Atlanta and neighboring Gwinnett County have had a long, thriving, and sometimes even turbulent history spanning centuries. It should come as no surprise that they also feature many historical sites and memorials showcasing some of that history’s most prominent people and events, such as historically black districts, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., an Olympic museum, and more.
We bring you a list of some of our favorite historical sites around Atlanta and Gwinnett, and no history buff will want to miss any of them. Not only are they very characteristic of Georgia’s identity as a whole, but any history buff will also appreciate all the exhibits and wealth of information that accompanies each of them. Enjoy your trip!
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
This three-part historical site includes the house where Martin Luther King Jr. was born, the church where he preached, and the memorial site where he is buried, giving visitors a perspective on this Civil Rights movement leader that is nearly impossible to match anywhere else in America. The preservation job around the whole campus is fantastic, and the attendants are very knowledgeable about MLK and the period when he lived, which will encourage you to ask more questions and learn all that you can. Also, it is free, so it’s worth every hour that you stay there.
The Atlanta History Center
This magnificent campus is one of the most incredible experiences for a history lover in the whole US. The museum itself was founded in 1926 and nowadays features several different museums, two historic homes, beautiful historic gardens, and many award-winning exhibits on its 33-acre grounds, both permanent and rotational. The Swan House is perhaps the most visually striking attraction at the AHC, so named because of its many swan designs, and is one of the most photographed places in America. Still, that is only the beginning, and you should experience it on your own!
The Fox Theatre is a lavish theatre that hosts Broadway musicals, standup and comedy shows, dance companies, and more. The outside retains its 1920s motif, but it’s the interior that’s a truly breathtaking sight; the beautiful and luxurious look of the inside has been restored in recent years, and those who have visited it can confirm that there is not a bad seat in the entire house. However, it’s not all about the looks, as the history of the theatre is interwoven with that of Atlanta itself, as both have seen the last hundred years come and go around them. If you love history, architecture, and performance arts, you should not miss it!
Historic Downtown Norcross
A mixture of history and charming restaurants and shops, Norcross’ historic district is fun to walk around and explore. This gem of a suburb is not on the radar of most people so you can enjoy a lovely afternoon without the hassle of crowds around you as in most other places. You can enjoy delicious Cuban-American food at Mojito’s, or smoked BBQ at the Bleu House, among other delicious eateries. The stores are interesting as well, like Taste of Britain, where you can find authentic English goods like tea, scones, and other treats from the UK. Finally, the buildings are all full of charm, so make some time to visit next time you’re around Norcross!
Margaret Mitchell House
The home of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell has been lovingly restored to showcase the original furniture, letters, and memorabilia from Mitchell’s life. This site is part of the Atlanta History Center, but we believe it’s worth a trip all on its own if you like Gone With the Wind at all because it offers a candid, sobering, and sometimes even humorous look into the life and times of Mitchell (known as Peggy Marsh to her friends). You will learn about her mixed opinions on the film adaptation of her novel, how she responded to every single fan letter she got in her life, a scandalous dance that made waves through Atlantan society and her philanthropic work.
Have you found your new historic destination? You really can’t go wrong with any of these, or any other ones you might find on a trip around the county, like the Gwinnett county history center. And if you want your house to look as clean and well-preserved as the houses in this list, we can help out.