Athens, the Classic City
The University of Georgia is located in the cozy university town of Athens, known as the Classic City because of its name and its neoclassical architecture. Athens is located 65 miles northeast of Atlanta in the forested piedmont of northern Georgia. Athens and Clarke County have a combined population of 121,265. The area is within a two-hour drive of the north Georgia waterfalls, lakes and mountains, and within four to five hours of Atlantic coast resorts. The immediate surrounding area is largely agricultural and some of the small towns around Athens are quite rural.
Although Athens has rural origins and still has a comfortable, small-town atmosphere, the presence of the University has transformed the city into an extremely lively town, one of the cultural centers of the New South. Most noticeable is the extraordinary amount of live music played in venues around town. Bands associated with Athens include R.E.M. and the B-52's. The Athens music scene caters to a variety of musical tastes. The UGA Performing Arts Center brings to Athens world-class fine arts programming. Flagpole magazine reports arts and entertainment news and events and is a good guide to what is happening in Athens.
In addition to the music scene, an active artistic community in Athens regularly exhibits in the local galleries; major works are regularly shown in the Georgia Museum of Art on campus. The town also has an active community theater and a community orchestra, in addition to about twenty cinema screens, including the University's Tate Center, which shows an interesting diversity of old and recent movies. The Classic Center offers several events and activities like Broadway shows, concerts and ballets. The State Botanical Garden is located in Athens and is open to the public and has nature trails and classes on topics like tree identification and butterfly gardening.
Downtown Athens is located directly across the street from campus and is a popular place to spend time. There are many cafes, restaurants, clothing shops, bookstores and music clubs. Holiday parades, festivals and concerts are held throughout the year in downtown Athens.
The University of Georgia has several athletic teams. The gymnastics, swimming/diving, and men's tennis teams are among the top college athletic teams in the nation. Students can purchase tickets for these events at a discounted cost, and some events are free to students. Each spring Athens hosts the Twilight Criterium, an exciting professional bicycle race in the downtown area.
The weather in Athens is very pleasant. Average highs range from 89.6°F in July to 51.6°F in January. Average lows range from 69.5°F in July to 32.0°F in January.