Main Content

The Perks of Living in Kennesaw, GA

mother and daughter playing together

Is Kennesaw, GA a good place to live? The answer is a resounding “yes” — from beautiful parks to reputable schools, residents enjoy a high quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about living here.


Located northwest of Atlanta, Kennesaw has a homespun charm that puts you right at ease.  As a designated Preserve America community, Kennesaw is a historic city dedicated to the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage.

Quality Living in the Deep South

Located about 27 to 30 miles from Atlanta, Kennesaw offers small-town living within proximity to some of the Big A’s finest attractions, such as the Georgia Aquarium and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Kennesaw is best known as a suburban community located at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Historic sites and nature trails for recreation surround the community.

A 2022 WalletHub study ranked Kennesaw in the 80th percentile as one of “The Best Small Cities in America” out of roughly 1,200 cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 in the United States. Niche also included the city in its 2019 list of the Top 20 Best Suburbs to Live in Georgia based on location, schools, crime rates, housing, and amenities.

Kennesaw encompasses 9.5 square miles along I-75, making it highly accessible. Though most residents get around by car, the city is served by the CobbLinc bus service. The nearest major airport is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

As one of the fastest-growing cities in Cobb County, it has a population of over 33,000 as of 2020. Despite its low-key environment, Kennesaw has had its fair share of famous residents. These include football player Darvin Adams, soccer player Jane Campfield, top model Sean O’Pry, and former state senator Billy Davis.


Present-day Kennesaw sprang from workers’ shanties during the construction of the 20-mile Western and Atlantic Railroad through Cobb County in the 1830s. Then known as Big Shanty, the city lies at the high point of the railroad between the Etowah and Chattahoochee Rivers.

In 1861, Camp McDonald was established at the crossroads of Highway 41 and Kennesaw Due West Road. Big Shanty featured prominently in the Civil War. It  fell to Union forces in 1864 and was destroyed in the years that followed.

The city showed signs of recovery in the 1870s with several businesses setting up shop to serve the community. The railroad was rebuilt and the city was incorporated in 1887. Its city limits stretched for half a mile north, east, west, and south, from the Western and Atlantic Railroad Depot. Kennesaw gets its name from the Cherokee word for “burial ground”.

Kennesaw grew prosperous in the early 20th century with shipping and the cotton trade. Though deeply affected by the Great Depression and the death of the local cotton industry, the Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase renewed the American public’s interest in the city. Today, Kennesaw is one of the most desirable places to live in Georgia. Its rich history can be revisited in any of the local museums and the battlegrounds around the city.

Kennesaw, GA Trivia

  • A law from the 1900s requires the head of each household in Kennesaw to legally own a gun with ammunition.
  • Kennesaw shares its name with a university, mountain, and historic battlefield in the area.
  • In 2020, Kennesaw received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the 20th consecutive year.
  • It ranked 6th on the National Council for Home Safety and Security’s 2020 Safest Cities in Georgia To identify the safest cities in Georgia, the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics are reviewed. A total of 3,381 cities were factored into this ranking.


Is Kennesaw, GA a good place to live? From Southern hospitality to a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, here are many reasons to move to the city.

Cost of Living

Although the cost of living in Kennesaw is higher than the national average, the city is also considered to be one of the most budget-friendly cities in Georgia for homeowners with a mortgage and renters. The website ranked the city in the top 25 in Georgia for both categories.

Out of 17,476 houses with a mortgage, only 24.79%. had a mortgage that cost 30% or more than the household income, according to the site. In any case, homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for the Kennesaw lifestyle and location.


employees on office

Kennesaw is a thriving business center in Cobb County. There are more than 5,000 companies and businesses serving the area. Kennesaw residents have many career opportunities in or around the city. The unemployment rate is 3.1%, much lower than the U.S. national average of 6%, according to Best Places. Recent job growth has been positive with jobs having increased by 2.9%. Many residents work in  retail, sales, customer service, management, and engineering.

Cobb County ranks among the 100 wealthiest counties in the United States. The Cobb County School District is the largest employer in the county, providing work opportunities to over 20,000 individuals.

Major corporations in and around Cobb County include:

  • Coca-Cola HQ
  • General Electric (GE) Energy Management Business HQ
  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Plant
  • InTown Suites HQ
  • The Home Depot Atlanta Store Support Center Global Headquarters
  • The Weather Channel HQ

Shopping and Dining

Residents have convenient access to retail and dining options close to home in Kennesaw:

