On the surface Cartersville, Georgia embodies all the Southern small-town charms – historic homes, a town square, local diners where there’s much debate about the local sports teams. But Cartersville has some big surprises in store and is home to Georgia’s most unique must-see attractions. Would you expect the sunny South to have a museum displaying the largest permanent exhibition of Western American art in the nation? This is just one of several surprises awaiting visitors to the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA.
The Booth Museum, as the locals call it, has many galleries dedicated to the American West, but two special galleries are one-of-a-kind experiences that each allow visitors to see America’s Story from a unique perspective. The Carolyn & James Millar Presidential Gallery contains a portrait and a personal signed document from every American President. The letters contain discussion or direction on a variety of topics, some frivolous and others concerning matters of life and death. Which prompts another surprising collection see in the War is Hell Gallery. Here visitors can immerse themselves in the American Civil War with paintings depicting the wars major battles in chronological order as the occurred. From beginning to end, you’ll agree the Booth Western Art Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a marvel to discover.
Step outside the museum onto Downtown Cartersville’s Historic Square where the central gathering spot is known as Friendship Plaza. Cartersville is truly a friendly town, but the name comes from a local treasure believed to be the only monument ever commissioned to honor the friendship of 38 creditors who saved the owner of the Etowah Railroad Company from financial ruin. The monument is just steps away from the iron rails that Mark Cooper brought to Cartersville. Visitors can see the names of Cooper’s most loyal friends, and short biographical displays along the “Fence of Fame” introducing some of Cartersville’s most notable early residents.
Across Main Street on the corner of Young Brothers’ Pharmacy is another Only in Cartersville treasure. The World’s First Outdoor Painted Wall Sign for Coca-Cola has been authenticated by The Coca-Cola Company and is one of the most-photographed spots in the city.
One block east on Main Street and you can step back in time at 4 Way Lunch. This beloved Cartersville lunch counter has been a mainstay since 1931, and believe it or not, they’ve operated successfully without ever installing a telephone. The 4 Way Lunch begins with breakfast and ends with lunch every day except Sunday; and you might have to wait a minute or two for one of the 14 counter seats to open up.
Just about a mile from the downtown square, but well within the Cartersville City Limits is Pettit Creek Farms, home to Georgia’s Largest Camel Herd. Yes, that’s right, and these camels reside with giraffes, Santa’s southern reindeer Comet and Cupid, and many of uniquely interesting animals that you can meet, feed, pet and they love to take selfies!
Any mention of oddities found only in Cartersville would be lacking if we didn’t mention the World’s Largest Know’d Classic Car Junkyard. At least that’s what the sign says outside Old Car City USA in White, Georgia. Yes we know it’s an even smaller town, but it’s so close to Cartersville, you won’t even know you’ve left!
Add more to Your Visit
See why Cartersville is known as Georgia’s Museum City and is the smallest town in the U.S. with Two Smithsonian Affiliate Museums – plus the NEW Savoy Automobile Museum