It was a pleasure to meet Bill Nowicki of the Marietta Stories Podcast to talk about Marietta, Georgia. Bill’s tips for the best things to do in Marietta are awesome because they are so diverse and come from someone who really knows and understands the history and culture of this town.
Marietta is a city that is rich in history. There are museums and historical throughout the city focused on a variety of topics – from the movie Gone With The Wind to historic battlefields from the Civil War. Festivals are common in the summer, which are a great option for families. And the food scene is not to be missed, including one restaurant that was picked as the #7 new restaurant in 2017 by Bon Appetit.
The city is 20 miles north of Atlanta. It has a small town feel, yet is close enough to “the big city” to have everything you’re looking for within a short drive. Bill recommends visiting during the Spring or Fall.
We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Marietta Visitors Bureau, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests. When you visit, consider getting the Marietta Heritage Passport, which provides a discounted admission to three of the town’s museums.
Best things to do in Marietta, Georgia
Here are some of the best things to do in Marietta, Georgia, according to our local expert, Bill Nowicki. And I’ve added some additional options based on my research.
- Cheatham Hill – this battle site was part of the Battle for Kennesaw Mountain. There is now a 5.8-mile hike that is very beautiful.
- Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church – Bill says that there is still bloodstains on the wall from when this church was turned into a hospital during the Civil War.
- Gone With the Wind Museum – they have dresses, newspaper clippings, and so much more from the 1930s. Julian’s auction house brought movie costume jewelry to the museum. The jewelry is all fake because the reflection from real jewelry would mess up the shots with the old cameras.
- Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Visitors Center – visit this historic Civil War battlefield. Sherman and his troops defeated the Confederate Army in their march to the sea through Marietta and Atlanta.
- Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art – don’t miss Chalktoberfest, the annual chalk, beer, and wine festival that occurs every October. It is free and open to the public. “Enjoy your afternoon sampling craft beers, live music from local artists, watching professional Chalk Artists chalk the streets and eating great food at the beautiful downtown square of Marietta.” You can taste over 100 different craft beers and 25 wines while helping raise funds for the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art.
- Marietta Confederate Cemetery – over 3,000 soldiers are buried here, including many from the Battle for Kennesaw Mountain.
- Marietta National Cemetery – over 1700 soldiers from the Union Army are buried here.
- Marietta Square – Bill says that this is the heart of the city. There is a green space lined with trees and a fountain in the middle. There’s even a train for the kids to play on.
- Marietta Square Farmers Market – this farmers market is Atlanta’s #1 farmers market. It is open Saturdays 9 am to 12 pm (year round) and Sundays 12 pm to 3 pm (May thru October).
- Marietta Welcome Center – great place for current events and additional information when visiting Marietta.
- Museum of History and Holocaust Education – presents public events, exhibits and educational resources focused on World War II and the Holocaust.
- Six Flags White Water – this 69-acre water park is open from May through August each year. A perfect place to visit with the kids during the summer.
- William Root House Museum and Garden – one of the oldest surviving farmhouses. Owned by Cobb Landmarks. Focuses on a middle-class family and how they lived before the Civil War.
During 8 months of the year, check out the First Friday Art Walk, which happens between March and November each year. The free self-guided tour is held from 5 pm to 9 pm. Grab a drink at a local restaurant, then walk around and enjoy the fabulous art.
Also, consider visiting Marietta for the Annual Taste of Marietta festival. The festival happens every April and over 95,000 people visit each year. Bill says that you can sample many delicious tastings between $1 and $5 each.
Don’t miss Chalktoberfest, the annual chalk, beer, and wine festival that occurs every October. It is free and open to the public. “Enjoy your afternoon sampling craft beers, live music from local artists, watching professional Chalk Artists chalk the streets, and eating great food at the beautiful downtown square of Marietta.” You can taste over 100 different craft beers and 25 wines while helping raise funds for the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art.
Here’s a short list of the current events happening in Marietta, Georgia that you can buy tickets for.
Looking for other things to do? Here are the top 10 sightseeing tickets and packages for Marietta.
Or, you can buy one of the Lonely Planet books, which are another excellent resource. Their current promo offers 3 books for the price of two.
Best places to eat in Marietta, Georgia
When you’re in Marietta, there are so many excellent places to eat. I think it tells a lot about the food scene in Marietta when Bon Appetit is recognizing Brian So as having one of the top new restaurants in the US. Here are the best places to eat in Marietta, Georgia.
- Australian Bakery Cafe – these Australian meat pies are hand-made are offered in “over 27 varieties and counting of traditional and modern interpretations of the humble Aussie icon, along with other savory and sweet delicacies from Down Under.”
- Hoboken Cafe on Whitlock – the owner Johnny Pizza is a larger-than-life character from Hoboken. Makes everything like he was back in Hoboken with fresh-made mozzarella and Boar’s Head meats. Bill absolutely loves the tomato sauce.
- Marietta Food Tours – one of Bill’s favorite ways to explore the city of Marietta.
