The 12 Best Museums in Atlanta

High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art.

Barry Winiker 

One of the Southeast's most vibrant cities, Atlanta is a year-round destination for its pristine green spaces, award-winning restaurants, and world-class attractions. But don't overlook the city's thriving cultural scene, which includes museums dedicated to everything from natural history and fine art to Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines.

From getting up-close with the dinosaurs at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History to touring the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., explore Atlanta's past and present at these top city museums.

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World of Coca-Cola

World of Coca-Cola.

Courtesy of World of Coca-Cola

One of downtown's most popular attractions, the interactive World of Coca-Cola is dedicated to the Atlanta-born brand's meteoric rise from humble soda fountain drink to global juggernaut. While you won’t learn the 125-year-old secret formula, you can visit galleries that bring its history to life. Guided tours include a 4D theater experience, a miniature look at the bottling process, a visit to the vault where the recipe is kept, and an interactive pop-culture area where visitors can design their own Coke bottles. Work up a thirst? Sip over 100 different Coca-Cola brand sodas from around the world at the "Taste It!" station.

121 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
Phone +1 404-676-5151
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High Museum of Art

High Museum of Art

Marilyn Nieves / Getty Images

The Southeast's leading art museum, the High Museum of Art is located on the Woodruff Arts Center Campus in Midtown. The 15,000 works in its permanent collection include European paintings, African American art, 19th- and 20th-century decorative art, and interactive outdoor exhibits. The museum also hosts traveling blockbuster exhibits like the Obama presidential portraits and Picasso paintings. Don't miss Second Sundays, when the entire family can stroll the galleries for free and enjoy art-making activities, live performances, and other events between 12 and 5 p.m.

1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Phone +1 404-733-4400
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Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Courtesy of Fernbank Museum of Natural History

From the bronze Lophorhothon atopus statue on its lush grounds to the 47-foot-long Giganotosarus statue that frames its entryway, Fernbank is a fully immersive experience. Explore the natural world indoors at the hands-on "NatureQuest" exhibit with live animal exhibits and climbing structures, build a wax volcano or launch aircraft in the STEM "Fantastic Forces" area, or watch a short film in the four-story, 3D IMAX theater. The grounds include a rain garden, a sensory wall, and walking trails through a 65-acre, old-growth forest. The fun isn't just for kids: Fernbank After Dark events offer live music, cocktails, and IMAX films for grown-ups to enjoy.

767 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
Phone +1 404-929-6300
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Atlanta History Center

Atlanta History Center

Jason Hales / Atlanta History Center 

Located on 33 acres of woods in the heart of Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center complex features permanent and rotating exhibitions on everything from the city's railroad origins and role in the Civil War to legendary golfer Bobby Jones. There is also year-round programming for children and adults alike. Stroll the grounds and visit Atlanta’s oldest surviving farmhouse, Smith Family Farm, which includes hands-on demonstrations of foodways, crafts, and carpentry.

"Gone with the Wind" fans, take note: As the Margaret Mitchell House is operated by the Atlanta History Museum, you can purchase admission to both there. The author's home is located 4 miles south at 10th and Peachtree Streets in Midtown.

130 W Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, USA
Phone +1 404-814-4000
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Center for Civil and Human Rights

Raymond Boyd / Contributor / Getty Images

This striking downtown museum has three permanent exhibitions dedicated to the American Civil Rights movement and the global fight for human rights. Wander through bold, interactive displays, including a non-violent, lunch counter sit-in simulation and a replica Freedom Fighters Greyhound bus, inside of which you can listen to the stark oral histories from those who were on the ground and watch a short film. Temporary exhibits have featured everything from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s documents to the role of athletes in breaking barriers.

