Atlanta is rich with heritage and culture, and the city’s museums help capture it with educational exhibitions and displays.
Aside from the metro area’s most popular sites, there are several others that tell the stories of some of the most iconic heroes and events. If you want to learn about them, remember to explore these cool museums around town.
Take a trip to the city’s oldest house museum to learn about Joel Chandler Harris, a fiction writer known for his collection of fables featuring trickster Br’er Rabbit. When you visit, you’ll hear about Harris’ life story as tour guides point out unique architectural details, furniture and art nouveau bookcases featuring Harris’ works in various editions and languages.
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. By appointment only Monday-Friday. $10 for adults, $8 for children, seniors and students. 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta. 404-753-7735, wrensnest.org.
Swan House at the Atlanta History Museum
“Traditionally known as one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Atlanta,” according to the Atlanta History Center, the home embodies the elegance and beauty of the 1920s and 1930s. As you walk through the mansion, you’ll interact with actors, who portray the original homeowners Edward and Emily Inman as well as the Inman’s chauffeur, maid and architect.
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Included with Atlanta History Museum general admission ticket: $21.50 for adults, $18 for seniors and students 13 and older, $9 for kids 4-12. 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000, atlantahistorycenter.com.
Millennium Gate Museum
Next time you’re in Atlantic Station, walk over to the monumental arch nearby. It’s the Millennium Gate Museum, which is dedicated to preserving Georgia history, art, culture and philanthropic heritage. There are tons of galleries that feature artifacts, documents and photographs from figures of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, students and military. 395 17th St. NW, Atlanta. 404-881-0900, thegatemuseum.org.
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
Located on the historic campus of Spelman College, the museum was established in 1996 to emphasize art by women of the African diaspora. The facility, which is open to the public, features two exhibits a year. Currently, the Amy Sherald collection is on display. Sherald, a Clark Atlanta University alum, rose to international fame when the National Portrait Gallery unveiled her portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama in 2018.
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday. $3 suggested donation. 350 Spelman Lane SW, Atlanta. 404-270-5607, museum.spelman.edu.
SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion and Film
This museum, situated within SCAD’s Atlanta campus, focuses on the future of fashion design with its diverse exhibitions, film screenings, performances and other events. Now through Mar. 3 you can check out “Cinematic Couture”, an exhibition focusing on the art of costume design through the lens of film and popular culture. Beginning Feb. 19, you can catch “Guldnakke,” Trine Søndergaard’s acclaimed photographic series of contemporary women wearing traditional Danish bonnets from the 19th century.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday. Various prices. 1600 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta. 404-253-3132, scadfash.org.
Trap Music Museum
Stop by this establishment, which began as a pop-up museum to celebrate the 15th anniversary of T.I.’s “Trap Muzik” album, for an interactive experience that gives a nod to ATL’s distinct music scene. During a trip, you’ll view artworks of rappers, including 21 Savage, Gucci Mane and Shawty Lo, as well as realistic scenes associated with the development of the trap music subgenre.
4 p.m.-12 a.m. Friday. Noon- 12 a.m. Saturday. 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. $10. 630 Travis St. NW, Atlanta. trapmusicmuseum.us.
Waffle House Museum
Come see a recreation of the very first Waffle House restaurant, which opened in Avondale Estates back in 1955. Docents will teach you about the diner’s history while directing your attention to old uniforms, menus and dishware.
By appointment only 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. Wednesday. Free. 2719 East College Ave., Decatur. 770-326-7086, wafflehouse.com/waffle-house-museum.
Chick-fil-A Backstage Tour
Make your way to the Chick-fil-A Support Center for a guided tour, where you’ll learn about the fast food chain’s founder, S. Truett Cathy. You will also get a lesson on the company’s core values, business model and even the “Eat Mor Chikin” cows.
One-hour tours 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, $10; 2 hour tours Mondays 1:30 p.m., $20. 5200 Buffington Road, Atlanta. 404-305-4163, tours.chick-fil-a.com.
About the Author
Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com