We discovered many fun things to do in Marietta, Georgia! This city has incredible history as well as hip new attractions and restaurants.
Fun Things To Do In Marietta, Georgia
We have now visited Marietta a few times. The first time was when we had some free time between two house sits in Atlanta. We hadn’t done much research ahead of time, so we stopped by their Visitors Center and realized there were a lot of fun things to do in Marietta!
Since then, we’ve gone back and found that the city continues to grow and offer new attractions and places to eat and drink. In fact, we think it’s one of the best cities to visit in Georgia! During our visits, we explored historic sites, museums, and ate a lot of amazing food. Below are the places we recommend for your visit to Marietta…
Marietta Museum Of History
When visiting Marietta, we think your first stop should be the Marietta Museum of History. It’s a great way to learn about the area and to orient yourself, so to speak, when going on to visit other Marietta attractions. They also have a lot of military artifacts, which we really enjoyed.
The museum is inside The Kennesaw House, which is itself historically significant. The building was once a cotton warehouse and then a hotel. Another interesting tidbit is that during the Civil War, Andrews’ Raiders stayed in a second floor room the night before they stole “The General,” but more on that later…
Marietta Fire Department Museum
Looking for free things to do in Marietta? Stop by the Marietta Fire Department Museum. Inside, you’ll find two floors of awesome antique fire apparatuses, tools, and gear dating back to 1854. You can do a self-guided tour to learn about how the Marietta fire department has changed over the years, or you can schedule a guided tour (they need at least a week’s notice).
Fun Fact: If you’re into fire museums, the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum in Harrisburg is pretty awesome too!
Gone With The Wind Museum
We loved the Gone with the Wind Museum! There are so many fascinating pieces in their collection, including an original dress worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the movie. There are also copies of the book signed by Margaret Mitchell, promotional pieces including foreign film posters and premiere programs, and more!
William Root House Museum
The William Root House Museum is the oldest surviving house in downtown Marietta and, in our opinion, one of the top things to do in Marietta. The house offers a glimpse into the life of a typical merchant in the 1840s. A lot of effort was put into restoring the home and it is decorated in period furniture.
When we visited, John showed us around the house and gardens and told us all about the history of the Root family. He was very knowledgeable and pointed out a lot of interesting artifacts. We especially loved the modern touch-screen display that broke down the history of the family and the house. We tinkered with that for awhile after our tour was done.
Marietta Cobb Museum Of Art
The Marietta Cobb Museum of Art is an American Art museum with rotating exhibits and year round events. It’s actually the only Metropolitan-Atlanta fine arts museum focusing on American Art. The museum is inside a renovated historic Classical Revival building that was once the Cobb County United States Post Office.
During our visit we saw work by Richard Cecil on the first floor and work by Carole Pigott on the second floor.
Of course, the heart and soul of the city can be found in Historic Marietta Square. Many Marietta events are held on the square throughout the year, and all around it are over 70 shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The square itself is also very pretty and a nice place to sit and people watch.
We weren’t expecting to find street art in Marietta, but guess what? We did! There are a few pieces throughout town, one of our favorites being a giant chick lol! We also found some chalk pieces left over from Chalktoberfest, which were pretty awesome.
Marietta’s Big Chicken
We didn’t know about The Big Chicken until we got to Marietta, but it’s a pretty big deal! This 56 foot tall chicken is located at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road, the biggest intersection in Marietta, and it’s beak and eyes move. No wonder it’s such an important and iconic city landmark!
The Southern Museum
Technically in Kennesaw, but a quick drive from Marietta, is The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History. We loved the exhibits at this museum and learning more about and seeing “The General.”
So in 1862, a Confederate train was stolen by a group known as “Andrews Raiders.” The train’s conductor managed to chase them down after many hours and it became known as the “Great Locomotive Chase.” The museum does a great job of explaining the event and has many artifacts including the train itself, “The General.”
The museum also does a really great job of explaining how the Civil War was the first major military conflict were trains played a huge role due to the fact that they provided food and supplies to both sides.
Marietta Square Restaurants
We briefly mentioned Marietta Square already, but we wanted to tell you a bit more about some of the Marietta Square restaurants. Because they are yummy!!
