Cartersville, which was given its current name in 1854 is a small city. It is located 70km from the downtown of Atlanta, the state capital.
Cartersville is the county seat in Bartow County. It has around 20,000 residents. After the American Civil War, Cassville was intentionally destroyed, Cartersville became the seat. It wouldn’t be incorporated into a city until 1872.
Over the last 150 years, Atlanta has slowly evolved into a suburb with a lot of wealth. It is now a well-todo area that combines many centuries of history with great outdoor spaces and modern museums.
These are the top 15 things to do around Cartersville, Georgia.
1. Bartow History Museum
The Bartow History Museum is housed in a magnificent brown brick building that documents the history of Bartow County.
Its permanent collection of archives materials, photographs, and artifacts spans the entire history of the region. They began when it was Cherokee territory.
The 200-years of history from the Cherokee removal to the American Civil War are explained in the historical surroundings of an old courthouse.
The rooms are bright and modern and include a variety mock-ups and reconstructions that show how life was in the past.
2. Lake Allatoona
You will notice the curving shoreline of Lake Allatoona (also known as Allatoona Creek) on a Cartersville map.
The lake was formed by the damming the Etowah River. Its primary function is to provide drinking water for the metro Atlanta area.
Its shoreline and its surface waters are a popular escape, just a few minutes away from downtown.
For anyone who wants to take to the water in a larger vessel than a kayak or canoe, there are eight marinas and two yacht clubs. These vessels can also access the water via public boat ramps. Camping and hiking are very popular.
3. Historic Downtown Shopping District
The heart of Cartersville is its downtown district. Anyone looking for that unique something can find it in commercial premises dating back decades or even centuries.
The boutiques are independent and family-run and specialize in fine art and aromatherapy oils. Antiques and collectors are also well served.
Although the downtown area is well-known for its shopping, it also houses several historic buildings.
One of them is the Grand Theater. It has been beautifully restored to its 1920s glory, and serves as the community’s most important performance space.
4. Booth Western Art Museum
The name Booth refers to the Western United States. It is the only museum in the country’s Southeast that is dedicated exclusively to this part of North America.
The Booth Western Art Museum is 11,000 square meters in size and has the largest collection of Western United States art in the country. It also happens to be the second-largest Georgia museum.
It contains works by native American artists, Civil War icons, movie posters from the past, and many other western artists, such as Howard Terpning and Charles Marion Russell.
5. Pine Mountain
The Pine Mountain forested slopes are visible from most of Cartersville. They rise to 476 metres above the sea level.
The third-tallest mountain in Bartow County is the third. As it reaches its summit, the tree cover starts to decrease. Its summit, made up of many outcrops, offers views over to Lake Allatoona and Atlanta.
There are two main routes that lead to the summit. Despite numerous switchbacks, it can still be reached in 1.5 km of walking.
They can be found on either side, also known as the East or West Loops. These loops are part of the larger Pine Mountain Recreation Area trail network.
6. Terminus Wake Park
Terminus Wake Park’s two large pools and four floating zones welcome both beginners and experts.
Wakeboarding, for those who don’t know, is similar to snowboarding, except that the boarder is strapped into a single board and then towed by a motorboat/line.
Terminus is the largest cable-waist part in America. It offers a learn to ride cable for those who are afraid of falling and an inflatable obstacle course called Aqua Park over the water for those who prefer to slide to wakeboarding.
The center is located less than 10 kilometers southeast of Cartersville in Emerson.
7. Tellus Science Museum
Tellus Science Museum is located at a similar distance north to Cartersville. This museum, which covers more than 36,000 sq metres of area, is three times larger than the Booth Western Art Museum.
It has a large fossil gallery and the brontosaurus skull dominates the main lobby.
The Vault gallery showcases local discoveries of minerals, and objects from the distant past. It complements the Weinman Mineral Gallery.
There is also the Millar Science in Motion Gallery for transport and the Bentley Planetarium.
8. Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site
The Etowah Indian Mounds Historical Site is located just south of Cartersville, on the banks the Etowah River.
