The sprawling city of Rome in Georgia, the largest in Floyd County, remains one of the most coveted destinations on every traveler’s list.
Founded in 1834 and located on seven hills, this bustling city is bordered by three rivers that merge in the heart of the central district.
Its pristine location and well-preserved past through famous museums make this place a one-stop destination for you, offering a blend of the Old World and natural wonders.
Let’s take a dive and explore the 15 best things to do in and around Rome, Georgia.
Ascend the Clock Tower
Referred to as the "city’s official symbol," this favorite landmark was a former water supply tank for the city.
Climbing the 107 steps that spiral inside the tower will lead you to a viewing platform that offers a spectacular view of this wonderful city.
You can either book an appointment for a group tour or opt for a public tour offered on a seasonal basis.
The tower also houses a small museum that portrays the history of Rome in a painted mural depicting the founding of the city through the present day and the restored original clockworks.
The public tour is free of cost.
Explore the History in the Chieftains Museum
This attractive clapboard building was once the former home of Major Ridge, a Cherokee leader.
It is a national historic landmark that encompasses the rich heritage of the Cherokee Indians and the skirmishes that resulted from the difference in cultures in the southeastern United States.
It eventually culminated in the ‘Trail of Tears.’
The museum holds the Cherokee's story while exhibiting the artifacts that were unearthed on the property.
It stands as an official site on the ‘Trail of Tears’ National Historic Trail.
Travel Back in Time in the Rome Area History Museum
The Rome Area History Museum will take you through a walk down the history lane, starting from the initial settlements of the region to the more recent history of Rome, Georgia.
Apart from the displays and artifacts, you will also be led through history with exhibition spaces dedicated to preserving important historical events.
Its collection of historical documents, maps, photographs, etc., focuses more on the European settlement.
It also hosts dedicated spaces for the Civil War period and the agricultural way of life prevalent in the twentieth century as well.
The museum serves as an excellent treat for all the history buffs who like to satiate their curiosity about the area's rich, storied past.
Visit the Admiral Towers Plaza
The Admiral Towers Plaza is dedicated in the loving memory of Admiral John Henry Towers, a native Roman who is also called ‘The Father of Naval Aviation.'
Located adjacent to the Rome City Hall, the life-sized bronze statue of Admiral Towers and the surroundings resonate with his fascinating story.
He was the third naval officer who received the designation of ‘Naval Aviator’ and also the first Naval Aviator to receive the flag rank of Admiral.
He is featured in the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Aviation Hall of Fame.
Take a Refreshing Walk at Downtown Heritage Trail System
One of the most exciting aspects concerning the quality of life in Rome is its beautiful multi-use trail system.
Like roadways and mass transit, trails are also a key component in a community’s transportation system.
This serves as an effective way to minimize traffic congestion, fossil fuel consumption, noise, and air pollution.
The downtown system of over 13.5 miles (21.73 km) of trails follows Rome’s three rivers.
There are entrances at West Third Street, Town Green, Riverview Park, Mrytle Hill Cemetery, Heritage Park, Bridgepoint Plaza, and various other locations.
It is family-friendly and open year-round.
You can even grab a bicycle or take a stroll through these in the evenings with your friends or family.
Explore the Various Life Forms at Rome-Floyd E.C.O. Center
The Rome-Floyd E.C.O. Center hosts various informational programs throughout the year in exhibiting wildlife native to the northwestern region of Georgia.
The center aims to create awareness about the importance of natural resources.
It is home to many aquariums with turtles, frogs, and fish native to the Coosa, Etowah, and Oostanaula rivers.
The center also houses many indigenous plants.
Unearth the Story of Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum
Opened to the public in 1972, this historical museum had a mission of keeping the story of Berry College and Martha Berry through various exhibits, as well as educational events and programs.
Martha Berry was one of the most prominent women in the earlier part of the 20th century.
She was the founder of the Berry College, and her Greek Revival style home, Oak Hill, gives a glimpse of their history.
Explore the beautiful gardens that surround this mansion, which includes an All-American selection display of plants.
Unwind at Rome City Brewhouse
This brewhouse is housed within an Opera house dating back to 1880.
Being a recent addition in 2012 to an existing block that was already a favorite hub for live music, the Rome City Brewhouse garnered further support for this popular tradition of get-togethers.
Sit back and relax while listening to some live music or grooving to them.
Watching a favorite game of sports or even enjoy your dinner with family/ friends.
Give in to Your Cravings at Honeymoon Bakery
What’s a trip if you don’t try out some local favorites?
For all those who have a sweet tooth, try the Honeymoon Bakery.
Whether you want to try a breakfast option or indulge in guilty temptations, this serves as a one-stop shop for all mouthwatering delicious treats.
Apart from savoring these delicacies, you can also watch how your favorite and beautiful concoctions are created through a glass window within the bakery.
There's even a wooden bench placed to help the kids see the magic being made.
While the view is free, the treats are not!
Luckily, there are many affordable options, namely, baby gelato cones and mini cupcakes.
But you don’t need an occasion to celebrate, nor do you need one to have a cake!
So put aside all your worries and have that cupcake!
Remember the Brave Heroes in Myrtle Hill Cemetery
Located on Mrytle Hill, this is one of the most scenic burial grounds.
This is where the three rivers — the Coosa, the Oostanaula, and the Etowah — meet.
This cemetery holds the remains of more than 20,000 soldiers who fought in the American Civil War.
The Veterans Plaza also consists of the Tomb of the Known Soldier.
They were one of the few US troops who had fought in the First World War and were buried on their home soil.
Three maxim guns from the period highlight the plot of Charles Graves.
Apart from that, the cemetery is also the burial ground of Ellen Axson, the first wife of President Woodrow Wilson.
She is the only First Lady to be buried in Georgia to date.
Have a Fun Time at Ridge Ferry Park
Covering 60 acres, the Ridge Ferry Park is one of Rome’s most popular parks consisting of a large central playground, picnic areas, and river views.
It offers access to the trail system that runs through Downtown Rome.
It also has multi-purpose pavilions, concert stages, volleyball courts, natural and paved trails, etc.
The park is also famous for hosting various events all year round, such as Chiaha Arts Festival, the Trout Unlimited Chili Cookoff, the seasonal farmer’s market, etc.
Watch a Game in Rome Braves’ Home Ground
Rome Braves is the minor league baseball team of Rome, Georgia.
Baseball as the nation's biggest game, a ticket to the game will certainly offer great insights into the modern culture and traditions of the US in its full glory.
It can also highlight the pride people usually have in their home states/ cities.
Who knows, this can soon become one of your favorite pastimes.
Trying Your Hand at Rome Axe-Throwing
It's always fun to explore and try out something different.
So how about a little axe throwing?
It is a sport that has been increasingly popular.
And not to mention that it would be a great way to let off some steam and vent out your piled-up frustration!
At Rome Axe Throwing, coaches would always assist you by demonstrating the best methods and techniques to help lodging your axe in the hardwood target.
So, are you excited?
Visit the Statue of Romulus and Remus
The twins Romulus and Remus can be found in front of Rome City Hall.
A replica of the famous statue which portrays the boys being suckled by a she-wolf standing on the Capitoline Hill was gifted to the city by the Italian Director, Benito Mussolini, in 1929.
The 1996 Olympic Games saw the Olympic torch passing the statue as it made its way to Atlanta for the games of that year.
Also, don't miss to check out the architecture of the City Hall itself.
While you are at it, explore the Carnegie Library next door as well.
Discover the City’s Past at Rome Area History Center
The Rome Area History Center has been welcoming visitors since 1996.
You’ll spot this museum along Broad Street showcasing Rome’s amazing history and surrounding areas through exhibits and archives on display.
Guests can drop by with free general admission from Tuesday to Saturday.
You can also check the gift shop for exclusive gift items made by local artists and souvenirs you can take home for mementos.
The museum staff will also be glad to give you information about local sites, dining spots, events, and services in Rome and nearby areas.
Your children can join the fun museum programs held throughout the year with Capi, the Center’s official mascot.
You can also book and join storytelling programs offered by Rome Area History Center and get to listen to well-known storytellers to take you to Rome’s past.
Enjoy Fun Activities at Lazy Creek Farms
Your family will have lots of fun things to do at Lazy Creek Farms.
Located on Yarbrough Street, this family-owned farm opened its doors in 2019 and offers different family activities every season.
Have a farm tour, enjoy the hayride, and catch the busy bees at the observation hive.
