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 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 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.
It is hard to miss this ultra-modern, stark white structure that houses Atlanta's finest collections of classic and contemporary art. A towering atrium soars to four interior levels, with the galleries moving from 18th and 19th Century collections near the ground floor to cutting edge art on the upper levels. The High has increased in size to 312,000 square feet with three buildings designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano: the Susan and John Wieland Pavilion, the Anne Cox Chambers Wing for galleries, and an office building. The High is a frequent host to some of the world's most important touring collections and has hosted exhibitions featuring artists like Pablo Picasso and Norman Rockwell. With over 15000 works in the permanent collection, the High also displays old prints of Abe Lincoln and of General William Tecumseh Sherman and an array of sculptures and photographs.
A rolling oasis nestled in the heart of downtown Atlanta, this lush park is interspersed with sprawling rock gardens. Built to enhance the infrastructure for the 1996 Summer Olympics, this park is fringed by a tapestry of buildings significant to the city, like the CNN Center, Philips Arena, and the Georgia World Congress Center. The nearly 500,000 commemorative bricks that make up its main walkway were part of fundraising efforts for the Games. During scorching Atlanta summers, children frolic in the ground-level Olympic Rings, which periodically shoot streams of water through their seven rings. One of the most promising features of the park is the fascinating 'Fountain of Rings', a technology-controlled fountain complete with music, light towers and a splash pad; not only is the fountain is a hive of fun and frolic, but it is also a great architectural feat. The park is also home to several other water features and is a massive locus for live music in the city's downtown. Bearing stunning semblances of natural wonders and an iconic Olympic legacy, Centennial Olympic Park is a site that Atlanta holds close to its heart.
Built in 1906 by Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler, this 17 story masterpiece is a prominent fixture on the Atlanta skyline. The elaborate detail on the white marble facade is a fine example of the style of the period, when functional buildings were designed as much for their aesthetic appeal as for their practicality. The tons of structural steel and iron used in construction is said to be twice the amount used in any other building in the Southeast. Today, the building houses private offices. The Atlanta Preservation Center's walking tours of the neighborhood include The Candler Building.
For aerial views of Atlanta that can't be beat, check out Skyview Atlanta. This Ferris wheel, nearly 20-stories high, takes about four minutes for a full rotation, which means plenty of time to soak in the expansive cityscape. Each ride includes four full rotations, which puts total ride time around 15 minutes or so. Each gondola holds six people, and there are VIP gondolas offering leather seats and glass pane windows.
Living Walls is a non profit community of artist who design wall art to promote and educate people about public space around Atlanta. This particular art is done by a street artist by the name of Roa, near Five Points station. This is a larger than life piece with a giant Alligator sprawling across an apartment building! This wall art campaign has turned Atlanta into a major tourist destination! To know more about other wall arts and their location check out their website!
Standing tall over Capitol Square, The Georgia State Capitol commands historic and architectural importance. Colored in rich white, the building displays a blend of neoclassical and classical revival architecture. It features elements like detailed pilasters and Corinthian columns which support a four-story front porch, or portico. The rounded dome is laden with gold leaf, and a statue of the Goddess of Liberty stands at it very top. The monument features a museum that chronicles the history of the state through various historic artifacts like portraits, statues, relics and fossils. It serves as the primary legislative building of the government of Georgia and also houses several office chambers where the General Assembly meets every year.
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.