Marietta Square offers a variety of fantastic restaurants. If you want to try Southern/Soul food, head to Willie Rae's. The Vineyard Cafe is the go-to lunch place -- it even offers tea party service with scones, honey cream, and French tea press. Friday and Saturday evenings, the cafe offers Dinner Theatre, complete with a dinner buffet that varies for each show.
For authentic farm-to-table dishes, visit The Butcher The Baker, or try the unique Latin-Asian Taqueria Tsunami. For something sweet, be sure to try Sweetreats, Sugar Cakes Patisserie, Sara Jean's Ice Cream, or Miss Mamie's Cupcakes, Cakes & Such. End your evening at the Marietta Wine Market, which features wine tastings on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons.
After hours, there's only one place to be: Johnnie MacCrackens. This Celtic pub hosts some of the best local musicians as well as offering Irish pub classics such as Beer Battered Fish & Chips and Shepherd's Pie.
Marietta is one of Atlanta's largest suburbs with a population of nearly 60,000. Marietta is older than Atlanta -- a small settlement developed here around 1824. The Western and Atlantic Railroad arrived in the 1830s, connecting the tiny settlement with Terminus (Atlanta). It didn't take long for the settlement to grow -- a train depot and restaurant were built for travelers in the 1850s, and in the 1860s neighboring Big Shanty (Kennesaw, Georgia) became a training camp for soldiers.
During the Civil War in 1862, a major event took place that secured Marietta's place in history. The General, a powerful locomotive, was stolen. One evening in April, a group of Yankee spies led by James J. Andrews stayed at the Fletcher House in Marietta. The next morning, Andrews and his gang boarded a train at Marietta Station. When they reached Big Shanty, they commandeered it, creating havoc as they barreled along, attempting to destroy everything they came into contact with. The train's conductor, William A. Fuller, chased The General on foot before hopping a locomotive that ran in reverse. He caught The General just north of Ringgold, Georgia. (The 1957 Disney movie, The Great Locomotive Chase, is based on this event.) Those who were caught (including Andrews) were hanged.
After moving to your Marietta apartment, go see The General and learn more about the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862 at the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in neighboring Kennesaw.
To see the room where Andrews and his gang met to finalize their plan to steal the train, visit the Marietta History Museum, located in the Kennesaw House. The Kennesaw House is one of the city's oldest buildings, dating back to 1845. It was designed as a cotton warehouse, but it was later converted into the Fletch House hotel. The hotel's role in the Civil War wasn't over after the chase -- in 1864, the Union army took over the hotel and General Sherman used it as a temporary headquarters. The building was also a makeshift hospital and morgue during the war and it is rumored to be haunted.
The Marietta Confederate Cemetery is one of the largest in the region. There are more than 3,000 Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery, which was established in 1863. If you visit the cemetery, you might find a small cannon mounted on a brick platform. This historic cannon was taken by General Sherman as a trophy during his "March to the Sea." It was returned to the city of Marietta in 1911 and placed in the cemetery.
Theater in the Square offers a variety of live theater and has been a highlight of Marietta Square since the early 1980s. The art deco Strand Theater (built in 1935) produces a variety of live shows as well as a silent film festival. The second floor is home to the Lumiere Lounge, which hosts open-mike comedy on Wednesday nights and open-mike music on Thursday nights.
The Root House is the oldest home in Marietta, built around 1845 by William Root and his wife Hannah. Root moved to Marietta in 1839 to open a drug store. The Root house suffered neglect after the 1940s. It was supposed to be demolished in the 1980s, but preservation efforts saved it. It was moved in 1989 and restored to its 1845 appearance. Today, it is a popular house museum and garden.
Downtown Marietta -- especially near the Square -- is very pedestrian-friendly. Traveling from Marietta, you'll need a car. There is some bus service available through Cobb Community Transit and Xpress GA. Major highways in Marietta include South Marietta Parkway (the 120 Loop), I-75, and Highway 41 (Cobb Parkway).
