I have lived in and around Marietta my entire life. At 36 years old, I have seen just about every part of the city, but the most astonishing part of the city is the square. Marietta Square is the seat of government in the county, and it is one of the best tourist attractions outside of Atlanta. Marietta is right on Interstate 75, and that road goes all the way from Miami to Canada. Therefore, you can pass right through the city just after you get off the highway.
Marietta is famous for the The Big Chicken. The Big Chicken is a KFC restaurant that has a large chicken built on top of it. It has been there for decades, and people even give directions based on The Big Chicken. Six Flags is about 20 miles south of Marietta, and a water park called White Water is just down the road from The Big Chicken.
Marietta has a rising food scene where discerning chefs are making everything from authentic Mexican cuisine to haute cuisine in their kitchens. Also, there are many homestyle restaurants that offer the best of soul food from down south.
Marietta is a suburban city that has many people working down near Atlanta during the day. However, it is far away from the city so that you do not feel like you are in the middle of the city.
Marietta is a great place to stay because it gives you a little bit of everything without putting you in the middle of downtown Atlanta. The town itself is its own capital in Cobb County.
Much of the area around Atlanta is unincorporated, though this is changing rapidly, particularly in Fulton County. As such, there are communities that do not get properly reviewed. East Cobb is one of these communities. Although technically speaking, East Cobb is considered everything east of Marietta, most locals only consider the area east of what is known as the Marietta Loop to be "East Cobb". This area has some of the best schools in the state of Georgia, and is particularly friendly to senior homeowners over 62 since they are exempt from paying school taxes, the largest part of Georgia property tax bills (70 to 80%). This area borders on much of the Chattahoochee National Recreational Area which is very scenic and offers pretty good trout fishing. It also has some good restaurants including Chequers Seafood, Common Quarters, Papermill Grill and Seed. The wine bar next to Seed is excellent. Affordable housing exists but is difficult to find. There are no hotels or motels in East Cobb, but the ones along I75 just outside of I285 are close as is the hotel that has changed its name often located at Powers Ferry Crossing along I285 (currently Wyndham Galleria, but not located in the Galleria). The area is home to Atlanta Country Club and Indian Hills Country Club.
Marietta has most everything anybody could want for a home town. The city limits are a bit crowded though. Marietta is a huge area, and don't be fooled by the census data. Greater Marietta has many great areas with parks and shopping nearby. The weather is good, and there's plenty of jobs down here. Atlanta is only 20 minutes away from Marietta, but plan on some traffic. Probably the worst thing about Marietta is the traffic, and it's not just on the freeway. Overall I think Marietta is one of the better places to live in all of metro Atlanta, and for that matter all of Georgia.
My boyfriend and I stayed in Marietta, Georgia in June of 2010, because he is attending Chiropractic school there at Life University. Marietta, is actually a very large suburb of Atlanta, and although there is not much to do in the actual city, it is close enough to downtown Atlanta, where attractions are nearby. The area of Marietta Square is by far the best section of town, however, some of the areas around the square are quite filled with crime. Marietta Square has a ton of little southern shops and restaurants, our favorite is Hemingways, and surrounds a lush green park. There are also a few theaters and local artists and studios you can find around the square as well.
Marietta has an outdoor mall which is fairly nice, and has department stores and higher end shops such as J.Crew and Pottery Barn, which is nice. The Six Flags water park is also located in Marietta, which is a great option for visitors with families. Marietta is comprised primarily of chain restaurants, although if you have a sweet tooth, I do recommend visiting Marietta Diner, where they have literally every type of homemade cake and pie available. While there isn't much going on in Marietta, there is not much to complain about, although there are very few areas I would visit alone at night.
Marietta offers a low cost of living and access to Atlanta. It is pretty average in terms of most things that matter to us on a daily basis - traffic, shopping, things to do etc. Taxes are fairly low but you get what you pay for right?
For people who are thinking about moving to Marietta, I would give a strong piece of advice - make sure you understand where you are planning to live and study the surrounding area closely. I say this because Marietta is infested with train crossings. With train crossings come train honking which is constant and relentless and really have no standardization - translation - although train operators have guidelines, they are required to meet the minimum guidelines. Beyond that they are not bound by how much they honk. Even the minimum guidelines are enough to make somebody sensitive to sound feel frustrated. There are several trains that pass through Marietta everyday (in my neighborhood around 40) and they HONK. Besides, the rumbling sound is also pretty frustrating depending on where you live.
There are guidelines on how you can make certain train crossings qualify as quiet zones. Your Realtor may tell you that however, please don't take that lightly. The process of getting quiet zone qualification is tedious, unclear and costs a lot. The local government will not help or assist in that matter.
So please ensure, especially people with sensitive hearing, that you check the location and re-check, spend time in the neighborhood (there is bound to be at least 1 train every 30 min) and understand the sound levels before you move. You don't want to feel like you are living in a train yard. This is my most sincere review and feedback.
Other than that, this is a pretty standard, average city.