Athens, Alabama, is a small community located in Limestone County, right next to Huntsville. The city is in the northern part of the state, with the Tennessee River as the southern border and the Elk River to the southwest. One of the oldest cities in Alabama, it is located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and boasts some of the most amazing views you will find in the area. It is also the home of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant, which made it the first city to get electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The community was founded in 1818, a full year before the state was admitted into the Union. In the beginning, it was named Athenson, but it was later shortened to Athens after the city in Greece. Cotton farming and railroad transportation were the first major business sectors in the area, but aerospace technologies, nuclear technologies and electric manufacturing have since taken over the area.
Currently, the city's population is around 25,000. The city has 17 walking trails, tons of museums, tractor pulls, sightseeing tours, regular festivals and plenty of bird watching activities that residents often enjoy. Hunting and fishing are very popular area activities as well.
If you rent an apartment in the city, you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time outdoors. Besides hunting and fishing, hiking, horseback riding, rodeos and biking opportunities abound. If you enjoy looking at classic cars, Athens hosts monthly cruise-ins during the summer. The Rails to Trails Color Ride or Walk, the Athens Storytelling Festival, the Grease Festival and the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days are annual events that bring residents out in droves.
The Athens Transit System operates public buses in the neighborhood, but bicycling and walking are health-conscious ways to get around the city. If you rent in the downtown neighborhood, there are several carpooling options to get back and forth to work or school. A high-speed rail system is currently being explored as a new way to commute to Atlanta.
If you rent an apartment in the neighborhood, you will find that you have a lot of options when it comes to colleges and universities. In proximity to the downtown area, the University of Georgia, Athens Technical College, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the Christian College of Georgia offer students a wide variety of degree options.
The manufacturing, retail trade, construction, public administration and professional sectors are the main employers in the community. The University of Georgia, Caterpillar, Baldor, Carrier, DialAmerica, St. Mary's Health Care Systems, Merial and the Clarke County School District are the biggest employers in the city.