Part of Cobb County Georgia, Acworth sits on the outer extremity of a finger of urbanization that stretches northwest from Atlanta.
It lines the shores of two lakes, Allatoona and Acworth, in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.
Sometimes known as ‘the lake city’, Acworth Georgia is in many ways a typical southern city. Once Cherokee territory, it was burnt down during the American Civil War.
Largely recovering by the 1880s off the back of the surrounding cotton plantations, it remained racially segregated until 1967. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, combining its scenic setting with a good number of attractions.
Here are the 15 best things to do in and around Acworth, Georgia.
1. Main Street
The historic heart of Acworth, Main Street predates European settlement in the area, and was long used by Cherokee native Americans as a trading route.
The center of life in this small rural town for decades, the street features a number of commercial properties dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Forming part of the famed north-south Dixie Highway, its Victorian-era architecture continues to provide a home for all manner of shops, restaurants, and independent boutiques despite the presence of larger malls elsewhere in town.
Maintaining its atmosphere of southern charm, keep an eye out for its vintage signs and advertisements too.
2. Acworth Beach
Make the most of Georgia’s fine all-year weather by heading to Acworth Beach. It sits on the northern shore of Lake Acworth in Cauble Park.
It offers tons of clean sand to enjoy, which was shipped in by truck with the creation of this man-made lake.
In addition, this tranquil location just a few minutes from downtown Acworth is a favorite spot for locals to make full use of their lakeside location.
Canoes, kayaks and electrically-powered boats are welcome, while there are also dedicated areas for swimmers to take a dip, and an attractive boardwalk area.
3. Collins Avenue Historic District
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Collins Avenue Historic District features a combination of late Victorian-style structures and more homely Craftsmen-style bungalow homes.
At the southern end of the avenue are its oldest buildings, with the Collins-Smith House having been built in 1850 as the homestead of an 80-hectare farm.
That said, the 1897 McMillan-Parks House was moved to its northern end in the 1980s. This end of the avenue is better known for its bungalows.
These were constructed in the 1920s by the general manager of the Unique Knitting Company, which had a mill in Acworth during the period.
4. Acworth Arts Alliance
Just north of Main Street, Acworth Arts Alliance was only founded in 2017, but occupies a beautifully-restored house typical of the region.
Wrapped by an exterior veranda, the alliance puts on exhibitions of local artists, whether they specialize in watercolor paintings, sculpture, or oils.
Equally attractive is the setting for Acworth Cultural Arts, found in downtown’s old city jailhouse.
Its aim to maintain the vibrancy and artistic spirit that makes Acworth so special. It hosts regular events inside and outside of its headquarters with this in mind. These range from from choral concerts to pop-up performances.
5. Mountain Bike Trails
Getting out into nature is incredibly easy in and around Acworth, with three mountain bike trails forming a loop around 16 km long within Allatoona Creek Park.
Incorporating all the area has to offer when it comes to trail challenges, their routes take in lakes, forest, and sliding unsurfaced tracks.
With the names Hocus Pocus, Mumbo Jumbo, and Voodoo, it’s perhaps not surprising that these tracks are considered to be difficult, so keep this in mind when planning your day in the saddle.
Singletrack for most of the way, these rugged trails aren’t just about toughing it out though, offering beautiful views across to the creek as well.
6. Liberty Hill Cemetery
Both beautiful and historically important, Liberty Hill Cemetery can be found off the northern end of Main Street.
Established shortly after the first founding of Acworth as a settlement, its oldest grave is known to date to 1847.
One of the oldest parts of the city as it exists today, Acworth’s First Baptist Church was also located a short distance away.
Consisting of a simple log building, it was destroyed during the American Civil War, rebuilt in 1866, and then later sold.
For an existing religious structure with a similar amount of history, check out the Bethel AME Church, with its fine Romanesque Revival style dating from the 1870s.
7. Dixie Highway
Running from Chicago in the north to Miami in the south, the Dixie Highway played an important part in the development of the southern states, particularly after the arrival of the motor car.
Its use as a means of getting from A to B has largely been replaced by more modern highways and interstates. That said, this remnant from the early twentieth century provides the perfect base for a road trip from Acworth.
