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6 Must-see Atlanta Museums

Aug 29th, 2019

Atlanta is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. and has tons of galleries and museums. Many of them are a short walk or drive from AMLI's Atlanta apartments. Whether you’re interested in contemporary art, civil rights history or plain old Coca-Cola, there’s plenty of options to explore. Check out our picks for Atlanta’s six must-see museums.

The High Museum of Art

1280 Peachtree St. NE

Founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High Museum of Art moved into its first permanent location in 1926 when Mrs. High donated her family home on Peachtree Street. In 1968 the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center (now Woodruff Arts Center) opened with the High at its core. Woodruff Arts Center campus is also home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Alliance Theatre, and is just a five-minute walk from our Midtown Atlanta apartments.

Now one of the Southeast’s leading art museums, the High has over 15,000 pieces in its permanent collection which includes European, African, modern, contemporary, folk and 19th and 20th century American art. Visiting exhibits have included the works of Yayoi Kusama, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol.

The High is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed on Mondays. General admission tickets are $14.50 and includes access to the permanent and special exhibits. Children five and under are free.

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Margaret Mitchell House

979 Crescent Ave.

Peggy Marsh (better known by her pen name, Margaret Mitchell) wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Civil War Era-novel “Gone With the Wind” in her quaint, bottom-floor Midtown apartment that she affectionately referred to as “the dump.”

The Margaret Mitchell House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as designated as an Atlanta Historic Building. Now a museum, there you can take a step back in time, learn about the author, her 1936 classic novel and the filming of “Gone With the Wind.” The film adaptation went on to be the highest-earning film at the time, despite its production having its fair share of difficulties.

The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and noon-5:30 p.m. on Sundays. Admission for adults is $14.50, seniors and students are $10, youth (ages 4-12) are $5.50 and children three and younger are free to enter.

World of Coca-Cola

121 Baker St. NW

Atlanta is home to many big brands, but Coca-Cola is perhaps the most iconic. When ordering a soda in Atlanta (and most of the Southeast for that matter), you ask for a Coke. If a restaurant carries Pepsi products instead, a server is likely to get an earful from customers about this transgression. Atlantans take their Coke seriously!

The World of Coca-Cola is a museum dedicated to the history of the brand and is fun for kids and adults alike. The 20-acre complex includes three theaters, the vault containing the Coca-Cola secret formula, several interactive exhibits, and, of course, a tasting room with more than 100 international and domestic soft drinks made by the Coca-Cola Company. Be sure to try Thailand’s Fanta Melon Frosty and Peru’s Inca Kola.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adult admission is $17, seniors are $15, youth (ages 3-12) are $13 and children under three are free. Want to make the most of your experience? VIP tours are $32 per adult (10 people maximum per group) and led by a experienced guide.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW

Located downtown, adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights showcases the achievements of the American Civil Rights Movement as well as the global human rights initiatives.

First dreamed up by civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Evelyn Lowery, the museum opened to the public in 2014. Their goal is to “create a safe space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities.”

The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. Tickets are $19.99 for adults, $15.99 for children 6-12 and $17.99 for students and seniors. Allow 90-120 minutes for your visit and be sure to check the museum calendar for film screenings and other special events.

The King Center

449 Auburn Ave. NE

Speaking of civil rights, The King Center in Old Fourth Ward is a museum and memorial to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Created in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Library and Archives contains the largest collection of primary resources of MLK Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement.

Located just across the street from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, you can also tour his birth home and Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was baptized and he and his father both preached. AMLI's Inman Park apartments are less than a mile away.

The park is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week and is free to the public, but you must register at the Birth Home of Dr. King.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

 767 Clifton Road

Fernbank Museum of Natural history is much more than just ancient fossils (although, those are pretty cool, too). The 75-acre Fernbank Forest is open year-round and features outdoor exhibits, trails, a canopy walk and a nature playground. Inside you’ll find permanent exhibits like "Giants of the Mesozoic," "A Walk Through Time in Georgia" and the new STEM exhibit, "Fantastic Forces," which has hands-on activities that explore volcanoes, tornadoes, planetary orbits and more.

Looking for more adult-geared activities? While Fernbank’s daylight activities and exhibits are great for all ages, Fernbank's after dark series is 21+ and includes museum access, live music, science activities and a 20-minute 3D film screening on the second Friday of each month. Drinks and small plates are available for purchase. Tickets are $19.95. Check the calendar for exact dates and other special events.

Fernbank is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adult admission is $20, $18 for children 3-12 and $19 for seniors. Save $6 with a combo ticket and you’ll be able to access museum, the forest and watch a screening at its 3D theater.


Main photo courtesy Unsplash/Ian Schneider

Author of Article

Kate Mackay is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.

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