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Besides housing the governor's office and the state legislature, the Georgia State Capitol preserves and represents the state's rich and diverse history both inside and out. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, the Capitol is made of Indiana limestone and Georgia marble, with a golden dome that rises more than 240 feet (73 meters) from the rotunda floor. The building is a wonderful synergy of neoclassical and classical revival architectural styles and was designed by Edbrooke and Burnham in the year 1889. The stucture also houses the acclaimed Georgia Capitol Museum which possesses an extensive collection of Native American relics, prehistoric fossils, precious rocks and important documents that talks about the state's rich history. The museum can be found on the first level of the building.
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.
In the shadow of downtown, this bucolic expanse is a constant reminder of the city's history. Dating from the 1850s, the cemetery was the final destination for all Atlantans until 1884, when private burial grounds began appearing throughout the city. The oldest section is near the main entrance, where legendary golfer Bobby Jones and author Margaret Mitchell are interred, although locating Mitchell's plain headstone can be a challenge. A brochure from the cemetery office will help you find famous graves and interesting sections. Tours are offered March through October.
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 crypt 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, and the site, as a whole, has also hosted nationally-significant events.
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 theaters built in America during the golden age of the movies. Today, the theater 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 a night on the town.
Just minutes from downtown Atlanta in historic Grant Park, the exciting Zoo Atlanta features the Southeast's most impressive collection of wildlife from around the globe. Legend says that the zoo got its start when the owners of a traveling animal show went bankrupt and suddenly fled town. Today, popular exhibits include daily elephant demonstrations, giraffe feedings, and the acquired Chinese pandas. Various spots within the zoo make for wonderful locations to host private celebrations.
This modest turn-of-the-century home is an architectural find in itself, but most notable because it houses the apartment where Margaret Mitchell penned most of Gone with the Wind. Having survived arson and many seasons of decay, the house has been completely restored. Guided tours feature a wealth of historical and anecdotal information on Mitchell, the house and Atlanta in general. A museum shop is also on site.
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.
The most expansive and popular of Atlanta's city parks was 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.
This handsome Victorian abode was the longtime home of famed Georgia writer Joel Chandler Harris, who penned some of this country's most popular stories for children as well as adults. Best known for his Uncle Remus tales, Harris wrote many of his landmark pieces right here in Atlanta, and the story of his life and work is on display at the museum. Guided tours and storytelling programs are offered, as well as a nice shop that stocks books and Brer Rabbit memorabilia.
The William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum is testament of Atlanta's Jewish lineage. Administered by the Atlanta Jewish Federation since 1996, it curates archives from the mid 19th Century to the present day. In one of the largest displays in the Southeast, exhibitions feature photographs, newspaper documentations and memorabilia, including those from the Holocaust that are sure to leave you moved. In addition to galleries, this establishment also houses a genealogy room and library.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the largest spectacles of plant life in the Southeast. Sprawling over 15 acres (six hectares), this natural oasis was established in 1976 and is located within stumbling distance of the famous Piedmont Park. It is home to the Fuqua Conservatory and Japanese gardens, both rich in globe-spanning flora. Follow a walking trail, great for couples, and admire exotic rose plantations and carnivorous specimens. In addition, guided tours and seasonal shows guarantee an entertaining botany lesson.