For decades, "Sweet Auburn" was the main drag of Atlanta's striving black middle class. You still can see the original home of the city's first black newspaper (The Atlanta Daily World), its first large black-owned business (Atlanta Life Insurance), its longtime civil rights organization (the Southern Christian Leadership Conference) - and a museum documenting it all, the APEX (African-American Panoramic Experience).
But the real reason tour buses prowl the avenue is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To the right, you see his pulpit (Ebenezer Baptist Church), his tomb (at the King Center) and his birthplace (a two-story Queen Anne house). The white marble tomb, which seems to float on a reflection pool, is close enough to the street that you can make out the famous inscription that begins "Free at last!"
Getting there: Despite its name, the King Memorial MARTA station is not the best stop to use on the rail system. From MARTA, a better station is Georgia State. Exit to Jesse Hill Jr. Drive and walk past Grady Hospital to Auburn Avenue, according to the MARTA Guide web site. Another good transit option is the Atlanta Streetcar, which runs between the Civil Rights Museum and the King Historic District. By car, there is parking behind the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
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