Top Landmarks in Atlanta

For a young city, Atlanta has a lot of history and landmarks. Perhaps the city brings to mind the Civil War, especially because of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind.” The movie by the same name premiered in Atlanta in 1939. We also remember this city at a hub of the Civil Rights Movement where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. along with black college students played major roles working towards equal rights for all.

Margaret Mitchell House and Museum is located in midtown Atlanta on Peach Street. It was the home of author Margaret Mitchell who wrote “Gone With the Wind.” She and her husband lived in a small apartment (#1 on the ground floor) within the house known as the Crescent Apartments. Much of the house views as a movie museum of the movie by the same name of her book. The house Literary Center also offers writing classes for both adults and youth as well as lectures and book signings.

Georgia State Capital is not only the center of the working Georgian government it is also on the National Registry of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark. The 1889 architecture of the building resembles that of the renaissance style of the U.S. Capital in Washington D.C. The museum in the capital building houses reflects the cultural history of Atlanta with statues of famous Georgian citizens and flags. Guided tours are available during the week.

Jimmy Carter Library and Museum holds documents and materials regarding the Carter presidential administration and family life. Special exhibits include Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize and the United States Bill of Rights. The library opened in 1986 on Carter’s birthday, October 1. Tours are available with advanced notice. The museum is open seven days a week and the library is open Monday through Friday only.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens is located in midtown Atlanta. This 30-acre garden is a collection of plants for education, display, research, conservation and, of course, enjoyment. Within the entirety of the botanical garden are smaller, themed gardens. Entering, you will find the Rose Garden and Japanese garden. There are sculptured fountains in the Children’s Garden. Indoor exhibits include plants from a tropical rainforest (populated with turtles and tropical birds) and dessert plants. The Orchid Center contains orchids from around the world.

Georgia Governor’s Mansion is Greek Revival style architecture built in 1967. It’s located in northwestern Atlanta on an 18-acre parcel. 30 columns surround the front porch, made from California redwood. The mansion consists of three floors, the lower floor contains the ballroom. The pool and outdoor patio reside outside of this level. The governor’s private rooms are located on the top floor. It also includes the “Carter Bedroom” and the “Lincoln Bedroom.” All of the furnishings are museum quality. Tours are conducted Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with advanced notice needed for larger groups. There is no charge.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is a multi-building site surrounding Dr. King’s childhood home and includes Ebenezer Baptist Church where he and his father were both pastors. It is designated a National Historic Landmark. The 35-acre site includes the Visitor’s Center which preserves the history of the American Civil Rights Movement and the “I Have a Dream” International World Peace Garden. January, around Martin Luther King Day, special events are held with speakers such as U.S. presidents and politicians, civil rights leaders and others.

Coke MuseumCreative Commons License photo credit: Nrbelex

World of Coca Cola

World of Coca Cola is a 20-acre complex, located at Pemberton Place (named after the founder of Coca Cola), across from Centennial Olympic Park and Georgia Aquarium. View a collection of nostalgic memorabilia and artifacts before going into the Happiness Factory Theatre where you will view a fun “mockumentary.” Included is the Coca Cola store which is filled with every conceivable piece of logo-filled item imaginable.

Centennial Olympic Park was created for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Today it is a 21 acre park and city legacy. It is surrounded by other Georgian landmarks such as the Philips Arena, CNN Center, Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia Dome. On the north side of the Centennial Park you will find Coca Cola World and the Georgia Aquarium. The most popular feature of the park is the “Fountain of Rings” with lights and water jets working in unison to music. There is a splash pad in the fountain that is meant for water play by adults and children.

Georgia World Congress Center is the major Georgian convention center and also the fourth largest in the U.S. It has a million plus visitors every year. It was used during the 1996 Centennial Olympics for such sports as weightlifting, wrestling, table tennis, handball, fencing, judo and others. Today, other events are featured in the center such as the SEC Football Fanfare.

High Museum of Art houses more than 11,000 permanent pieces of artwork, including artists from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as African art, European art, decorative art, contemporary art and photography. You will enjoy seeing works from Claude Monet, Dorothea Lang and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. This historical museum was founded in 1905. However, it was moved to the High family (which the museum is named after) home as it was donated in 1926. The museum is a division of the Woodruff Arts Center, Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In addition, films, meetings, seminars and other events are part of it’s annual venue.

Fox Theatre is a 1920s movie palace with an unusual Moorish architectural style, a sort of mixture of Islamic and Egyptian. The theatre currently hosts artistic events put on by the Atlanta Ballet, summer film festival and touring companies as well as many Broadway performances.. Interestingly, there is also a private 3,640 square foot apartment in the building which serves as the residence of Joe Patten, who once served as the technical director and has a lifetime free lease.