Discover Greater Limestone County, AL

Charm, affordability & career opportunities attract newcomers to Limestone County.

By
Kevin Litwin
On Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 18:08
athens

One word comes to mind when thinking about Athens/Limestone County: opportunity. A tightly knit community and picturesque county seat downtown lends to its hometown charm, and yet there are options galore when it comes to things to do and career paths to follow. There are more than 140 restaurants serving up delicious plates of goodness in the area and there are plenty of parks and trails for playing and staying fit. As for career opportunities, great jobs are available in health care/social assistance, manufacturing, you name it. And when it comes to entertainment, all kinds of events are held throughout the year, from the annual Athens Grease Festival in October to the Athens North Pole Stroll in December.

Hoops Help

Athens-based Noah Basketball is a company that helps players of every level make better shots. The company produces customized webinars as well as weekly Monday webinars to help basketball players of all ages and skills reach their top potential. It also offers shooting systems that use sensors to pick up shooting data and provide feedback. The company name was adopted from the story of Noah’s Ark, with the company’s focus on the perfect arc of every basketball shot.

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Gregg Gelmis

It’s a Dog’s World

Hound Dog Half Marathon is a longtime race in Elkmont that was renamed after a local resident’s hound dog famously completed it in 2016...finishing seventh. Ludivine, a 2 1/2-year-old hound dog, snuck out of her owner’s yard, strolled to the starting line of the race and then completed the half marathon along with 165 humans. The dog’s owner, April Hamlin, didn’t know her dog was missing until friends texted her with fun photos of Ludivine completing the race.

Farm-Fresh Food

Athens Saturday Market is a statecertified farmers market. Enjoy fresh produce, baked goods, music, art, and crafts at the Green Street pavilion each Saturday morning June-August from 8 a.m. to noon. Visit facebook.com/AthensSaturdayMarket for more information.

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High Cotton Arts

Center for Creativity 

Nine artists have space to create their magic at High Cotton Arts, housed in the former W.E. Estes Building in downtown Athens. The public is welcome and encouraged to meet and visit with the artists on Wednesdays through Saturdays to see them work in their mediums, such as painting, pottery, photography, sculpture and more. High Cotton Arts also hosts children’s art camps as well as indoor and outdoor classroom opportunities.

Career Paths

Limestone County Career Tech Center is an academic extension of local high schools, serving all Limestone County School District and Athens City Schools students by introducing them to numerous career pathways. Fifteen career-technical programs are offered as electives to students in grades 9 through 12, with more than 900 students attending sessions in the morning or afternoon. Elective courses are offered in subjects such as engineering, health science, automotive technology, law, food services, welding and much more.

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Tonia Williamson Photography

Must-Do Food

Kreme Delite opened in 1951 and has delighted people with its ice cream ever since, especially its signature upside down banana split. Dub’s is another old-school favorite known for its burgers and fries. Try the goat cheese and more at Belle Chevre in Elkmont, a creamery you can tour, and then enjoy a bite at the café. Another favorite, Wildwood Deli, has been named one of the top small restaurants in Alabama, and it recently expanded to include an upstairs dining area.

Past & Present

College Inn/Newby Gulf Station Museum is a former gas station/ lunch counter constructed in 1933, and the building is now carefully restored on East Street adjacent to Big Springs Memorial Park.

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Flickr.com/Rocky Baker

Get the 4-1-1 on Athens / Limestone Co. 

  • Annual Entertainment: Festivals occur often in Limestone County, including events such as the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Athens Grease Festival and Athens Storytelling Festival.

  • History Hub: More than 10,000 people annually visit the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives, the most popular tourism attraction in Limestone County, with artifacts from the Revolutionary War to the present day.

  • Great Outdoors: Want some good exercise? Athens Greenway Trail is a beautiful, mostly shaded 2.3-mile pathway that stretches from Athens Sportsplex to U.S. 72 near Lowe’s. Also available to residents is Swan Creek Greenway, which features hiking, a covered bridge and access to an archery course.

  • Home of the Bears: Athens State University (ASU) has undergone some name changes during its long history, including starting out as Athens Female Academy in 1822. The entire campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and ASU today has nearly 3,500 students and offers 33 different majors at its three colleges of Business, Education and Arts & Sciences.

  • Plenty to See: Beautiful architecture and historical sites are abundant throughout the community, including Athens’ four historic districts with homes dating back to the early 1800s. Free historic district walking tours are presented on Saturday mornings in the month of April, and information about the homes can be found at the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center at 100 N. Beaty St.

  • Notable History: Named for the ancient city in Greece, Athens is a growing part of the Huntsville metropolitan area in north central Alabama. The city was incorporated in 1818, a full year before Alabama became a state. Alabama’s first governor, William Wyatt Bibb, made his home here.

  • Quality Health Care: Athens-Limestone Hospital is a 101-bed facility that has won several awards for patient safety and patient care. The hospital has many clinics throughout Limestone County, including the Advanced Wound Care Center, Athens Sleep Center, Limestone Urology Associates, Valley Women’s Center and several family medicine and internal medicine facilities.

  • Refreshing Water: Access to water recreation is a hit in Limestone County, with the Tennessee River/Wheeler Lake providing the southwest boundary and the Elk River running along the northwest part of the county. Many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy kayaking along the Elk as well as horseback riding along its banks.

If you'd like to learn more about the Athens/Limestone County area, check out the latest edition of Livability Athens/Limestone County, AL

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.