Best Places to Live

Athens, GA

Population: 128,584
Photo: Marcus Williams

Check out the Athens, GA section of for more info, articles, and photos.

Athens, GA, just wouldn't be Athens without the University of Georgia. The city was established in the late 1700s when state leaders selected 40,000 acres to build a college. The university remains the city's top employer and sets the community's cultural tone. It provides not only jobs, but entertainment, recreation and art.

The city is located about 70 miles from Atlanta, nestled below the Blue Ridge Mountains, which offer scenic hiking, camping and paddling. Set amongst its Antebellum buildings and Victorian-era houses is an eclectic collection of shops, restaurants and music venues. In fact, Athens got the top spot on our list of Cities with the Best Music Scenes. It's where bands like The B-52s, R.E.M and Widespread Panic got their start.

The cost of living in Athens is low when compared to the national average and residents can experience college events that range from theater performances and art shows to football games and happy hours. Athens also made our Top 10 Best Cities for Singles list.

Job seekers find many opportunities here. Athens has a strong manufacturing and industrial base, which includes food processing, pharmaceuticals, plastics and heavy construction equipment. The city's economy is anchored in hospitality and education.


City Population (2010 Census): 115,452

Student Population: 39,000

College(s): University of Georgia, Piedmont College, Athens Technical College

Don't Miss: 40 Watt Club for music, farm255 for local and sustainable food, Athens Welcome Center for historic tours

Check out our previous College Towns Lists:

Top College Towns in 2011

Best College Towns in 2010