Atlanta is steeped deep in American history. In fact, most of us think of the Civil War when the history of this large capital city of Georgia is brought to mind. It’s true that during that war Atlanta served as a crucial railway and military supply hub. In 1864, it was invaded by the Union Army, where several famous battles took place. When you visit Atlanta, be sure and choose a museum or two to learn about this great city.
American Museum of Papermaking presents an extensive history of paper and paper making. It features over 2,000 books and a collection of over 10,000 tools, machines, manuscripts and watermarks. David Hunter is featured with his collection of artifacts and hand paper making. The museum is located at Georgia Tech, so they are closed when the school is closed. Special exhibits are on show, but change constantly.
Atlanta History Center is the location to visit if you only have time for one museum. It is a combination of one of the largest history museums of the south as well as two historic houses, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Kenan Research Center and beautiful historic grounds. All of this is included over 33 acres. In addition, the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum is considered part of the center. Many programs and festivals go on through out the year.
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center offers, throughout the year, gallery exhibits, special performances, fundraising galas as well as classes and workshops in various performing arts. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places making it one of the most unique art centers in the U.S. Sign up for the Summer Arts Camp for kids (newborns to 16). There is the Parent and Me Art Camp, Wee Artists (4 & 5 year-olds), Kaleidoscope (6-10 years), On Stage (5-10 years), Creatures at the Ocean (18 mo. – 3 years), to name just a few categories.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens has 30 acres of gardens, filled with a museum of flower and plant life. They offer one of the larges orchid displays in the country. They include rare and endangered rain forest plants and desert plants. They are closed on Mondays, so plan your visit around that day. Open 9 to 5 during winter months and 9 to 7 during summer. Free parking and children under 3 are free. The fee for adults is $12, Seniors $9, Students are $7.
High Museum of Art is a leading southeastern art museum. It offers a renowned collection of contemporary and classical art. It is a division of the Woodruff Art Center, which includes the Alliance Theater, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse. The world class exhibits, from around the world, are exciting and interesting. The architecture of their building, alone, is worth the trip. Don’t miss the third Friday of every month when they have Jazz Friday.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History allows you to sink your teeth into the adventure of the home of dinosaurs. You’ll see the world’s largest dinosaur remains and earth’s development through the ages. Learn about the cultures from around the globe and interact in their hands-on exhibits. The best time to visit Fernbank is in the afternoon during the early part of the week to avoid large crowds and school groups. They are located on Clinton Road, just minutes from downtown.
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta (Imagine It) is a place for fun and learning. You’ll have to drag the kids away after a full day of education that they won’t know they received. They’ll just think it was a fun place to be. They’ll explore the Amazing Castle, where they can choose to be a blacksmith, gardener, jester, carpenter or even the prince or princess. At the hands-on Fundamental Food exhibit they’ll climb aboard the John Deer tractor, operate a forklift to load boxes or fill their carts with groceries at the grocery store. In Leaping Into Learning the children will wear raincoats as they enter the rain forest where they can fish for colorful sea life, walk under the waterfall or climb the tree house. Best yet, adults can have fun right next to their children.
Georgia State Capitol Museum is located right inside the capitol building. The museum is open any time the capitol is open. The self guided tour of the dome topped building is fun to experience with glass cased exhibits, busts of famous Georgians as well as exhibits of cotton , peaches and peanuts. The capitol building is a beautifully architectural construction of itself. Your tour will take you about 45 minutes to an hour, but you’ll want to allow another hour for browsing around the building.
Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is part of the Presidential Library System, administered by the federal government. It houses presidential and administrative papers and other items pertaining to the Carter presidency. It has been open since October 1, 1986, which was President Carter’s 62nd birthday. The building and library consist of 69,750 square feet, holding 27 million pages of documents, 500,000 photographs and 40,000 other objects, which include audio tapes, videos and films.
Milton Log Cabin is located on the grounds of the Milton High School. It was built under the direction of Professor Pierce L. Elkins by the students in 1934 class of Future Farmers of America. It is the only remaining FFA log cabin still in use today. It became a community project with various businesses providing supplies while the students actually cut and hauled the logs to the site. The one room, one floor cabin displays hand-hewn, hand notched log construction. Split log benches line the inside walls. Arrangements must be made for tours of the log cabin.
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum is where “Gone With the Wind was written.” For many of us, this book is what comes to mind when the city Atlanta is read, heard or spoken of anywhere. Her house and museum are located in the heart of the city on the corner of Peachtree. Complete with The Literary Center, where there are featured author lectures, book signings and adult and children’s writing classes. Guided tours educate the public about Margaret Mitchell, the house and apartment where she wrote her novel and Atlanta, the city.
By: James Emery – CC BY 2.0