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Athens, Georgia a Southern Athens and College Town
by Howard Giske

Located in the rolling hills at an elevation of about 600 feet, between the sea and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Athens is the largest city in Clarke County, with a population slightly over 100,000. Since 1990, the governmental functions of Athens and Clarke County have been consolidated, though the smaller town of Winterville, continues to maintain some degree of autonomy. Athens is located about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, not far from the South Carolina border.

Some top employers in the area are the local hospital system, Gold Kist, and Seaboard Farms. Agricultural production in Clarke County includes timber and poultry. Home prices in the Athens, Ga. Area have a wide range. They range from a luxury two-bedroom condo, for only $100,000, to a huge 8 bedroom historical mansion in Watkinsville, Ga., Oconee County, for over $700,000. Athens is the home of the University of Georgia. In fact, the University has been there since 1804, and was the original impetus for the creation of Athens, Ga., which has been a college town from the very beginning. Get it, like Plato's Academy of Athens? The downtown is next to the UGA campus, which has made the area popular in the Athens real estate market and a desirable place to live. The town is popular not only with students, but also with retirees, due to the social and cultural attractions and its mild winters. The antebellum charm of Athens' older buildings, are rather unique in the state of Georgia, since they avoided General Sherman's march from Atlanta to Savannah and the sea.

The art and music scene runs from classical to popular and rock-n'-roll. In fact, the Athens area has a certain amount of notoriety as being the origin place of such bands as R.E.M., and the B-52s. The University of Georgia (UGA) Performing Art Center on 230 River Rd. brings in world-class orchestras performing classical and popular music. Also, the UGA football team is well-known, with their games being very popular events.

Due to a number of factors, including the Univ. of Georgia, Athens is truly the Athens of Georgia, in terms of arts and drama available in the area. The Georgia Museum of Art, is the state museum, at 90 Carlton St. is part of the modern Performing and Visual Arts complex. This complex is located on the east campus of the University of Georgia. American painting is the focus of the Georgia Museum of Art's collection. Alfred Heber Holbrook, the museum's founder collected lots of important Nineteenth-century works include those by Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Elizabeth Jane Gardner, and James McNeill Whistler. Its modern collections include works by Georgia O'Keefe and Andrew Wyeth. The museum's restaurant and performance venue, Figgie's Five is known for good food and musical performances ranging from folk to jazz. Athens is also the location of the state of Georgia botanical gardens, located just out of town of South Millege Avenue. It is a lovely spot of plants and trees that is often the site of receptions and weddings.

About the Author

Howard Giske writes about Athens real estate and nationwide real estate at

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