10 Reasons to Visit Carrollton, Georgia

I remember when he got the job offer.

He’d applied sort of on a whim, for a job at a college in a town we’d never heard of. A dot on a map I’d never seen before.


Two R’s, Two L’s.

Not pronounced like the brother from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

So when he got the job offer, I actually had to consider this <tiny> dot on the map could possibly be our new place of residence.

I knew it was small. A small, southern town in the state of Georgia close to the Alabama line. 

But all I really wanted to know was,

“Is there at least a Target there?”

I breathed a sigh of relief when the answer was YES. And I told my (now ex-) husband I could live there, as long as there was a Target and we didn’t live too far from it. Because having the dollar spot plus a place to buy new pillow shams, sunglasses, Jenga, an overstuffed giraffe, ankle boots, and a sports bra when all I really needed was some kids’ Tylenol, was non-negotiable.

It was September 2013, and three and a half months later we were officially Carrollton’ians, living in a house that was only about 2.5 miles from Target. 

Because pretty much everything in this small, southern stop off of I-2o is about 2.5 miles apart.

All jokes aside, I’ve now lived here for over five years, and I guess you can say I’ve fallen in LIKE with this town. Almost love. Close to love. But definite LIKE.  It can be hard to move to a town where almost everyone is born and raised, where everyone shares memories of elementary school, Friday night lights, inside jokes, and unshakable bonds. But, I’ve found my way, and I’m continuing to forge my path, now a single mama in this small town with two R’s, two L’s, and a Target.

And to mark half a decade here (WHAT!), I wanted to give a top ten list of why YOU should come to see what our little map on the dot is all about! Especially since I recently saw an article about the fifteen small towns near Atlanta you should visit, and Carrollton is number one! So…

Photo via Explore Georgia: https://www.exploregeorgia.org/city/carrollton


  1.  Adamson Square – aka downtown Carrollton. Literally a square. Four quadrants. Full of the coolest restaurants and shops and the perfect representation of what a small Georgia town should look like. Home of the oldest book store in Georgia. “The Square” is full of daytime fun and nighttime entertainment.
  2. The Greenbelt – I am obsessed with the Greenbelt! It is an 18-mile closed loop that goes all around our small town…a loop on which you can bike/run/feed ducks/picnic/enjoy waterfalls, etc. And speaking of the Greenbelt, we have an awesome bike share program! All along the greenbelt are bikes you can rent and ride, and leave at any other bike share stations. The perfect way to maneuver yourself around our sweet little town.
  3. The BEST school system! Carrollton City Schools = an elementary, middle, junior high, and high school all on one campus. The school spirit + camaraderie + focus on what is really important in a school have all blown me away for years. The students, faculty, support staff, parents, administrators, and board office members really are absolutely amazing. There truly is just something special about being a part of our Trojan nation!
  4. Small Town Boutiques/Gift Shops. I can say with complete conviction we some pretty awesome boutiques and stores in our town. Quality products, the coolest gifts, and absolutely amazing customer service. Two of my favorites? Main Street Boutique and Turner Pharmacy. You must stop by these stores when you come to see us in Carrollton!
  5. 4 a.m. Coffee Roasters. I consider myself somewhat of a donut connoisseur. And I am a huge fan of the fresh donuts at this farm-to-table hidden gem of our town. If you come to see me, I will make you eat donuts from here!
  6. The Amp – An outdoor amphitheater that is constantly entertaining us small town folks. Concerts, comedy shows, charity benefits, outdoor movie screenings…the list goes on and on and on.
  7. Restaurants. Small southern town = some of the best restaurants/bar spots ever in the history of ever. My top three favorites that you have to put on your Carrollton t0-do list? Brown Dog, City Tavern, and Irish Bred Pub and Grill.
  8. Mayfest – one of my most favorite events of the year! This is an event where our downtown square is PACKED with booths full of yummy food and goodies, entertainment for the kids, unique gifts to purchase, etc. So when you decide to make your trip to Carrollton, make it a point to come the first weekend in May!
  9. Cheers. Since we all know I love when it’s time for happy hour, it’s no surprise I was pleased to find out we not only have a Target but a store full of all the single-mama-of-three necessities, aka Cheers!
  10. Parades! And one last bonus of living in a small southern town? We find a reason to celebrate any and everything with a good ol’ fashioned parade! Our 4th of July People’s Parade and the Holiday Wishes Christmas Parade are just two of my favorites. And yes, you guessed it, they go right through the heart of Carrollton – our beloved Square.
  11. BONUS NUMBER ELEVEN — TARGET!  Because none of the above would be enough without the store I need most in my life…good ol’ Target. The reason I said yes to Carrollton. A yes I am so glad I said because each day I fall more in love with this little southern dot on the map just off of I-20.
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Jessie Peele
Jessie is a happy-hour-loving, cupcake-eating, running-obsessed, reality-tv-addicted single mama, currently living in Carrollton, GA. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC, attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!), and taught elementary school for about ten years in Winston Salem, NC. Life brought her to Carrollton in January of 2014, and after four years in Georgia she's still getting used to living in a small town. Jessie was a stay-at-home mama for 3.5 years, but when life took an unexpected turn, she became a divorced mama who found her way back to the classroom. With three kids in tow (Cameron Kate, 7, Everette, 4, and Brooks, 2), she is now a full-time elementary school teacher and a part-time skincare business owner via Rodan + Fields. In the nooks and crannies of her day, she loves running (bonus if it's WITHOUT the stroller!), binge-watching on Netflix, baking and eating anything sweet, drinking a good craft beer/vodka cocktail/cold margarita, and blogging about all things mama-hood on her blog Cupcakes & Running Shoes: http://cupcakesandrunningshoes.blogspot.com/.


  1. Just moved to Carrollton in October all the way from Ohio! We have a two month old so getting out and about has been on the back burner! Thank you for sharing your Top 11! Looking forward to the Mayfest!

    • I hope you’re loving Carrollton and I hope you loved Mayfest! Find me on Facebook if you’d like to connect – I know it can be hard to find your way in a small town! 🙂

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