Moving to Athens

Prepare to embark on an exciting journey as you contemplate relocating to Athens, GA. This charming town, famous for its vibrant music scene, classic southern hospitality, and rich history, offers an extraordinary blend of culture, community, and cuisine. Athens is the epitome of Southern charm with its picturesque streets, breathtaking antiquities, and numerous educational institutions. In our comprehensive Athens relocation guide, we will give you an enticing peek into living in this lively university town, helping you make an informed decision and seamless transition. Get ready to discover your next home, because Athens awaits!

Moving to Athens, GA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Athens

1. The Southern Charm is Real!

One of the first things you'll notice about charming Athens, GA, is the genuine southern hospitality that greets you at every corner. From the friendly smiles of locals to the warm welcome you'll receive in every restaurant, store, or bar you step into, Athens exudes an endearing charm that is quintessentially southern. Businesses are local, relationships are personal, and yes, you will probably be regaled with delightful local anecdotes told with a delightful southern drawl!

2. The Music Scene is Epic

Did you know R.E.M and the B-52's got their start in Athens? This city's music roots run deep, and any music lover would be thrilled by the rhythmic beats that fill the streets. From superb acoustic performances at local coffee shops to head-banging concerts at the 40 Watt Club, there's something for every audiophile. Don't forget the annual AthFest, a hub for showcasing local talent and infectious beats.

3. There's a Restaurant for Every Palate

Foodies, rejoice! Athens is a city of varied and delicious cuisine that is sure to satisfy even the most diverse tastes. From traditional southern comfort food to creative, farm-to-table dishes, there's a restaurant for every kind of food enthusiast. The city also hosts a Food Truck Festival, which is a culinary delight, offering a chance to sample innovative delicacies.

4. Did Someone Say Bulldogs?

Athens is home to the University of Georgia, and college football is more than just a sport--it's a religion. So prepare yourself to bleed red and black, shout "Go Dawgs!" at every given opportunity, and tailgate like there's no tomorrow. Game days in Athens are events not to be missed, filled with energetic spirit, team pride, and heaps of fun!

5. We Have a Tree That Owns Itself

Here's something quirky about Athens that you probably didn't know: we have a tree that legally owns itself! This peculiar tale speaks of a white oak that was deeded ownership of itself by its former human owner, Colonel William H. Jackson, in the early 19th century. While the original tree has passed away, the tree that stands currently is a descendant from an acorn of the original tree. A cool bit of local lore!

6. It's a Cultural Hotspot

Cultural buffs can find a treasure trove in Athens. There's always something intriguing to explore, be it at the Georgia Museum of Art, the State Botanical Gardens, or any of the city's historical neighborhoods with their well-preserved antebellum architecture. Plus, Athens has seen a rise in street art, adding a layer of creativity and color to this vibrant city.

So, whether you're drawn by the captivating charm of southern hospitality, seeking to immerse yourself in music and culture, or the idea of living in a town where trees can own themselves intrigues you, Athens could just be your perfect new home. Here's to a life filled with music, gastronomical surprises, sports, and lots and lots of captivating southern vibes!

What to know before moving to Athens, GA image
See the 10 Best Movers Nearest You
(Unbiased) Ranking of the top movers in every city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Athens

Pros of Living in Athens

A Vibrant Music and Art Scene

Athens houses a bustling music and art scene, being the birthplace of famous bands like R.E.M. and The B-52s. Many venues host live performances throughout the week, and the local art scene is supported by galleries, craft fairs, and festivals.

Home to the University of Georgia

The University of Georgia offers a source of educational boons to the residents of Athens. Not just for students, the university also adds variety to the city's social and cultural landscape through its sporting events, public lectures, and cultural festivals.

A Walking Friendly City

Athens is a very walking-friendly city with its downtown area housing an array of local shops, restaurants, and attractions that are easily accessible on foot. This also promotes a healthier lifestyle while reducing dependence on cars.

Rich in Natural Beauty

Athens is surrounded by abundant nature, with numerous parks, botanical gardens, and hiking trails. Whether you want a pleasant walk, a vigorous hike, or a picnic with family, the natural beauty of Athens is sure to impress.

Affordable Living

Compared to many other cities in the country, Athens offers a generally lower cost of living. This makes it easier for families, students, and retirees to afford a comfortable lifestyle in the city.