Otherwise, you can try tasty sweet treats at the Lazy Creek Bakehouse.
If you’re dropping by during the spring season, you’ll enjoy picking fresh strawberries; likewise, your little ones will enjoy riding the wooden train and wooden tractor, and playing around the jump pad, corn hole, and zipline.
Get samplings of yummy spring treats like strawberry shortcake, cinnamon bread, Strawberry Mini Pies, Strawberry Ice Cream, and Dairy-free Strawberry Ice Cream.
Fall season activities include a Pumpkin Patch area where you can pick your perfect pumpkin under the shade.
Enjoy the bakery’s fall season treats like Fall Ice Cream, Caramel Apple Spice Drink, and gooey Turtle Fudge.
Have a fun day at Lazy Creek Farms!
Have a Tee Off at Stonebridge Golf Club
Enjoy tee games at Stonebridge Golf Club while you’re in the city.
This 6,800-yard golf course sits on Stonebridge Drive and offers a fun and challenging golf experience to novice and seasoned golfers.
The course designed by Arthur Davis opened in 1994 and features excellent Bermuda fairways with a view of the majestic Appalachian Mountains and towering Georgia pines bordering the course.
Sign up for individual and playing lessons to improve your golfing game and score better or avail of the customized lesson packages for your specific needs.
Drop by the Clubhouse after your game and enjoy the relaxing views of the course, spot some wildlife, and be mesmerized by the sight of the Lavender Mountains.
Likewise, enjoy tasty entrees, snacks, breakfast meals, sandwiches, or cold drinks at The Stonebridge Grill.
Check out the Stonebridge Golf Club Golf Shop and find assorted golf equipment and apparel brands and special merchandise.
Taste Delectable Eats at Harvestmoon Cafe
Enjoy a variety of lunch, dinner, and Sunday Brunch fare at Harvestmoon Cafe located at downtown Broad Street.
The restaurant started as a sandwich shop that opened in 1998 on East 2nd Street; it eventually grew to serve full lunch and dinner in 2001 at its present location in the historic Fahy Department Store.
Meals are freshly made and served with locally-sourced ingredients and produce; you can also request to have your meals served vegan and gluten-free.
Start your dinner with Nibbles on the menu like House Salad, Southern Cobb Salad, Grain Bowl, or Grain Bowl.
You’ll enjoy a variety of Sandwich & Burger flavors like Wicked Cheese Steak, Black Bean Burger, and more.
Get filling Supper Plates like the Gulf Coast Shrimp and Riverview Farm Stone Ground Grits or the Southern Fried Catfish; you can also add assorted Fixins to your meals.
For the lunch menu, you can get the Moon Starters, then go for Salads, Meat & Veggie Plates, try the Moon Specialties, or choose from juicy burgers and sandwiches.
You’ll also enjoy Harvestmoon Cafe’s Sunday Brunch Menu with Beginnings and Lighter Sides, Breakfast specials, Specials for the Day, Meat and 3 selections, and sides.
See Entertaining Shows at the Historic DeSoto Theatre
An iconic movie theater, DeSoto Theatre in Rome’s Broad Street is a great place to watch great stage productions with the family.
The former movie house, similar to New York’s Roxy was built in 1928 by O. C. Lam; it was also among Georgia’s largest movie venues back then.
It was reopened in 1982 as a theater venue for the city’s amateur theatre group, the Rome Little Theatre.
The theater is also one of the venues for Romes’ annual International Film Festival.
Catch great stage performances in the comfort of this 498-seating-capacity theater.
You can also check out featured and upcoming concerts and family-friendly shows on the DeSoto Theatre website.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Take a Break at Cave Springs in Rolater Park
What could be the best possible way to escape a hot sunny afternoon in Rome, Georgia?
Well, we have the answer for you!
Visit Cave Springs, with its natural underground formations.
It is perhaps one of the most popular attractions of the Rolater Park, with its caves slipping beneath the surrounding landscapes in stalagmite formations, one of which is called the "Devil’s Stool."
Don’t miss out on the chance to see the origins of the spring - from where the city derived its name - which on the surface forms a swimming lake.
While you are at the place, visit the Cave Spring Baptist Church, famous for its bricks individually made in the 1850s by African-American slaves.
So what are some of your favorite things to do in Rome, Georgia?
What other activities have you explored in this magnificent city?
Do let us know.