Looking for the best things to do in Marietta, Georgia? You’re in the right place! While Marietta has a population of over 61,000 people, it still has all of the southern charm and small-town vibes that we’ve all come to love in a Georgia town.
Unique restaurants, historical sites, ghost and food tours, museums, hiking trails, and more are all waiting for visitors in Marietta. And thanks to its location, it is the perfect place to visit if you have plans to spend time in Atlanta. Marietta is only half an hour away, making it one of the best weekend getaways from Atlanta.
Let’s get started and learn about what to do in Marietta!
15 Best Things To Do In Marietta GA You Shouldn’t Miss
One of the best Marietta activities is to visit Marietta Square. This historic square is home to a gorgeous fountain, green space, and the welcome center.
Here you can pick up maps, get travel advice, sit in the sunshine surrounded by the manicured flower beds, and more. If you are traveling with kids, there is a train play area where little ones can enjoy some outdoor time.
It is smart to make your first stop in Marietta at the square as there are a wide array of restaurants, sweet shops, bars, and activities surrounding the square. Don’t skip this beautiful part of town as it is one of the best things to do in Marietta.
Marietta Food Tour
Don’t make your list of things to do in Marietta without including a food tour! Brian and Cecile Benefield created Marietta Food Tours in 2014 and since then, travelers have been enjoying the taste of Marietta year around.
As long-time residents of Marietta, the Benefields are passionate about showing visitors the rich history, architecture, and restaurants of their beloved Marietta. Their passion is part of what makes this one of the best things to do in Marietta.
You will find restaurants in Marietta that represent the south, farm-to-table practices, international specialties, and New American cuisine. Whether you are looking for your favorite comfort foods or something you have never tried before, you can find it on a Marietta food tour.
Cobb Museum of Art
You’ll find the Cobb Museum of Art on Atlanta Street South East. One of the best activities in Marietta, the art museum is in a gorgeous Classical Revival style building that was built in 1910 to be the city post office.
The museum was founded in 1990 and art has been showcased there for locals and visitors alike since then. With remarkable pieces that make you say “wow!” you won’t be bored at the Cobb Museum of Art.
Finding parking for the museum can sometimes be tricky. However, you can find free and paid parking lots around the museum as well as free street parking.
It’s not only the artistic talent on display at the museum that makes it one of the best things to do in Marietta. The museum is in a great location in the city. Once you leave the museum, you will be within walking distance of a brewery, restaurants, a pub, and a patisserie.
Lefler Grist Mill
If you like visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations when you travel, visiting the Lefler Grist Mill is one of the best things to do in Marietta. This historic mill is on the Life University Campus.
A beautiful waterfall sits next to the mill, making for a beautiful location to take pictures, have a picnic, or simply enjoy being outside on a pretty day in Marietta. This is especially true in the fall months as the trees are beautiful colors around the mill and waterfall.
Gone With The Wind Museum
The Gone With The Wind Museum is a unique destination in Marietta that transports you back in time as soon begin the walk up the driveway. The museum is nestled in between lush gardens and stunning Magnolia trees in historic Brumby Hall.
Brumby Hall was built in 1851 and the architecture alone is something you will want to see as it showcases the style and atmosphere of old Marietta.
In the museum, you will find an extensive collection of items relating to the movie and the book, even if you aren’t a big Gone With The Wind fan to enjoy the deep history that is on display at the museum.
You will find the original scripts, the contracts of some of the cast members, rare press, and more. If you choose to stay at the beautiful Hilton Marietta Hotel, which is one of the best places to stay in town, you will be just a short walk from the Gone With The Wind Museum.
William Root House Museum and Garden
History fanatics unite! The William Root House Museum and Garden is the place to be if you love learning in-depth about the history of the places that you travel to. This attraction will allow you to get a glimpse of what life was like for a merchant and his family in the 1850s.
This home museum is actually the first of its kind when it comes to its self-guided tours. The home offers a self-guided touchscreen tour. When you arrive, you will immediately notice the columns out front which were popularized by Gone With The Wind.
Once inside you can follow along with the interactive electronic display that will tell you the story of the Root family as well as the story of their enslaved house servants. This museum offers an inside look at what life was like in early Georgia.
There’s another opportunity to grab some handcrafted goodies while you are in town as the house has a gift shop that has small-batch goods for sale. Before you leave the grounds, be sure to check out the gardens as well as they have beautiful fruit trees, decorative flowers, and other lovely landscape features.
The Root House is easily one of the best things to do in Marietta. It makes a great addition to everyone’s trip itinerary!
Earl and Rachel Strand Theatre
Marietta makes for one of the most romantic getaways in Georgia. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Marietta, the Earl and Rachel Strand Theatre makes for a great date night location.
The theatre was first opened in 1916 and it has been showing movies continuously since then. As one of the ten oldest theatres in America, this Georgia film center has survived through the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, and the rise of movie multiplexes.
Easily one of the best things to do in Marietta for adults, a trip to the theatre to see an old film after a lovely dinner in town is an ideal late-night activity in Marietta!
