Happy New Year from Adairsville, Georgia! When we were planning 2023, I realized we have never written about the amazing little town we call home. Steve and I have been married nearly 10 years and we have lived in Adairsville our entire marriage. It’s a small town with just shy of 5,000 people, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.
Adairsville is 60 miles south of Chattanooga and 60 miles north of Atlanta. That makes it an easy day trip if you are visiting one of the larger cities. Here are five reasons you must see this cute Georgia town.
The story behind the Barnsley Resort, known by most as Barnsley Gardens is as beautiful as the facility itself. The resort is located just outside of Adairsville. Godfrey Barnsley bought the 4,000 acres outside of what is now Adairsville to create a home for his wife, Julia, according to the resort’s website. Sadly, she died before he could finish it. After stopping construction for a period of time, he returned to complete it in honor of his late wife.
Barnsley Gardens was damaged by a tornado in 1906 and was once a cattle and poultry farm. A Bavarian prince purchased Barnsley Gardens and restored it in the early 1990s. I covered its reopening as a reporter and I wish is still had the video!
I think the manor house is the only place we have been where a blood stain is a major exhibit. The stain is from Harry Saylor, who was shot to death by his brother, Preston as they argued over the estate. The Barnsley Resort story has a few more twists and turns. You can learn more on its website.
Barnsley Resort was purchased by a private family in the early 2000s and has grown a lot in the past 15 years. You will find a golf course, shooting range and spa onsite. More than 150 guest rooms are available, including an inn that opened in 2018. Woodlands Restaurant is also on site.
We visited Barnsley Gardens during Christmas of 2022. The ruins of the old manor house are lit beautifully. We enjoyed walking through the garden and on the grounds. The entire property is so festive for the holiday season. We recommend a visit during the holidays.
Visit the historic downtown
The entire town of Adairsville is on the National Register of Historic Places. Downtown you will currently find a the 1902 Stock Exchange which has books and vintage items. Women can find unique items at Unique Fashions. You have two great options for lunch downtown. You can stop for lunch at the Old General Store. Cross Main Street for a bite and Pinkard’s Little Rock Café. I always go when they have chicken and dressing if I am in town. Two new additions to downtown include a barber shop and coffee shop. I love this picture of our town in the snow taken a few years ago.
Just across the railroad tracks is Peacock Junction Antique Mall. You can find almost anything here from antique glassware to vintage furniture. I am a cross stitcher and there is a booth with a selection of fabrics and patterns.
The antique mall gets its name from a time when residents sold chenille bedspreads along U.S. 41. One of the most famous patterns was the peacock design. This is an example of the bedspreads in the Adairsville Depot and Museum.
Take a drive through the neighborhoods near downtown and you will see several homes on the National Register of Historic Places. Drive slow and read the historic information on the houses.
Learn more about Adairsville in its museum
The historic depot is the centerpiece of Adairsville’s downtown and house the city’s museum. Inside you can learn about some of the town’s most famous citizens. Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd was born in Adairsville and his home is still standing. Former Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox also called Adairsville home. Vic Beasley, who began his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, also hails from Adairsville.
Enjoy the Great Locomotive Chase Festival
The Adairsville Depot is also famous as one of the stops on the Great Locomotive Chase that happened in 1862. James Andrews stole The General and headed north to Chattanooga. The chase is featured in a book and movie.
Adairsville hosts the Great Locomotive Chase Festival the first week of October. The festival has grown since I first attended as a child. You will find arts and crafts, a variety of food choices and entertainment. A parade is held on the Saturday morning of the festival.
The town has several festivals and activities throughout the year. We have enjoyed Christmas parades during our time here. Downtown Adairsville is one of the most beautiful places in the world to me at Christmas. You can learn more about the activities here.
Enjoy the beautiful outdoors
People are often surprised when I post pictures of my walks in Adairsville. The town has two beautiful parks we enjoy regularly.
Manning Mill Park has baseball and softball fields but also has a beautiful nature trail. It can be challenging in some parts but that’s what makes if fun for us.
The park also has a beautiful lake. The pavilion at the lakeside is a perfect place for family events.
Adairsville’s newest park pays homage to those who served in the military. Veterans Memorial Park’s veteran wall pays homage to hometown heroes who served in the Armed Forces. (Steve is on the wall for his service in the Air Force). When it gets hot in the summer a fountain helps children and big kids alike cool off. Two playgrounds are also on the site. Dog-lovers will enjoy the fenced in dog park.
We love the walking trails. A paved trail encircles the park. You can also get off the beaten path and walk into the nearby woods, which are beautiful any time of year.
Explore more of Bartow County
Adairsville is just one of the many cute towns in Bartow County. Cartersville is just 15 minutes away and is known for its unique museums. We highly recommend a visit to the Savoy Automobile Museum, which is one of the highlights of our 2022 travel season. You can learn more about Adairsville and all of Bartow County, including where to eat and stay, here.