If you find yourself visiting the small town of Rome, Georgia, there’s a lot more to do than you might realize. This town packs in the charm, as well as plenty of history. Today we’ll show you nine unique experiences you can enjoy during your time in Rome, Georgia. Let’s dive in!
About Rome, Georgia
The city of Rome, Georgia, is the largest in Northwest Georgia. It’s a relatively easy hour-and-a-half drive from Atlanta. The city was founded in 1834 and currently has a population of about 36,000.
Rome has a rich art and cultural history but also sports and education. In the morning, you can visit a museum to learn about the city’s history and cheer on the Rome Braves, the High-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. You’ll also find four colleges in the city.
Rome’s climate is rather typical for Georgia. It’s extremely hot and humid during the summer months and pleasant during winter. Rome is a great place to visit from November through March.
What Is Rome, Georgia, Known For?
The city of Rome is most known for its natural beauty. It sits in the Appalachian Mountain foothills and has three rivers that locals and tourists love. There’s an abundance of canoeing, kayaking, boating, and fishing in the Etowah, Oostanaula, and Coosa rivers.
The city is home to Berry College, founded in 1902, and has many historic buildings on the campus and the surrounding area. Old buildings aren’t the only dated things you’ll find in Rome; many people flock to Rome for antique shopping as well.
9 Unique Things to Do in Rome, Georgia
If you find yourself traveling through Northwest Georgia, there are several unique things for you to do in Rome. Let’s check them out!
1. Visit Oak Hill and the Martha Berry Museum
Martha Berry started the Berry Schools, which were schools for economically disadvantaged children in the rural South. These schools were the start of Berry College. When you visit Oak Hill and the Martha Berry Museum, you can tour the childhood home of Martha Berry. The home remains as Martha had left it in the 1930s.
Visiting Oak Hill and the Martha Berry Museum requires a reservation. There’s no cost to visit the Martha Berry Museum, but tickets range from $0 to $5. The guided house tour tickets also allow you to visit the historic gardens, Carriage House, and the museum galleries.
You can typically plan to spend 1.5 to two hours visiting the Berry Campus. Wear comfortable shoes for walking and dress for the weather conditions. If you happen to be traveling with a high school junior or senior (or even a transfer student), you can schedule a meeting with a faculty member in an area of educational interest.
2. Go Back in Time at the Rome Area History Museum
This walk-through experience takes guests through life for the early settlers during the Civil War and how Rome developed its culture and industries. You can take a closer look at many historical maps, blueprints, and other historical documents.
The Rome Area History Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission to the museum is free, and you don’t need a ticket. Take your time to enjoy the stories and diversity of the people who shaped this small southern town.
3. Visit Chieftains Museum
Chieftains Museum is one of 45 National Historic Landmarks in all of Georgia. The main attraction is a two-story log cabin built in 1792 that was the former home of Cherokee leader Major Ridge and his family. The house has been updated over the years and reflects much of the popular Northwest Georgia trends in architecture.
This museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets aren’t required, but admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Much of the museum focuses on Major Ridge and the life and culture of the Cherokee people during the 19th century.
4. Visit Between the Rivers Historic District
Rome’s historic “Between the Rivers” district is an opportunity to explore one-of-a-kind restaurants, antique shops, and the popular Broad Street. You can keep track of the time by glancing up at the City Clocktower, which has been the district’s focal point since 1872.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, the Between the Rivers Historic District is a great place to get information on local attractions and guides to historical markers. A Rome Welcome Center serves as an excellent source of information for visitors.
5. Visit the Etowah Indian Mounds
From 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D., this 54-acre site was the home to thousands of Native Americans. The site is now a State Historic Site and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the mounds close at 4:30 p.m. Admission to the park is $6 for adults (18-61), $5 for seniors (62+), $4 for youth (ages 6-17), and $2 for children under six years old.
Guests can walk along the Etowah River, see fishing traps, and learn how indigenous peoples used trees for medicine and food. You can continue your adventure inside the Etowah Indian Mounds Museum by seeing artifacts. You can explore the six mounds and watch a film to learn more about the Etowah Indians.
6. Stretch Your Legs on the Heritage Trail System
If you’re looking for a place to get some exercise or just take a walk, the Heritage Trail System is more than 16 miles of fun. The trail has entrances throughout the city, including several downtown locations. You can pick up a map to explore the trail system at the Rome-Floyd Visitor Center or here.
7. Visit the Myrtle Hill Cemetery
The Myrtle Hill Cemetery is Rome’s second-oldest cemetery. This cemetery is incredibly beautiful and has an incredible view of downtown Rome. However, if the inspiring view isn’t enough, visitors can also enjoy the Etowah Valley and the Appalachian foothills.
The Myrtle Hill Cemetery is home to more than 20,000 Rome citizens, dating back to 1857. The cemetery also has more than 35 different tree species. You can book a tour to learn more about the many rare and non-native trees found in the cemetery. There’s a mobile app available for self-guided tours.
Notable figures that lay at rest in the cemetery include Ellen Axson Wilson, more than 300 Civil War soldiers, and Martha Berry. Walking through this expansive cemetery is a humbling and somber experience that provides an opportunity to honor the men and women who made Rome into what it is today.
8. Stroll the Berry College Campus
Berry College is recognized for its academic excellence. It’s an independent, coeducational college attended by approximately 2,100 students. Berry College’s 27,000 acres of woodlands, meadows, and streams make it the world’s largest contiguous college campus.
Walking through the campus, you’ll see 47 primary buildings, including 15 classroom facilities and 10 residence halls. There’s even a massive 131,000 square-foot athletic and recreation center. If you have a student interested in attending Berry College, you can schedule an official campus tour through the university.
9. Clear Your Mind at the Rome Labyrinth
Sometimes life gets crazy, and we need a little help focusing. The Rome Labyrinth may look like a maze, but it’s not. The purpose isn’t to confuse or frustrate individuals but to center them. Participants search for their true selves as they venture toward the center of the labyrinth.
Rome’s Labyrinth is slightly different from a typical labyrinth as it involves changes in elevation and levels. Walking a labyrinth is a form of meditation and encourages inner peace. If you’re looking for an easy way to enjoy some quiet and center yourself, Rome’s Labyrinth is for you.
No matter how much time you plan to spend in Rome, you can easily fill your schedule with these nine unique experiences. How you choose to build your schedule is up to you, but be sure to enjoy the southern hospitality and the slower pace. What will you do when you’re in Rome?