Classic. Southern. Character.
We’ve been a classic since 1818 when Athens incorporated as a city before Alabama became a state. In 1819, voters made our city the county seat of Limestone County.
Since settlers first came to the area in the early 1800s for rich farm dirt, the city has grown into a commercial and industrial hub of 24,000 residents. We have the commercial growth on our interstate corridors and the job growth at our industrial parks. In 2013, the city was named the No. 3 Most Business Friendly City in the state. As our city has grown, it has maintained its charm.
We’re still Southern. That is most evident in downtown Athens and around The Square. In Athens, going to "The Square" is an experience we often take for granted. Our lives have been spent grabbing an ice cream cone, strolling the sidewalks, or resting on a bench under the dogwood trees. It's the place to find the perfect outfit or become mesmerized by the toy train winding through a window display at the hardware store. The historic Limestone County Courthouse is the backdrop for parades, high school pep rallies, storytelling, and art events and is surrounded by a retail area to shop for the unique and dine on divine cuisine.
Our quality of life is one reason Athens was named the No. 9 Best City in Alabama in 2013, the 18th Best Place for Homeownership in the state in 2014, and the No. 7 Safest City in Alabama in 2015.
These accolades highlight that we’ve still got Character. You’ll find events unique to Athens, such as the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention and Athens Grease Festival. You’ll find unique stories, such as the choosing of the Golden Eagle for the Athens High mascot and the legend of whether the president of Athens State University saved the college during the Civil War with a letter from President Abraham Lincoln.
When you visit Athens, we invite you to stroll our sidewalks and hear our stories. Discover for yourself why our city is Classic. Southern. Character.