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Marietta Marvels


Two rivers, the oldest settlement in the Northwest Territory, the two largest artifacts in the Ohio History Connection and 200 miles of mountain biking trails. Add those together and the answer for your next excursion is Marietta, a historic river town at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, with plenty of character and adventure for the entire family.

I immersed myself into the vibe by staying at the historic Lafayette Hotel where I imagined myself in an earlier place in time where sternwheelers dominated the scene both then and now in the many displays throughout the hotel. After lunch at this iconic hotel, I explored the pleasant streets, bombarded by a choice of locally-owned restaurants, shops and museums that lured me inside.

First stop, Campus Martius Museum, a civilian fortification established by Rufus Putnam, whose home is protected within the museum at home is one of the largest artifacts in the Ohio History Connection. How cool to examine the construction techniques and daily life in the 1700s. Next on my tour was the other largest piece in the Ohio History Connection, the WP Snyder a sternwheeler towboat and part of the Ohio River Museum. The knowledgeable guide took me back to early times when this boat plied the Ohio River and ferried both people and goods to the developing area. I fondly recalled my relaxing cruise on the Valley Gem, docked nearby.

I couldn’t miss the Adena mounds scattered throughout the town, nor a visit to the Basilica, Castle or restored movie theater.

Much to my delight, the Buckley House serves outstanding meals under the skillful mastery of Chef Emad Al-Masri. The exquisite presentation of the dishes and the tastiness of the food created from the chef’s heart made me think hard about where I have ever enjoyed such a memorable meal. And did I mention that mouth-watering crème brulée?

As full as I was, I couldn’t quit eating because everything satisfied me beyond compare. I only stopped to get over to the recently restored Peoples Banks Theatre to catch a movie.

What a venue this is, not only do they show movies, but also host entertainment of all sorts. The old posters found during renovation brought a smile to my face as I remembered movies like Gone with the Wind and the great stars of yesteryear.

Post movie, I just happened to walk by the Marietta Brewing Company and who ever needs an excuse for a nightcap? Trivia night was happening in full force and the place was jam packed. I opted for a milk stout brewed on site and enjoyed the lively atmosphere and even tried to answer a question or two.

Speaking of trivia, do you know which publication designated Marietta on its list of the 20 Best Small Towns to Visit? Smithsonian.