City Focus: Marietta Shines Bright
With more than 30 restaurants, a classic town square and rich history, Marietta captures the true essence of community. Once a railroad town, today’s Marietta attracts visitors from around the world to visit the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum, tour historic homes, attend its many festivals and experience true small-town charm.
“Marietta is a charming, historic setting that’s also continuing to evolve and thrive,” says Daniel Cummings, economic development manager with the City of Marietta. “Community leaders have long realized the city’s existing assets while embracing new businesses and industry.”
According to Amanda Blowers-Sutter, executive director of the Marietta Welcome Center and Visitors Bureau, “Marietta has long been a tourism destination. People come here to see what the South is like, but they also visit because of the many amenities and attractions both in Marietta and nearby.”
Glover Park is the focal point of downtown’s Marietta Square, the site of concerts, festivals and much more. With an old-time bandstand, a gazebo and a picturesque fountain, it’s the perfect backdrop for an after-dinner stroll or a day filled with arts and crafts. Adding to the district’s charm are the historic buildings that face three sides of the square and the large number of historic homes that are close to the square. Original façades along the square have been preserved, and city officials have championed preservation for decades. What’s more, brick-front buildings that house the courts and other government entities allow Marietta to serve as the county seat of Cobb, with Marietta’s City Hall sitting a mere one block off the square.
The area around Marietta Square is teeming with activity as well. In addition to a diverse selection of restaurants, where visitors can take a food tour to sample diverse cuisine and farm-to-table culinary creations, there are myriad museums, including the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, the Marietta Museum of History and the William Root House and Museum. And The Strand Theatre, a former movie house, is now a performing arts and film center that hosts events, concerts and films throughout the year. And new development provides even more reasons to be drawn to the allure of Marietta.
A Constant Evolution
Benefiting from the city’s 2013 redevelopment bond, the area is full of economic activity and has attracted world-class development. For instance, Marietta’s Franklin Gateway Corridor is home to one of metro Atlanta’s most significant redevelopment initiatives. Franklin Gateway, located just off I-75 in southeast Marietta, is only a few miles north of SunTrust Park, home to the Atlanta Braves. The corridor features a strong mix of corporate offices, retail, warehouses, industrial space and residential offerings. In spring 2017, Atlanta United Football Club’s headquarters and practice facility opened along this thriving road.
“Some people may not realize that the population of Marietta doubles during the day because of its many employers. Marietta is an economic hub that has helped it maintain a strong economy that benefits everyone,” says Daniel Cummings, economic development manager with the City of Marietta.
As for economic development, major employers like C.W. Matthews Contracting, Home Depot’s Marietta Technology Center, WellStar Kennestone Hospital and both the Marietta and Cobb County school systems call Marietta home.
“Some people may not realize that the population of Marietta doubles during the day because of its many employers,” Cummings says. “Marietta is an economic hub that has helped it maintain a strong economy that benefits everyone.”
In December 2017, IKEA USA announced plans to develop its second metro Atlanta location there, while Drive Shack interactive golf and entertainment complex is under development. Additionally, the soon-to-be-built Marietta Square Market will face North Marietta Parkway just off the square. Modeled after Ponce City Market in Atlanta, the food hall will house unique local food vendors and retail stores. “The building will have a historical character, and an old trolley car will greet visitors at the front,” Cummings says. “With historic design standards, city leaders have been visionary in valuing Marietta’s history while making new development possible.”
Mariettans show pride in their city by welcoming newcomers and embodying a spirit of community and its history. “We have a strong identity and a very real sense of place here,” Sutter says. “People love visiting here, and many of them decide to make Marietta home.”
Marietta’s Must-See Attractions
Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum
The Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum recently made a move to Historic Brumby Hall. The Greek revival-style house built in 1851 makes the perfect backdrop for exploring the history of ÒGone With the WindÓ and viewing movie memorabilia, including the original Bengaline honeymoon dress and more.
Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
The perfect place for adventure seekers, this 100,000-square-foot entertainment space opened in 2015 and includes an arcade with more than 110 video games, an XD Dark Ride 7D interactive movie theater and a CXC driving simulator. Andretti also provides 10,000 square feet of event space for corporate meetings and social gatherings.
Red Hare Brewing Company
Opened in 2011, this popular microbrewery has continued to expand and is now one of GeorgiaÕs largest independent craft breweries. Red Hare not only manufactures award-winning year-round and seasonal beers, but it also welcomes visitors for tours and tastings.