Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
Where else can you sit on a rocking chair on a historic front porch repeating “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” and people will repeatedly laugh than in Marietta, Georgia?
This city is so infused with history, that it takes several historical districts and the “Gone with the Wind” museum just to scratch the surface.
The districts are:
- Church Cherokee Streets
- Forest Hills
- Kennesaw Avenue
Marietta Square downtown has six museums and 30 restaurants in one easily walkable area.
There are ghost tours and food tours and even a giant chicken that bears more explaining as we go along.
Marietta is about 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta, and just a short drive to the Atlanta Braves ballpark just outside the southern perimeter of the town.
Outdoorsy people will love Marietta too for the nearby mountain and the massive water park to cool off on those humid summer days.
You can fish and golf on the same day and enjoy a big barbecue dinner at night without driving for more than *15 minutes to each attraction.
Nearby Kennesaw Mountain is more than an outdoor playground.
It’s a former Civil War Battlefield where a lot of blood was shed and there are monuments of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain throughout the park.
You might even see a re-enactment of a battle while you’re there.
The bulk of hotels in Marietta are going to be at or south of Marietta Parkway.
The biggest gathering is near the interstate’s crossing with Delk Road.
There’s one hotel, the Hilton, in Marietta Square and this is a great option if you want to be able to walk around near your hotel.
Warnings & Dangers in Marietta
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk, although there are some pockets of crime we should talk through. Some of the communities in this area are very safe, yet very boring. Marietta has a lot to do and a little more crime to show for it.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
MARTA doesn't go to Marietta (that's the popular Atlanta travel system), but you can get rides through CobbLinc. That's the public transportation system throughout Cobb County. You can also get a bus ride on Xpress GA to travel throughout the region. There's no specific bus system just for Marietta, so you can rely on taxis or rideshares. You will need car rides here because, while the independent historic areas are walkable, none of the big attractions or neighborhoods are within walking distance of each other. It's a low risk no matter how you travel, but many people have told me "You need a car in Marietta."
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There were 13 pickpockets or purse snatchings in 2020. That's higher than most surrounding cities, but still just a one in 4690 chance it will happen to you. That's a pretty low risk. What always surprises me about the pickpocket crime numbers is that theft is much more inconvenient for the victim than it is beneficial for the thief. In this case, the average take by a thief was $30. You are now spending hours getting credit cards canceled, and freaking out about a driver's license needed to get through the airport, and the thief has $30. To me, it's just another reinforcement to put as little as needed in my purse when I travel and always wear a crossbody bag, so it is not easy to just grab and run.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
You have a medium risk here with tornadoes being the biggest threat. Severe thunderstorms can limit outdoor activities and cause flash flooding on the roads. The positive part of this is the National Weather Service gives plenty of heads-up information about storm potential and incoming storms.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
10% of the robberies in Marietta in 2020 happened in public. With a total of 67 robberies, I thought that number might be a little low due to the pandemic, so I checked the previous two years and that is about average and not an anomaly. Even the percentage that happened in public was the same, so there's a low risk of it happening to you.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk as Marietta is very close to the perimeter of the Atlanta area. The large population and potential distribution disruption make Atlanta a hard target. Marietta might have a bit of appeal to a terror group since Dobbins Air Force Base is on the south side of town.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of a tourist getting scammed here. Even the city just reports scams that directly impact people who have utility accounts in the city of Marietta. My best advice is to avoid looking for discount baseball tickets or show venue tickets on places like Craiglist. Too many scammers are there looking to rip you off. Buy from the venue where your purchase is guaranteed and protected from fraud.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
The crime rates here are that of an average city, with theft rates being a little bit higher. If a woman is independent and can hold her own, traveling through different areas and enjoying dinner and drinks without overdoing it, there's a low risk that anything will happen. Avoid walking around at night by yourself.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The water in Marietta is deemed safe by the state and EPA. The annual water quality reports for each city have to be posted by June 1, so you can read the newest report when it comes out to make sure that risk is still applicable.
Safest Places to Visit in Marietta
Let’s start on the west side of town in the hills of the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
Make sure you bring a fully charged mobile device because there are a lot of places to take pictures here.
There are seven historic locations to visit here and some breathtaking views from overlooks along the way.
Stop by the visitor center to enjoy a film laying the groundwork for your visit.
In Marietta Square, you have six museums to visit:
- Gone with the Wind Museum
- Fire Museum
- William Root House
- Museum of Art
- Old Zion Church Heritage Museum
- Marietta Museum of History
Take a tour while you’re there too.
The lantern-led “Ghost of Marietta” tour is sure to bring some otherworldly sights.
It’s a trolley tour, so you won’t have to walk.
There are tours of local breweries too.
The Black Heritage Walking Tour is a great way to learn about the history of African Americans in this region.
December visitors shouldn’t miss the Marietta Pilgrimage Home Tour, giving access to prestigious homes that remain off-limits the rest of the year.
If you’re visiting between May and October, there’s Six Flags White Water Park.
This is just the water park, not an entire Six Flags amusement park.
The other half of the park is in Austell and you can buy tickets that get you into both venues.
A popular tourist spot for food is the Marietta Diner, open 24/7, which won’t break the budget either.
There’s a variety of food options from American to Greek to Italian and good old comfort foods like fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
This isn’t where you’ll find the “Big Chicken”, however.
It is at 12 Cobb Parkway SE.
The big chicken is really just the sign for a Kentucky Fried Franchise, but it stands 56 feet tall and when it was once at risk of being torn down due to storm damage, residents had their feathers ruffled and fought back.