100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
Phone +1 678-999-8990
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Center for Puppetry Arts

Center for Puppetry Arts

Courtesy of Center for Puppetry Arts 

Located in Midtown, the Center for Puppetry Arts is the largest American, non-profit organization solely dedicated to the art of puppet theater. Both kids and kids at heart will enjoy touring the permanent collection, where there's an exhibit dedicated to Jim Henson and iconic puppets like Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. Later, check out the Global Collection, which celebrates unique puppetry traditions from around the world. The museum also hosts regular puppetry performances, craft and puppetry workshops, and other hands-on events for all ages.

1404 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Phone +1 404-873-3391
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Delta Flight Museum

Delta Flight Museum

Courtesy of Delta Flight Museum 

Located next to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield Jackson International, the Delta Flight Museum is dedicated to Atlanta's hometown airline. Housed in a 1940s airplane hangar, the museum is a designated Historic Aerospace Site. Hanging and ground exhibits include a rare, 7-foot-long cutaway model of a DC-7 and antiques like a Virgin Atlantic hot air balloon. While you're here, you can also step into a historic Boeing 767, take a stroll on the wing of the first-ever Boeing 747-400, or try your hand at a flight simulator.

Delta Flight Museum, 1060 Delta Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30354, USA
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Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
Design Pics / Getty Images

Located on historic Auburn Avenue, once the heart of Black commerce and culture in Atlanta, is Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. On this sprawling campus, you can tour Dr. King's birth home; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the Civil Rights leader was baptized and ordained; a visitor's center; and the King Center, which houses the crypts of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, as well as hundreds of Civil Rights-era documents and oral histories. Admission is free, and guided tours of the birth home (501 Auburn Avenue) are limited to 15 people and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

450 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312-1504, USA
Phone +1 404-331-5190
Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Children's Museum of Atlanta

Children's Museum of Atlanta

Courtesy of Children's Museum of Atlanta

Education is disguised as fun in this inviting museum, where kids between the ages of 10 months and 8 years play in interactive zones and enjoy hands-on exhibits. Think of it as an indoor playground, where children can pop into programs about music and movement, healthy eating, science, geography, and more. Budding Picassos can mix new colors and create masterpieces on the Paint Wall in the Arts Studio, while young builders can don construction hats and safety vests to explore what’s inside the walls at a kid-friendly “construction site."

275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
Phone +1 404-659-5437
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College Football Hall of Fame

College Football Hall of Fame

Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Shaped like two-thirds of a football, you can't miss this downtown museum situated between Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Centennial Olympic Park. Start your visit at The Quad, where you sign in with your favorite college team and watch the matching helmet illuminate on the three-story wall. Then, play as quarterback or kicker on the 45-yard, indoor playing field before exploring augmented reality exhibits dedicated to those who've made the Hall of Fame. Or, try your hand at calling real-time plays in the virtual reality experience.

250 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
Phone +1 404-880-4800
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Hammonds House Museum

Hammonds House Museum

Courtesy of Hammonds House Museum

Named for prominent Atlanta arts patron and the home's former owner, Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, this museum is a cultural hub for both the West End neighborhood and the community at large. The stately, 19th-century Victorian home boasts a permanent collection of more than 450 historic and contemporary works of art from American, African, and Caribbean artists, including Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and Benny Andrews. Don't miss the oldest known painting by acclaimed landscape artist Robert S. Duncanson, as well as regular guest lectures, book signings, film screenings, and family events featuring Black writers, musicians, and creatives.

503 Peeples St SW, Atlanta, GA 30310-1815, USA
Phone +1 404-612-0481
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SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion and Film

Courtesy of SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion and Film

Like its sister museum in Savannah, SCAD FASH is both a teaching and public site offering year-round art installations, exhibitions, and other events dedicated to film and fashion. Past exhibitions have included the work of Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter ("Black Panther," "Selma)", paper and paintings from Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave, and the first posthumous showing of collections from notable designers Azzedine Alaïa and Gilbert Adrian.

1600 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Phone +1 404-253-3132
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The 12 Best Museums in Atlanta