Best museums in Atlanta
If you’re going on a trip to Atlanta, you’ll see that this bustling city has plenty to offer its visitors. The museums in Atlanta are one of the city’s highlights, so make sure to visit at least some of them. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or even puppetry, you’re sure to find a spot in Atlanta that interests you.
History museums in Atlanta
Atlanta has an important part in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, so plan a visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Even before you step foot inside, you’ll be impressed by the building’s unique architectural structure. Within its walls, you’ll have the opportunity to explore multiple educational galleries. You’ll learn about the history of the Civil Rights Movement through visual timelines, audio recordings, other artifacts, and interactive exhibits. Don’t forget to see a gallery of original Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. writings.
Speaking of the bold Civil Rights leader, you’ll also want to pay a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park while you’re in town. In the park, you’ll find the home where Dr. King was born and the graves where he and his wife were buried. An International Civil Rights Walk of Fame is also located on the site. It includes the names and footprints of other Civil Rights activists who have carried on King’s legacy. You can visit the park and join guided tours of King’s home for free, so you have no excuses. Keep in mind that the tours are first-come, first-served. If you hope to get in on a guided tour of King’s home, arrive early and be willing to wait.
For an overall survey of the city’s history, head to the Atlanta History Center. This museum covers Atlanta history beginning with stories of the Native Americans. One of the museum’s particularly impressive exhibits is the enormous “Cyclorama” painting, which shows scenes from the Civil War Battle of Atlanta. Imagine—this impressive painting is even housed in its own building.
Art museums in Atlanta
If you’re a fan of fine art, don’t miss the High Museum of Art. You’ll experience quite a blend of art here from around the world, both classic and contemporary. One of the highlights is the museum’s unique folk-art gallery, featuring works by self-taught artists. With so much artwork here, you could easily spend hours perusing the collections.
The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is another great stop in Atlanta if you’re an art lover. This small museum features ever-changing temporary exhibits, which means you’ll always get a chance to see something new here. It also offers various events and workshops throughout the year, so check the calendar to see what’s on while you’re in town. Best thing? Admission is always free. Note that the museum is closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly.
Unusual museums in Atlanta
Whether you like Coca-Cola or not, you can’t deny the company’s massive influence and worldwide reach. The World of Coca-Cola museum gives you a chance to learn more about the history of this famous brand. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to take them here. Multiple interactive exhibits and the opportunity to taste-test over a hundred sweet beverages from around the world make this museum a fun experience.
The Delta Flight Museum is technically another history museum, but this one is unique in that it’s all about the history of flight and aircraft. What makes this museum so cool is that it’s built in a 1940s hangar, where you can see several antique aircraft on display. Travel geeks and aircraft nerds will love it, but anyone will have a memorable experience viewing these planes.
Looking for some more unique museums in Atlanta? Consider the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, which features the world’s largest collection of Jim Henson puppets and artifacts. You’ll get to see the iconic puppets like Kermit and Miss Piggy while you learn all about the famous puppeteer’s creative process. Another feature of this museum is The Global Collection. Here, you can learn about the history of puppetry in multiple cultures, while admiring puppets and artifacts from around the world.
For the best time in Atlanta, we recommend visiting in the spring (March to May) before the infamously hot Atlanta sun beats down in June. That way, you’ll enjoy both the museums in Atlanta as well as the city surrounding them.