It includes a 22-hectare archaeological area with remains dating back to three periods of native American settlement.
The site is widely considered to be the best preserved settlement of the native American Mississippi culture in the area. It consists three platform mounds and three other smaller ones.
The highest rise is almost 20 meters high. It was, like all the others, once topped by sacred or important buildings. The onsite museum houses artifacts found during excavations.
9. Leake Mounds Interpretative Trail
Leake Mounds, another native American site constructed by the Swift Creek Culture, dates back to the Middle Woodland period. This site dates back to prehistoric times between 300 BC-600 AD.
It covers approximately three kilometers and includes 18 markers. This trail details the archaeological findings made during digs and their significance for understanding this period of history.
You will find the remains of three mounds as well as a large semicircular ditch or moat and a midden, a prehistoric landfill site.
10. Rose Lawn Museum
An impressive Victorian mansion houses the Rose Lawn Museum. The exterior of the museum is boldly decorated with authentic colors like cream, grey, and red.
This home has been transformed into a museum that traces the life of Samuel Porter Jones. Jones lived in Rose Lawn for approximately 30 years with his wife. Jones is best known for his work as a Christian Revivalist. He is now more well-known for being an evangelical Christian.
The exhibits also include information about Rebecca Latimer Felton, another famous Cartersville resident. She was a suffragette and became the first woman to be elected to the US Senate. However, it was only for a day.
11. Cooper’s Furnace Day Use Area
This parkland, also known as Cooper’s Iron Works was once part of the Etowah Historic District.
The Unionist General Sherman destroyed it in 1864 as he led his army towards Atlanta, on his march to sea.
The iron works are surrounded by trails. There are also picnic pavilions and a small playground for children.
The US Army Corps of Engineers manages it. It offers views of the dam holding back Lake Allatoona’s waters. They also manage the Allatoona Lake Visitors Center and Museum.
12. Cooper’s Friendship Monument
Mark Anthony Cooper, the same Cooper who owned the ironworks above was a successful southern industrialist who lost his fortune.
He was supported by 38 friends and colleagues during this time, which led to the installation of the Friendship Monument in downtown Cartersville.
It is believed to be the only monument of its kind in the world. The monument was built in 1857, and it stands proudly in Friendship Plaza.
Cartersville also boasts the first outdoor Coca-Cola sign in the world. The sign was created in Atlanta and covers Young Brothers Pharmacy’s side wall.
It is still easily identifiable from bottles and cans of the world’s most beloved branded beverage, despite the fact that it has been around for more than 100 years.
13. Pettit Creek Farm
Since 1945, this farm of 30 hectares has been owned by the Allen Family. It offers a glimpse into the life of a southern farm with walking tours, horseback riding, and hayrides.
It also has more unusual attractions for the southeast United States. Pettit Creek houses kangaroos and zebras as well as cows, chickens and goats.
It is proud to be home to the largest Georgia camel herd, although it’s not clear how many competitors there are for this title. There are also two zip lines to get your blood pumping.
14. Red Top Mountain State Park
Red Top Mountain State Park is located on the opposite shore of Lake Allatoona and Cartersville. It’s one of Georgia’s most well-known state parks.
The high iron content of the soil on the mountain gives it its name. It can be found in today’s north-western corner. You’ll find evidence that there were once mining operations in the area.
The lakefront has a swimming beach. Anglers can also enjoy the lake from the shore or from the middle of the lake via a boat.
Iron Hill Mountain Biking Trail, six-kilometres long, offers lake views. There are 20km of hiking trails that are easy to moderate. They range in length from 1-9km.
15. Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center
The former Noble Hill Rosenwald School is the perfect place to house this museum about the region’s African-American history.
The original construction was completed in 1923 when racial segregation was still a daily part of southern life. It was the first school to provide education for black children in the northwest region of Georgia.
This attractive whitewashed clapboard structure reflects the lives of Georgia’s African Americans from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.
The interior of the school includes a replica, as well as historical objects and household items.