Atlanta is a city that is constantly changing, making preserving its history extremely important. There are several tours throughout the city that touch on Atlanta’s impact, focusing on the civil rights movement, the ways in which the city is portrayed throughout pop culture, and more.
Whether you’re visiting locations from popular TV shows, experiencing hip-hop landmarks up close or biking through historic neighborhoods, these tours can teach both locals and visitors something new about Atlanta.
Walk around the city with this self-guided street art tour
Use Atlanta’s buzzing street art scene as an excuse to get to know a new part of town on this no-fuss tour. There’s no scheduling ahead or payment necessary. All you need is your phone.
Art Rudick was inspired to create a digital map of Atlanta’s street art after participating in a walking tour in New York. Recently retired, he launched Atlanta Street Art Map in 2017. Today, the website features information on more than 800 pieces of art throughout the city, including murals and graffiti. Updated regularly, the site compiles a photo, the title of the artwork and the name of the artist (with a link to their portfolio or social media) when possible. Directions are also a click away.
The website includes seven self-guided walking tours of Atlanta neighborhoods such as East Atlanta, Edgewood, West End and Pittsburgh.
Recognizing the importance of archiving “gone-but-not-forgotten” street art in a city that changes daily, Rudick also keeps track of art that no longer exists.
Visit streetartmap.org to plan your walking tour.
Visit the Upside Down
Take a tour of places from Netflix’s “Stranger Things” with popular Atlanta touring company DTours, visiting some of the obvious landmarks as well as some obscure locations from the show. The tour is named after an alternate dimension that exists within the show.
The four-hour tour will take fans of “Stranger Things” to see the Screen Gems lot where the show is filmed, Hawkins Public Pool, Hawkins Middle & High Schools, the homes of the Wheelers, Sinclairs and Hendersons and more. Tours are $150 per person. They take place at 9 a.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends.
Other tours with the company are based on “The Walking Dead,” “Gone With the Wind” and Atlanta’s sports teams.
Visit dtour.me to schedule your trip to the Upside Down.
View Atlanta through a hip-hop lens
It’s been less than a year since Ryan Minor started hosting tours of the city under the Hip Hop Tours of Atlanta moniker, but he says he’s already conducted more than 500 tours. And his tour of the city — one of the only tours that centers on the city’s hip-hop scene — has garnered endorsements from musicians such as Lil Baby, T.I., Jermaine Dupri and others.
Minor’s tour offers participants a chance to view the Dungeon, the basement studio where OutKast and Goodie Mob once recorded, and Tyler Perry Studios. The East Atlanta native says he prides himself on being able to tell participants about a wide range of history. When he visits “The Bluff” (English Avenue), a neighborhood made famous by the Netflix movie “Snow on Tha Bluff,” he talks about the history of drugs in the neighborhood, but also explains how the neighborhood was affected by urban renewal and the development of the now-demolished Georgia Dome.
Minor conducts two private tours a day, charging $260 for two people. Tours also include a visit to the Trap Music Museum and its Escape the Trap escape room.
Visit hiphoptoursofatlanta.com to reserve a time.
Bike through history
Learn about Reynoldstown and the former enslaved people who settled there, the history of Sweet Auburn and the 1906 Race Riots while biking through the city. The three-hour bike tour may teach you something about the city that you didn’t learn in school, while also allowing you to get your daily exercise.
Atlanta’s Journey for Civil Rights Bike Tour costs $65 per person and includes a bicycle, helmet, snacks and bottled water.
Speaking to the camaraderie of tour guides, it was Ryan Minor of Hip Hop Tours of Atlanta who informed us that Bicycle Tours of Atlanta guide Victoria Lemos has an excellent podcast on Atlanta history called “Archive Atlanta.” Continue to learn about the city after your tour is over by listening to this podcast on your way home.
Book your bicycle tour at biketoursatl.com.
Go where the zombies have gone
As Atlanta increasingly became the “Hollywood of the South” in the 2010s, it wasn’t unlikely to see a zombie or two lying bloody on the sidewalk, or a truck dangling off a bridge in downtown Atlanta. In 2012, Atlanta Movie Tours capitalized on the popularity of “The Walking Dead” by starting a Big Zombie Tour. Today, they have three tours dedicated to the AMC show and estimate they’ve had about 40,000 tourists.
Tour options include three bus tours (one in Atlanta and two in Senoia), as well as a walking tour in Senoia. Each tour focuses on a different season of the show and occurs at varying times. Big Zombie 1, for example, takes place in Atlanta and allows tourists to visit Rick’s hospital and Daryl and Carol’s bridge.
Bus tours are $55 for children and $69 for adults. The walking tour in Senoia is $10. For an extra $30 per person, transportation to Senoia can be included.
Schedule your zombie tour, or a tour that focuses on “Stranger Things,” superhero movies filmed in Atlanta and more at Atlantamovietours.com.
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