Things to Do in Kennesaw

Civil War history is woven deeply into the fabric of Kennesaw, Georgia


You'll find reminders of the conflict at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, the site of a pivotal battle, and in the railroad and memorabilia displays at the Southern Museum. All that solemn history is tempered by family-centric spots like Swift-Cantrell Park and the Sparkles Family Fun Center. Come with your family and friends for the history and stay for the adventure.

Civil War History

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park was the scene of a Civil War fight that lasted for nearly two weeks during the summer of 1864. The battle was part of the Atlanta Campaign, in which the Union made its push into the heart of the South. Drive or hike to the top of 708-foot Kennesaw Mountain for an overview of the entire site, including some of the earthen bunkers used in the war. Eighteen miles of hiking trails crisscross the park, making it the perfect venue for bird-watching or simple reflection. Learn more by strolling through the museum at the visitor center. Visit between April and November and you might see one of the cannon-firing demonstrations.

Family Fun, Indoors and Out

A visit to Swift-Cantrell Park is another way to enjoy the outdoors. Located right in town, the 42-acre site includes playgrounds, picnic pavilions, trails, a fitness station and a 40,000-square-foot skate park. You'll find plenty of open lawn space to spread out a picnic blanket and just relax. If you brought your four-legged friend, there's a special area for him too—the Frank Boone Dog Park. If you'd rather take the fun indoors, try the Sparkles Family Fun Center. The Kennesaw installation of this statewide center appeals to the “techno” generation—technology, that is. Play 3D Laser Tag, head to the skating rink or check out the arcade.

Railroad Memorabilia

If you're a train buff, the Southern Museum is right up your alley—it shows the pivotal role the railroad played in the Civil War. The General locomotive is on display, along with the story of its abduction by Union spies and the great chase that followed. The Railroads exhibit has even more vintage trains on display, as well as photographs, weapons, personal items and clothing from that era. Check out the Glover Machine Works, a fully restored locomotive assembly line. Originally located in Marietta, Georgia, this line helped the New South rebuild.

From Barbecue to Cuban Sandwiches

When you’re hungry from all that history and play, Kennesaw restaurants deliver. The Big Shanty Smokehouse (3393 Cherokee St. N.W., Kennesaw) serves chicken, ribs, sausage and pork, all slow-smoked. Can't make up your mind? Try a sampler plate (and don't forget the banana pudding). The Trackside Grill (2840 S. Main St., Kennesaw) specializes in Southern comfort food. Try chicken pot pie, mac-and-cheese or a fried green tomato sandwich while you sip sweet tea from an oversized Mason jar. Or check out Papi's Cuban and Caribbean Grill (745 Chastain Rd., Kennesaw). If you're really hungry, order a Cuban sandwich—it’s filled with assorted meats and cheeses, and served with spicy rice and black beans. Finish up with a slice of creamy mango pie.


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