Moving to Marietta: 6 Things You Need to Know
Marietta is the perfect place for those who want to have all the action of city life at their fingertips but not be in the thick of it. Just a short drive from Atlanta, Marietta is spacious, affordable, and fosters a supportive, family-friendly community.
Get an idea of what it’s like to live in Marietta with these key characteristics of the peaceful, historic town.
Marietta at a Glance:
Cost of Living Index: 111.5 (U.S. average is 100)
Median Home Price: $290,700
Walk Score: 35 - Car-Dependent
It’s One of Atlanta’s Largest Suburbs
Marietta is just 20 miles northwest of Atlanta in Cobb County. As of 2019, with a reported population of just over 60,000, it is the fourth largest city within the Atlanta metropolitan area—the largest in the state of Georgia.
Marietta is easily accessible via I-285 and I-75, providing a convenient and relatively quick route to Atlanta. This makes Marietta a popular location for Atlanta commuters to live. Marietta offers a peaceful escape from the fast pace of Atlanta, but with all the conveniences of a big city.
One of the biggest employers and a major facility in Marietta is the WellStar Kennestone Hospital, named for nearby Kennesaw Mountain and Stone Mountain. The hospital serves a significant portion of Cobb County and in 2020, opened a 166-bed emergency department connected to the main hospital. The new ER is the largest in Georgia and among the five largest in the country.
It’s Very Family Friendly with a Top School System
For those interested in a great place to raise kids and a wholesome family environment, Marietta has a family-oriented community and some of the best public schools in the state.
Marietta City Schools is its own school system operating separately from the Cobb County School District. It is an award-winning school district with a list of accolades such as being named a top 10 U.S. School District in Digital Technology by the Center for Digital Education, The Washington Post selecting Marietta High School among “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” in 2016, and winning the Georgia Charter System Foundation’s 2016 Georgia Charter System Innovator of the year, to name a few.
Marietta Schools is one of the first Charter School Systems in Georgia, including seven elementary schools, one of which is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Certified Magnet School, two middle schools, and one high school. It is also an International Baccalaureate World School District.
“If you’re seeking a very good school system in Georgia or the Atlanta area, it should be at the top of your list. The public school system is fabulous. It’s more of a private school education experience,” says Candance Green, a Marietta resident for 25 years.
Green says Marietta attracts a range of age groups. “It’s a wonderful place for young families. It’s even nice for older, empty nester-types to move here. I’ve known many of them to come and live with their kids that now have families and they’re enjoying it quite a bit.”
Marietta Neighborhoods Offer Variety
Marietta is a broad area made up of separate neighborhoods that have their own distinct vibe, but for the most part are all family friendly. The setting and culture of the neighborhoods vary, so locals have options depending on what they’re looking for.
Chestnut Creek is made up mostly of traditional homes on large lots, with tennis courts, a playground, a swimming pool, and a picnic area, making it a kid-friendly community. Chimney Springs is another desirable neighborhood with larger, single-family homes, manicured lawns and plenty of trails, bike paths, and recreational attractions.
Windsor Oaks is an upscale Marietta neighborhood with top schools and nearby restaurants, shopping, and outdoor amenities. Somerset is a close-knit, socially-active community with a mix of home styles and sizes and a lake in the neighborhood.
Downtown Marietta is where most of the action happens. Downtown has the courthouse, historic homes, and a walkable entertainment district surrounding the main square. “It’s as much of a city living as you’re going to get,” Green says.
As for Green, the East Cobb area where she lives is her favorite. “We have Atlanta Country Club, we have Indian Hills—both areas that have golf courses associated with them,” she says. “I think the downtown Marietta area is beautiful as well in a different, more quaint way.”
The public school system is fabulous. It’s more of a private school education experience.
It Has a Thriving Dining Scene
Over the past couple decades, the Marietta restaurant scene has really developed. Chef Doug Turbush is among Marietta’s top culinary talents, who went on from executive chef at Bluepointe to open Seed Kitchen & Bar in East Cobb, and its sister establishments Stem Wine Bar and Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar in Marietta. Seed is stylish with an internationally inspired menu, Stem specializes in wines by the glass and tapas, and Drift focuses on fish and oysters.
Red Sky is another chic Marietta restaurant that has tapas and a piano bar. It makes for a fun date night or night out with friends when it has live dueling pianos in the evening.
One Marietta claim-to-fame is its celebrity resident Alton Brown, host of the Food Network’s “Good Eats” cooking show, which is also filmed in Marietta. Brown is married to celebrated interior designer, Elizabeth Ingram, who created the striking interiors of popular Atlanta restaurants like Marcel, Beetlecat, and Golden Eagle. They met when Brown recruited her to design his Marietta office and loft apartment.
Another culinary institution, if you will, that doubles as a Marietta landmark is The Big Chicken. True to its name, this KFC restaurant is located at the busy Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road intersection and is adorned with a giant steel chicken structure extending from the building.
It’s More Affordable Than Other Atlanta Suburbs
For a town close to Atlanta in a great school district, Marietta is very affordable, especially compared to some of its more expensive neighboring suburbs like Sandy Springs. Current home prices start at around $100,000 (and go all the way up to $7 million). Another bonus of living in Marietta is the low property taxes, which are the lowest of any city with more than 10,000 residents in metro Atlanta.
There are Great Outdoor and Cultural Attractions
A great perk of living in Marietta is being surrounded by natural beauty and all the activities that come with it. The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Marietta encompasses a preserved Civil War battlefield, a historic museum, and miles of scenic hiking trails with beautiful wildlife. Currently in construction is the Mountain to River Trail connecting Kennesaw Mountain starting at the National Battlefield Park with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
There are six museums all within walking distance of each other in the Marietta Square: The Marietta Museum of History, the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum, the Old Zion Church Heritage Museum, Marietta Fire Museum, the William Root House, and the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art.
Sports and baseball fans enjoy having Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, in Marietta. Just outside of the park is The Battery Atlanta, a destination for restaurants, bars, live music and events, shopping, and more.
Other than the Battery, Green warns that Marietta leaves more to be desired in the nightlife category. “If you’re looking to relocate and you’re a younger person and you want it to be happening, it’s probably not Marietta,” says Green. “If you’re looking for convenience, if you’re looking for a friendly atmosphere, and some place that’s not full of traffic, it’s a great area to live.”