Athens Ranked As One Of America’s Best College Towns To Reside

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By Joe Vitale:

The folks at CollegeRanker.com recently ranked the ’50 Best College Towns to Live In Forever’. Three Georgia cities made the list…..Brunswick at 44, Savannah was 32nd and Athens came in at 17.

Following are excerpts for each city. Note to the editor, Georgia is the nation’s first State Chartered University, not the first state university in Georgia. In addition, although we’ll always love R.E.M., many current musical groups call Athens home, including Futurebirds, Mothers, The Whigs, Widespread Panic, Danger Mouse and Of Montreal, to name a few.

Brunswick is a beautiful coastal city, and the home of the College of Coastal Georgia. Brunswick is a larger city, but thanks to its coastal location has a very resort-like feel. The city is located just minutes from St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island, both part of the Georgia barrier islands. In Brunswick, there is plenty to do including a great arts alliance and community theater program. First Fridays are a tradition in downtown Brunswick where shops and restaurants have open houses with food samples and live entertainment. The city is located halfway between Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florid, about an hour from each. Major employers in the area are the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and the Southeast Georgia Health System. The College of Coastal Georgia only recently became a four-year college, having been converted from a two-year community college. Due to the local geography of saltmarshes and pristine beaches, CCGA offers a fantastic Coastal Ecology baccalaureate program. Other great programs at CCGA include biology, nursing, education, and business.

Savannah is one of the most famous and beautiful cities in the South as well as the home of several colleges, most notably the Savannah College of Art and Design. The city of Savannah lies on the central east coast of Georgia, very near Tybee Island. Savannah is known for the beautiful historic district and the Forsyth Park area. Savannah also has wonderful boutique shopping and local restaurants. Employers in Savannah that employ college graduates include Hunter Army Airfield and the Georgia Ports Authority. The Savannah College of Art and Design is one of the premier schools in the country for the arts. The campus is sprawled throughout downtown Savannah. A degree from SCAD is highly respected in the arts community.

Athens is home to the state’s first state university, the University of Georgia, founded in 1785. This small college town has an excellent cultural community with arts, theatre, and music. The city hosts an annual summer Arts Festival and is home to several nationally recognized artists, including Brantley Gilbert and R.E.M. Many Pulitzer Prize winners have come out of Athens as well as famous actors. The city is called “Live Music Central” for its many music venues and music focus. Another plus – living in Athens is reasonable with the average rent lower than the national average. If you like small towns and enjoy music, Athens is a great little spot to call home.

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