Southern College Towns: Athens and the University of Georgia

University of Georgia
A walk along the streets of downtown Athens wouldn’t be complete without a bulldog siting.

From the red brick halls of higher learning at the University of Georgia to the city’s recent arrival on the modern food scene, the name “Athens” has come to represent so much more than the ancient pillar of learning and culture this college town was named after.

Whether or not you love the Bulldogs, the university and the community that grew up around it broke new ground in American education in 1785 when Georgia incorporated it as the country’s first state university. We think that’s worth celebrating across the South. Take a closer look at all its historical and modern charm.

Stroll the streets of this north Georgia city, and it becomes clear that this is no “sleepy college town.” Athens thrums to a tune all its own partly because of its musical heritage that encompasses country, bluegrass, and rock. 

University of Georgia
Relax at the State Botanical Gardens for a dose of floral inspiration.

In fact, the town’s penchant for launching chart-topping bands like R.E.M. and the B-52s has earned it the nickname “Liverpool of the South.”