Nestled in the heart of Cobb County, this one-time railroad town has blossomed with subdivisions, strip malls, and students on top of students thanks to the ever-improving Kennesaw State University. Originally known as Big Shanty, the town was walloped during the Civil War and suffered its hits over the years, but ballooned during metro Atlanta's suburban boom in the mid- to late-1990s. Despite the contemporary retail, car dealerships, and college crowd, Kennesaw maintains ties to its past by preserving its historic, antique-filled downtown and directing visitors to the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. There they'll find, among other choo-choo attractions, the famed "General" locomotive that was absconded by Union spies during the Civil War.
The tiny, shacklike entrance reveals an eclectic and loyal late-night crowd. Music at this underground clubber’s club ranges from hip-hop and Brit-pop to downtempo and rare grooves. The dim basement space feels like the most happenin’ speakeasy in town.
Owner Nicholas Quinones keeps the standards high with a menu that changes daily. Yes, daily. The team at Woodfire Grill aspires to create recipes based on seasonal, local produce. Farms, artisans, and ranchers it uses include Crystal Organics, Mary's Gourmet Gardens, Dillwood Farms, and more. Come for a special occasion, because Woodfire serves up first, second, and main courses for dinner.
H. Harper Station, billing itself as a "modern watering hole," from barkeep Jerry Slater. The cocktail menu is divided by liquor choice, and with more than 40 selections, can be a tad overwhelming. H. Harper is part neighborhood bar, part upscale restaurant, and part old train station along a still-sketchy stretch of Memorial Drive.
Originally a cotton-gin manufacturer, the Goat Farm is a Westside haven for working artists and performance companies, a frequent location for movie shoots (cough cough, Hunger Games, cough cough), and a great live music venue.
Eclectic venue for hip-hop, spoken-word poetry, and up-and-coming soul artists. Home to Wednesday night jam sessions featuring a live band and open mic for vocalists to join in. Street parking available.
No sneaker store in town can compete with the 62-year legacy of Walter's Clothing. Being the old man on the block hasn't kept it from staying hip. Try squeezing in on a Saturday and you'll see why. Walls of Adidas, Nike, Fila, Reebok, and Converse have kept customers fresh-to-death for decades. If you can't find your footing here, you're probably lost.
Founded in 1975, this nonprofit organization offers a number of art classes and programs suitable for all ages and special needs, including sculpture, glass, photography, and mixed media. And that's just a sampling.