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Old 07-05-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Lansing, Mi
14 posts, read 37,459 times
Reputation: 12

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My fiancé and I currently live in Lansing, Michigan (we just earned degrees from MSU) and are from a smallish city just south of Detroit. We are getting married soon and plan to move right after I complete my graduate schooling (about 1-1.5 years). We were originally very interested in Savannah, but have been reading a lot about crime problems there. What does everyone know about life in Athens? We are also interested in other city suggestions. Here are some of our main concerns:

Employment – I will master’s degree in library science, so a well-established library system is important. My fiancé is in communication; he’s particularly interested in working for an environmental organization of some sort, but would take a job in any kind of public relations. Any suggestions for cities in which such jobs could be found?

Weather – One of the main reasons we are so excited to move is to escape the long, snowy, gray, freezing winters and the hot, muggy summers. Does it snow in Athens? Are the summers unbearably humid?

Trees – Outdoor activities, trees, lakes, etc. are very important to us because they are so abundant here in Michigan. Do certain cities in Georgia have more outdoorsy activities?

People - I’d like some diversity of ethnicity and beliefs. Also, we are non-believers and we’d like to live in a community in which that won’t be an issue. Are people welcoming?

Families/Kids – We want to have a few kids eventually and education is particularly important to us. Which cities/areas have better public school systems? Also, do certain areas have more activities/community accommodations for children? Obviously, safety is also an issue.

Food – I am a vegetarian and have found Michigan very disappointing is accommodating my eating needs. My fiancé eats meat and I don’t plan to force my kids into my eating style, however we are both very concerned with being able to eat locally grown/processed foods. This includes produce, but also meats and cheeses. We’d also like to be able to grow a lot of our own fruits and veggies. Do certain areas in Georgia have this sort of food culture?

Sorry this post was so long. I really appreciate any information people can provide. I’ve done a lot of research, but realistically there is only so much that statistics can tell you. Thanks!!!
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:36 PM
 
70 posts, read 266,621 times
Reputation: 32
Default Dear MB,

Hi We moved to Athens, Georgia a little over a year ago. I think Athens is just what you are looking for if you are choosing the state of Georgia. Since the University of Georgia is there, there is the influence of higher education - there are libraries and a network of people interesting in literature and reading. There are also a lot of vegetarians here and many restaurants cater to them. It is a small city with lots to do, music, arts, etc. There is a lot of interest in environmentalism. In fact, you won't find anything like Athens in any other part of Georgia - Atlanta is sooo huge with all of the problems of large cities - traffic, crime, etc. Most of the rest of Georgia is the Bible Belt - the people are nice but their lives revolve around church - they aren't into healthy eating - many are overweight. The weather in Athens is very hot in summer (June to first week of Sept.) but the spring and fall is very beautiful. The winters are mild - we saw snow flurries three times last winter, but it was too warm to lay on the ground for more than an hour or two - it just melts. The area around Athens has rolling hills with large hardwood trees and is very beautiful. I think you would reallly like it here! Michael near Athens
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Old 07-05-2008, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Lansing, Mi
14 posts, read 37,459 times
Reputation: 12
Thank you so much, Michael. I really appreciate all of that info. Athens sounds even better than I imagined! I'm not too surprised though - I generally like college towns..
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:52 PM
 
1,072 posts, read 1,578,511 times
Reputation: 85
Athens is, in my opinion, the best city to live in Georgia.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:04 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,005,631 times
Reputation: 3163
We researched Athens extensively. It's a beautiful college town with great neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the public schools don't seem that great. Most people move next door to Oconee County for their better public schools, but we preferred Athens, because Oconee seemed very suburban rather than small townish. However, Athens does have private schools with a couple that sound very good, namely, Athens Academy. I think it's a town worth checking out. You get a lot of house for your money, and the downtown and campus are amazing.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Hartwell, Georgia
35 posts, read 149,012 times
Reputation: 28
I agree with all above. I lived in Athens for 19 wonderful years. There are many public parks - most with walking trails, etc, to entertain your children. The University's intramural fields have a lake, beach, walking trails, etc. for a nice afternoon as well.
With the University, Athens is a small town atmosphere with big city amenities. There are ample opportunities for advertising, communications, library system, and public relations positions. You could definitely find restaurants to please everyone in your family, and you have theatre, movies, schopping, and entertainment all in this same area.
Housing prices are decent and taxes aren't bad. You will want to shop around for the right area - probably lean towards the East Side - in order to avoid being surrounded by college students as your neighbors. No offense to college students; they can be fun neighbors, but with kids trying to sleep, and your having to get to work every morning, you will want to avoid any potential "party zones" for housing.
The elementary schools aren't bad. On the East side there is a private school - Montissori - which allows students a lot of freedom to learn at their own pace and excel in the subjects which most appeal to them. I'm not informed enough about the high schools to give you any advice on those. Athens Academy is a very nice private school.
I hope this information is helpful, and hope you make it to Athens!
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