17 Reasons Not to Move to Athens, Georgia (Voted by the locals!)

The Peach state is a special place to live in or visit. You know you will be in for a unique stay in Georgia. For one, it is located in the southern part of the United States, and with this location comes a plethora of culture and other uniqueness that southern states have over all the rest of the United States regions. Here we are looking at the city of Athens, Georgia.

Athens, Georgia is by no means a small city and there are plenty of things to do there, however, not everyone will enjoy the commodities or the cultural aspect of the south. Though Athens has plenty of things to do, let’s now explore what makes Athens, Georgia not a great place to live in.

1. Pesky Mosquitos

Athens, Georgia, or frankly, all of Georgia has mosquito and other insect problems. They are everywhere and is practically impossible to fully rid of such creatures from our presence. Since all of Georgia is near sea level, this brings a humid climate to the state and since it is near a large ocean and other bodies of water, it will naturally attract mosquitos and other creatures that can become a nuisance often. No one will ever enjoy the bites of mosquitos and other creatures daily.

2. Lack of Beaches

Though a considerable part of Georgia resides on the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Athens, Georgia does not. Athens, Georgia is located near the top half of Georgia, away from the potential beaches. Even if you had access to the beaches in Georgia, they are not that great nor are they pretty enough to warrant a significant travel time just to be disappointed.

The water may be nice, but the overall appearance of the beaches is lacking in personality and makes it feel more like a local lake. In fact, it may be better to visit one of the three nearby lakes: Lake Sidney Lanier, Oconee, and Lake Richard Russell which resides on a border between Georgia and South Carolina.

3. Significant Obesity Rates

Now for an interesting fact that you may not know most of the southern states are the United States’ most obese statesOpens in a new tab. per region. This means that these states house some of the highest obesity rates on average in the country so far. Other than Georgia, some states include Missouri, Louisiana, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, and South Carolina.

According to some data in 2022, Georgia’s obesity rate has reached about 33.1%, close to the US’s average prevalence of 41.9% between 2017 and 2020. Reasons for this obesity rateOpens in a new tab. common in the south is perhaps the unique food and snacks they are known for and prepare for its customers, such as deep-fried everything.

Talking to a family in Utah who came from Georgia said that they would cook up deep-fried based meals often and with all the fats and calories and sugar involved, created a recipe for “food coma”, meaning the food was so good we indulge ourselves in a state of passing out for a time. Food such as this type will be detrimental over time if eaten often.

4. Traffic Mayhem

Since Athens, Georgia is just east of Atlanta, it is no surprise that it will produce a plethora of driving problems for people who need to travel. Athens, Georgia is part of one of the six major interstates to Atlanta, therefore will bring forth constant trafficOpens in a new tab. and other driving-related issues. Again, Athens, Georgia itself is by no means a small city so it continues to develop traffic and congestion problems by itself.

Mingled with the commuting to and from Atlanta just enhances the already known issue that large cities naturally have. Having two large cities next door to each other is one of the worst ideas to have since both will share significant issues, not just driving but other issues.

5. Less-Than-Ideal Healthcare

We could argue that the United States’ healthcare systemOpens in a new tab. is poor already, but if we are considering the individual state themselves, then perhaps Georgia has one of the poorest. In most locations in Georgia, it will be challenging to search for healthcare systems that address specific issues and would be better if someone searched in another state for that purpose.

Georgia is considered to have one of the poorest and even quality of healthcare, therefore making it the overall poorest healthcare system in the country. Constant changes are being ensured, but most of these changes are not attuned to the patient’s needs and goals, therefore, remaining low quality in this sense. It is good to have a need for change but if the change is not contributing to the clients, then it is all for nothing. No high-quality healthcare can be found in Athens and Georgia.

6. Severe Pollen Exposure

In these next segments, we will focus on the natural environmental factors. First off is the constant exposure to pollen in large quantities. If you are easily allergic or simply sneeze often, all of Georgia is well exposed to the pollen season. These small, but large in number, annoyances will wish anyone to be allergic since they seem you can’t get away from its regardless of the efforts.

The best option may be to stay indoors more but that only lasts for a time until someone requires fresh air. Safe to say that during the hot times, especially in the springtime when pollen will be at its highest, exposure to pollen will be the norm.

7. Humidity Year-Round

Another daily hassle is the year-round battle with humidityOpens in a new tab.. Athens, Georgia’s average humidity is about 70-degree Fahrenheit while the average for Georgia can reach 80-degree Fahrenheit during the hottest days. I’m originally from Washington state where the average can be around low 70-degree Fahrenheit to high 80-degree Fahrenheit, so I can attest that humidity is not pleasant.

The worst part is, though Washington state may have a slightly higher humidity level on average, it does not receive the high temperatures during the springs and summers as Georgia does, therefore making Georgia a more uncomfortable experience.

8. Extreme Heat for Summers

As mentioned, Georgia’s hottest days are perhaps the worst for anyone, even native Georgians. The heat will rise close to the 100-degree Fahrenheit mark. In conjunction with the humidity, you are not only hot but sticky as well, and finding a proper attire to combat this is challenging.

This is true for those who must dress up for work or school or other activities that will be miserable for them. Not much else to talk about this topic other than that the heat is miserable and find a more northern part of the country for a cooler climate.

9. Natural Disasters

The state of Georgia is not surprised by natural disastersOpens in a new tab. in any form. Whether it is hurricanes, tornadoes, or thunderstorms, most likely Georgians will be used to it, though still requiring them to practice safe procedures during these times. In recent times there has not been a severe incident of natural disaster that would be reported but a history of these natural disasters can prove that they can happen at any time.