Although its original route has been largely lost, except for a short section outside of Macon, almost 200 km from Acworth, the back roads that do still exist are an excellent introduction to Georgia’s small towns and civil war history.
8. Folklore Haunted House
For those who like to get scared out of their wits, there’s nowhere better to do this in metropolitan Atlanta than at Folklore Haunted House in downtown Acworth.
Described as one of the US’s ‘greatest haunts’ and also the scariest attraction in northern Georgia, Folklore consists of two separate attractions in one which can be visited individually or together.
The Manor takes the form of a once beautiful homestead that’s fallen on bad times and under the influence of all sorts of ghouls. Asylum ’67 takes the action into the horrors of a 1960s state asylum.
Both have live actors leading the way through creepy interiors full of surprises.
9. Depot Park History Center
Owned and operated by the Save Acworth History Foundation, this former railway station complex is filled with images and artifacts that tell the story of Acworth’s railroad, milling, and farming past.
Many of the objects on display here have been donated by the local community, and include the original freight scales used to weight packages heading onto the rails in the 1890s.
At the same time, a video booth allows visitors to listen directly to the stories of the people of Acworth, ensuring these vital elements of social history are preserved, rather than lost for future generations and interested tourists alike.
10. Red Top Brewhouse
Red Top Brewhouse is one of the new crop of small breweries that is popping up all over the metropolitan Atlanta region.
But that’s not to say its beers are in anyway watered down by the presence of nearby competition. In fact, the competition ensures that only fine craft beers are ever produced here.
Created as a community hub that is family-friendly, a couple of hours here is a great way to introduce yourself into Acworth community life and perhaps enjoy a little live music at the same time.
When it comes to the beers themselves, there are close to 20 different drinks available on tap, from ciders to wheat beers.
11. Historic Acworth Walking Tour
The serious history lover should give careful thought to following Acworth’s self-guided historic walking tour, which ensures those new to the city don’t miss a single aspect of the city’s history.
While you won’t find route markers on the pavements, it is a path easy enough to follow even if you don’t have a map by starting on Main Street and winding your away among the attractive side streets than run away from it.
The tour takes in sights including the Liberty Hill Cemetery and Collins Avenue Historic District. However, it also takes in lesser-known sights including Dallas Street, and Lemon House – General Sherman’s headquarters in June 1864.
12. Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
The destruction of the town during the civil war is not the only event from this time to have made it into the history books about Acworth.
Another took place in April 1862, when a steam engine by the name of the General was stolen from the neighboring city of Kennesaw and passed through the town in an attempt by Unionist forces to destroy the south’s railway infrastructure.
The General survives, and is the star attraction at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, just ten minutes southeast of Acworth.
13. Red Top Mountain State Park
Situated on a peninsula that sticks out into Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park is about 6 miles north of Acworth.
Like at Lake Acworth, there is a beach providing safe swimming in a small cove, amid a glorious backdrop of mature trees.
The lake itself covers almost 5,000 hectares, meaning there’s always plenty of space to take to the water on even the busiest of summer days.
There are more than 20 km of hiking trails to choose between, as well as picnic benches and shelters for anyone looking to take in the surroundings without the risk of aching muscles the following day.
14. Antique and flea markets
Acworth’s long history means it has become an attractive place for people to shop for antiques and other unusual items.
Away from the independent stores of Main Street, shoppers in search of that special something should also consider a trip to Lake Acworth Antiques and Flea Market.
Its large former barn has been providing a one stop shop for all things old since 1972. Even if you don’t find anything to haggle over, the blend of indoor and outdoor space also includes a farmers’ market for fresh fruits and vegetables, and a food truck serving up delicious tacos too.
15. Dallas Landing Park
Back on Lake Allatoona, Dallas Landing Park offers another large pet-free swimming beach. It has also featured the world’s largest inflatable water slide, at 11 metres high by more than 50 m long, which sits easily on the sands.
There’s a volleyball court which frequently echoes to the sound of summer fun, as well as picnic tables and publicly-available grills.
At over 30 hectares in area, the park is a short distance from the northern end of Main Street, making it walkable for those looking to stretch their legs just a little.