Your Guide to Adventures in Marietta Ohio

I honestly didn’t know much about Marietta, Ohio prior to my visit, but I discovered that the area has a lot to offer visitors. Marietta is positioned along the Ohio River which provides lots of opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Marietta is named in honor of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, and was established as the first permanent settlement of the new United States in the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River in 1788.

Outdoor Adventures in Marietta

Outdoor enthusiasts have several options when it comes to exploring Marietta.

kayak tour with Marietta adventure company

Kayak on the River

Rent a kayak at Marietta Adventure Company and enjoy a relaxing paddle that starts on the Muskingum River and then leads to the Ohio River.

Pass under bridges and stop at an island in the center that is technically part of West Virginia that is currently a wildlife refuge.

In the early 1880s-1890s it was known as a “hot bead of vice” where gambling and other activities took place. 

Before that, in the early 1800s, it was called the Pestilence House because it was where the sick were sent to die which might explain the rumors about the island being haunted.

bike tour with Marietta Adventure Company

Tour Marietta on a Bicycle

There is a scenic bike trail that is easy to access from downtown. You can also rent bikes at Marietta Adventure Company.

I would suggest riding along the trails by the river. There are several interesting statues and flood markers that tell the story of previous storms.

 I would also suggest exploring some of the side streets as well for interesting architecture and a glimpse of Marietta College.

Historic Mound Cemetery

Visit Historic Mound Cemetery

One of my favorite bicycle stops was Mound Cemetery that has the largest number of Revolutionary Officers buried in one cemetery.

The cemetery also has ancient earthworks and mounds that date back between 800 B.C and 700 A.D.

Hike at Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest

Take a Hike at Wayne National Forest

Travel through a historic covered bridge and hike Archer’s Fork Loop at Wayne National Forest with scenic cliff formations.

Marietta Trail Network Upper Frontier Loop

Explore the Marietta Trail Network Upper Frontier Loop

Another spot closer to downtown Marietta is Marietta Trail Network Upper Frontier Loop.

We were fortunate to spot a turtle as we were walking the path.

The Upper Frontier Loop is another wonderful spot to get a unique perspective of the city and the Ohio River.

sunrise pics in Marietta Ohio

Wake Up Early for Beautiful Sunrise pics

There are several locations great for sunrise pics in Marietta.

I woke up early one morning and explored around the walking paths by the Ohio River and even climbed up the nearby bridge for another perspective.

sunrise pics in Marietta Ohio

I highly recommend waking up for sunrise pics at least once when you visit a destination you haven’t been to before.

Lookout Point in Marietta Ohio

Enjoy the View from Lookout Point

Another great spot for sunrise pics is Lookout Point that gives you an elevated perspective of the city and an overview of the area.

Downtown Marietta Shops

Explore Downtown Marietta Shops

There are a lot of great shops to find unique gifts from local artisans. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you might even come home with a tattoo, like my friend Dani.

Hidden Marietta Tour Company

Take a Ghost Tour

Learn about Marietta’s seedy past with stories that might give you a desire to sleep with the light on with a ghost tour from Hidden Marietta Tour Company.

Devola Lock and Dam

Visit the Devola Lock and Dam

Meet Daniel pictured above. He moved to Marietta a year and a half ago and loves to fish in his free time and has a heart for people.

He is a surgical nurse and the pastor of a local church in town. The lock pictured behind him is one of the eleven built on the Muskegum River from 1836-1841.

It looks like he found a good fishing spot so you might want to check it out too.

historic Lafayette Hotel

Where We Stayed in Marietta

During my visit, we stayed at the historic Lafayette Hotel. The hotel dates back to 1918 and is filled with memorabilia from previous eras.

There are many replica pieces inside each room. If you have a desk in your room, make sure that you pull out the drawers all the way and you might discover the “secret safe.”

There is also a rooftop deck with nice views of the river and downtown that is a little tricky to find so make sure that you ask the front desk for directions.

historic Lafayette Hotel

Make sure that you take time to notice all of the details throughout the lobby and the hallways. You will even see signs marking former flood levels.

Stop by the first phone booth and when you pick up the receiver, you will hear more about the history.

One of my favorite pieces on display was the Original Call Bell System used for hotel guests that had a distinct bell sound for each room.

Harmar Tavern

Great Restaurants in Marietta

Our first evening we ate dinner at the Harmar Tavern, known for their “Soon to be Famous Fried Bologna Sandwich.”

I wouldn’t typically order a fried bologna sandwich but I had to find out what the buzz was all about. The sandwich comes with a sweet pickle on it so beware if you are strictly a dill fan.

There is an indoor and outdoor patio seating along with a long bar. We took a scenic walk to the restaurant from downtown across Harmar Bridge, one of the last hand-cranked turnstile railroad bridges in the country.

places to eat breakfast in Marietta Ohio

Breakfast Stops

We enjoyed two really great breakfasts during our visit. One was at the Busy Bee Restaurant with fresh ingredients from local farms. I ordered the Mexican omelet and our table shared one of the giant cinnamon rolls.

We also enjoyed breakfast at one of the restaurants inside the Layfayette Hotel called The Gun Room. The name comes from the famous collection of guns on display.

The long rifles are all handcrafted and date from 1795 to 1880. There are also interesting pieces from a riverboat on display as well. I ordered the french toast that was sooo good!

over the moon pizzeria in Marietta Ohio

For lunch, we ate at Over the Moon Pizzeria that has a laid atmosphere and great pizza.

Restaurant patrons can show off their artistic skills by personalizing a record for the wall, enjoy a cold beer, and live music on select evenings.

The Galley in Marietta Ohio


For dinner, we ate at The Galley where I enjoyed a wonderful Steak and Spinach salad. I normally don’t order a salad as the meal but it was really good.

I really liked the atmosphere and the architecture of this historic building dating back to 1890.

Anderson Hancock Planetarium

Stargaze at Anderson Hancock Planetarium

Discover galaxies far, far, away during a presentation at the Anderson Hancock Planetarium located on the campus of Marietta College.

road trip to Marietta Ohio

Roadtrip Vehicle

I got to check out the 2017  KIA Niro Hybrid for my road trip which had FANTASTIC gas mileage!

The vehicle still had plenty of legroom for my friends in the backseat and it has an average City/Highway/Combined of 46/40/43!

I also had plenty of space for all of my bags which is good because the later I pack, the more stuff I cram into my bag.

Thanks again to Visit Marietta for hosting my visit and KIA for providing my vehicle for the trip.

Your Guide to Adventures in Marietta Ohio

5 thoughts on “Your Guide to Adventures in Marietta Ohio”

  1. My parents met there and named me after the town. Never have visited but now ita tip of my list! Want to visit my “roots”

  2. I was told that the only hotel by the river is The Lafayette Hotel where we stayed. There are no B&B’s by the river.

  3. I really want to go to Marietta now that I have seen all the awesome places to visit and great outdoor things to do!

Leave a Comment