Introduction to Athens, Alabama

Athens, Alabama, in Limestone county, is 13 miles N of Decatur, Alabama (center to center) and 94 miles S of Nashville, Tennessee. The city is conveniently located inside the Huntsville metropolitan area.

Athens History

The city of Athens was incorporated in 1818 and is one of the oldest chartered cities of Alabama. In the same year, it became the county seat of the newly formed Limestone County. The community was named after the ancient city of Athens in Greece. It is the birthplace of William Wyatt Bibb, Alabama's first Governor. Athens was initially a cotton and railroad community. However, following the aerospace boom during the 1950s and 1960s, industry became the major contributor to the city's economy. Athens was the first city to be provided electricity by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1934.

Athens and nearby Attractions

  • Houston Library and Museum
  • Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives
  • Donnell House
  • Limestone Zoological Park and Exotic Wildlife Refuge
  • Point Mallard Waterpark
  • U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Things To Do In Athens

Some of the scenic spots in or near Athens include the George S. Houston Historic District, Athens State College Historic District, Christopher Park, Trinity Park, Fairview Park, Robert Beaty Historic District, and Fifth Avenue Park. Golfers can choose between the Athens Country Club and Golf Course, Woodland Golf Club and Chriswood Golf Course. The Athens Outlet Shopping Center, Roses Shopping Center, Athens Shopping Center, and Crutcher Shopping Center are the popular shopping malls in the Athens area. The city celebrates the Dogwood Festival, and the Athens Storytelling Festival every year.

Athens Transportation

Huntsville International Airport-Carl T Jones Field is nearby.

Athens Higher Education

Athens State University is located within the city of Athens. Nearby higher education institutes include the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Northwest Shoals Community College-Muscle Shoals, and John C Calhoun State Community College.


Total Population 23,938
Male Share of the Population 47.6%
Female Share of the Population 52.4%
Senior Citizens 16.6%
Employed Population 16+ 10,235
Age of the Population 39


% of people married 49.6%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 25.6%
Median Earnings25+ $32,051
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,722
Median Earnings With High School Degree $23,948


Median Family Income $57,017
% Above Poverty Level 87%
% Below Poverty Level 13%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 25 minutes
% Working from Home 1.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 0.8%
% Using Public Transportation %


People Living Alone 32.3%
Median Gross Rent $610
Median House Value $135,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 33.6%
US/American 0%
English 12.1%
Irish 8.3%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Athens Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 13 miles N of Decatur, Alabama (center to center)
Nearest Large City 94 miles S of Nashville, Tennessee
County Limestone
Metro Area Huntsville
Standard Zip Codes 35611, 35613, 35614
P.O. Box Zip Codes 35612
Phone Area Codes 256
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 34.802
Longitude -86.971

Athens Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station ATHENS 2
Distance 0.7 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 48 F
Apr Temp 47 to 71 F
Jul Temp 67 to 90 F
Oct Temp 47 to 73 F
Annual Precip 58.3 inches
Distance 15 miles
Jan Temp 31 to 49 F
Apr Temp 48 to 72 F
Jul Temp 70 to 89 F
Oct Temp 50 to 73 F
Annual Precip 57.5 inches
Distance 44.9 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 52 F
Apr Temp 45 to 75 F
Jul Temp 66 to 91 F
Oct Temp 46 to 76 F
Annual Precip 59.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Ardmore 1,419 $43,056
Decatur 55,598 $54,297
Elkmont 430 $61,964
Hillsboro 562 $46,450
Madison 45,590 $111,688
Trinity 2,239 $84,773

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Athens Public Libraries

Athens-limestone Public Library
Athens, Alabama
(256) 232-1233
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Athens Hospitals

(Government - Hospital District or Authority)
(256) 233-9292
Emergency Service: Yes

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Athens High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

7730 HIGHWAY 72 W
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,088 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.2

Serves 891 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.5

100 HIGHWAY 31 N
Serves 790 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15

A Vocational School

Athens Colleges

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Additional Details
Athens Colleges
Athens colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in Athens
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