My daughters and I went on a road trip to explore the local and historic charms of Marietta, Ohio on a late summer weekend. Marietta is a 90 minute drive from Charleston, West Virginia on Interstate 77, where we lived. It was an affordable trip, perfect for a weekend getaway. Marietta is a lovely river city with a historic past and much to see and do.
Where We Stayed in Marietta, Ohio
The girls and I stayed at the Lafayette Hotel, is a historic landmark on the Ohio River waterfront. The Lafayette Hotel, circa 1912, has a triangular shape to capture perfect river views, a great downtown location, an on-site restaurant, and rooms filled with antiques and old-time charm. Our room had a king sized canopy bed and a huge sitting area with a pullout couch; perfect for the three of us.
Front Street runs through downtown Marietta. It is adorned with one-of-a-kind shops that include antiques, gourmet foods and wines, collectibles, eateries, and more. Our favorite store was Twisted Sisters Boutique, known for their unique gifts, jewelry, funky purses, pictures frames, greeting cards, and clothing. Visit My Favorite Things for any collectible you could imagine, plus delicious homemade fudge. Take home famous gourmet Rossi pasta and sauces to stock your pantry. My favorites items were the Artichoke Linguini and Fire, a spicy angel hair pasta. Gift baskets were available and many of the Rossi items were gluten free. The Barking Dog Used Rare Books and Art is another place worth checking out.
My recommendation for the best meal in Marietta is The Boathouse BBQ, which has won 9 first place awards for their finger-licking good ribs and other cuisine. Keep in mind this is the only place in Marietta where you can sit outside by the Ohio River. Enjoy dinner, drinks, and occasional entertainment, or arrive by boat! My friend Steve owns this restaurant and he runs a fantastic business. Steve also has the more health-minded “Mustard Seed Cafe”, which features many great choices of crisp salads and all natural meats (no additives), all gluten free, and decadent baked goods. Mustard Seed offers catering as well.
The girls and I shared a lunch portion spicy Thai pasta meal at Austyn’s Restaurant and Chicken Fajita Nachos at Tampico Mexican Restaurant for dinner. The Gun Room Restaurant, located in the LaFayette Hotel, was most interesting, as it had a huge collection of long rifles on display. Unfortunately the service was iffy and the menu just average.
Other Noteworthy Attractions
Marietta, Ohio has a castle, coincidentally called “The Castle”. The castle’s gothic-revival style architecture, with octagonal tower, was filled with lovely antiques from the Victorian Era. Savvy tour guides gave a witty, yet informative, overview of the castle’s history. It hosts many music and art events, plus educational programs, ghost tours, and teas, throughout the year. Other things to do in Marietta included a sternwheeler cruise on the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, or a visit to the world-famous Fenton Art Glass Company in Wiliamstown, West Virginia.
If you love history, visit the Muskingum River State Park to see the memorial to the Start Westward sculpture. This artwork consists of three men standing atop a rock, landing on the Muskingum River. Start Westward represents the first landing of the pioneers and start of westward territory expansion. It is lovely!
If you would like to visit Ohio, check out our other posts: