15 Top Things to Do in Cartersville, Georgia

Bartow History Museum, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
Bartow History Museum, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
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Cartersville is a charming north Georgia city filled with an intriguing past, engaging museums and a bustling historic downtown filled with shops and restaurants. This underrated destination is perfectly located between Atlanta and Chattanooga making it a wonderful place to spend a long weekend.

Table of Contents

About

Cartersville, Georgia is named after Col. Farish Carter who owned a large plantation in the area. Bartow County was not formed until after the Civil War, when Sherman’s March to the Sea destroyed nearby Cassville. In 1872, Cartersville was officially established as a city.

Over the years, Cartersville has experienced growth being such a close drive to major metropolitan areas of Atlanta to the south and Chattanooga to the north.

1.      Savoy Automobile Museum

Savoy Automobile Museum, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
Savoy Automobile Museum, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Address: 3 Savoy Lane, Cartersville, GA 30120

This world-class automobile museum showcases a variety of cars dating back to the early 20th century. With multiple rotating galleries and even a permanent collection, the Savoy Automobile Museum boasts an engaging retro adventure. Learn all about decades of automotive history or catch a movie in the theatre on site. Plus, there is a café and gift shop to complete your visit.

2.      Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site

Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site, Cartersville, Georgia
Mound A at Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – Kåre Thor Olsen

Address: 813 Indian Mound Road SE, Cartersville, GA 30120

Dating back to 1000 AD, these historic Native American mounds are an example of the most intact southeast Mississippian culture site. Saved by the Tumlin family who were committed to the preservation of history, these mounds are amazing to see. From the interpretive museum to the nature hiking trails, this Etowah Indian Mounds is worth a visit to learn all about Native American ceremony practices, rituals and daily life.

3.      Bartow History Museum

Bartow History Museum, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Address: 4 E Church Street, Cartersville, GA 30120

Located in an historic 1869 County Courthouse, the Bartow History Museum features not only local history but also displays intriguing artifacts from across time. Learn all about the Cherokee people who lived in the woods of North Georgia and then venture into the Civil War times through modern day. This charming museum is right in downtown Cartersville and offers a glimpse Bartow County’s significant history.

4.      Allatoona Lake Visitor Center & Museum

Lake Allatoona, Georgia
Lake Allatoona, Georgia | Photo Credit: Flickr – sporadic

Address: 1138 GA-20 Spur, Cartersville, GA 30121

This free museum is open almost daily to reveal the story of Lake Allatoona. Learn about the role of the Army Corps of Engineers and the history of the dam. Also, uncover local facts dating back to the Civil War and how Lake Allatoona came to be. Plus, if you plan on exploring the lake you can find maps and helpful tips in the accompanying visitor center.

5.      Friendship Monument

Friendship Monument, Cartersville, Georgia
Friendship Monument, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Address: 5 E Main Street, Cartersville, GA 30120

This aged marble monument stands in downtown Cartersville as a symbol to some very significant friendships dating back to the 1850s. When local businessman Mark A. Cooper was about to lose his lifelong investments in Panic of 1857, some of Mr. Cooper’s thirty-eight friends pitched in notes to save his land from being sold to repay debts. Although Cooper repaid his friends, he was forever grateful for their kind support and had the Friendship Monument erected in their honor.

6.      Tellus Science Museum

Tellus Science Museum, Cartersville, Georgia
Tellus Science Museum, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Flickr – Rob DiCaterino

Address: 100 Tellus Drive, Cartersville, GA 30120

Not just any science museum, the Tellus Science Museum offers visitors the chance to witness interactive exhibits ranging from dinosaurs to geodes! Great for people of all ages, this museum features a planetarium and even a observatory for those interested in astronomy. There are also fossil and dinosaur bones accumulated both locally and across the country.

7. Allatoona Pass Battlefield Park

Allatoona Pass Battlefield Park, Georgia
Allatoona Pass Battlefield Park, Georgia | Photo Credit: Flickr – Patrick Kinney

Address: Old Allatoona Pass Road SE, Cartersville, GA 30121

Situated near the shores of present-day Lake Allatoona, Allatoona Pass Battlefield Park shares the history of two significant events that happened at this spot. One is related to the infamous Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862 when the General locomotive passed through the area. The other event was the battle that took place here on October 5, 1864 just after the fall of Atlanta. It was another attempt at upholding the Confederacy and of 5,000 men who fought, it is estimated that about 1,500 were killed. The site today has walking trails, memorials, and informational plaques to guide your visit.