Six Flags White Water
Looking for the best things to do in Marietta with kids? Not only are there amazing amusement parks in Georgia, but water parks are also plentiful. The Six Flags White Water in Marietta is a must when visiting in the summer months!
Six Flags White Water has an incredible wave pool and a lazy river along with exciting waterslides that family members of all ages can enjoy. With exciting thrill rides like the tallest slide in the park, the Dive Bomber, and the fast-paced Python Plunge, thrill seekers will be over the moon at Six Flags White Water!
For those traveling with young kids, there are water slides that the whole family can go on together, the Lily Pad Crossing where little ones can test their balance, and play structures to explore.
The Big Chicken
The Big Chicken is one of the most unique attractions in Marietta. Frequently featured as one of the best restaurants in Marietta, this is something that you won’t want to miss!
When it comes to the best things to do in Marietta, you may not be thinking about a Kentucky Fried Chicken, but check this out. Visiting fun places to eat is one of the best things to do in Georgia and the Big Chicken is definitely one for the memory books!
A Kentucky Fried Chicken built as, you guessed it… a big chicken is a landmark in this Georgia town. This elevated KFC has been carefully designed and even sells souvenirs, making it one of the best restaurants in Marietta.
You can enjoy the world-famous chicken that we all know so well inside a building designed like a large red chicken. Taking pictures here and making memories is a fun story to tell when you get back home from your travels in Marietta. Your loved ones will love hearing the story about how you ate inside a large red chicken in Georgia!
Ghosts of Marietta Tour
It’s time to get spooked! If you are looking for the best things to do in Marietta at night, try out the Ghosts of Marietta Tour. Exploring haunted places in Georgia is the perfect activity for travelers on a city getaway and Marietta has you covered with their spooky tours!
Ghosts of Marietta offers tours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays all year round. One of the most popular of the offerings is the Haunted Walking Tour which takes you around town by lantern light.
You will hear stories of the ghosts that still patronize the shops around Marietta Square, learn about the most haunted buildings in town, and dive into the grim details of who the ghosts were before they died while on the tour.
Hike The Kennesaw Mountain Summit Trail
Kennesaw Mountain is a beautiful mountain that sits between the towns of Marietta and Kennesaw. Part of the Appalachian Mountain range, Kennesaw Mountain has a summit of 1,808 feet. This is the highest point around the Atlanta metro area!
For all the adventure-loving travelers, this is a must on your list of fun things to do in Marietta! The Summit Trail is a strenuous hike that is around two and a half miles round trip.
This stunning hike will take you to the top of the mountain where the rocky peak gives you views that are well worth the effort to reach the top. Expansive views of the Atlanta skyline along with Stone Mountain are visible at the summit!
If you like to chase stunning views on your travels, the Kennesaw Mountain Summit Trail is one of the best things to do near Marietta!
Marietta History Center
There’s no better place to learn about the area than at the history center! Easily one of the best things to do in Marietta, the history center is in a beautiful three-story historic building in the downtown area, just west of the town square.
The history center sets out to ignite curiosity about the town’s history and they accomplish this by telling compelling stories and showcasing artifacts from the town’s past.
The building itself is quite a treat to see as it was built as a warehouse in the 1840s and it is one of the oldest buildings in town. As you make your way through the galleries you will learn about Native Americans who inhabited the area, the military, electricity, influential families, and more as it pertains to the town.
Browse The Farmers Market
Among the best places to visit in Marietta is the farmer’s market! It is held in the town square each week and offers a great way for visitors to try local foods, support local businesses, and it serves as a unique souvenir shop if you want to bring home some local goodies to friends or family as well.
The vendor list is massive so you can find a little bit of everything in the market. There are homegrown vegetables and organic chicken eggs, Georgia-grown peaches, berries, and apples, and other more unique things for sale.
You can find fresh baked gluten-free desserts, Caribbean seasoning and handcrafted drink mixes, wild Georgia shrimp, trees and shrubs, BBQ glazes, jellies and jams, healthy dog treats, and even a knife sharpening and exchange station. The variety makes this one of the best things to do in Marietta!
Hike to Sope Creek Paper Mill Ruins
Mostly interested in the free things to do in Marietta? No problem! Checking out the Sope Creek Paper Mill Ruins is one of the best things to do in Marietta and it is totally free!
The ruins stand as a reminder of the not-too-distant past when the paper mill was an important part of the town. The mill included an oil room, a dam, a store room, and more. Today, you can hike to the ruins and see what remains of the old buildings.
The hike to reach the ruins starts at the Sope Creek Trailhead. The trail is rated as easy to moderate in difficulty and is roughly one and a half miles round trip. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to see a piece of the town’s history and the natural beauty on display on the way there!
Marietta is one of the best places to visit in Georgia with its history, exciting tours, mouthwatering food, fun attractions, and natural beauty. From the beautiful homes and buildings that showcase a time past to the historical sites that you can explore, a trip to this dreamy southern town is a must on your southern bucket list!
Whether you are sliding into a pool during the summer months, hiking to see amazing views, or taking a tour of the restaurants in town, you are sure to have an amazing time while exploring this little town on the outskirts of Atlanta.
So, tell us, which of these best things to do in Marietta will you do first?