Best Places to Live

Athens, GA

Population: 119,684
Photo: Paul Efland

Don't be fooled by Athens, GA's southern charm. Underneath a genteel exterior lies the rockin' city that spawned such legendary rock bands as R.E.M, the B-52's and Widespread Panic, thanks in part to Athens' role as home to the University of Georgia. Students and residents alike enjoy a downtown area boasting an eclectic mix of independently owned retail stores, restaurants and coffeehouses. At night, Athens' thriving music scene comes alive at venues like the Caledonia Lounge and 40 Watt Club. Known for its sweeping gardens (and home to America's first gardening club), Athens showcases 313 acres of impressive greenery at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, used by the university. The fun doesn't end there, either. Discover the outdoor fun in Athens, GA.