For example, three tornadoes severely devastated two counties resulting in 21 deaths. Only three years later, similar tornadoes affected these areas again causing even more damage than previously. These may not have killed as many people, but still produced many injuries and destroyed homes. So far, 2014 seems to be the last known major natural disaster that was the result of a severe winter storm in the northern part of Georgia.

10. University of Georgia

Moving on from weather-related topics, it’s time to address a common factor of whether someone moves to Athens, Georgia, or not, that is its University of Georgia campus. As most of us should know, if a town houses a large university or any level of the university, there is bound to have a bustling business of college-age people that are commonly associated with rowdiness and loudness.

Since Athens, Georgia is a large city, the university itself will not be the majority of where the noise comes from daily compared to a small town that houses a university. Regardless of this, at large events such as football or basketball game, you know it will be a mad house.

We should also note, though not labeled as a section in this article, the sporting events. Sporting events are huge in Georgia and for those living in Athens, Georgia, not only are you getting the effects of the University of Georgia and its sporting programs, but you will also get an audience for Atlanta’s sporting events.

Atlanta Braves (baseball), Hawks (basketball), and Falcons (football) are three major sports teams that Atlanta provides and if you live in Athens, Georgia, you will receive a larger than usual crowd for these events.

Also, not to mention, the Atlanta Braves just won a world series so Georgia may naturally increase in population through residents and visitors alike. In the end, both college students along with sports and event fanatics will flock together in various cities, and Athens, Georgia is one of them.

11. Young Population

As noted in the previous segment about the University of Georgia, the closer to Athens, Georgia you are, the younger you may be. On average, the household age is 27 among the roughly 120,000 residents in Athens, Georgia. It is only natural that the closer you are to the university, the younger and younger you will be.

Older folks may have a challenging time living in a younger community, as they usually want more quietness than usual. Athens, Georgia would not be the best choice for those looking for peace and quiet, away from the busyness of a university and the city.

12. Too Large of a City

Again, as we mentioned, Athens, Georgia is not a small city, so just the city itself is going to be naturally busy. Jobs, recreational activities, and other forms of entertainment and business will be present in large amounts. The city may be large for some not for the fact that it is loud and crowded, but some may continue to struggle to navigate around the city. There may also be “too” many things to do that can bother someone knowing that these aren’t the only thing that the city offers.

Some people I know would rather take activities they will participate in consistently in low amounts than have too much to choose from and forget about them. This is usually associated with those used to a small-town setting and not in cities at this scale. Again, it is worse knowing you are conveniently near Atlanta, Georgia, and the options that the city offers.

13. Loud Noises

Noise comes in conjunction with the mixture of the city and the university and the young population. If you want peace and quiet, just move somewhere else and forget about Athens and even Atlanta, Georgia. Noise will be the norm through walking and talking speed, frequency, and intensity. As said earlier as well, the noise will especially get higher during large events either locally or from a nearby city, especially the capital of the state, Atlanta.

14. Snakes Are Everywhere

On to something bizarre is the common appearance of snakes. The snake seasons typically start around late March to early April. SnakesOpens in a new tab. simply just leave hibernation and roam around the city but nothing else regarding interacting with the human population. You may have a fear of snakes, which is fine, but just remember that the snakes are not there to harm you. In fact, they fear you more than them.

Allow the snakes to go about their business and be at a safe distance if you are not sure whether it is poisonous or not. For example, Christmas Island, Australia contains one of the most popular sites to watch the crab migration process. The concept of seeing snakes, perhaps not as much as crabs at once, is the same. Be careful of your surrounding and if snakes aren’t your forte, no matter what, avoid Athens and Georgia itself.

15. Southern Accent

Honestly, this should’ve been the beginning segment of why one should not move to Athens, Georgia. The southern accent. The Georgian community usually has a very strong southern accent and those not familiar with it will be confused about how to properly communicate with them or just find it too annoying to be around it daily.

The accent is native to the southern states with their own variation of the accent. I would say that Georgians encompass that stereotypical accent well. Not all, but a good majority. Being around some Georgians and other southern natives are fine to deal with and other times makes me wish I was already used to it but can’t because of its novelty relative to me.

16. Georgia Peaches

Georgia has a lot of peaches. Because of its natural climate, it makes it perfect for farmersOpens in a new tab. to produce and grow crops as well as animal production. Peach is no exception too. No wonder the state is called the Peach State. You should be surprised that most snack – and other meal-based products may have peaches in them, and some may have a large quantity of peaches in a product not normally present in other states.

They embrace their peach growth just like Washington state embraces their Washington apples as an example. Peaches may not be everyone’s favorite food but don’t mind being around it while others can’t stand the presence of peaches everywhere. Stay away from Athens, Georgia if you do not want to be surrounded by peach-based everything.

17. Segregation Remains Prevalent

To conclude this article on a sadder note, there is still segregation present in the state of Georgia. Though segregation in Athens has never been part of the agenda of the government, people choose to separate themselves by choice. When coming to Athens, Georgia, and Georgia itself, you may find it still segregated and non-inclusive as much as you would think a recent modern society would be.

Though not separated by the state and country, you can’t help but get the feeling it could be segregated with no choice. People have their own agendas with those of like color and minds and therefore choose to keep out of the business with those of opposite color and mindset as much as possible. They may not hate each other but it’s unsettling that people remain in this kind of lifestyle. Being inclusive is hard in most places in Georgia so do not try to push it.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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