Athens wraps around the heart of this hip and funky city, the University of Georgia. But while UGA may be the heart, people move to Athens for the Southern charm, the exciting and trendy downtown, the famous music scene, the art scene, and the beautiful historical architecture. With a high quality of life and a way-beyond-dog-friendly atmosphere, Athens attracts college students, families, professionals, and seniors.
Coffee shops, stylish boutiques, bars and music venues, bookstores, and art galleries line the streets of the pedestrian-friendly downtown, but Athens has one big difference from other college-centered cities. As the home of the Bulldogs (and extremely loyal fans), this college town caters to pets. Boutiques, outdoor cafes, parks, and even a bakery just for dogs all make your four-legged companion feel right at home. Are you ready to surround yourself with red, black, and everything bulldog? Then it’s time to find your apartment in Athens!
Things to Do in Athens:
If it’s football season, there’s only one place you’ll want to be – Sanford Stadium! The stadium, considered one of the best stadiums in the South, opened in 1929 and has a capacity of 92,746 – and it is filled for every home game! UGA has one of the best home game attendance averages in the nation, ranking in the top 10 for the last 23 years in a row. And if it is basketball season, make your way to Stegeman Coliseum, an arena with more than 10,500 seats. It also hosts gymnastics teams and was utilized during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
See the beautiful side of Georgia at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. The garden is part of UGA and is open to the public. The gardens include an International Garden, the Heritage Garden, and the Shade and Native Flora Gardens. There are five miles of trails within the garden to explore.
With a history dating back to the mid-1700s, there are many historic sites and districts in Athens, including the UGA campus which was founded in 1785. Athens is part of Georgia’s Antebellum Trail, the 441 Heritage Trail, Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route, and the Heartland of the Confederacy Civil War Trails. Be sure to visit the Carter-Coile Country Doctor’s Museum, built in the late 1800s and representing a country doctor’s practice with a collection of tools that were used for eye exams, surgery, and dentistry. Admission to the museum is free (and slightly cringe-worthy!).
The oldest home in Athens is also the Athens Welcome Center. The Church-Waddel-Brumby House was built around 1820. Tour the house – then pick up some maps and brochures for other historic tours and locations. The Taylor Grady House was built around 1844 and is another terrific house museum that once belonged to newspaper editor Henry W. Grady. The T.R.R. Cobb House was built in 1852 and opened as a house museum in 2007, and the Ware-Lyndon House, built in 1856, is one of the last remaining antebellum homes with Italianate elements in the area. It is part of the Lyndon House Arts Center.
The Georgia Museum of Art, which is associated with UGA, has a permanent collection of over 7,000 works of art that includes paintings, folk art, and sculpture. The museum also includes a gift shop and an on-site restaurant. UGA is also affiliated with the Georgia Museum of Natural History, which has 14 collections that include paleontology, rocks and minerals, archaeology, botany, and more. It is one of the largest museums in the Southeast.
Athens is considered to have one of the nation’s best college music scenes – Rolling Stone named it the “Number One College Music Scene in America.” It is home to R.E.M. and the B-52s, after all, and up-and-coming musicians can often be found on area stages. After choosing your Athens apartment, be sure to catch a performance at the Georgia Theater, one of the city’s hottest music venues. The theater is part of the Athens Music History Walking Tour. In addition to R.E.M., the theater has hosted Beck, the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, and many more.
Sandy Creek Park surrounds Lake Chapman and provides an oasis for Athens residents. Here, outdoor activities run the gamut: camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, and even a disc golf course and dog runs. A quick trip to the north will lead you into the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, a great place for hiking and camping.
What to Consider When Moving to Athens:
The University of Georgia is a leading land- and sea-grant public university that was founded in 1785. The English bulldog mascots, all named Uga, have a lineage that began with the first Uga in 1956. All of the dogs have been owned by and have lived with the Seiler family in Savannah, Georgia. Uga V was a celebrity – he appeared in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and he appeared on the 1997 cover of Sports Illustrated. All of the bulldogs have been descendants of the original Uga, and the deceased Ugas are interred in a mausoleum at the corner of Sanford Stadium.
There are statues of bulldogs everywhere in Athens – many of them ornately painted as public works of art. You’ll find these bulldog statues on nearly every corner, each different from the last. They sit outside of restaurants, theaters, bars, shops, and there’s even one located in the town square.
Athens has some terrific neighborhoods, many containing historic Victorian architecture. You won’t have any trouble finding apartments in Athens – although be prepared for a large number of college students as neighbors, especially if you rent an apartment near UGA.
One great neighborhood to consider is Chicopee-Dudley, which has a nice mix of apartment buildings, houses, and businesses. Chicopee-Dudley is home to Dudley Park, which serves as a trailhead for the North Oconee River Greenway.
Five Points is a beautiful, upscale neighborhood that contains several historic homes. This neighborhood has a terrific blend of students and older residents, and it contains many of Athens’ most popular coffee houses, restaurants, and other businesses.
The Downtown Athens Historic District features 82 historic buildings dating to 1833. Of course, Downtown Athens is where the action is – restaurants, shops, bars, art galleries, bookstores, and sidewalk cafes.
Why Athens Apartments Are Hot:
Athens is located about 70 miles from Atlanta. It is Georgia’s fifth-largest city, even though it has the smallest geographical area. Athens is home to more than 192,000 people, and while it attracts a large number of college students, Athens is also a terrific location for families and retirees. MONEY magazine named Athens one of the “Best Places to Retire.” It has also been named one of the best small cities for families and one of Kiplinger’s “Seven Cool Cities.”
Athens is the ideal city for pet owners, with a large number of pet-friendly businesses and terrific pet-friendly parks. Music, like the bulldogs, can be found everywhere in the city, from tiny bars to major venues. Are you ready for great music, bulldogs, history, and trendy restaurants? Then you’re ready to find your Athens apartment!
Athens is a hip college town, home to the University of Georgia.
Football games at the home of the Bulldogs — UGA’s Sanford Stadium.
Nightlife! Athens contains nearly 100 bars, several hotels, and dance clubs.
A walkable downtown with unique shops, restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs.
Home to such bands as R.E.M. and the B-52s, Athens is a music hotspot.
A wide variety of art studios, galleries, museums, theaters, and historic sites.