In the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Athens is a pleasant far cry from nearby Atlanta. With a population of about 100,000 and housing the grand University of Georgia, it maintains a comfortable, cozy air.
It may not have much surface appeal or boast mind-blowing 'attractions,' but Athens seems to be comfortable without tourist traps. The city boasts a healthy combination of youthful vigor, history, culture that is well-packaged in distinctive southern cordiality. Life tends to revolve around the university and summers can be quite dead, but when school's in session Athens is a bustling, exciting town.
The best districts to stalk through mostly revolve around bars and music venues such as the 40 Watt Club. There is some leftover flair from days when REM and the B-52's wowed locals; prominent under-the-radar acts still swing through Athens.
Thickly wooded Oconee Forest Park provides outdoor entertainment just off campus with trails, streams, and greenways.