8. Booth Museum of Western Art

Booth Museum of Western Art
Booth Museum of Western Art | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – Thomson200

Address: 501 N Museum Dr, Cartersville, GA 30120

This significant Booth Museum of Western Art is sure to intrigue art lovers. With numerous paintings related to cowboys and the American west, there is plenty to see. View an old stagecoach that once transported people across vast deserts and plains. Also, be sure to check out the large outdoor sculptures that surround the building and learn about all of the artifacts on display.

9. Old Iron Furnace Ruins and Lost City of Etowah

Ruins at Cooper's Furnace Day Use Area, Cartersville, Georgia
Ruins at Cooper’s Furnace Day Use Area, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Address: 1052 Old River Road SE, Cartersville, GA 30120

Just outside of Cartersville along the banks of the Etowah River lies the location of what was once the bustling town of Etowah. Destroyed in 1864 as a result of Sherman’s March to the Sea, the community was nearly wiped off the map with the exception of one remaining iron furnace. In addition to the furnace, the park also invites visitors to hike trails into the surrounding woodland terrain to further appreciate the beauty of the area.

10.  Rose Lawn Museum

Rose Lawn, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
Rose Lawn, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Address: 224 W Cherokee Ave, Cartersville, GA 30120

This stunning mansion not only boasts an interesting history of its construction it also was home to one of Carterville’s most notable residents. Samuel Porter Jones was an alcoholic turned traveling reverend revivalist who left his positive mark on thousands of people during his career. In fact, Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium (then called Union Gospel Tabernacle) was actually built for him to speak by Capt. Ryman. Rev. Jones, his wife Laura and their children called Rose Lawn home for several decades.

11.  The Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre, Cartersville, Georgia
The Grand Theatre, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – JJonahJackalope

Address: 7 N Wall St, Cartersville, GA 30120

This historic theatre has been the stage for many performances in the area since its establishment it was built in 1924, to replace an opera house that tragically burned down. The theatre has been used for both play productions and to show films on the big screen. Famous people to visit the theatre include Kitty Wells and Lash Laroo.

12.  First Outdoor Painted Coca-Cola Wall Sign

Young Brothers Pharmacy, Cartersville, Georgia
Young Brothers Pharmacy, Cartersville, Georgia | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Address: Corner of W Main St and S Museum Dr SE, Cartersville, GA 30120

In 1894, traveling Coca-Cola syrup salesman James Couden decided that to make more sales, he would need to start advertising the refreshing product. With permission, he painted the large mural on the side of one of his client’s buildings, the Young Brothers Pharmacy. The mural was eventually painted over 25 times, but has since been restored back to its original state and is now a downtown icon.

13.  Oak Hill Cemetery

Grave of Samuel P. Jones
Grave of Samuel P. Jones | Photo Credit: Find a Grave – Becca

Address: 319 N Erwin St, Cartersville, GA 30120

Founded in 1838 by the Ebeneezer Methodist Church (now Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church), Oak Hill Cemetery has long been the final resting place for many residents of the area. A few notable graves in the cemetery include Rev. Samuel P. Jones (Methodist revivalist), William Harrel Felton (U.S. Representative), Rebecca Latimer Felton (first female U.S. Senator), Amos Akerman (U.S. Attorney General), and Pierce M.B. Young (U.S. Representative & Confederate Major General).

14.  Pettit Creek Farms

Address: 337 Cassville Rd, Cartersville, GA 30120

This 80-acre farm is home to the largest camel herd in the entire state of Georgia. Other animals on the farm include goats, capybaras, zebras, llamas, giraffes and so much more. There is also a zip line on site and Pettit Creek Farms has two annual farm festivals that welcome visitors to enjoy fall and winter seasons.

15.  Red Top Mountain State Park

Red Top Mountain State Park, Georgia
Red Top Mountain State Park, Georgia | Photo Credit: Flickr – Shawn Taylor

Address: 50 Lodge Road SE, Acworth, GA 30102

Nestled on the pristine shores of Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park is home to stunning views, scenic trails, and plenty of opportunities for fun on the water. The state park also offers campsites and cottages for overnight accommodations. Enjoy the natural beauty of north Georgia and explore this tranquil state park just a short drive north of the bustling streets of Atlanta.

16.  Old Car City USA

Classic Car
Classic Car | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – Bluesnap

Address: 3098 Highway 411 E, White, GA 30184

Located about 8 miles northeast of downtown Cartersville is the world’s largest classic car junkyard. This 34-acre forest is filled with over 4,400 American automobiles dating back to the early 1900s through the 1970s. Step inside the 1931 General Store that started this attraction and be sure to bring your camera to snap some shots of this one-of-a-kind landmark.

Plan Your Visit

Cartersville, Georgia is located about 44 miles north of downtown Atlanta and 80 miles south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited Cartersville before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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