- Spring Restaurant – one of Bill’s favorite restaurants in Marietta. This Brian So restaurant was the #7 new restaurant by Bon Appetit in 2017. Bill says “the food is so pretty so almost don’t want to eat it.” The menu changes all of the time based on the season.
- Stockyard Burgers and Bones – Bill loves the burgers here. Owners have several restaurants in Marietta. They have good cocktails as well.
- Taqueria Tsunami – a Latin-Asian fusion cuisine with a “tidal wave of flavors.” Mi Casa es “Tsu” Casa at Taqueria Tsunami.
- The Big Chicken – this 56-foot tall iconic sign was created as an advertising stunt in the 1950s by two brothers that owned a chicken shack. It is now a KFC fast food restaurant. Locals use it as a marker when giving directions.
- Two Birds Taphouse – they have the best cocktails, good bar food. Bill recommends that you order the Marietta Theater Company cocktail.
- WR Social House – a locally owned social gathering spot highlighting the freshest ingredients they can get our hands on.
Best places to stay in Marietta, Georgia
When you come to visit, here are the best places to stay in Marietta, Georgia.
- Baymont by Wyndham Kennesaw – With Wyndham Rewards, any hotel is available for a fixed 15,000 per night.
- Best Western Hiram Inn & Suites – this Best Western category 4 hotel is 20,000 points per night.
- Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Marietta/I-75 North – this Marriott Rewards category 3 hotel is 15,000 to 20,000 points per night.
- Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center – this site has a history as the former Georgia Military Institute that was burned down when Sherman’s troops marched to the sea.
- Holiday Inn Express Marietta – Atlanta Northwest – this IHG Rewards category 3 property is 20,000 points per night.
- Hyatt Regency Suites Atlanta Northwest – this World of Hyatt category 2 property is 8000 points per night.
- Radisson Hotel Atlanta-Marietta – this Radisson category 3 hotel is 28,000 points per night.
AirBnB is also a great option. Use our referral link to get $40 off your first AirBnB stay.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Getting around Marietta, Georgia
The local airport is Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which is about 30 miles away. This is one of Delta’s primary hubs, so you will find the most flight flexibility on Delta.
If you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.
The Final Countdown
1) If a traveler could only have one meal in Marietta – Bill recommends Spring Restaurant. He says “the food is so pretty so almost don’t want to eat it.” The menu changes all of the time based on the season so it is always a new experience every time you visit.
2) Favorite memory of Marietta – when the First United Methodist Church was planning for their 150th-anniversary celebration, Beverly McAfee went in front of the church’s Finance Committee they had concerns about removing the fence around the park because of fears that the homeless would occupy the park. Beverly replied, “what was Jesus’ address? I’m pretty sure he would be considered homeless today. What is this church about if we cannot take care of those in need.” Listen to Bill’s podcast episode interview with Beverly.
3) Happiest Happy Hour in Marietta – Bill says that Two Birds Tap House has the best cocktails and really good bar food. They have a special drink that benefits the Marietta Theater Company.
4) Best place for pepperoni pizza in Marietta – the Marietta Pizza Co is a lovely outdoor seating that is across the green space in Marietta Square. Bill says that the restaurant is dog-friendly.
Who is Bill Nowicki?
Bill Nowicki came to Marietta, Georgia in 2012 for a job. He now interviews citizens of Marietta, Georgia, for his podcast Marietta Stories. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the town and explore the diversity of the people. Everyone has a special story to share and Bill does an excellent job of bringing those stories to life.
Here are a few of the episodes Bill recorded that are mentioned during our podcast interview:
- Julien’s Auction brings Gone With The Wind jewelry to Marietta.
- Creative excellence, Brian So of Spring Restaurant.
- Getting big things done without compromising, Beverly McAfee.
- Chalktober Fest and all things art with Sally Macaulay.
Places we talked about on the podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Bill Nowicki about Marietta, Georgia. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in Marietta, Georgia
- Green dots = best things to do in Marietta, Georgia
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in Marietta, Georgia
Big thanks to today’s podcast sponsor – ZipCar
I avoid renting cars as much as possible when I travel, but sometimes you just need a car for a few hours. That’s where ZipCar comes in. You can rent their cars by the hour, or by the day… and both gas and insurance are included in one flat rate.
Use our link to join at WeTravelThere.com/zipcar to start out with $25 worth of credits in your bank.
Stay tuned for our next episode
Join us in the next episode when Sarah Li-Cain of the Beyond The Dollar podcast shares where she shares all about the world’s largest permanent light and sound show in Hong Kong. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.
What’s your favorite part of Marietta, Georgia? Let us know in the comment section below or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!
To learn more about fun things to do in Georgia, please listen to our other episodes:
- Best Things to Do in Atlanta, Georgia with Pete McPherson
- Hidden Parks, Tiny Doors & The First Peachtree in Atlanta, Georgia
- Twilight Criterium, Children’s Garden & Athens Beer Trail in Athens, Georgia