Athens' Diverse Appeal Spans Lifestyles, Generations
PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Curcio
Athens is a great place to live, but you don’t have to take our word for it. In the past several years, many national magazines and Web sites have ranked Athens as one of the top places in the country to live, for everyone from young professionals to families to retirees. Primacy Relocation ranked Athens as the No. 1 small metro area for relocating families in 2006. Money magazine said it’s one of the five best places to retire, and in 2007, Topretirements.com named it one of the top 10 most popular retirement towns. It topped Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s list titled Seven Cool Cities, and Popular Science magazine lauded it as one of America’s 50 greenest cities. So just what is it about Athens that makes everyone want to move here? As an educational, professional, medical and cultural hub, there really is something for people at every stage of life. Kiplinger noted that for young professionals, the affordability and cultural scene are hard to beat. They specifically said that Five Points (adjacent to the University of Georgia), downtown and West Side are all hot neighborhoods for young professionals. The downtown area features lots of condos and lofts such as the 909 Broad Street Apartments and Urban Lofts Athens. For families, the leafy neighborhoods and lack of urban sprawl make living here feel like a return to simpler days, when people really knew their neighbors. Athens was named the second-safest city in Georgia, and the town’s focus on education, with a first-rate public school system and the cultural and intellectual influence of the University of Georgia, make it very attractive to families. Chicopee-Dudley is especially experiencing a revival and there are 15 neighborhoods and commercial districts in Athens that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, such as the Historic Boulevard Neighborhood Association. For retirees, amenities such as convenient health care centers and perks such as free classes for everyone over 62 at the University of Georgia make living here feel like really living. And golf community neighborhoods like the Georgia Club and Putters are also big draws, as is an overall focus on active living.