If you’re looking for a relaxing stopover between Atlanta and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Canton, Georgia, might be the place. The charming small town is just outside the bustle of the city and within easy striking distance of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Let’s take a closer look at what Canton has to offer.
Reasons to Visit Canton, Georgia
The greater Atlanta metropolitan area had a population of 5.6 million in 2021. Canton, however, sits on the cusp of the city but lacks all the bustle. It also serves as a gateway to the gorgeous Georgia highlands.
Canton, GA, sits just off Interstate 575 and only 40 miles from downtown Atlanta. It is, however, lesser-known than some of its neighboring communities. This makes it a good option for travelers looking to enjoy some down-home hospitality in a place less traveled. Don’t think Old South, though. In many ways, Canton is a vibrant and progressive-minded community.
How to Spend 24 Hours in Canton, GA
There’s a lot to do here, but it’s always helpful for someone to point you in the right direction. Let’s see how you can make the most of your day.
Start Your Morning With Some Bizarre Coffee
Address: 121 E Marietta St., Canton, GA 30114
There’s nothing strange about wanting a great cup of coffee in the morning. The owners and staff at Bizarre Coffee are uncommonly passionate about what they do. They encourage customers to be mindful that their morning ritual was likely months or even years in the making. That’s the amount of time from seed to harvest to dried beans shipped overseas.
But don’t worry – your coffee will be amazingly fresh. You’ll probably notice the inviting aroma of beans roasting as you stroll up Marietta Street. Their inventive fresh-fruit smoothies are popular, too.
Go Shopping in Downtown Canton
Canton is one of those places that’s extremely proud of its downtown area, and it shows. In recent years, the town has revitalized many downtown historical buildings with modern, locally-owned businesses. Old storefronts are active again, as is a former denim factory that has a new life as The Mill at Etowah.
This impressive re-use project gives space to a multitude of lively shops and restaurants. The local farmer’s market is another reason to head downtown. You can select fresh fruits and vegetables from area farms as well as specialty food products and crafts. Vibrant and folksy local art brightens up many spaces, and live music is often part of the mix.
Grab Lunch at Riverstone Corner Bistro
Address: 135 Reinhardt College Pkwy., Canton, GA 30114
If the sign overhead says RCB, you’ve come to the right place for fresh, seasonal flavors and updated Southern favorites. The owners call it a “quaint corner bistro with a country-chic vibe.”
Stay down-home with a bone-in pork chop or head uptown with a pistachio-crusted grouper with lemon beurre blanc. Others swear by the smoked brisket nachos. It’s cozy and warm inside and pleasant on the patio. You can expect the chefs to get creative with help from their own fresh herb garden.
Catch a Movie at the Canton Historic Theatre
Address: 171 E Main St., Canton, GA 30114
There’s something special about settling in and watching a film in a classic movie theater. Besides screening bargain movies for the family, this downtown Canton landmark hosts stage plays and musical performances.
The Canton Theatre was built in 1911 to feature silent movies, and it has changed with the times. A renovation in the 1930s gave it its art deco look, and it was restored to that glory again in the late 90s. A non-profit group operates it these days, maintaining it as a much-loved cornerstone of the community.
Try a Flight at Reformation Brewery
Address: 225 Reformation Parkway., Suite 500, Canton, GA 30114
Craft breweries are a huge part of the culture in Atlanta, and the lifestyle is also flourishing at Reformation Brewery. This popular brewpub is housed inside a revived cotton mill property. It has quickly become a fixture in Canton for its beers and seltzers, as well as its welcoming vibe.
Reformation has a socially conscious presence. It encourages its customers to be accepting of others and work to find common ground rather than differences. There are nearly 20 craft beers on tap, including ales and lagers, a toasty porter, and a Belgian-style tripel. Refreshing beer slushies are popular during the hot summer months, and so is the Maverick Milkshake made with IPA.
Eat Sustainably at Goin’ Coastal
Address: 125 W. Main St., Canton, GA 30114
It’s more than 300 miles to the nearest ocean, but you can still satisfy your taste for fresh seafood. For the sustainable-minded, the family-run Goin’ Coastal has a modern sensibility without sacrificing classic flavors.
Po-boys are popular, and so are the pesto grain bowls. You can choose your own fillet and select how you want it prepared. For those who aren’t crazy about seafood, there are beef and chicken options, too. Besides its thoughtfully sourced fresh fish and shellfish, Goin’ Coastal offers beers, wines, and a full bar.
Is Canton, GA, Worth a Visit?
We love discovering and exploring small towns around the country, so it’s a no-brainer for us. We were glad to get to know Canton, GA, and we think you will be, too. Rather than thinking of it as a destination, consider it a worthwhile stop along the way.
There are more famous places you could go to, but Canton, GA, holds its own in a region that draws many lovers of the outdoors. It offers a satisfying taste of the small-town life among the scenic rivers, lakes, and mountains of northern Georgia. Have you ever visited Canton?