iStockPhoto/SeanPavonePhoto

liv score
661
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 54
Demographics 60
Economy 65
Education 62
Health 39
Housing 61
Infrastructure 55

#32. Athens, GA

Just 80 miles outside of Atlanta is the charming community of Athens, which is home to the University of Georgia.  Athens is the quintessential Southern college town, chock full of entertainment and innovation, including AthFest, a music and arts festival held each summer, and the Athens Twilight Criterium, one of the top stops along the national Criterium racing circle. Like most college towns, Athens has a diverse economy that’s bustling with opportunity. 

Top Industries and Employers: Education, healthcare and manufacturing are heavy hitting industries in Athens. 

Best Coffee Shop: 1000 Faces Coffee

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Terrapin Beer Company is the first and largest brewery in Athens and a local favorite. One of their most popular IPAs, the Hopsecutioner, is soaked in the wood from Atlanta Braves baseball bats and served up at Truist Park. 

Must-Have Meal: Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods is a spot so good that it inspired a musical revolution. No, seriously. The restaurant’s slogan is “Automatic for the People,” and members of the band R.E.M. were regulars who loved the food so much they named an album after it! 

Best Co-Working Space: With a goal of fostering creativity and creating community in Athens,  Nitch is the city’s premier co-working space offering three membership tiers and a gorgeous space. 

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): The World Famous is a funky spot serving up delicious drinks, great food and live music and is a beloved favorite.  

Creative Hub: The Georgia Museum of Art is the state’s official museum and houses a permanent collection of more than 10,000 pieces as well as a rotation of traveling exhibitions from both new and established artists. 

Favorite Weekend Activity: Athens was named the #1 College Music Scene in America by Rolling Stone, so it’s no surprise here that most weekends are spent listening to amazing artists all over the city. Some favorite spots to catch a show are The Georgia Theater, The Foundry and 40 Watt Club

Free Way to Have Fun: Athens is home to the first garden club in America and everything really is coming up roses here. A trip to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a must. The garden is a 313-acre preserve with trails, a tropical conservatory and several themed gardens, including one for children. 

Local Dream Job: Official handler of Uga, the adorable bulldog mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Read More:
The Best Places to Live in Georgia
8 Things to Do in Athens, GA
10 Things the Rest of the Country Should Thank Georgia For

– Cara Sanders

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.