Athens is known for its culture and diversity. Georgia's "Classic City" has preserved many of its historic neighborhoods and landmarks, and its largely intact nineteenth-century townscape abuts the historic North Campus of UGA. Today Athens is the center for commerce and trade, health services, and cultural arts for all of northeast Georgia. The city struggles to maintain its distinctive sense of place in the face of rapid growth and development.
Athens, home of the University of Georgia (UGA), is located along the north Oconee River in Clarke County, in the rolling Piedmont of northeast Georgia. It's the perfect town to live in, the quintessential South. The university's sophisticated Performing Arts Center complements the Classic Center, and the Georgia Museum of Art brings the world of art to town and gown. The 313-acre State Botanical Garden of Georgia serves as headquarters for the Garden Club of Georgia and offers nature trails, gardens, a conservatory, and a chapel. The North Oconee River Greenway Project is developing a thirteen-mile trail for bikers and hikers.
R.E.M. and the B-52's put Athens on the map in the 1980s as a lively venue for rock music and helped spawn a plethora of bands and the clubs where they perform. The B-52's left Athens, but R.E.M. stayed to make their mark as historic homeowners, preservationists, and friends of the environment as well. You can also hear the Drive By Tuckers, Kishi Bashi, Of Montreal and Widespread Panic around town most of the year. Athens has its own symphony, opera company, band, choral societies, gospel groups, folk, jazz, blues, and more.
In the spring, the annual Human Rights Festival brings together political activists, musicians, and craftsmen, and the city's Twilight Criterium, one of the country's largest cycling events, attracts both cyclists and spectators. Athfest, a local music festival held on outdoor stages and in venues around town, takes place each June, and on autumn weekends the town swells as football fans flock to watch the University of Georgia Bulldogs. After soaking up the football season and culture scene head to one of the many award winning and notable restaurants. For a small town, it packs an international punch of flavor.