Athens, Georgia began as a small settlement and trading post. It is home to the first chartered state-supported university in the United States, the University of Georgia. In 1806, the city became incorporated, and enjoyed the reputation of being the intellectual and cultural center of Georgia.
Today, Athens is a city of over 100,000 people. It is still highly regarded as an intellectual and cultural city. Visitors will be impressed by a visit to the Georgia Museum of Art, located on the campus of the University of Georgia. This museum consistently displays incredible exhibitions, and offers exceptional tours. Programs created specifically for children and their families offer an excellent option for those traveling with small ones. A stop at the Georgia Museum of Natural History will amaze both the young and old alike. This beautiful museum houses fourteen different collections, and offers insight into the plants and animals of the region. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a wonderfully relaxing 300-acre plus preserve which features extensive gardens, displays, fun special events, and even walking and hiking trails.
Athens has a robust music scene. In fact, its music scene is recognized worldwide for having helped give rise to popular bands such as the B-52's, R.E.M. and Widespread Panic. Athens is a wonderful place to relax and take in an assortment of outstanding live music in any one of its many bars or clubs. AthFest, a festival held in downtown Athens each June, showcases the extensive local music community. Each year, about 100 bands turn out for the festival, which has grown to include activities for children too.
Athens boasts a remarkable downtown filled with opportunities to shop, eat, read, or sit back and enjoy live music. Athens also claims 14 historic districts and 35 other sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A variety of historical tours are offered, including those focused on music makers, Civil War history, and African American history just to name a few.
Athens is located about 60 miles east of Atlanta, where highways 441, 29, and 78 converge.