As the county seat of Cobb County, Marietta Square provides several government-related buildings and offices. County government is one of the city's largest employers. Others include WellStar Kennestone Hospital, YKK, and Columbian Chemicals. The area's largest employer is the Cobb County School District.
If you are moving to an apartment in Marietta with school-age children, be aware that parts of Marietta fall under the Cobb County School System, the second-largest school system in the state and one of the largest in the nation. Marietta is the only city in Cobb County to have its own school system -- Marietta City Schools. If you live in the Downtown Marietta area, your kids will likely attend this school district.
To be close to I-75 for easy commutes, look along Marietta Parkway and Roswell Road. Apartments near Kennesaw State University-Marietta and Dobbins Air Force Base will be found along South Cobb Drive.
The Cumberland Mall and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre are in the Cumberland neighborhood, located on the southernmost edge of Marietta. Fair Oaks is a large neighborhood on the west side of Dobbins AFB. On the north end, the Town Center neighborhood includes the Town Center Mall and the Cobb County International Airport. To live near Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield, choose Arbor Forest on the west side of the park or look along Whitlock Avenue and Burnt Hickory Road in Marietta.
Once you move to Marietta, you may need directions. Don't be surprised if the person you ask instructs you to make a left (or a right) at the "Big Chicken." The Big Chicken, with its rolling eyes and moving beak, is one of the most-recognized landmarks in the city. (Yes, really.) The chicken is actually attached to a Kentucky Fried Chicken. The metal bird was built in 1963 as part of the Johnny Reb's Chick-Chuck-'N'-Shake restaurant, which was later sold and converted into a KFC. The bird is seven stories tall and is located on the corner of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road. A gift shop inside sells "Big Chicken" souvenirs.
As a popular suburb of Atlanta, Marietta apartments are highly desirable and rent tends to be slightly higher than the state average at $870. For those who decide to buy a house in Marietta, the median home sells for roughly $195,000 (compared to the state average of $142,000).
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park covers 2,965 acres of a Civil War battleground. This is a popular hiking area, with terrific views from the top of the mountain. The park also offers picnic areas, 18 miles of interpretive trails, a bookstore, a museum featuring a variety of artifacts, and a movie about the Battle of Kennesaw.
Six Flags White Water offers 69 acres of water fun and hosts more than 500,000 visitors a year. It ranks as the 12th most popular water park in the US and is considered the "sister park" to Six Flags Over Georgia. The park features several attractions, including a lazy river, a wave pool, a play area for young children, and several water slides including the Dive Bomber, the park's tallest single slide. Other rides include the Tornado, a 132-foot rafting tunnel, and the five-story Typhoon Twister.
Other terrific outdoor locations include Larry Bell Recreational Center, Perry Parham Park, the City Club Marietta golf course, and Rebel Ridge Park. Marietta Square offers historic walking tours, ghost tours, and trolley tours, as well.
Marietta Square is a picture-perfect shopping district. Historic buildings line wide sidewalks, and it all wraps around Glover Park, a true Southern gem complete with a concert pavilion, a gazebo, and a play area with a replica train. Locally-owned boutiques and antique stores fill their windows with fascinating glimpses of what you'll discover inside. Be sure to check out Church Street Market, New Morning Vintage & More, Doodlebugz, Sweet Melissa Records, and Kitchen Works.
While located outside the city, the Cumberland and Town Center malls are close enough to enjoy often. Both contain popular stores such as H&M, Spencer Gifts, Macy's, and Sears. For even more shopping, hop on I-75 and travel 20 miles into Atlanta, where you'll discover a shopper's dream with places like Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza Mall, and Atlantic Station.
If you love fresh produce, the Marietta Square Famers Market provides more than 60 vendors selling everything from heirloom tomatoes to local honey to herbal soaps. The market is held every Saturday year-round, and from 12-3 on Sundays from May-October. Offering fruits and vegetables often not available at the supermarket, this will become your favorite weekend hangout.