A week that recognizes the power of travel and the industry’s role in bringing back our vibrant communities.
The Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism invites locals to “Be a Tourist” in your hometown during National Travel & Tourism Week, May 2-8, 2021. The week celebrates the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being and invites locals to gain the full visitor experience by becoming tourists in their own town.
This year, the nationwide week of events serves to promote the power of travel and the industry’s role in bringing back our vibrant community, supporting our local economy and reconnecting citizens.
National Travel & Tourism Week will kick off a day early starting with a series of local tours that run from May through September and include:
- Saturday, May 1, Downtown History Tour – Guests will board the Roman Chariots for a guided tour through Rome’s storied past. Selena Tilly, Rome Area History Center Archivist, will share insights on the history of area architecture, industry and culture. Each monthly tour focuses on a specific section of Downtown Rome; the May tour will feature the 100 block. Tours are held the first Saturday of every month May – September. Tours depart from the Rome Area History Center Gift Shop & Downtown Welcome Center at 10 a.m. Tickets are $10/Adults, $5/Children and may be purchased online at RomeGeorgia.org/Tour or at one of the Georgia’s Rome Welcome Centers.
- Saturday, May 1, Clocktower Tour – The Rome Area History Center will host a new season of Clocktower Tours to be offered the first Saturday of every month May through September from 12 to 2 p.m. Get the best views of Rome from the top of the clocktower and enjoy seeing stories of Rome portrayed through murals at the entrance to the tower. The self-guided tours of the clocktower are free, but guests are required to reserve a time slot online RomeGeorgia.org/ClocktowerTour.
- Sunday, May 2, Sulzbacher Roman Holiday River Tour– Tour Rome’s rivers on The Rolling on the River Sunday Cruise on the Sulzbacher Roman Holiday with local historians Dennis Nordeman and Selena Tilly. The river history themed tour will depart at 2 p.m. from the Heritage Park boat dock. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and may be purchased in advance at RomeGeorgia.org/RomanHoliday or at one of the Georgia’s Rome Welcome Centers. Update: The Rolling on the River Cruise for May 2 has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances; plans are to host a public cruise on June 6.
- Rome Flavor Ventures – Explore the flavors of Downtown Rome! This tour focuses on drink flavors and includes The Foundry Growler Bar, Harvest Moon Cafe/Dark Side of the Moon, Off Broad Lounge at Hawthorn Suites and Courtyard Rome Riverwalk. Each taste is valued at a minimum of $5. Participants can opt to experience all the flavors in one day or break it up over several visits. Catch a ride on the Roman Chariot for free transportation to each location. Purchase Rome Flavor Venture passes for $20 at one of the Georgia’s Rome Welcome Centers.
- New Pickleball Equipment Rentals – Locals and visitors can now checkout the equipment needed to play pickleball at the Downtown Rome Tennis Center pickleball courts. The cost is $3 per person to play; plus a refundable $17 deposit per person for the equipment. Check out the equipment at both the Georgia’s Rome Welcome Center and Gift Shop on Jackson Hill and at the Rome Area History Center Gift Shop & Welcome Center.
- Free Downtown Transportation – While enjoying the shops and restaurants of Downtown Rome, enjoy free transportation on the Roman Chariot to locations within the historic downtown Rome area. For free pick-up, text 706-413-2822. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Route maps are available at RomeGeorgia.org/Chariot
- Georgia’s Rome Photo Exhibition Finalists – Photos selected for the Georgia’s Rome Photo & Video Exhibition will be announced Monday, May 3 during National Travel & Tourism Week. The exhibition will be held June 8-19. Prizes and awards will be announced during the opening reception at the Rome Area History Center. Details are at: RomeGeorgia.org/Exhibit
- Museums – Rome offers five museums/centers that are currently open to the public.
- Chieftains Museum & Major Ridge Home is a historic site where visitors can learn about Rome’s Cherokee history, culture and founding history. Open Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Admission details at Chieftainsmuseum.org
- Oak Hill & Martha Berry Museum shares the story Martha Berry and Berry College through tours of the historic home, exhibitions in the museum and award-winning gardens. A special exhibit, “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces” is currently on exhibit. Open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last tour begins at 3 p.m.) Admission details and tickets at Berry.edu/Oakhill
- Rome Area History Center shares area history starting from early settlements to recent history of Rome and surrounding areas. Admission is free. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Details at: RomeAreaHistoryCenter.org
- Rome-Floyd ECO Center allows visitors to view and discover a variety of wildlife that is native to the Northwest Georgia area. Learn about the local ecology; explore local wetlands and learn why it’s so important to protect these natural resources. Admission is free. Open Monday – Thursday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and the last Saturday of the month, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Details at: RomeFloydECOCenter.com
Outdoors – Rome is known for it’s beautiful outdoors that attract visitors year around. For ideas and tips on where and how to enjoy trails, gardens, river ways, golfing, camping and fishing, visit RomeGeorgia.org/Outdoor.
Events – Many annual outdoor events will return the first week of May including the Downtown Rome Ellen Axon Wilson Art Fest, Between the Rivers Farmers Market and the Cave Spring Georgia Mushroom Festival. New events like the Backyard BBQ Bash and the RFPRA Ridge Ferry Park Concert Series will happen during National Travel and Tourism Week. To keep up with all local events and happenings, visit RomeGeorgia.org/Events.
The Georgia’s Rome Welcome Center and Gift Shop locations are a great resource for locals. “The tourism office helps many residents who aren’t aware of the various attractions, events and activities that Georgia’s Rome offers,” said Charlene Mathis, Welcome Center Manager. She added, “We challenge you to see Rome through the eyes of a tourist; we offer maps and guides to help you discover a side of Rome and Floyd County you may not have explored yet. Additionally, when you shop the gift shops located at the welcome centers; you are supporting local artisians, makers and growers who are represented in the shops.”
According to reports from the U.S. Travel Association, tourists spent $179.55 million ($490,561 per day) in Floyd County during 2019, the most recent year that travel expenditure data is available. Additionally, the tourism industry supported 1,505 jobs throughout the service and hospitality industries. Travelers to Rome and Floyd County generated $7.18 million in state tax revenue and $5.22 million in local tax revenue. Each Floyd County household would need to be taxed an additional $348 per year to replace taxes generated by tourism economic activity.
The Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism is the official destination and sports marketing organization of Rome and Floyd County, Ga. Our mission is to strengthen the economic prosperity of the community through tourism development by attracting leisure travelers, conventions, weddings, meetings, sports, film and events.