Athens, Georgia may just be the sweetest town in the South. Frequently overshadowed by Atlanta's metropolitan bustle and the coastal charms of Savannah, Athens is a true hidden gem. Long a favorite enclave for musicians and artists, Athens is a picturesque town packed with historical charm and a rich cultural legacy. With affordable rents and a quirky local culture, this sleepy southern town may be the perfect place for you to call home.

athens georgia rent

Cheap Rent and a Whole Lot of Charm

70 miles north of Atlanta, Athens is a mellow southern town with an adorable downtown and a fun local culture. This cute town has attracted musicians and artists with its historic architecture and low rental costs. As of September 2017, the average rent for an apartment in Athens is $871 per month. One bedrooms rent for $817 on average, and two bedrooms average $849 per month.

But people are catching on to this hidden gem of a city. The population of Athens has been slowly rising for decades. The town still remains small however, with a current population of 124,707 according to the US Census Bureau. However, rents in Athens have seen growth disproportionate to the increase in population. In the past year, the average rent in Athens, GA has increased by more than 13%. In comparison the population has only grown by 0.8%. Average rent has increased by $114 in the past 12 months, which is more than four times the growth rate of rents nationwide, which clocks in around 3%.

 

A Cultural Hotspot

What is the appeal of this pocket sized Southern city? The scenery to start with. With its stunning neo classical architecture and dripping Spanish moss, Athens is truly a unique spot. Besides architecture, Athens has a thriving music scene for such a tiny city, and has produced multiple major bands, such as R.E.M., Neutral Milk Hotel and the B-52s. The Georgia Theater in Athens is a beloved music institution. First opening its doors in 1978, the space was used as a movie theater for several years before being reborn into the cool musical venue it is today. The bar scene in Athens is also incredible. At last count, there are more than 80 bars in Athens, all within a single square mile.

Athens was officially established in 1806, created to support the newly established University of Georgia, affectionately referred to as UGA by locals. The city continued to grow over the next two centuries, fueled primarily by the cotton milling industry. During the Civil War, Athens was an important supply stop for Confederate troops. The long history of Athens is evident in the beautifully preserved architecture in the downtown area, and on the UGA campus.

Athens is home to the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia, which is well worth an afternoon. And art lovers will enjoy the expansive collection at the Georgia Museum of Art, the official state art museum. One of the stranger attractions in Athens is The Tree That Owns Itself. This bizarre landmark is an oak tree that was planted sometime between the 16th and 18th centuries, which is said to have legal domain over itself and the eight square feet it occupies. Though the original tree fell in the 1940s, a new tree was grown in its place from one of the original acorns. This current tree is known as The Son of the Tree That Owns Itself.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you will love all of the green space in Athens. Miles of greenway loop through the city, perfect for jogging, walking or biking.

The Youth Factor

The cool cred of Athens is helped by its youthful population, with much of it composed of University of Georgia students. According to the US Census Bureau, 31.6% of the city's population is between the ages of 18 and 24, and 27.3% are between the ages of 25 and 44. The youthful influence is evident across Athens, with many local live music spots and open mic nights all over town.

Athens is undeniably a college town, and both students and townies alike are obsessed with college football. Any game day will find the town decked out in Bulldog décor.

Many of the jobs in Athens are related to the University of Georgia, which employs over 10,000 people. Other major industries in Athens include healthcare and manufacturing. However, there is also a growing tech industry in Athens, prompted by the millennials graduating from the local University. As new tech start-ups are established, the city's economy is sure to shift.

Athens isn't just for students. If you are looking for a place dripping with history, with beautiful architecture, a vibrant music scene and cheap rent, Athens may just be the place for you. Check out our listings for apartments in Athens and you'll be sipping lemonade on a front porch in no time.

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