I drove home, trying to figure out what it was. You know, it.
The it that summarizes a destination. The it behind the reason people visit.
Some places have stunning natural landscapes with mountains that scrape the sky. Others are home to epic battles where heroes were made. Some places boast towering skyscrapers that wink down to the concrete and steel that shape a bustling city. Big things that define a place. The its of the world.
But as I drove home through the foothills of appalachian Ohio, I stretched my brain to figure out what is Marietta, Ohio’s it?
Yes, Marietta, Ohio is a charming town. But what gives it that charm? What is it about Marietta that stands out from all the other charming towns I’ve visited in my life?
Then I figured it out.
Marietta’s charm is found in the details.
Details that you won’t see or discover unless you visit Marietta, Ohio yourself.
The calm sunrise at the convergence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.
The shadows of ghost ads, memories of the past, faded on brick facades.
The small-town stores and boutiques with friendly staff, like this furry door greeter.
The story of how Marietta’s Basilica of St. Mary became a basilica in record time, or rather, the beautiful mural depicting the first Catholic Mass in the Northwest Territory with two unexpected portraits — Father Mike’s dogs time traveling to 1749 to hang out under the altar during Communion.
Or street-level brick anomalies like filled in windows, scars from Marietta’s flooded past before the town elevated the streets to prevent future floods.
When Larry Sloter, lifelong Marietta resident and owner of Busy Bee Restaurant greeted “Hi, Jim!” to one of the local regulars followed by an exchange of banter — a genuine display of small town, USA. This is the same scratch-kitchen restaurant that supports local farmers and entrepreneurs, including an 11 year old coffee bean roaster.
The Victorian architecture and decor.
When the 1933 signature of Floyd Stephan was discovered in the Chorus room of the Peoples Bank Theatre in 2015. His son, Dan Stephan Sr., had purchased the theatre with the goal of restoring it to it’s original splendor. A true sign that some things are simply meant to be.
The carpet at the Lafayette Hotel, with it’s depiction of the sternwheelers that Marietta is so known for.
The reverence for the past, with historic markers and monuments that tell the stories of moments of significance.
These are only some of the things. The little things that give Marietta it’s charm. These are the details. And the most wonderful thing about these details is that depending where you look and when you look, you’ll always discover something a little different.
Have you ever been to Marietta, Ohio? What details did you notice and love?
Three cheers to Marietta’s CVB for inviting me to explore their charming city! Even with the thick cut bacon at Busy Bee and hidden treasures, all opinions are genuinely and authentically mine. xo.
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