Cons of Living in Athens

Parking Limitations

While Athens is a walkable city, parking can be challenging especially around the downtown area and the University of Georgia. The availability of parking spots could become particularly tough during major events, sports matches, and peak hours.

Public Transport is Limited

While Athens does have a bus system, the public transportation is not as extensive or frequent as in larger cities. Those without a vehicle may find it difficult to reach certain areas of the city.

Higher Student Population

Being a university town, there is a significant student population in Athens. While this adds to the city's vibrancy, it could mean more congestion, noise, and sometimes higher rental prices, especially close to the campus.

Limited Job Opportunities in Certain Fields

While Athens offers diverse opportunities in the educational and healthcare sectors due to the university and regional hospitals, job opportunities in other fields might be comparatively limited, thus potentially making job hunting more challenging for newcomers.

Seasonal Allergies

Just like many other areas in the Southeast, Athens can be difficult for some individuals in the spring and fall seasons due to significant pollen count. This might be a downside for people with severe allergies.

Modern day picture of Athens, GA highlighting pros and cons of living in Athens, GA

Is Athens a Good Place to Live?

Athens, GA is a great place to live because of its vibrant arts scene, esteemed universities, and thriving foodie culture. The city offers a charming small-town atmosphere coupled with the buzz of a large city, due to the presence of the University of Georgia, and the beautiful nature trails and parks make each weekend an adventure. From local boutiques and farmer's markets to music festivals and historical landmarks, Athens is an eclectic mix of old and new, sure to captivate anyone lucky enough to call it home.

What Is Athens Famous For?

Music Haven of the South

Athens, GA is home to a legendary music scene. It's where prominent bands like R.E.M. and The B-52's got their start, thereby earning the city a reputation for churning out a variety of great music, ranging from rock to folk to punk.

Antebellum Architecture

If you're an architecture enthusiast, Athens does not disappoint. The city has an array of antebellum structures that date back to before the American Civil War, including grand styles such as Greek Revival, Victorian, and Colonial homes.

The Classic City

The nickname "The Classic City" originated from Athens' rich classical culture and its namesake, Athens, Greece. From its vibrant art scene to the University of Georgia's historic North Campus which boasts Neoclassical architecture, the city truly lives up to its classic moniker.

Athens' Cuisines and Breweries

Athens, GA is a rising star in the culinary world. Its food scene offers a potpourri of flavors from around the globe, served in everything from food truck festivals to upscale dining. Additionally, craft beer enthusiasts will appreciate its notable local breweries such as Terrapin Beer Co. and Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Capital building of Athens, GA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Athens, GA as of 2023, the property tax rate is around 1.18% of the property's assessed fair market value, which is slightly lower than the national average of 1.3%. These rates are subject to annual adjustments based on local county budget needs.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Athens, GA is 8%, a combination of the Georgia state sales tax rate of 4%, and Athens local district sales taxes of up to 4%. This is higher than the average sales tax rate in the US, which is around 7.12%.

Income Tax

As of 2023, the income tax rate in Georgia, including Athens, ranges between 1% to 5.75% dependent on income bracket. This is in line with the average state income tax rate in the US, which tends to range between no tax to over 8%.

Housing Market

The housing market in Athens, GA, boasts a median home value lower than the national average, making it an attractive choice for buyers. With a well-ranked university and flourishing businesses, rental properties are plentiful, although the high student population might slightly inflate rental rates. Homes in Athens appreciate at a slower rate compared with other US zones indicating a steadier market. On the other hand, the Athens rental yield tends to be higher than most markets nationwide, making it a potential hotspot for investors. Due diligence is advised to ascertain the best market dynamics suited for your housing needs.

Cost of Living

The current cost of living in Athens, GA is comparatively lower than in many American cities. This relatively small town, known for its vibrant music and arts scene, maintains an affordable lifestyle. Housing, healthcare, and grocery costs are below national averages. Moreover, residents enjoy the benefits of low utility rates and transportation costs. This factor, along with the city's charm and cultural offerings, makes Athens an appealing choice for those looking for a budget-friendly yet captivating city to call home.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Athens, GA experiences a humid subtropical climate, which translates into hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. An average summer day can see temperatures up to the mid-90s while winters can drop to as low as mid-30s. The city also receives moderate rainfall throughout the year with less frequent snowfall during the winter months. Athens is susceptible to a fair share of natural disasters: tornadoes being the most common. These twisters mostly occur in the spring and fall. Apart from tornadoes, Athens may also face thunderstorms and rarely, hurricanes, which can bring heavy rain and high winds. With mild seasons and vibrant natural beauty, Athens presents a pleasant overall climate interspersed with the occasional severe weather event.

