What’s the Difference? Oconee vs. Athens

Athens and Oconee have so many incredible neighborhoods that are all unique in their own way. Both counties are wonderful places to make a home, but they differ in some ways. From the busy downtown scene to the peaceful estates in Crystal Hills, Athens and the Oconee/Watkinsville area offer a place for everyone. If you’re looking for a home, CJ&L is here to guide you through the home search process. We can help you narrow down your search with some fast facts about Oconee and Athens.

Oconee:

Oconee is known for its charming neighborhoods and for the Oconee County School District. There are various areas to choose from, depending on how close you would like to be to the center of town and what kind of environment you’re looking for. Some choose to live in Oconee or Watkinsville because of its quieter suburbs and rural feel while remaining a 15-minute drive from lively dining, shopping, and community. Niche ranks Oconee as the #1 Best County to Live in Georgia in 2021. 

Oconee County has countless beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Here are some of our favorite areas of Oconee and Watkinsville:

Pebble Creek

  • Located right outside of Downtown Watkinsville and close to the University of Georgia, Pebble Creek is a new construction neighborhood in development. 
  • Art, dining, and bustling farmers’ markets can be found just a few minutes away in Watkinsville. 
  • There are neighborhood amenities, including sidewalks, a pool, a clubhouse, and more.

The Broadlands

  • Positioned conveniently between Athens and Downtown Watkinsville
  • The Broadlands neighborhood has many beautiful homes seated nicely on large, wooded properties. 

Farmington

  • Farmington is an unincorporated community in Oconee County located just north of Heritage Park.
  • This area is known for its eclectic art scene; galleries are available for viewing and many artists gather in this community to create and collaborate.

Rowan Oak

  • Rowan Oak is a gated community located in Watkinsville but still just 10 minutes away from the University of Georgia campus.
  • Centrally located clubhouse with swimming, tennis and a playground area, as well as beautiful picnic areas.
  • This neighborhood offers a peaceful walking trail and an 18-acre wildlife reserve open to all residents.
  • There are three main sections of Rowan Oak: the Courtyard, the Lakes, and the Oaks, each with different architecture that add to the unique beauty of the community.
  • Estate homesites with lake views are the textbook picture of premier living. 

Crystal Hills

  • Located just south of Athens, Crystal Hills is one of the most revered neighborhoods in the area.
  • Wooded homesites range from two acres up to fifteen acres.
  • Stately homes throughout the neighborhood built by quality home builders.
  • Easy access to Loop 10, local hospitals, shopping, and the University of Georgia.

Power Ridge

  • This little community is nestled in the small city of Bogart just outside of West Athens. 
  • Bogart has a lovely quaint, hometown-feel. You can visit the Bogart Library nearby to relax with a good book.

Creekside

  • Creekside is located just over the Clarke-Oconee line.
  • This newer community has plenty of accessible low-maintenance condominiums, making them perfect for those seeking low-maintenance housing.
  • Some homes are detached and share community amenities.

Athens:

Athens is a beautiful city spread out over various different areas, ranging from the quiet suburbs in West Athens to the busy and exciting blocks downtown. Located in a college town, the city is full of students most of the year before quieting down for the summer season. There is music and art to be found around every corner and no shortage of amazing restaurants to check out. If you’re looking to make your home in a city environment that’s friendly, full of culture, and easily walkable, then Athens might be the place for you!

It’s hard to decide which area of Athens is our favorite! Here is some more information about the different areas of Athens and the various qualities of each neighborhood:

Five Points

  • One of Athens’ most famous and central neighborhoods, with endless top-rated eateries, breweries, and boutiques to visit.
  • Located in the heart of Athens between Milledge Avenue and South Lumpkin Street, this area is only a stone’s throw away from downtown Athens and the university campus.
  • Built in the 1920s, the architecture in this neighborhood is a traditional style, yet still retro and unique.
  • Five Points’ exceptional location places it close to walking or biking trails. 

North Oconee River Greenway

  • Beautiful hiking trails spanning 8 miles of paved trail for multi-purpose activities, such as bicycling and running.
  • Opened in 2008, the Greenway is located in East Athens and runs along the Oconee River, offering a tranquil experience among Georgia wildlife.
  • Trails are open to the public and range in difficulty and length.
  • Other activities available at the Greenway for the public include fishing, boating, and a farmers market.

Historic Districts

  • Full of historic architecture ranging from quaint cottages to stunning mansions, you won’t find one neighborhood that looks exactly the same.
  • Cobbham, located south of Prince Avenue and west of downtown, is known for its amazing restaurant and food scene as well as its tree-lined streets and substantial homes.
  • Chase Street Elementary is the nearest school, and the lovely Sandy Creek Park is just a quick drive away, where you can picnic right by the water.
  • The Boulevard neighborhood takes you back in time with older homes and restored warehouses. 
  • Boulevard restaurants are famous for their fresh, local flavors. Some favorite spots for locals include Heirloom, Pulaski Heights BBQ, and Maepole.
  • Normaltown has a wide selection of eateries and bars and is famous for its eclectic nightlife; architecture ranges from Athens’ classic large brick homes to condos and smaller two-bedroom houses.

East Athens

  • Niche ranks Winterville as the #3 best place to live in Athens and as the #2 best place to buy a home in the area.
  • Much of East Athens has a tranquil, rural feel.
  • East Athens is a wonderful area for everyone as it is a stone’s throw from downtown while still offering a quiet environment.

West Athens

  • West Athens has a peaceful, suburban feel.
  • Many neighborhoods are nestled away from the Athens crowds, with lots of open spaces with beautiful trees and other nature.
  • Some construction is new and modern, but there are also many classic homes in ranch and colonial styles.
  • Serene tree-lined streets are perfect for biking or walking in the early mornings.

Downtown Athens

  • The Classic City is full of live music and performances, cinemas, museums, historical sites, and busy events such as AthFest and the Twilight Criterium, a bicycle race around Athens’ historic downtown held every spring.
  • Easily walk to shops, restaurants, bars and craft breweries, and more without having to drive and park downtown.
  • The Georgian and Georgia Gameday Center condominiums make game weekends simple, as the locations are close to the beautiful North Campus of the University of Georgia, which you can stroll through on the way to Sanford Stadium. See our listings to find available condos!
  • With condominiums in close proximity to campus, you have easy access to many activities at the University of Georgia, including concerts, lectures, shows, classes, and sports events.
  • There are many styles of homes to choose from, including historic cottages and newly renovated apartments and townhomes.

Whether you’re searching for listings in Oconee/Watkinsville or in the heart of Athens, CJ&L is here to help you find your ideal home. 

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Athens area, contact one of our experienced agents. Visit our website to search listings and find out more about how CJ&L can help you achieve your real estate goals.

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