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Old 06-03-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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We are coming to Athens/Watkinsville in 2 weeks to explore a move to the area. So, my question to you is what should we be sure to include in our tour? What are your favorite places? We currently live in Idaho (& have never been to GA), so your state will be a new experience for us. We have kids also though they won't be coming with us on this initial visit. Thanks for your help
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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There are a good many Athens threads here which you might want to check out via the search mode. I gather this trip is a mix of tourism and potential housing.

As for interesting, the State Botantical Garden on South Milledge is a good start. But everything depends on your interests.

If schools are an issue, then Oconee County (Watkinsville) is the clear winner there. There is no second choice unless you are prepared for a private education in which Athens Academy (secular) is the leader there.

Be prepared for heat and humidity---lots of humidity. Lots.


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Old 06-04-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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I will look through the Athens threads - sure wish there was an Athens forum. The trip is a serious look into the area, which will be followed by a decision and additional trips to get things organized. Schools are definitely an issue, so we will be taking a close look at those.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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Athens is considered a "progressive" area (read liberal plus). There is just about any thing you could want to choose from in the sense of neighborhoods. Right now, of course, it is a buyer's market. You too can own a "mcmansion" for a lot less than you think. Why anyone would is beyond me. I caution you about falling in love with the huge yard etc. Everything grows down here and yard upkeep is a full time endeavor. Be careful along those lines. Out doors here is not out doors in Idaho.

Get a detailed area map and ride around Jackson, Oconee, Madison, Oglethorpe and of course Athens-Clarke counties. Jackson County has reasonably good schools but again Oconee is best by far. Just depends on what you can afford. Oglethorpe is very rural as is Madison.

Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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I've lived in Athens for six years, it's a great place with a little bit of everything. Recommendations will really vary depending on your interests and what you're looking for. The previous poster is correct, Athens is a pretty liberal town. Surrounding areas are more conservative. Athens public schools are not as good as Oconee/Watkinsville schools, so if you want to go the public school route, I would suggest Oconee. Watkinsville sort of functions like a "suburb" of Athens - it's very popular with families because of the preponderance of middle-class neighborhoods and good schools.

As far as Athens itself goes, there are a lot of things to see to get a feel for the place. Definitely take a look around campus - were it not for The University of Georgia, the town would be entirely different. If you're a fan of dining out, downtown (right across Broad Street from UGA's North Campus) has a lot of great locally-owned places that cover most of your major food varieties. There are also lots of boutiques and bars downtown, but like I said, your interest in those types of things is going to be relative to your interests in general. It's probably worth mentioning that Oconee is a dry county, whereas Athens-Clarke...well, it couldn't get any wetter. That's something I very much enjoy, but for a lot of people, it just is what it is.

Milledge Avenue and Prince Avenue are both worth a drive - Prince also has a handful of local restaurants in addition to some fast food and whatnot. If there's one thing that we have plenty of, it's places to eat - college students love to eat out! Overall, my favorites are Farm 255, The National, Five & Ten, and Utage. If you'd prefer something inexpensive, The Grit and Taqueria del Sol are favorites.

The suggestion to take a look at the Botanical Gardens is a good one - there are several good trails in there if you're inclined to outdoors-y pursuits. Don't let the weather this time of year scare you off - it's going to be unpleasantly hot and humid during your trip, but the majority of the year is fairly temperate (of course, I was born and raised in Georgia, so my opinion of what constitutes 'temperate' may differ from yours). Winters here are mild, very little measurable snow in an average year.

Walk around downtown and on campus, drive through 5 Points (the intersection of Milledge Ave and Lumpkin St) and Normaltown (along Prince Avenue, on the end closer to downtown), ride out to Watkinsville/Oconee/Jefferson. I'd say that'd be a fairly good overview for a first trip. Remember that students are mostly not in Athens right now, so for 9 months of the year, the areas around downtown and campus are going to be a bit more crowded. Particularly during fall football weekends.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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Thank you! Thank you! These are some very helpful suggestions. Ollie, I don't expect GA to be like Idaho. I have lived in other places; 3 countries to be exact. I love to grow things and have always been frustrated with the short growing season here, but I will remember your thought about the huge yard. Ollie, we are definitely interested in Oconee and we are foodies so we will check out your dining suggestions. Outdoors-y pursuits = yes!
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:16 AM
 
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Gardening in the South is tough given the insect population and plant diseases. You might check with the Botantical Garden to see if they still offer the Master Gardening class. I don't see many gardens in this area thought admittedly I don't drive around with that in mind. Most of the outdoor activity likely occurs during very early morning hours in the summer. Our growing seasons can be long depending on the crop.

Safe travels.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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I meant to say thank you, dawg for your suggestions - they were very helpful!
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Murrayville, Georgia
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question, how long of a drive is it from watkinsville to dawsonville...???
and is watkinsville mostly flat land.....
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 419gottaminute View Post
question, how long of a drive is it from watkinsville to dawsonville...???
and is watkinsville mostly flat land.....
It's a nearly two hours drive. I honestly don't remember how hilly Watkinsville is, but this is generally kind of a hilly part of the state. Athens definitely isn't flat.
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