Tourism Up in Marietta

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Marietta may not exactly be the vacation hot spot, but it turns out more people are visiting the area for leisure than for business.

A survey conducted by the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau found that more people are visiting the area as a getaway and are staying longer than planned.

Penny Hildebrand, who lives in California, loves visiting the area she grew up in.

"We came here to have lunch at the levy, hang out by the river, walk around and go in the shops," Hildebrand said.

But she says she doesn't get to do that nearly enough.

"Well we're thinking about buying a small place here to get away in the summer time," she said.

And while she's visiting, she's looking for a nice place to stay downtown.

"We do get lots of tourists. We get them from all over," MaryJane Phillips, owner of Marietta Wine Cellars and Gift Shop, said.

Phillips understands the boost of tourism in Marietta and is doing what she can to accommodate the tourists.

"Instead of having bed and breakfast where you get your breakfast, you get bed and wine where you get your bottle of wine and cheese plate," she said.

And it's the little attractions like this that keeps Penny coming home.

"In the last several years I've started coming up here more often and enjoying it, and realizing I'd like to live here part time," Hildebrand said.

Penny moved to California in 1983 and says the more she comes back to visit, the more she wants to stay.

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