The most expansive and popular of Atlanta's city parks were originally laid out for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, and it now attracts more than 2 million visitors annually. Dog owners, sun-seekers and sports enthusiasts flock to the Piedmont Park to enjoy the fair weather, largely unaware that this was the spot of the Battle of Peachtree Creek during the Civil War. Its picturesque locales also offer a romantic ambience. The 189-acre (76.48-hectare) facility is home to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and scenic Lake Clara Meer, and plays host to many of Atlanta's favorite concerts and festivals.
A few blocks to the east of downtown, the Sweet Auburn neighborhood is home to the birthplace of America's most influential Civil Rights leader. Operated by the National Park Service, this historic site contains Dr. King's boyhood home, his tomb and the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King and his father were both pastors. The district was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. This collective of historic monuments invokes poignant memories of Martin Luther King Jr., and the indelible mark that he has left on the American Civil Rights Movement. This historic site is home to many other monuments like King Center, the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Prince Hall and a statue of the world-revered Mahatma Gandhi. The Visitor Center of the site shelters an insightful museum which sheds light on the legacy of Dr. King.
Atlanta History Center is a great spot for history buffs. This comprehensive museum complex was founded in 1926 and chronicles the region's history which includes sections on the Civil War, Civil Rights movement, Southern folk crafts, Atlanta's expansion and much more. Spread across 33 acres (13.5 hectares), it consists of the Atlanta History Museum, Swan House, Tullie Smith Farm (Smith Family Farm), Margaret Mitchell House, Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Kenan Research Center and six beautiful gardens. It has various programs, festivals and events going on throughout the year. Considered to be among the biggest history museums in the country, each space is unique and distinct, giving a glimpse of an era bygone and stories to enthrall everyone. The Margaret Mitchell House is a hub for authors and amateur writers as it hosts yearly creative writing programs to keep the legacy of the celebrated writer, whose novel Gone with the Wind, is among the most loved books. Don't miss this center when in Atlanta.
The Jimmy Carter Library & Museum sits on 35 landscaped acres just east of downtown where the Virginia-Highlands meet Inman Park. The complex consists of five interconnected pavilions that house the offices of the former President, research and foundation facilities, and the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, which includes thousands of papers and mementos from the Carter administration. The landscaped gardens feature a lake, as well as more than 400 plants and 80 varieties of roses, including the coral Rosalynn Carter rose.
This National Historic Landmark was built in 1929 as a Shrine temple, but through most of its storied history, it has served as Atlanta's premier theatrical venue. The Fox Theater is a marvel of Middle Eastern Revival architecture that spans a full city block, it is one of the largest theatres built in America during the golden age of the movies. Today, the theatre maintains a steady schedule of Broadway shows, operas, symphonic performances and rock concerts. Tours are available, but the best way to experience the Fox Theatre is through the night in the town.
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the country. Surrounded by 140 acres (56 hectares) of forests, it is located a short distance from downtown and is a must on itineraries to Atlanta. Natural history buffs can marvel at intriguing exhibitions in the Great Hall. A landmark in itself, this splendid building features a vertigo-inducing skylight that towers at 86 feet (26 meters). Interactive programs at the planetarium promise an entertaining astronomy lesson, while the 315-seater IMAX theater showcases movies on its five-story screen. Note that film screenings on Fridays are accompanied by delicious martinis.
The African-American Panoramic Experience is a museum that catalogs the history of Atlanta's Sweet Auburn neighborhood. Located near the boyhood home of Martin Luther King, Jr., the APEX also serves as the nation's foremost center for the study of African-American history. There is a replica of a Sweet Auburn Avenue drugstore and barbershop, as well as a theater trolley car which shows an introductory video. This important cultural museum offers visitors a chance to explore a part of Atlanta and her history that is often overlooked.
Built in 1889 as the Georgia State Capitol, the landmark is of historic importance and registered in the National Register of Historic Places. It was used as the primary building to house esteemed officials like the governor, secretary of state, lieutenant governor, etc. The 4 floors were mainly offices, before the fire damage in 1941. Post that period, renovation took place and the first floor is now used as a museum showcasing various collectibles and artifacts depicting events in the Capitol.
College Football Hall of Fame is located in the vicinity of other downtown landmarks like the Centennial Olympic Park and CNN Center. It commemorates the outstanding achievements of American college football league players and coaches. Some of the Hall of Famers include the likes of Steve Bartkowski, Art Shell, Tommy Kramer and Charles Alexander. Spread over 94,256 square feet (8.76 square meters), this museum features myriad displays and interactive exhibits. Visitors can peruse football memorabilia and relics, engage in multimedia activities, or catch indoor sporting action at their 405 square-foot (37.62 square-meter) arena. This establishment also features a theater and entrance to the Georgia World Congress Center.
The fun you and your family can have at this children's museum is endless. The Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta is located just steps away from the Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta's downtown cultural district. While the museum was designed for children eight and under, kids and adults of all ages love to get in on the interactive action. Exhibits explore the concepts of nature, food, engineering, artistic expression and food. Traveling exhibits happen throughout the year as well as educational programs and events.
Housing the history of the world's most popular soda, the World of Coca-Cola is one of Atlanta's premier attractions. See pieces of historic Coke memorabilia, visit the 4D theatre for a unique cinematic experience, and lay eyes on the vault that holds the secret recipe. Visitors can also sample an array of different coke products, send letters to friends and family from the famous Coke polar bear, take home authentic Coke gifts from the museum shop, and visit the pop culture gallery to learn about the advertising history of this renowned brand.
This sprawling expanse in the heart of the city is home to some of Atlanta's most popular attractions, World of Coca-Cola and Georgia Aquarium. The area was once a prosperous business and residential quarter before falling into decline in the 1950s. The site was then acquired by the cola giant and named after the creator of its world-renowned beverage. The 20 acre (8.09 hectare) site today, offers a welcome getaway from the urban bustle of the city. Besides the renowned attractions, visitors can relax in the impeccably landscaped green spaces flanking the site.