Ohio University students enjoy experiential learning in Ohio’s best college town

Take a look at why experts have ranked Athens as the best college town in the state.

Story by Jalyn Bolyard, Photos by Ben Siegel and Joel Prince, Courtesy of the Athens County Visitor’s Bureau | June 1, 2021


When students come to Ohio University, they do not only remember their favorite professors and the beautiful University buildings in which they learned. They also remember vibrant adventures the City of Athens has to offer and how living in our community has enhanced their overall college experience.

Recently named the best college town in the state of Ohio according to Far & Wide(opens in a new window), it is easy to see why so many people and Bobcats fall in love with Athens.

OHIO recently received the Tree Campus Higher Education recognition for the fifth straight year in a row(opens in a new window), and the magnificent trees are just part of the Athens backdrop. There are plenty of local restaurants to try and local stores to shop in. Plus, there are plenty of vibrant and artistic events to attend as well as opportunities to join a community group.

There is simply something to experience for everyone.

This isn’t the first time Athens has been recognized for its beautiful town and immense possibilities. USA Today named Athens the Best Small College Town in 2016(opens in a new window), and MSN.com also named Athens the best college town in the state in 2019(opens in a new window).

Take a look at the photos below to see why Athens is the best college town in the state and how being at OHIO is an experience that students will remember – Forever.

A man reads a book on the grass under a cherry tree next to his bicycle

A cyclist breaks under the cherry blossoms along the Hockhocking- Adena Bikeway on the campus of Ohio University.

The sun rises behind fall foliage as a student walks to class

A pedestrian enjoys the fall colors at sunset in front of Claire Ping Cottage on the campus of Ohio University.

A blooming tree on College Green with sunrise behind it

Spring blooms, brick walkways and Georgian architecture adorn the College Green on the Ohio University campus.

An aerial photo of Court Street in Athens, Ohio while the annual homecoming parade goes through

Photograph of the 2016 Ohio University Homecoming parade going down Court Street on October 8, 2016

A jazz band plaing in a well-lit bar

Photograph of the Word of Mouth band playing at Tony's Tavern on Dec. 15, 2015. They play every Tuesday night which is now being called "Jazz Night" by locals.

Workers at an organic farm collect fresh produce for local restaurants and sale

Photographs of employees harvesting produce at Green Edge Gardens in Amesville, Ohio on October 7, 2016.

An art student poses against a brick wall wearing an oversize homemade halloween mask that resembles an insect

Wendy Minor Viny shows us a DIY halloween mask that can be made with cardboard, a pool noodle, a bike inner-tube, and some paint. Required tools for the job include scissors, a glue gun, and a stapler.

A cup of espresso with fancy cream in the shape of a branch being held in two hands

A latte created at Donkey Coffee and Espresso in Athens, Ohio on Jan. 15, 2016.

Artists and volunteers pose with their work in Passion Works Studio

Passion Works artists work on pieces to be displayed at the Nelsonville Music Festival at the studio in Uptown Athens, Ohio on June 3, 2019.

A diverse group of parade attendees with international flags makes their way down Court Street during International Street Fair

Photographs of the Ohio University International Street Fair on Court Street near the college campus in uptown Athens, Ohio on Apr. 16, 2016.

Mountain bikers make their way down a winding forest trail

Mountain biking on Sundown Trail at Strouds Run State Park in Athens, Ohio on August 28, 2018.

A view of Cutler Hall and College Green covered in fresh winter snow

Cutler Hall, the center of College Green on the Athens Campus of Ohio University.

A woman takes a sunset hike on a trail at Strouds Park with fall leaves and colors all around

Fall colors the trees and hillsides at Strouds Run State Park near Athens, Ohio on November 1, 2019.