I can honestly say I fell in love with Athens the minute I drove into town. Cruising down Milledge Avenue past the charming southern-style houses as the sun was setting, I knew I could see myself here. Athens, home of the University of Georgia, is a perfect combination of a small southern town with a lively college atmosphere. Its vibrant, restored Victorian-era downtown teems with art galleries, trendy boutiques, renowned nightclubs and distinctive dining. Historic architecture and impressive gardens complete the unique blend of traditional heritage and trend-setting Southern culture.
The downtown scene is perfect for college students - and those looking to relive their college years. There are hundreds of bars and restaurants, including The 40 Watt and Melting Point (both listed as "Top 40 Music Venues in America" in Paste magazine, May 2007) and The Globe (named one of the "Best Bars in America" by Esquire magazine, October 2007). Music fans come from around the world to discover the roots of legends such as R.E.M., the B-52’s, and Widespread Panic, as well as hear the current crop of hundreds of bands playing downtown nightly. For information about what’s going on in Athens any night of the week, pick up a FREE Flagpole magazine from any of the bars or restaurants downtown, or visit their website at http://flagpole.com/. Some of my personal favorite restaurants downtown are Last Resort Grill, East-West Bistro, and Speakeasy, but you honestly can't go wrong with the unique menus you will find. Farm 255, which opened in the summer of 2005 by Full Moon Cooperative Farm, strives to bring the story of local sustainable farming to the table and connect people to the source of their food.
With red and black everywhere, fan shops full of Georgia gear, and artistic bulldog statues throughout downtown, it’s hard not to become a Georgia Bulldog fan when you visit this town – especially if you’re lucky enough to be there on a home football weekend! Saturdays seem like holidays when the population doubles, people celebrate from 7 am on, and everyone in town is dressed in UGA colors.
So whether you’re a prospective student, a Georgia alumni, or just anyone looking to relive those college years (we all know they’re the best of your life), Athens is the place for you. From music to shopping to wining and dining there’s definitely something for everyone in this eclectic college town.
*A great resource for Athens information and recommendations is: http://www.visitathensga.com