Typical weather in Athens, GA

Economy & Job Market

* Education and Health Services

* Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

* Government

* Professional and Business Services

* Leisure and Hospitality

Athens, GA, affectionately nicknamed "The Classic City," prides itself on having a diverse and robust economy with a beautiful blend of old and new industries. As a city that's home to the University of Georgia, education is one of Athens' top industries, leading to a significant focus on research and development. Health services also play a large role, with institutions such as St. Mary's Health Care System and Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center being major employers. Nowadays, Athens embraces a mix of other industries too, including a burgeoning tech scene, a lively music and arts community (inspiring leisure and hospitality fields), government services, and a steadfast presence of trade, transportation, and utilities. The city's economy is a beautiful tapestry woven from threads of both tradition and innovation!

If you're planning a move to Athens, GA and plan to job hunt afterwards, there's a wealth of information you should know! Athens has a lower unemployment rate than the national average, making it an attractive destination for jobseekers. Industries particularly burgeoning in Athens are education, health services, and the government sector, with the University of Georgia, local hospitals, and city and county government offices commonly hiring. Additionally, creative types will find opportunities in the several art, music, and theatre scenes the city has, which greatly influences the leisure and hospitality industry. Lastly, don't forget about the rapidly growing startup scene fueled by a fusion of local talent and innovative ideas. Athens, with its classical charm and modern progress, truly is a job seeker's city of dreams!

Traffic and Transportation

Traffic and travel in Athens, GA is like a dance: sometimes a fast tempo, but mostly a leisurely waltz. The average commute is about 20 delightful minutes, a breezy jaunt compared with larger cities. Need a ride? Athens, my friend, has several fun options. Athens Transit System boasts 19 convenient bus routes. It's a smooth ride and environmentally friendly too, so you'll be saving the planet one bus ride at a time! Furthermore, UGA Campus Transit provides free transportation around the University of Georgia, perfect for students in a rush or just wanting to save those extra steps. Let's not forget the joy of soaring through the clouds. If air travel's your style, you've got Athens Ben Epps Airport for general and corporate aviation. And if you're looking for passenger flights, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is just a hop, skip and a jump away. Explore Athens in style, one ride at a time!

What is the traffic like in Athens, GA?

Best Neighborhoods in Athens

1. Normaltown

First on the list is the chic and cozy Normaltown. This neighborhood is anything but "normal" if you are drawn to creative energy and an authentic community vibe. Known for its quirky decor, eclectic venues, and a lively music scene, Normaltown is the perfect haven for artists, musicians, and free-spirited folks. And let's not forget about Normal Bar, an iconic spot known for its tantalizing cocktails and relaxed atmosphere. It's safe to say that life in Normaltown will never feel ordinary.

2. Five Points

Five Points is the epitome of Southern charm and sophistication. This neighborhood is a classic mix of old-world charm meets modern convenience. With its tree-lined streets and historic homes, Five Points feels not just like any quintessential Southern suburb, but a step back in time. Close proximity to various creative boutiques, popular grocery stores, and sought-after eateries make it a desirable living spot. A true gem, Five Points perfectly blends the vibrancy of city living with a peaceful residential vibe.

3. Boulevard

New to Athens and a fan of historic architecture? Boulevard is your place to be! This neighborhood brims with historic homes, ample green spaces, and residents with a deep-rooted love for their community. Boulevard's the ideal spot for leisurely strolls or casual bike rides, thanks to its wide streets beautifully framed by towering trees. The annual Boulevard BBQ festival is a neighborhood tradition not to miss - a testament to the strong sense of community in this charming locale.

4. Five Forks

Next up, Five Forks, a family-friendly gem. This neighborhood features a variety of housing styles from renovated mid-century homes to new-builds. It's a welcoming neighborhood with a strong sense of community making it ideal for families. With its beautifully maintained parks, ample recreational facilities, and easy access to good schools, Five Forks offers a sense of quiet suburban calm while still being a short drive away from Athens' downtown.