The chicken still stands and there’s a gift shop inside to get your own big chicken souvenir.
Placess to Avoid in Marietta
The southern edge of the city and the area along I-75 have the highest crime rates.
That’s not a surprise as that includes the busiest areas of the city and the interstate, which has a lot of traffic coming off and on the roadway.
You’ll find out the bad part of Marietta by sight.
There are some rundown houses and abandoned buildings in certain areas around the central part of the city.
If you end up on one of those streets, just turn around.
Southern cities tend to have neighborhoods that mix blight with beauty, usually by accident.
I lived in Memphis and one street could have a row of small “shotgun” houses (that’s a house so long and narrow a shotgun bullet could go right through it) and mansions around the next corner.
If you can, avoid driving between 6:30 am and 9 am so you don’t get stuck in morning rush hour.
Then, from 4 pm to 7 pm is the evening rush hour.
You’re going to spend a lot of time sitting in a car if you don’t plan around those traffic spikes during the day.
Avoid trying to take any flowers, artifacts, or novelties that aren’t for sale during the various tours and park visits in the region.
I promise, if you take flowers from the garden outside the Gone with the Wind Museum, they definitely will give a damn.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Marietta
- If you have information about a crime in Marietta, call the anonymous tip line at (770)794-6990. Sometimes, even the smallest details of the aftermath of a crime can provide police with the big break they need.
- The city’s website has an interactive map of the downtown area, complete with all the parking options. This can help you navigate your day. Prices for the different lots are also listed there.
- When you do park, be sure to lock the doors and roll up the windows. Leave no valuables behind and put the GPS in the glove box or center console. You want the inside of your car to be as empty as possible. I actually found a personal hack for car break-in deterrence. It might be a little gross, but, bear with me. I have two dogs, so I always have doggy poop bags in my car. I was going to a big event one day and I had a brand new car, so I was paranoid. I took one of the poop bags, loaded it up with a crumbled piece of paper and tied it up, and left it in the passenger seat. I hoped a thief would think I left dog poop in my car. Who wants to break into a car with dog poop inside?? With 38% of the car thefts in Marietta being car break-ins, it doesn’t hurt to get creative, right?
- You’ll need a good weather app here because the weather changes often. Sometimes you get all four seasons in one day. You also need to stay on top of severe weather potential. The Atlanta television stations are all very good and have their own weather apps with hyper-local forecasts.
- To go fishing in any part of Georgia, you need a fishing license from the Department of Natural Resources. There are a lot of rules and guidelines, but once you sort through those, you can purchase it online.
- When visiting Kennesaw Mountain, there are several rules you need to know. Don’t play on any of the historical equipment like the cannons. They are not to be touched. You cannot use metal detectors in the park and if you stumble upon a partially unearthed artifact you cannot take it.
- The hiking trails at Kennesaw are clearly marked with the distance to the next spot. If you end up in an area without signs guiding you, that means you’ve gone into an “off-limits” park of the park and should turn around.
- There are copperhead snakes throughout the battlefield area and you should avoid them at all costs. They are poisonous and plentiful here. When driving through the park, stick to the speed limit in case wildlife darts in front of your car.
- A little museum hack here – if you are in a group of 12 or more, you can schedule a tour of the Gone with the Wind museum ahead of time and get a docent lead tour that gives more details than just the self-guided tour.
- There’s a reason I gave you so much information about the “Big Chicken.” That’s the main focal point for directions in Marietta. Someone might say “From the Big Chicken, go west about 5 miles..” This happens a lot, so you should know exactly where the Big Chicken is.
So... How Safe Is Marietta Really?
Most crimes are just slightly above the national or state average, but not enough to make it a dangerous city.
The chances of being a victim of a crime are as follows:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 260
- Robbery: 1 in 910
- Theft: 1 in 43
The theft rate is a little concerning, but the context of those numbers is what really matters.
20% of them were from shoplifting, which isn’t a threat against a tourist.
Taking shoplifting out brings the risk to one in 53. 38% of thefts were from cars.
If you don’t have a car or practice excellent car safety, your risk goes down substantially.
The city generally has fewer than 5 homicides a year looking back over the past decade, and the highest number in one year was seven homicides.
That was in 2015. 2016 and 2019 had no homicides.
49% of the violent crimes in 2020 happened in private homes.
14% of violent crimes were against strangers.
It really helps to do this deep dive into the numbers, because you’re not really worried about how safe it is to live there, you just want to be able to travel safely.
If you take away numbers that don’t impact tourists, most cities become at least slightly safer, if not a whole different story.
How Does Marietta Compare?
- Visas - You don't need any Visa processing in Marietta. That happens at the airport upon arrival in the United States.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and I didn't see anything in my research that was cash-only, so it's best to use just one credit card with fraud protection during your visit.
- Weather - Dress in layers for the fall and winter as the weather is just very moody. It might be 35°(F) in the morning, 55°(F) at lunchtime, and 70°(F) in the late afternoon. Summers are going to be warm and muggy. The heat isn't what gets you in the south - it's the humidity. Bug spray and sunscreen are necessities and a sweat rag will help keep up with the water dribbling down your hairline constantly.
- Airports - It's 30 miles to Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport and it's through a very busy traffic corridor to get there. Plan for plenty of time. I always double my arrival and departure times when visiting Atlanta, so I don't get stressed out in the traffic.
- Travel Insurance - It's a smart decision to have travel insurance in this major metropolitan area. There's so much to go right, but a lot that can go wrong, and travel insurance just gives you peace of mind.
Marietta Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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