Athens is a charming small city in Henderson County, Texas about 36 miles west of Tyler and 72 miles southeast of Dallas. The nickname of Athens is the Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World and the city has its own unique motto: “Hamburgers – Heritage – Texas.” What is Athens known for? It’s the birthplace of the modern hamburger which was first served in a cafe in the courthouse square in the 1880s! Depending on the source, Athens was either named by an early resident after their hometown of Athens, Alabama or it was named after Athens, Greece with a vision to create a cultural center in the region.
Athens has all of the charm of a small Southern town yet it’s close to the amenities of Dallas. Considering relocating to Athens, TX? Here’s the ultimate guide to living in and moving to Athens!
Athens, TX Demographics & Population
Athens is part of the 75751 and 75752 zip codes and the 430 and 903 area codes. The population of Athens, Texas is 12,500 and it’s the county seat of mostly rural Henderson County. Despite its small size, this southern city has a lot of diversity! About 53% of residents are white, 28% are Hispanic, 16% are African-American or black, and 3% are Asian. The median age of Athens residents is 33, right in line with the national average.
Curious about the neighbors you’ll meet living in Athens, Texas? About 14% of people in the city were born outside of the U.S., about average for the nation. About 1,500 degrees are awarded at the city’s community college every year. About 55% of people in Athens own their home, lower than the national homeownership rate of 64%, but this isn’t a surprise given the city’s low rent.
Athens, TX Climate
The Athens climate is humid subtropical which means you can expect long, humid, and hot summers but very mild to cool winters. Want to prepare for the weather after moving to Athens, TX? Expect more rain than average for the U.S. (about 44 inches per year) but almost no snow. About 230 days out of the year are sunny! Just brace yourself for temperatures in the 90s during the summer with plenty of the South’s famous humidity.
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Athens School District & Higher Education
While living in Athens, you’ll be served by the Athens Independent School District with three preschools, three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school: Athens High School. The community’s top-rated school is South Athens Elementary School which has about 500 students.
Considering higher education? Trinity Valley Community College has its main campus in Athens. Nearby Tyler has more opportunities for higher education with Texas College and the University of Texas at Tyler.
What Is the Cost of Living in Athens?
One of the biggest questions you likely have ahead of your relocation is: can I afford to live in Athens, TX? The good news is the Athens cost of living is extremely low! Your money will go far with very affordable housing, low transportation costs, and affordable groceries.
The most important way to assess the cost of living in a new city is by assessing housing costs which are about 49% lower in Athens than the national average!
The median household income in Athens is $40,500. While this is below the national average, the average home price in Athens is just $93,000 — well below the national average! You can check Athens, TX homes for sale online to get an idea of what you can get with your budget if you’re buying a home.
Planning to rent? According to RentJungle, the average apartment rent in Athens is just $540!
Best Neighborhoods in Athens, TX
As you prepare for living in Athens, TX, one of the first and biggest challenges you will face is where to live. Do you envision life in a quiet, established suburb with tree lined-streets and nearby amenities? Do you want an upscale new home on the water? Despite its small size, Athens has a range of different communities to explore.
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Dogwood Estates is a popular neighborhood for families with affordable, older homes that are usually 3-bedroom, 2-bath. Want to be closer to the action? Downtown Athens is home to a craft brewery, galleries, and independent shops to explore. The area is popular with renters with many affordable apartments for rent. You can also try Athena Garden Apartments outside downtown. It’s one of the highest-rated apartment buildings in Athens and accepts pets.
Interested in buying a new home after moving to Athens? There are a handful of new construction developments in the city to explore! One of the most exclusive and desirable Athens neighborhoods is Waters Edge Ranch right on Caney Creek lake. The private gated community features 376 homes on 2,150 acres with fishing, a private boat launch, and a resort-style pool for residents.
Top Athens Restaurants & Things to Do in Athens, TX
Ready to explore the fun things to do in Athens? This small city is packed with fun attractions and activities, including great parks and convenient shopping including Walmart Supercenter, Walgreens, CVS, Brookshire’s, Bealls and Athens Village Shopping Center. As you prepare for moving to Athens, here are just some of the best things to do in Athens with kids or to keep your weekends full!
TFFC is a fish hatchery that supplies Texas waters that also offers outdoor education and exhibits with 300,000 gallons of displays of native Texas fish. It’s always a hit with kids and fishing enthusiasts!
The Athens Bowling Center is one of the best things to do in Athens on a date or for family fun night! Games are just $1.75 to $4.50 each with all-you-can-bowl specials on the weekends.
Athens Bowling Center, 900 W Corsicana St, Athens, TX 75751 (903) 677-3936
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Love great, home-style Mexican food? Fall in love with one of the best restaurants in Athens, a popular family-owned chain restaurant that serves up hits like sautéed fish filet, fajitas, and burritos.
The Jalapeno Tree, 1112 E Tyler St, Athens, TX 75751 (903) 677-4056
Athens IS famous for its burgers and you’ll undoubtedly get your fill at one of the city’s best burger joints: Ole West Bean & Burger. This family-owned restaurant also serves up great fried catfish and chicken fried steak!
Jobs in Athens: the Local Economy
While energy reigns supreme in many areas of Texas, the Athens economy focuses on manufacturing and health care. Manufacturing is responsible for most jobs in all of Henderson County and helps create a need for retailers, suppliers, and other service providers.
Top employers in Athens, TX include:
- UT Health East Texas
- Biomerics FMI, medical device manufacturing
- Athens Independent School District
- Henderson County
- Maximus, call center
- Argon, medical device manufacturing
- Clayton Home Building Group, manufactured housing
- Champion Homes, modular home manufacturing
Curious about job opportunities while living in Athens? Explore Athens, TX jobs online to get an idea of the local market.
Living in Athens Tips
- Explore fun things to do in Athens like the fishery and top-rated restaurants
- Pursue higher education at Trinity Valley Community College
- Find plentiful career opportunities in healthcare and manufacturing
- Enjoy a very low cost of living with affordable housing
As you can see, Athens has a lot to offer from its low cost of living to its opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you’ve settled on moving to Athens, Texas, count on the trusted Athens movers at ICANN Moving Company for a stress-free relocation!