By Bailey Dingley
As a current senior attending college in Rome, I like to think I have become quite the expert when it comes to escaping from my college campus. Thankfully, Downtown Rome has so many opportunities to do just that. In this blog, I want to talk about some of my personal favorite places to study, go on a date, hang out with friends, or simply plug in to the Rome community.
I will be the first to say I am so easily distracted while studying. To find a new environment to study, I always choose Swift & Finch. Not only does it have excellent coffee to fuel my studying, but also has a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. With large tables to spread out in groups, or their new outdoor seating, Swift & Finch provides a chill place to get work done.
As many people know, the first place to look for a restaurant for a date is Downtown Rome. Bistro 208, Harvest Moon, or La Scala all provide a more intimate and upscale place to get to know one another. If the date is more casual, try splitting a pizza at Mellow Mushroom or try Thai food at Yummy Thai. Moe’s Original BBQ is also a great place, and I personally suggest splitting the redneck nachos if you’re not a BBQ person. Downtown Rome also has plenty of places to wander if you want to stroll around with your date. The Town Green and the Chief John Ross Pedestrian Bridge can be a nice spot to view the river, or at night on the Robert Redden Footbridge, when the American flag is lit. Also, make sure to check the events at the DeSoto Theatre for a show to watch together!
If later you want to keep the date going or maybe you are looking for a cold treat with friends, downtown has a wide variety of ice cream and sweet treats. From Honeymoon to Frios, Downtown Rome has many delicious deals. For more details, check out the earlier blog featuring them all here! Not to mention, many of these places hire summer workers, so if you are a college student looking for a summer job, check out these shops, along with other restaurants downtown.
Downtown Rome also offers plenty of options for nightlife. Darkside of the Moon, Riverdog Outpost, Mellow Mushroom, Moon Roof Bar, or Rome City Brewing Co. are just a couple of places that have a fun atmosphere and good drinks. Walking from each place is easy and safe Downtown. Downtown Rome even offers free rides on Friday between 5-11 p.m. and Saturday between 12-11 p.m. on the Roman Chariot. You can text for a free pick-up at 706-413-2822.
An important part of being a college student is engaging with the community off campus. It is so easy for us as college students to be sucked into our college community with little regard to the surrounding area. Downtown Rome is great when it comes to community engagement. First, the outdoor opportunities provide a way to understand the land of Rome more and be a part of it! The Heritage Trail system is great for biking and walking. The Coosa Basin River Valley Initiative is a grassroots organization that strives to protect, preserve and restore the Upper Coosa River basin, and they offer guided paddling trips and kayak and canoe rental. Another way to expand your community is through worship opportunities. With 15 places of worship, Downtown Rome has a vibrant religious life to connect with people in Rome of the same religion. Downtown events are also a great way to get off campus and be a part of the Rome community. Make sure to check the Downtown Development calendar, follow Downtown on social media (@downtownromega), and check out the posters that are always hanging in the Downtown shops. Sign up to volunteer with downtown events here!
As my time in college in Rome begins to wrap up, I have loved experiencing Downtown Rome as a college student. From late night runs to get ice cream and intense study sessions, to celebrating birthdays over dinner and long walks along the rivers, Downtown Rome has become a welcoming and comfortable place to call home for the past four years. While it’s unclear where I will be after graduation, I know that Downtown Rome will always hold special memories for me.