Are you looking to get away from city life and enjoy some small-town living, stunning nature preserves and fantastic food? Look no further than Roswell, Georgia. Not more than 30 miles from Atlanta, Roswell offers up plenty of Southern charm and hospitality. With roots dating back to The Civil War, Roswell has built a name for itself with some of the best fine dining to come out of the Atlanta area as well as fascinating docent-led tours of beautiful homes from the 19th century.
I made my way over the river and through some woods (literally) from Atlanta to Roswell. As I headed to the lovely DoubleTree Hotel, my home-sweet-home for the next few days, adorable Canton Street, home to several beloved shops and restaurants, enchanted me.
Centrally located on Holcomb Bridge Road, the DoubleTree Hotel sits among gorgeous trees, luscious views and winding roads. My room was ample and comfortable, but the best things about the hotel were their hospitable staff and excellent room service. As a lover of Southern foods, I couldn’t resist getting my first of many orders of shrimp and grits upon my arrival. It made for a perfect evening as I relaxed and prepared for my adventures to come in Roswell.
Rise and Shine
Start your morning at Old Mill Park for a brisk walk along their walking trail. Built along Vickery Creek in the mid-to- late 1800s to supply power for their mills. Old Mill Park has an impressive 30-foot dam and millrace. Their trail allows visitors to view the dam and old mill ruins while enjoying the tranquil sounds of natural habitat and the river streaming all around.
If breakfast is sounding good, look no further than the nearby Peachtree Diner. While you might think greasy spoon when you hear diner, Peachtree takes it up a notch by providing a cozy atmosphere that reminds you you’re in for some Southern hospitality. For over 30 years, Peachtree Diner has served up a massive selection of items that ensures there’s something for everyone. The diner is famous among the locals for their big breakfast plates, so be sure to try their pancakes or eggs benedict to keep you fueled until lunchtime.
Tour Historic 19th Century Mansions
Roswell’s historic district is filled with exquisite Civil War-era homes and several museums with docent-led tours. At Bulloch Hall, get a glimpse into the childhood home of Martha “Mittie” Roosevelt, mother of Theodore, Jr. You can enjoy reading the letters and diaries throughout the home to get a glimpse into the life of the Bulloch family. The love letters to Mittie from Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. document the couple’s plans for marriage and will intrigue history buffs. The sweet documents made me nostalgic for the romantic ways of that era.
Discover more about Roswell when you visit Barrington Hall. A visit to the grand house built by Barrington and Roswell King will give you insight into the prestigious King family, founders of the colony known today as Roswell. Preserved by the Kings for over 160 years, Barrington Hall was acquired by the city in 2005. It was then that, for the first time, visitors were able to tour the Greek-revival style mansion. Artifacts and exquisite furnishings have managed to keep the stories that date back to 1838, alive.
Meet some Locals (maybe) on a Ghost Tour
No visit to Roswell is complete unless you take their widely-popular ghost tour. Since this was my first time on a ghostly excursion, I was happy to discover that the intent of the Roswell Ghost Tour is more educational than frightening. Over the course of our 2.5 hour trek that began at 8pm, our “Ghost Investigator,” Meghan, took us on an incredible journey which found no ghouls jumping out of bushes to terrorize us.
Loving all things paranormal, Meghan had a passion for the deceased of Roswell and their involvement to this day in the city. While nothing too supernatural happened to us (although my flashlight ran out of battery), the Roswell Ghost Tour was an incredibly fun way to learn more about the town’s history and see some gorgeous homes at twilight.
Shop and Stroll
As I mentioned, Canton Street is where it’s at for boutiques, restaurants and bars. As you stroll down this charming tree-lined avenue, pop in and out of galleries before deciding on where to head for some lunch or a libation. Canton Street is also the location for the Annual Roswell Wine Festival. Held in early autumn, the festival offers ticket holders complimentary wine tastings and so much more.
While browsing the shops, make sure to stop into Raiford Gallery. Local artist, Judie Raiford, offers up a shop just as fun and eclectic as she is. From stunning jewelry pieces made by Judie to the selection of home decor and art pieces by various artists, the many creations will make sure you don’t leave empty-handed.
Just a few steps up from Raiford Gallery is Southern tavern, Table and Main. At Table and Main, step inside the restored cottage and experience one of the finest meals you’ll have in the Atlanta area. Table and Main is the recipient of numerous awards that include the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and a Conde Nast pick for one of the best restaurants in Atlanta, and it’s clear to see why. Enjoy all of the Georgian favorites like fried chicken and shrimp and grits. We all know that I chose the latter, and it didn’t disappoint. A generous portion of Gulf shrimp over a bowl of stone-ground corn grits cooked with a blend of local cheeses and herbs reminded me that there’s nowhere like the South for “comfort cooking.”
(This itinerary was made possible by Visit Historic Roswell.)