We live about an hour from Rome, but find ourselves there often because it’s great little city with a surprisingly large number of things to do. While this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun in Rome, Georgia, it is a grand collection of fun things to do for FREE!
Splash at Cave Spring. Rolater Park in Cave Spring is only a short drive. The park has a natural spring where people come to fill water jugs, etc. You can’t play right in the drinking water collection area, but you can splash a little down stream. If you want to enter the cave, it is a nominal $1 per person. There is also a seasonal pool – no chlorine, just fresh water – opened Thu – Sun. Be prepared for chilly waters!
Meditate at the Rome Labyrinth. Did you know there is a Labyrinth in Rome? It was originally an amphitheater, but a citizen worked with the local government to salvage the remnants. 5,490 bricks create the fun space. We walked the path three times, and then played a few games here. With two energetic boys, using it as a meditation tool was difficult, but I didn’t mind. It was fun! If you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping here. Right up the hill is the Rome Visitor Center where you can learn about several other places to visit.
Hike the Jackson Hill Trail System. The trailhead is located by the Visitor Center (and the Labyrinth.) A series of unpaved trails cover the site of old Fort Norton- series of earthen forts that defended Rome during the Civil War. The longest loop is a short 1.8 miles.
Explore the Old Mill at Berry College. Berry College is a beautiful campus with woods and wildlife to admire. We regularly see deer when visiting. Be sure to head to the back of the grounds near Camp Winshape to view the Old Mill. You can also hike over 40 miles of trails on campus!
Have a history lesson at Myrtle Hill Cemetery. It’s the second oldest cemetery in Rome, but arguably one of the most intriguing in Northwest Georgia. The cemetery was built on three hills to prevent any flooding disasters (a la NOLA) and is named after one of the hills. I encourage you to read about the rich history of this cemetery. Notable burials include Martha Berry’s parents, Woodrow Wilson’s cousin and first wife, one of the founders of Rome and many others!
Walk the paved Downtown Heritage Trail System. There are 13.5 miles of trails along all three of Rome’s rivers. Hike the .6-mile Kingfisher Trail along the Coosa river, which begins at the Myrtle Hill Cemetery. Or try the Armuchee Connector Bike Lane which crosses the river. Two downtown bike shops also make this an ideal place to rent a bike and see it all.
Play at Ridge Ferry Park. Ridge Ferry Park includes a Wetlands Demonstration Garden a “treehouse” from which to see the river, ECO River Education Center and a magnificent playground that is in the shade. You can picnic here, throw the ball around and have a great time. This is also a trailhead for the Heritage Trail System, and only a short walk to the Chieftains Museum.
Watch cakes being created at Honeymoon Bakery. Beautiful (and delicious) concoctions are created behind a glass window at Honeymoon Bakery. There’s even a wooden bench for kids to climb in order to see the magic. While the view is free, the treats are not. Luckily, there are affordable options for kids – a great “baby” gelato cone is only $1.35, and mini cupcakes are less than $2 each. I dare you to try just one! Delicious!
Where To Stay
I cannot recommend Hampton Inn & Suites more highly! It was just built in 2016, and offers spacious, updated, clean and open rooms and suites that are easy to get to from Rome’s lovely downtown district!
Bonus? FREE internet and FREE breakfast! And don’t forget the incredible FREE Roman Chariot that will pick you up at the hotel (and other places about town) easily so you don’t have to worry about parking or having a second beer!
If you want to spend an entire weekend in this great Georgia town then check out my Explore Georgia post about Weekend Family Fun in Rome, Ga.
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