Cartersville is the county seat of Bartow County and it is situated 44 miles northwest of Atlanta on Interstate 75. According to the U.S. Census in 2000, Cartersville had a population of 15,925 and a total land area of 23.4 square miles. The tourism and travel industry contributes approximately $90 million per year to Cartersville’s economy. Popular tourist attractions such as the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site and Red Top Mountain State Park bring tens of thousands of visitors to Cartersville each year.

The first evidence of human civilization in northwestern Georgia can be seen at the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site in Cartersville. This 54-acre Georgia State Park contains three large earthen mounds, a village area and a plaza that were constructed during the Paleo-Indian Period around 10,000 B.C. The Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site is the most extensive prehistoric Mississippian Culture site in the Southeastern United States. Red Top Mountain State Park is the most popular tourist destination in the region surrounding Cartersville. The 1,562 acre park contains swimming areas, fishing areas, tennis courts, 12 miles of adventurous hiking trails, boat ramps and docks.

Cartersville is located on the east side of Lake Allatoona, which is approximately 12,010 acres in size and 11 miles long with 270 miles of shoreline. Lake Allatoona was created after Allatoona Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Etowah River in 1950. Lake Allatoona is renowned as a fishery and it is well stocked with bass, crappie, bream, gar and catfish. Eight privately operated marinas at Lake Allatoona provide fuel, storage, boat repairs, boat rentals and supplies, and there are 15 different boat ramps for public use located around the lake. Other popular activities on Lake Allatoona include swimming, power boating and waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing.

Real estate in Cartersville

The estimated median home value in Cartersville was $178,400 in 2007, having appreciated from $106,600 in 2000. That figure represents a 67% appreciation in property values over a seven year period and it indicates the strength of Cartersville’s real estate market. The cost of living index in Cartersville is 92.2 and the average population density is 793 people per square mile. Because Cartersville’s public school system is excellent and a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities are accessible to residents, homes and properties are highly valued.

Master planned condominium and townhouse developments are popular in Cartersville. One example is the Village at Waterside, a security gated community with large custom built homes, beautiful views of Lake Allatoona and the mountains, a community swimming pool, and a pavilion with an outside fireplace. Other examples include Carter Grove Plantation where home prices range from $230,900 to $5,555,555, Cassville Commons where prices range from $148,900 to $171,900, and Hamilton Crossing where home costs are between $156,900 and $195,900.

Lodging, shopping, dining and entertainment

Because Cartersville is located at the intersection of Interstate 75, U.S. Highway 411, U.S. Highway 41, Georgia Highway 113, Georgia Highway 61, Georgia Highway 293 and Georgia Highway 20, there are many hotels and motels in Cartersville to choose from. More rustic accommodations are available for people who desire a fun vacation experience at Allatoona Landing Marina & Campground where comfortable cabins with kitchens can be rented by the week or by the month. Each cabin is fully furnished with kitchen appliances, dishes and linens, and has an outdoor deck with a grill, a fire pit and a picnic table. There are also 116 campsites, 10 sites for RV’s and trucks, and visitors can enjoy swimming and fishing in Allatoona Lake or swimming in the campground’s pool.

Cartersville’s restaurants offer a wide variety of distinctive cuisines. Two restaurants in Cartersville received the People’s Choice Awards in 2008; D. Morgan’s and the Appalachian Grill, both of which are located in downtown Cartersville. D. Morgan’s occupies an historic building that was constructed in the late 19th century and it features New American cuisine. The Appalachian Grill serves signature appetizers such as crab cakes and shrimp bisque, scrumptious seafood dishes, prime rib, filet mignon, and thick cut grilled pork chops.

There are seven shopping centers in Cartersville containing food stores and general merchandise stores. Cartersville also has a thriving downtown business district with a wide variety of interesting shops, restaurants and retail businesses. Many antique stores and thrift shops are located in Cartersville because Northwest Georgia has a rich Southern history and Cartersville is a regional hub of retail activity.

Cartersville has been a center of culture in Bartow County ever since the Grand Theatre was reopened in 1929 after a fire had destroyed the original building in 1923. Over 40,000 people each year participate in a wide range of artistic events and programs that are presented by various local performing arts organizations at the Grand Theatre, which also sponsors educational programs in the schools and a summer camp for theater students. The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville contains 80,000 sq. ft. filled with Contemporary Western American artwork. In addition to over 200 paintings and sculptures by more than 100 of the finest 20th century Western artists, the museum also contains a collection of Presidential letters and portraits, a Civil War gallery, and a children’s gallery with many interactive exhibits related to art and Western American culture.

On July 31, 2007, Tellus: Northwest Georgia Science Museum opened in Cartersville with more than 120,000 sq. ft. of space containing galleries devoted to fossils, minerals, transportation technology and interactive science experiences. The Weinman Mineral Gallery contains over 4,000 rocks, gems and minerals, the Fossil Gallery features Stan, a 40-ft. tall Tyrannosaurus Rex along with other dinosaurs and fossils, the 120 seat digital Planetarium shows a variety of entertaining and educational astronomy programs, and the Science of Motion exhibits enable visitors to relive major developments in science and technology related to automobiles, airplanes and space travel.