Marietta Square Market
Marietta’s newest hot spot is the Marietta Square Market. Inside what was once a warehouse, the space is now an awesome food hall with 18 restaurants. We went to visit just before everything was closing. Although it was late, we did manage to order food. Because we were rushing, though, we forgot to take photos of our meals.
We decided to get food from two places and then share. First, we ordered a pizza from Forno Vero which makes great Neapolitan pizza. Next, we ordered a bulgogi bowl from Bullgogi, a Korean restaurant that is all about customers customizing their bowls. We ate in the Market’s outside seating and enjoyed every bite!
Marietta Pizza Co.
No surprise, but we had to try out Marietta Pizza Co. With a fun and casual atmosphere, we enjoyed a Caprese Salad as well as two slices of pizza. We probably should have ordered only one slice, as they were a bit bigger than we expected, but they were so good that we managed to eat both lol!
Who doesn’t love a good food fusion?? At Taqueria Tsunami, they blend flavors from the Far East with flavors from South of the Border to make dishes that will blow you away. For an appetizer we had the Avocado Cilantro Egg Rolls and they were phenomenal!
For our main meal we chose an Asada Zing Taco and a Shrimp Tempura Taco. The Asada Zing had Korean Bulgogi marinated steak topped with shitake mushrooms, lettuce, soy-sesame vinaigrette and sesame seeds. The Shrimp Tempura had shrimp tempura topped with Asian slaw, fresh cilantro and a hoisin-lime aioli. It’s hard to say which we liked more, because they were both so good!
Stockyard Burgers & Bones
Make sure you arrive hungry to Stockyard Burgers & Bones! There are a lot of great options on their menu, but when we saw the “Dirty South” we knew we had to have it. This burger comes with smoked Gouda mac & cheese, bacon, and apple butter BBQ sauce. There were a lot of flavors going on with this burger, and they were all wonderful!
Two Birds Taphouse
Another one of the popular Marietta Square restaurants is Two Birds Taphouse. This self-proclaimed modern-day “Cheers” is definitely a fun place to hang out and get some drinks. They offer mostly local and regional craft beers from Georgia and the Southeast and also make many delicious cocktails.
Glover Park Brewery
Beer lovers will enjoy Glover Park Brewery. Located just two blocks south of Marietta Square, the brewery has locally crafted beers that can be enjoyed in their dog-friendly beer garden. They also serve Seltzers and Draft Cocktails. The brewery also has many games nights, food trucks, and other events scheduled throughout the month so make sure to check out their calendar before your visit.
Additional Things To Do In Marietta
Although we’ve been to Marietta multiple times now, we realize there are still more attractions and things to do in the area. We haven’t visited or done the things below, but we’ve heard good things from locals so we wanted to mention them as well…
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a 2,965 acre National Battlefield that preserves a Civil War battle that occurred in June of 1864. You can take a self-guided driving tour, or enjoy many of the park’s hiking trails. The views from the top of Kennesaw Mountain are supposed to be pretty spectacular.
Take A Tour Of Marietta
There are multiple Marietta tours that you can take to learn more about the city and its history. There are free self-guided walking tours, including a Black Heritage Walking Tour. If you’re prefer to drive, you can stop by the Visitors Center and get a CD that will guide you around the city and give explanations at various stops. We’ve also heard that Ghosts of Marietta is a very popular tour.
Catch A Show At A Marietta Theater
Marietta has a large performing arts community. Throughout the year there are plays, concerts, film festivals, and other special events. Below are some of the most popular Marietta theaters:
- Earl Smith Strand Theatre
- Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre
- Jennie T. Anderson Theatre
- Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square
Six Flags White Water
Of course, if you’re looking for things to do in Marietta that the kids will especially love, definitely stop by Six Flags White Water park. The park is open from May to September and has a giant wave pool, adrenaline pumping water slides, and more.
Final Thoughts On Marietta, Georgia
There are a lot more things to do in Marietta than people think! There’s certainly a lot of history, but there are also a lot of new and fun shops and restaurants that we really enjoyed. This charming city has a bit of everything!
Pro Tip: If you’re planning on heading south as well, here’s how to do Atlanta on a budget!