If heaven is full of artists and hipsters, it will probably be something like Athens, where the downtown's designated historic area is also a music and culture hub. From there, the city fans out to incorporate other neighborhoods, notably Five Points, known for its mix of old Georgia mansions, upscale restaurants, and frat houses.
Why It Made Our List: Athens is to music what the Cannes International Film Festival is to movies–a breeding ground for artists. Just ask Michael Stipe of R.E.M., who got his start here.
Don't Miss: A live show at one of two storied venues. The 40 Watt Club has hosted R.E.M. and the Indigo Girls. Its roster is rivaled only by the Georgia Theatre, which reopened last month.