Accolades

2016
  • Top 17 Most Affordable Cities by Mint.com (June 2016)
  • America's 10 New Best Craft Beer Cities by Fortune Magazine (March 2016)
2015
  • Great Small Towns to Visit in 2016 by VisitSouth (December 2015)
  • Best College Football Towns by Travel + Leisure (September 2015)
  • Underrated Summer Vacation Spots You Need to Visit by American Live Wire (July 2015)
  • No. 2 Among Top College Towns in the SEC by 247Sports (April 2015)
  • Best Under-the-Radar Family Destinations in the U.S. by VacationIdea (April 2015)
  • The 25 Best Places to Retire in 2015 by Forbes (March 2015)

2014
  • 10 Most Underrated American Cities by Conde Nast Traveler (October 2014)
  • 10Best: Inside Georgia's Coolest Places by USAToday (October 2014)
  • Retire to a College Town: Top 10 List by Kiplinger (August 2014)
  • 10 Best Mid-Sized Cities for College Graduates by MyLife (July 2014)
  • 11 Coolest Small Cities It's Time to Road Trip To by Buzzfeed (June 2014)
  • Best College Towns in America by GQ (June 2014)
  • Athens: Georgia's Gourmet Destination by CultureTrip (May 2014)
  • 10 Best Places to Live in Georgia by Movoto (May 2014)
  • 14 Underrated Towns You'll Want to Move To by Buzzfeed (May 2014)
  • America's Coolest Music Towns by DreamPlanGo (April 2014)
  • First Place: The South's Best Foodie Cities for Groups, South-East Region by ConventionSouth Magazine (March 2014)

2013
  • The 7 Best Cities for Organic Food by Safe Organics (November 2013)
  • Hot Editor's Pick - South's Historic College Towns With Hip Group Appeal by ConventionSouth Magazine (September 2013), featuring only one city per state.
  • Top 10 College Towns - for Grownups by MSN Real Estate (August 2013)
  • Athens, GA - Best Town in the World by Simple Economist (August 2013)
  • America's Prettiest Towns by Forbes (August 2013)
  • Top Ten Fun and Free Places to Take Your Family by Georgia Magazine (June 2013)
  • 10 Great Small Cities for Retirement by AARP (April 2013)
  • Retire Here, Not There by the Wall Street Journal (April 2013)
  • 7 Up and Coming Food Cities Around the U.S. by Zagat (March 6, 2013)
  • 2013 Best Communities for Music Education (Clarke County School District) by the National Association of Music Merchants (March 2013)
  • The 25 Best Places to Retire in 2013 by Forbes (February 2013) 

2012
  • Top 25 Best Places to Retire by CNN Money (October 2012) 
  • Top 10 College Towns by Livability.com (August 2012)
  • Small Metros Best Cities for Successful Aging in the United States by the Milken Institute (July 2012) with Athens being listed as no. 61 overall and no. 45 for ages 65+.
  • The Next Big Scene: 10 Cities Where the Food's Hot and the Music Rocks by Gourmet (June 2012)
  • No. 1 in Top 10 Cities with the Best Music Scenes Outside of Nashville NYC and LA by Livability.com (June 2012)
  • Top 5 Cities where Millennials Should Consider Moving by Moving.com (June 2012)
  • Top 10 Affordable Vacations by Livability.com (April 2012)
  • No. 1 in Small-Sized County in Fourth Economy Community Index by Fourth Economy (April 2012)
  • No. 3 in Best Choices for Retiring Boomers by The Washington Economics Group (April 2012)

2011
  • The South's Best College Towns by Southern Living magazine (September 2011)
  • Small Best Places for Business & Careers by Forbes (June 2011) with Athens being listed as no. 1 in Georgia and no. 51 in the U.S.
  • Bronze-Designated Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists (May 2011)

2010
  • America's Best College Towns for 2010 by Parents & Colleges (December 2010)
  • Coolest Small Cities in America by GQ (November 2010)
  • No. 1 in Dandy Dozen: Top College Football Towns by Associated Press (October 2010)
  • Best Local Music Scene in the U.S. by Budget Travel (October 2010)
  • Top Tri Towns by Triathlete magazine (October 2010)
  • There's Nothing Old School About Athens by Small Market Meetings (July 2010)
  • America's Nine Best College Towns by Independent Traveler (June 2010)
  • Six College Towns That Make Us Say "Wow!" by University Language Services (May 2010)
  • Best Small Place for Businesses and Careers by Forbes (April 2010)
  • College Towns: An Honor Roll by MSN.com (March 2010)
  • Most Vibrant Cities for Young Professionals by The Today Show (March 2010)
  • Top 11 Southern Retirement Hotspots by Retirement Lifestyles (January / February / March 2010)
  • Today's Best Cities for Jobs by CareerBuilder.com (January 2010)

2009

2008
  • Best Places to Raise Your Kids by Business Week (November 2008)
  • 20 Best Boomer Towns to Retire or Relocate in the United States by Best Boomer Towns (October 2008)
  • Best Sports Cities by Sporting News (October 2008)
  • Favorite Mid-Sized College City by Southern Living magazine (September 2008)
  •  Best Small Places for Business and Careers by Forbes (March 2008)
  • America's 50 Greenest Cities by Popular Science (February 2008)

2007
  • Bright Blue Spots of Tolerance and Acceptance for LGBT Travelers by The Out Traveler (November 2007)
  • Five Great College Towns by Kiplinger (August 2007)
  • 100 Hot-City-Guide city by Cosmopolitan magazine (July 2007)
  • Five Greatest Unsung Shopping Locales from Coast to Coast by Lucky Magazine (August 2007)
  • 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. and Canada Before You Die by travel writer Patricia Schultz (June 2007)
  • Entrepreneur-Friendly Community by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (April 2007)
2006
  • Best College Town for Retirees by Kiplinger (November 2006)
  • Best Place to Recapture Your Youth by Fortune (June 2006)
  • Best Long Weekend Escape by AirTran InFlight magazine GO (October 2006)
  • Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small Cities by GoVeg.com (March 2006)
  • Best City for Relocating Families by Military Officer Magazine (March 2006)

2003-2005
  • Top Five Best Places to Live by Money Magazine (December 2005)
  • Seven Cool Cities for Young Professionals by Kiplinger (September 2005)
  • 50 Best Places to Live by Men's Journal (April 2005)
  • 2005 Local Secrets, Big Finds by Travelocity.com (March 2003)
  • Campus Scenes that Rock by Rolling Stone magazine (February 2003)