Cartersville may not be as large as some other cities in the Atlanta area, but take a short drive up Interstate 75 and you’ll find a town bursting with culture, shopping, restaurants and two world-class museums: the Booth Western Art Museum and Tellus Science Museum.
Located just off Exit 293, Tellus has several fun events scheduled for this summer. In June, you can check out the treasures offered by mineral, fossil and gem dealers from all over the country at the annual Rockfest. Meet your favorite superheroes and future science superheroes at Superhero Saturday in July.
In August, the museum will host one of its biggest annual events: Night at the Museum. Important people from science’s past and favorite movie characters like Darth Vader and Indiana Jones will come to life for one night.
About 15 minutes away in downtown Cartersville, you’ll find the Booth Western Art Museum. Spend time wandering through the expansive museum, where you can get free admission on the first Thursday of every month from 4 to 8 p.m., and plan to check out some of the exhibits on display this summer.
“Jay Dusard: A Retrospective — View Camera to Digital Derringer” is open and features photography, cowboys and landscapes of the American West. On June 28, “The Wildlife Art of Guy Coheleach” exhibit will open. Coheleach is recognized as one of the world’s best wild animal painters.
You can celebrate the museum’s 15th anniversary July 7 with the opening of “American Ballads: The Photographs of Marty Stuart,” a photography lecture with Stuart, and Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives in concert at Cartersville’s Grand Theatre.
After you visit the two museums, you can stroll through downtown Cartersville, where you’ll find a variety of locally owned stores and restaurants.
Meg Pie, under the Church Street Bridge across from the Booth, features unique clothing and hair accessories as well as home decor and greeting cards. Take a break from shopping at the store’s coffee shop, where you can enjoy a drink and dessert.
If you love rustic and farmhouse decor, you’ll want to stop at Copperwood on Main, where you’ll find furniture, farmhouse-style signs, flowers, cotton stems and more.
When you need a break from store browsing and are ready for a meal, the options include Mediterranean cuisine at Taverna Mediterranean Grill and modern cuisine at the new Table 20. If you like burgers, pasta and other sandwiches, The City Cellar is a local favorite. After the meal, stop by Coconuts for ice cream and Hawaiian shaved ice.
At the Etowah Indian Mounds, you can step back in time and see the earthen mounds built where several thousand Native Americans lived from 1000 to 1550. The 54-acre site, just minutes west of downtown, includes six mounds, a plaza, a village site, borrow pits and a defensive ditch. Take the nature trail along the Etowah River and see a V-shaped fish trap.
The Etowah Indian Mounds state park also features a museum with artifacts that show how the Etowah decorated themselves with shell beads, paint, complicated hairdos, feathers and copper ear ornaments. Objects made of wood, seashells and stone are also on display.