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Winterville is a charming and welcoming small town right on the eastern border of Athens. It’s close to downtown Athens, yet it has its own distinct country twang. Just 2.7 square miles big, Winterville has a huge personality for such a tiny place. Winterville’s mayor is a singer-songwriter, as well as a former truck driver, who has big plans to add sidewalks all over town connecting all of Winterville to the Firefly Trail, a 39-mile rail-trail that will eventually run from Athens to Union Point. The town also has an annual Marigold Festival, with a concert and a parade, which has been going on since 1971. Winterville’s inclusivity statement says, “We are a small city with a big heart, and we are glad that you are here,” a simple motto that defines this warm, little town.

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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.