Athens is a clean, attractive and progressive town with a distinct southern flair. The local University of Georgia is the centerpiece of the area’s economy. Athens is noted as a center for pop music—REM and the B-52’s are from here—and the entertainment scene includes plenty of live music. Other arts and cultural amenities emanate from the university. The area has some interesting architecture and building projects, including a 10-year old Victorian-look “Classic Center” used as a convention center and concert hall, funded by tax initiatives.
Like many college towns, especially in the South, Athens is attractive to young people and active retirees alike. Home prices are high for a small Georgia town, and air service requires a trip to Atlanta, but overall living costs are reasonable. Jobs center on university related activities, health care, and a modest high tech industry. While not excelling in any category, Athens is consistently good across the board, and an attractive place to live overall.
Athens is located on the Piedmont Plateau. Terrain is rolling to hilly with elevations ranging from 600 feet to 850 feet. The rich red soil is covered with grasses and southern pine forests. The Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and southern Appalachians to the north moderate the area’s weather. Summers are warm and somewhat humid, but not as hot as other areas in the state. Highs reach 90 degrees only 19 days a year on average compared to a state average of 60 days. Winters are not severe but have short cold spells. Thunderstorms occur year-round, and spring storms may be severe. Snowfall is infrequent but freezing rain and ice storms occur.