Do you need a trip but see a rainy weekend coming up? Maybe it’s just getting too cold to explore outside and you need an educational escape. Just north of Atlanta about four hours from Statesboro is Cartersville, Georgia. You are possibly rolling your eyes right now, but hear me out.
Cruising up I-75 traveling to Tennessee, my kids and I decided we wanted to check out the science museum we noticed along the interstate. Not new anymore, Tellus Science Museum was completed and opened in 2009 and it isn’t the only interest Cartersville has to offer!
Tellus is a perfect outing for the family when you need to be inside and away from Atlanta crowds. With six gallery exhibits there is surely an interest for everyone. Science in Motion takes a visitor from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to traveling away from Earth. It explores the automobile manufacturing industry and history. If your children would rather see the sparkles of gemstones, visit the Weinman Mineral Gallery.
The Solar House is a functional and efficient home you can explore. By adding hands-on interactive components, reader panels describing the technology and completely accessible for all guests, it is an interactive, fun experience. The house is open for tours Thursdays – Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The most popular, at least for my children, is the fossil gallery. A visitor can walk through the past millions of years ago exploring dinosaurs, reptiles and giant mammals that ruled the earth. The exhibit features a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and 9-foot-wide jaw of a Megalodon among other giant fish and reptiles native to Georgia.
Not only does the museum feature the excellent exhibits, there are events throughout the year. The museum houses a telescope and observatory providing sky watch events such as the Taurid Meteor Shower. They also provide “ask the experts” events to get more in depth information in science news and a variety of scouting opportunities.
Tellus is a must stop if you are traveling north or south along I-75, however, if you want to stay the night there are other attractions you will want to check out in Cartersville.
In association with the Smithsonian Institution, the Booth Museum is a 120,000 square foot art and interactive gallery where visitors can walk through America’s story by viewing contemporary Western artwork. There is a presidential gallery, Civil War gallery and an interactive children’s gallery. It has been named USA Today’s 2020 10 Best Peoples’ Choice Award for best art museum in the country. Along with the art exhibits, there are a number of events throughout the year. These include painting workshops, virtual home school events, as well as special children events. Due to COVID there are a few precautions to be aware of such as reserving ticket times and if attending a guided tour, masks are required. Prices are extremely reasonable, and parking is free.
It is so much fun for me to find these hidden gems outside the focal points in the larger cities. Cartersville is a quaint little town and offers a historic downtown area as well as its museums. There is a variety of shopping with antique galleries, art, and outfitters. When you’re ready for lunch in between museums there are a variety of restaurants, bakeries and the Booth Café. Cozy up to the fireplace in the basement of the City Cellar & Loft and enjoy some eclectic Southern comfort food.
Get off the beaten path and check out some of the South’s most unique places. They are truly worth the extra day to explore.
Tellus Science Museum
100 Tellus Dr, Cartersville, GA 30120
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults: $15.95 + tax
Children (3-17) $11.95 + tax
Active Military: Free • Seniors (65+) $13.95
• Advance timed tickets are required.
• Face coverings are strongly suggested.
• Fossil Dig is temporarily closed.
• If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please wait to visit another time.
Booth Western Art Museum
501 Museum Dr.
Cartersville, GA 30120
Seniors $10 (65+)
Children Free (12 and under)