The exact delineation of what is "Downtown" differs for varying purposes. Some of the more common ones are:
|Broad St||Hancock St||Foundry St||Pulaski St||This is the boundary of the "no-cruising zone" established by Athens-Clarke County ordinance. ("No cruising" means no motor vehicle may pass the same point within the zone more than three times in an hour, during the hours of midnight to 4 a.m.) |
|Dougherty St||This is the common definition of Downtown, clearly distinguished from the rest of Athens by such things as building density, metered on-street parking, etc. Athens-Clarke County uses a distinctive street sign design (using the ACC logo on signs) within this boundary.|
|Dougherty St/ Prince Ave||Milledge Ave||This is a more generous area of Downtown, including the above in addition to the Broad Street and Prince Avenue corridors immediately to the west of the core of Downtown.|
The Downtown area is the cultural center of the city. Several dozen night clubs host performances of local, regional and national bands and artists. The 40 Watt Club at the corner of Washington and Pulaski and Georgia Theater on Lumpkin Street between Clayton and Washington are among the most well-known night spots where many bands have made the jump to a larger regional stage (See Music of Athens, Georgia). The Classic Center, located on Thomas Street on the eastern edge of the neighborhood, is a multi-purpose facility containing a performing arts center, convention space, and banquet halls. It was a filming site for .
Restaurants and bars
Downtown Athens is home to award-winning restaurants including The Last Resort, Farm 255, and Weaver D's. Five & Ten, a high class expensive restaurant is known for the famous chef, Hugh Acheson, who was named Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation and also on Top Chef: Masters (season 3). Other notable restaurants include East West Bistro, The Porterhouse Grill and De Palmas. There are a variety of eating options, ranging from higher-priced luxury dining, chain restaurants, ethnic food restaurants, and inexpensive bar food. The streets, particularly on Thursday through Saturday, are filled with people and cars late into the night. Popular bars are on every street corner, including Magnolia's, Allgood, Blue Sky, Silver Dollar, General Beauregard's, Walker's Pub, Boars Head, Sandbar and Trapeze. There are around 80 bars in Athens. In recent years, nightlife for this demographic has been concentrated in the neighborhood's rapidly changing "West End", the area between Lumpkin and Pulaski Streets. Nightlife catering to a more mainstream college-age demographic remains in the eastern part of the neighborhood, especially along Broad and Clayton Streets. During the day, visitors of all ages can find a reason to visit Downtown Athens.
Locally- owned fashion boutiques line the streets, including Encore, Heery's and Cheeky Peach that all include designer brand names. Catering to the city's diverse populations, vintage shops like Agora and Cillies host a variety of items. Many of these outlets reflect Athens's status as a university town and a small liberal city. In particular, independent music stores such as the world-famous Wuxtry Records and alternative shops are found along Clayton Street, as well as the Georgia Bulldogs fan shop known as The Red Zone.
The Athens-Clarke County unified government is located in the Downtown district. Several local and federal government buildings are located along Washington Street, and the county adult health center is located just within the western boundary of Downtown.