  • Barrett Pavilion is an outdoor shopping center anchored by Target, Total Wine, and AMC Theater.
  • Cobb Place is a premier commercial complex with major retailers like World Market, DSW Shoe Warehouse, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
  • Kennesaw Commons is a strip mall spanning 24,200 square feet. In addition to retail, it offers self-storage and RV parking facilities.
  • Kennesaw Plaza is a commercial strip with salons, eateries, a bar, and a thrift store.
  • Kennesaw Promenade Shopping Center is a strip mall with local businesses and fast casual options.
  • Town Center at Cobb is a climate-controlled community shopping center with over 175 stores, including Bath & Body Works, Foot Locker, JCPenney, and Macy’s. It also offers an array of casual dining options that serve Japanese, Vietnamese, and Tex-Mex fare.
  • The Kennesaw Marketplace is a 130,175-square-foot commercial center anchored by Whole Foods, Academy Sports, and Hobby Lobby.
  • Downtown Kennesaw features cobblestone streets lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a pedestrian-friendly area that hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.
  • Wade Green Crossing is a regional shopping center spanning over 177,000 square feet. Its tenants include Big Lots, GNC, LA Fitness, and Jumping World USA.

Parks and Recreation

vintage cart

Kennesaw gets warm summers and short winters. The pleasant weather lends itself well to a wide range of outdoor activities. In 2004, the city was designated a Preserve America Community and is dedicated to the preservation of its cultural and natural attractions. Its ideal location brings residents close to a number of parks and preserves:

  • The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is located on the southernmost end of Kennesaw Mountain. As the site of a Civil War battleground, the park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, there are several artifacts from the battle, such as monuments, canons, and military trail markers on display throughout the park. Spanning 2,923 acres, the park features a movie theater that screens re-enactments and documentaries about the Civil War.
  • Kennesaw Mountain stands between Kennesaw and the neighboring city of Marietta. It is the highest point in all of Cobb County and the Metro Atlanta Area with a summit elevation of 1,808 feet. It is nicknamed the Gibraltar of Georgia at two miles long with rocky ridges and a 700-foot precipice, called Big Kennesaw, at its summit.
  • It is a popular recreation spot with over 18 miles of trails that meander through  vast wilderness and glistening streams. Many come here for hiking, running, and biking. It is also an excellent spot for bird watching as it is a stop for more than 200 species of migratory birds, such as cerulean warbler and bald eagle. In addition to birds, the mountain is home to white-tailed deer and other wildlife.

  • Swift-Cantrell Park is a 42-acre park that opened in 2008. It features a splash pad, dog park, fitness station, playgrounds, and picnic pavilions. In addition, it has an open turf for passive recreation as well as a perimeter trail and inner-loop for hiking, running, and cycling. But the crowning jewel is undoubtedly the lighted skatepark, which spans 40,000 square feet and features a skate plaza and flow course.
  • The Frank Boone Dog Park at Swift-Cantrell Park is a 1.5 acre off-leash dog park with a six-foot perimeter fence and three designated run areas for small, medium, and large dog breeds. It also features a watering station and receptacles for waste bags. The dog park was named Best of Cobb by Cobb Life Magazine in 2019.
  • Noonday Creek Trail is an 8.5-mile trail that extends from Cherokee County to Cobb County with boardwalk, asphalt, and concrete surfaces throughout. The southern end of the trail in Cobb County leads to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
  • Smith-Gilbert Gardens is home to over 3,000 plant species, including tens of thousands of blooming daffodils, nectar plants, and bonsai trees. At 17 acres, the grounds feature 15 garden areas, 32 contemporary sculptures, and the historic Hiram Butler House. It hosts seasonal exhibits and various events, such as Art Bloom, Dog Days in the Garden, and Bluegrass & Butterflies.
  • Red Top Mountain State Park is located 20 miles away in the City of Acworth. Located on scenic Lake Allatoona, it provides access to more than 15 miles of trails for hiking and cycling. The 12,000-acre lake is ideal for swimming, fishing, boating, and water skiing while the grounds and facilities offer numerous opportunities for camping, picnicking, pickleball, tennis, archery, mini golf, and birdwatching.
  • Lake Acworth is a 260-acre artificial lake with a white sand beach on the northern shore. This pet-friendly recreational area offers swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities. The lake is home to 18 species of fish, including bluegill, largemouth bass, spotted bass, red ear sunfish, and black crappie. Visitors may use electric motors or trolling motor boats to explore the lake. There is a roped-off swimming area for those who want to take a refreshing dip in the water.
  • Cauble Park spans 25 acres on the north side of Lake Acworth. It features a beach, boardwalk, boating ramp, and several fishing points for those who want to enjoy the lake. On land, visitors can make use of an open play area, two playgrounds, and picnic facilities that include a beach house, lakeside gazebo, and pavilions.

Educational Opportunities

lady in graduation

Kennesaw, GA is a good place to live for buyers who value education. Residents attend Cobb County School District schools, which serve students in all grade levels, including post-secondary education. Reputable schools in and around Kennesaw include:

  • Baker Road Elementary School
  • Big Shanty Intermediate School
  • Bullard Elementary School
  • Awtrey Middle School
  • McClure Middle School
  • Harrison High School
  • Kell High School

Residents can pursue higher learning at Kennesaw State University, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in art, music, finance, physics, robotics, and more. The Research Center for Sustainable Communities (RCSC) at KSU is a transdisciplinary hub dedicated to research and community initiatives. The university also features award-winning dining halls and a university store selling gadgets, books, and apparel.

