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Rome named to USA Today list of historic main streets

August 13, 2014 -- 8:16 a.m.


Historic Downtown Rome was named this month to USA Today’s list of Idyllic and Historic Main Streets Across the USA. The article profiles the downtown areas in ten communities, noting these “small town gems” and great destinations to visitors looking for a “blast from the past”.

“Downtown Rome is the largest Victorian-era district in Georgia,” said Ann Arnold, Rome Downtown Development Authority director. “It comes as no surprise that others find our flourishing downtown, with its beautiful historic architecture, as wonderful as we do. Broad Street exemplifies the full southern experience where one goes to live, shop, dine, work and play!”

Other notable downtown areas that made the list were Charleston, South Carolina, Franklin, Tennessee, and Saratoga Springs, New York.

The USA Today article can be found online at

In January, Rome was also honored by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs as a Georgia Exceptional Main Streets (GEMS) city, one of four in existence. Downtown Rome also holds claim to Preserve America City, Georgia Main Street City, and Tree City USA designations.

In 2003, Rome was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a Great American Main Street City. In 2007, Forbes Magazine named Rome as one of America’s Top 100 Places to Live.

“We were very excited and honored when USA Today approached us about being on a list that included several small towns with big names and huge draws for tourism,” said Luke Chaffin, GRCVB special projects coordinator. “One of the first stops that many tourists here visit is the downtown area because they want to get what they often describe as the ‘true feel’ for our wonderful community.”

According to local lore, the city of Rome was founded in 1834 at a spring near the present-day intersection of East 4th Avenue and Broad Street. As Downtown Rome and the Between-the-Rivers Historic District continued to grow, the area became ravaged by the Civil War and much of the town was subsequently burned. From the ashes, the spirit of Rome emerged and rebuilt the community into a thriving town.

Following a successful revitalization in more recent decades, Downtown Rome has again claimed itself as a center of activity in Floyd County, becoming the home of unique shops, restaurants, rich history, community theater, live music and more. Historic Downtown Rome boasts the second widest main street in Georgia, and is where the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers merge to form the Coosa River.

For more information about Downtown Rome, visit and, or call the Rome-Floyd Visitor Center at 800.444.1834.