists, including:
- The South’s Best Food Cities by Southern Living
- A perennial favorite in Forbes Best Places to Retire
- Business Insider’s Best College Campuses in America
- Greenest City by Insurify
- Best College Football Towns in America by USA Today Sports
- America’s Coolest College Towns by Jetsetter
- One of the 12 Best Music Towns in the Nation by Expedia
We have great parks, a gorgeous Greenway for walking and biking, as well as the Firefly Trail that connects Athens to outlying areas. The counties bordering Athens offer scenic rural living and opportunities for recreation and outdoor activities. Sandy Creek Park includes 782 acre park surrounding the 260 acre Lake Chapman. Nearby Watson’s Mill State Park and many spots on the Oconee and Broad Rivers offer ample opportunities for swimming, fishing, and recreation.
Athens is home to two seasonal Farmer’s Markets, a cooperative grocery store, and many opportunities for Community Sustained Agriculture.