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Fernbank Museum of Natural History

8 Popular Museums in Atlanta That You Cannot Miss (2022)

Museums in Atlanta are the year-round destination that both locals and tourists love. From excellent exhibitions for Art aficionados to landmarks focusing on science and history buffs, the multi-cultural essence of museums leaves every individual impressed. As one of the best American cities to live and explore, Atlanta is on every traveler’s list. With that, it is also home to some of the best museums in the Southeast, representing authentic culture and history.

The museums in Atlanta brilliantly highlight its prestigious collection of everything from art, history, science, natural science, and more. They have both permanent and visiting/ rotating exhibits to draw individuals throughout the year. Not only that, but the museums in Atlanta also host a variety of events and programs, ensuring engagement for every single explorer that steps in from its door. So, what are you waiting for? Visit Georgia’s most desired city and explore some of the best museums in Atlanta. Have a look at some choicest options below:

8 Popular Museums in Atlanta That You Cannot Miss

1. Atlanta History Center

Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center preserves the war, cultural and art heritage of Atlanta and America altogether. Its 33 acres of wooded campus preserves a collection of historic buildings, gardens, and a research center. It contains both permanent and rotating exhibits focusing on the American Civil war, Native lands, Shaping tradition, Making of Atlanta, Railroad, etc. The exhibits presented here focus on Atlanta’s unique cultural contributions to different sectors. Besides that, the historic buildings in place include the Swan House, Wood Family Cabin, antebellum farmhouse, and farm, along with miniature playhouses. There is even a large garden collection that stays blooming during most parts of the year. Visiting the Atlanta History Center isn’t just an hour affair, but it takes an entire day or two to explore its extravagant charm.

2. Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a popular museum in Atlanta that presents exhibitions and programming about natural history. It focuses on both regional and global natural history and features a range of collections on dinosaurs, planets, and more. Fernbank is home to a 123-foot-long Argentinosaurus, a Giganotosaurus, and some more huge dinnasour fossils ever found. Other popular exhibits present here include Giants of the Mesozoic, World of Shells, Fantastic Forces, NatureQuest, a walk-through time in Georgia, and Reflection of Culture. The museum also features an outdoor exhibit in an accessible 10-acre area located right behind. It contains trails and interactive exhibits. There’s even a newly restored 65-acre Fernbank Forest, which too is part of the museum. Besides all of these, Fernbank regularly organizes after-dark events for adults featuring live music, drinks, and films in the theatre.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

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3. National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Operating as a museum and cultural institute, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a must-visit in Atlanta. NCCHR is located in downtown Atlanta near the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park. Though the museum operates both permanent and temporary exhibits, the three main include Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement, and Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement. All of these exhibits are so huge that an average visitor will require about 1 and a half hours to explore them all. A visit to the National Centre will stir your emotions, move you to tears and make you realize how far the world has come in the name of Civil and Human rights.

4. High Museum of Art

High Museum of Art is undoubtedly the most popular museum in Atlanta that you cannot miss. The museum is located in the Woodruff Art Center on Peachtree Street in Midtown. High Museum of Art was originally established in the year 1905, and today it holds a massive collection of more than 18,000 artworks. Its exhibits majorly focus on African art, American art, decorative arts, and design, European art, folk and self-taught art, modern and contemporary art, and photography. Out of the major work you will see here, some of it is a contribution by Chuck Close, Dorothea Lange, Claude Monet, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Clarence John Laughlin, and more.

Besides its permanent exhibits, it also hosts rotating blockbusters like Picasso paintings and Obama presidential portraits. It also hosts a series of interactive activities for both kids and adults during the weekend. High Museum of Art is 95th among world art museums for its collection and the number of visitors it draws annually.

5. Hammonds House Museum

Hammonds House Museum is a cultural hub for the West End neighborhood and the community at large. It is dedicated to African American fine arts that allow individuals to explore the culture and history of artists of African descent. A walk inside the museum will introduce you to more than 450 historical and contemporary works of art. The collection here includes artwork by notable artists, including Sam Gilliam, Robert S. Duncanson, James Van Der Zee, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and P.H. Polk. Hammonds House Museum got its name after former homeowner Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds. The house in itself is believed to be one of the three oldest houses in West End, built-in in 1857.

6. Delta Flight Museum

The Delta Flight Museum is a unique museum located right next to one of the world’s busiest airports. This aviation wonder is within proximity to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The museum is housed inside two aircraft hangars dating from the 1940s and is quite interesting to visit. Its collection focuses on an array of historic and restored aircraft and memorabilia. You will find notables including antiques like a Virgin Atlantic hot air balloon, a rare, 7-foot-long cutaway model of a DC-7, and more. A visit here also allows individuals to take a stroll on the wing of the first-ever Boeing 747-400 or step into a historic Boeing 767. Individuals who are craving some adventure can also try their hand at a flight simulator.

7. The King Center

The King Center or the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change is a non-governmental organization located in Atlanta. The center was founded by Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther Jr.’s wife, after his death. The facility focuses on the philosophy and methods of Kingian nonviolence. A visit here will allow you to dive deep into the life of civil rights. The main exhibition space is the Freedom Hall, where both permanent and rotating exhibits are placed all year round. Some of their permanent collection includes notables like Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. and Mrs. King Rosa Parks. Visitors can also tour the two-story Queen Anne-style house where Kind was born or explore the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King’s three generations served as pastors.

8. Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum

Georgia has given one president to the United States so far, and he is Jimmy Carter. The state happens to host Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum in its very own Atlanta city. The facility focuses on hosting papers and memorabilia related to Carter’s life. His library is home to 27 million pages of documents, including 40,000 objects, 500,000 photos, audiotapes, videos, and films. The collection also covers documents on the personal lives of Jimmy Carter and his wife. The library and museum offer free admission to students who are 16 and under. Visitors can explore the museum either on a docent tour or go for a self-guided tour.

Other Popular Museums to Visit in Atlanta

  • Centre for Puppetry Arts
  • APEX Museum
  • Michael C. Carlos Museum
  • College Football Hall of Fame
  • World of Coca-Cola (A must-visit)
  • Waffle House Museum
  • Atlanta Monetary Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Children’s Museum of Atlanta

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