5. Cobbham

Last but not least, Cobbham, an Athens classic. This historic district is a beautiful blend of residential serenity and urban excitement. The neighborhood's diverse architectural styles, colorful gardens, and friendly atmosphere make it one of the most picturesque areas in the city. Known for its deep roots in Athens' cultural and creative scene, Cobbham is just a short walk away from downtown theatres, art studios, and music venues. It's the perfect neighborhood for those looking to immerse themselves in Athens' vibrant cultural life.

In conclusion, each of these neighborhoods in Athens, GA possesses its unique charm and personality, offering an exciting range of experiences. Whether you're drawn to the creative ambience of Normaltown, the historic elegance of Boulevard, the community feel of Five Forks, the cultural pulse of Cobbham, or the Southern charm of Five Points - there's something to cater to everyone's taste. Remember, moving to a new city is not just about finding a new home; it's about finding a new community that matches your lifestyle and aspirations. Happy neighborhood hunting in Athens!

Best neighborhoods in Athens, GA image

Things to Do

Are you looking forward to moving to Athens, Georgia? Do you want to know the fun, exciting, and unique activities you can engage in? Don't worry, we got you covered. This vibrant city is full of rich history, vibrant culture, music scenes, mouthwatering food, and engaging outdoor activities. Here are seven exciting things you should do when you move to Athens, GA.

1. Visit the Georgia Museum of Art

If you appreciate fine arts, then the Georgia Museum of Art should top your list. Known for its extensive art collection, the museum has a vast selection ranging from European and American paintings to decorative arts and Asian pieces. With free admission, you can leisurely appreciate the masterpieces and maybe even absorb inspiration from the works.

2. Experience Athens Farmers Market

The Athens Farmers Market is not only a food market, it's a social event. With local farmers selling organic fruits, vegetables, and handmade goods, you can enjoy shopping while supporting the local community. This outdoor shopping experience is complemented by live music and cooking demonstrations, making every trip to the Farmers Market an adventure.

3. Roam around the State Botanical Garden of Georgia

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a visual feast for nature lovers. As you stroll through the beautiful trails and themed gardens, you may find the peace and serenity astounding. Plus, it's a great place for kids too, with educational programs available for young explorers.

4. Unearth History at the Double Barreled Cannon

An often overlooked gem, the Double Barreled Cannon is a Civil War relic that never actually saw combat. It's a quirky part of Athens' history, located on the grounds of Athens City Hall. If you're into oddities and history, you won't want to miss this.

5. Get to Know Hot Corner

Hot Corner, the intersection of Hull and Washington, has a rich black history and legacy that is celebrated every year in the Hot Corner Festival and Parade. You'll find a cultural hub here with thriving local businesses, vibrant street arts, and music scenes that surely live up to the "Hot" in the Hot Corner.

6. Visit the Tree that Owns Itself

This may sound strange, but yes, there's a tree that legally owns itself and the land within eight feet of its base. Granted the rights by its former owner, the white oak stands as a landmark and a testament to the city's quirky charm. It's worth a visit to absorb this unusual slice of Athens.

7. Explore the Sandy Creek Nature Center

If you love nature and outdoor recreational activities, then visiting the Sandy Creek Nature Center is a must. The center offers a wealth of wildlife viewing opportunities and 225 acres of green space for hiking, exploring, and bird watching. It's a hidden gem that will give you a memorable experience amidst nature.

In a nutshell, Athens, GA, is a city that perfectly blends history, culture, music, food and outdoor fun. Whether you're a history buff, an art lover, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, there's always something new and exciting for you to discover and love about Athens. So, welcome to your new home and start exploring!

Things to do in Athens, GA?

Find Movers for Your Athens Relocation

As you prepare for your adventure in Athens, remember that relocating doesn't have to be a daunting task. Great Guys Moving simplifies this process by connecting you with the most reliable movers in the industry. This trusted company handles all the details, linking you to a network of movers renowned for exceptional service and budget-conscious pricing. A easy way to eliminate the stress of moving is one click away. Start your Athens journey on the right foot and request your free, no-obligation moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

See The Best Movers For Moving To Georgia From...

Find out how much your move costs!