Other Attractions

  • The Fifth Third Bank Stadium is a state-of-the-art, 8,300 seat events facility that hosts lacrosse, soccer, and football matches. Situated on a 21-acre site, NCAA included the stadium in a top collegiate athletics facility in 2012. It is part of the KSU Sports and Entertainment Park, an 88-acre sports and recreational complex completed in 2012.
  • In addition to the stadium, the park features a one-mile walking trail,  practice facility, NCAA regulation track, and seven competition fields. It also has a nine-acre lake and sand volleyball courts.

  • The Museum of History and Holocaust Education features a resource center and educational collection. It provides online and temporary travel exhibits with educational panels on World War II and the Holocaust. The museum has received several awards and recognitions from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries (GAMG) and Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC), among other institutions.
  • The Historic Railroad Depot sheds light on the history of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in Kennesaw and its role in the development and growth of the city. It features several displays, panels, and murals exploring key events in the history of the Kennesaw area.
  • The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, previously called the Kennesaw Civil War Museum, features exhibits and film screenings. Its permanent collection includes artifacts and relics from the Civil War and the railroads of Georgia.

Festival and Events

Is Kennesaw, GA a good place to live for single professionals and families? The city is known for its annual events, which create a sense of community and attract visitors from all over Cobb County. These events appeal to a wide audience, from young party-goers to parents with small children:

  • The Big Shanty Arts & Crafts Festival is an annual event featuring about 25 food booths, 150 vendors, and two entertainment stages for acoustic music in Downtown Kennesaw. The event traditionally takes place in April each year.
  • The Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival has been bringing BBQ, beer, and live music to the Kennesaw community for over 20 years. This two-day event attracts an estimated 60,000 attendees each year and is one of the city’s most beloved festivals.
  • Kennesaw Farmers Market is a seasonal market with over 20 vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables, home-baked goods, and other specialty items in the Main Street Underpass Plaza.
  • Lights of Joy is the largest residential lights display in Georgia. It features 60 holly bushes and 230 pine and hardwood trees, each wrapped in over 15,000 to 20,000 lights. The event also includes 40 musical trees synchronized to Christmas music across roughly 700 feet of road frontage. Trips to Discover included Kennesaw in its list of the 10 best neighborhoods to see Christmas lights in Metro Atlanta.


The median listing price in Kennesaw was $440,000 in May 2023. Home appreciation has been 19.3% over the last 10 years, making it an excellent choice for real estate investing. With a high homeownership rate of 68.8%, the community is a wonderful place to set down roots.

Buyers can choose from a wide range of residential properties, including Traditional-style homes with exquisite red brick exteriors and Ranch-style properties offering plenty of outdoor space. Kennesaw also offers a selection of new construction townhomes with energy-efficient features and contemporary finishes.

Kennesaw GA House

Legacy Park

One of the most coveted addresses in Kennesaw, Legacy Park provides exclusive access to a host of resort-style amenities. These include a 117-acre park, an 18-hole disc golf course, four swimming pools, 11 tennis courts, and several children’s play areas and picnic groves.

It is home to the following subdivisions, which primarily offer single-family properties:

  • Madison
  • Highcroft
  • Carillon
  • Annandale
  • Bellingrath
  • Northgate
  • Gramercy
  • Lullwater
  • Kentmere
  • Palisades
  • Olmsted
  • Revere
  • Winterthur

Town Center

The Town Center is one of the best locations in Kennesaw, bringing residents close to shops, restaurants, and entertainment. There are several apartment complexes near the Town Center for those who want to live in the thick of the action.

West Cobb

This area offers an excellent mix of new construction and resale homes. Subdivisions like Chestnut Farms West Cobb offer an exclusive selection of townhomes with first-rate amenities. Its location brings residents close to recreational spots with hiking and biking opportunities.

The Overlook

The Overlook at Marietta Country Club is located at the base of Kennesaw Mountain and offers a peaceful environment. It has a collection of luxury homes on large lots. Amenities include a spring-fed lake spanning 28 acres as well as two swimming pools, a water-slide tower, and several tennis courts and children’s play areas.


Summerbrooke is a swim and tennis community with resort-style amenities and convenient access to I-75 and downtown Kennesaw. The community has a swimming pool, playground, and lighted tennis courts.


Find the perfect home with local experts. With over 25 years of experience, our high-producing team of buyer and listing agents has worked with a wide range of clients in Kennesaw. We have helped countless first-time homebuyers, seasoned investors, and relocating families find the right property in the area.

Get professional guidance when you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life. Contact the Page Morgan Group at 770.579.5650 or send us an email to get started.