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Athens is nicknamed “Classic City,” a reference to its namesake, the Greek capital. Just like the Athens of antiquity, Georgia’s Athens is dedicated to learning, a charming college town that’s home to the University of Georgia. Athens is also well-known for its antebellum architecture, with notable Greek Revival buildings everywhere. But the characteristic that truly earns Athens its sobriquet is how it is so classically cool. Athens isn’t just for one kind of person or one type of mood—this is a town that matches you with whatever you need. There’s an incredible nightlife here, with more bars per capita than any other city in the country. Music lovers know Athens as the birthplace of R.E.M., The B-52’s, and Danger Mouse, and home to legendary music venues and record stores. If you’re a sports fan, there’s no more intense fan base than Bulldog Nation. Athenians love their town unreservedly and it’s easy to see why.

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Living in Athens-Clarke County

Athens, which is a consolidated city-county, is also the county seat. Clarke County’s only other municipalities are Winterville and a slice of Bogart. But Athens is the planet around which all the neighboring counties orbit, thanks to its relationship with the University of Georgia, its excellent shopping and dining, and its outsized cultural footprint. The other major city in the area is Atlanta and it’s easy enough to drive there for any big city needs, but for most, Athens is enough. The dining scene in Athens is superlative, with hipster eateries sitting side-by-side with long-time Southern favorites and Michelin-starred fine dining. And by the way, college life isn’t just for the young—the University of Georgia waives its tuition for any resident 62 or older who wishes to enroll. It’s this spirit of lifelong learning that keeps the area vibrant and lively.