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The 16 Best Museums in Atlanta, Georgia [2024]

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Amar Hussain

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Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
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Table of Contents

  • The Best Museums in Atlanta
  • How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Atlanta Museums
  • Final Thoughts

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Atlanta isn’t just Georgia’s capital but the state’s cultural heart as well. Unsurprisingly, the city is home to many of the region’s most important museums. With exhibits and galleries covering topics ranging from art to history, there’s an Atlanta museum suitable for virtually anyone’s interests.

The Best Museums in Atlanta

1. Atlanta Contemporary

Atlanta Contemporary
Image Credit: Atlanta Contemporary

First opened at its original location in 1973, the Atlanta Contemporary is a staple of the city’s art scene. The facility has been a non-collecting museum since its inception. Instead, it focuses on showcasing temporary exhibits throughout the year.

Rotating exhibits allow the museum to divide its galleries between established artists and up-and-coming creatives from around the world.

The museum also commissions work for its exhibitions. This helps to ensure its shows highlight artists’ talents with new pieces. One of the major missions of the museum is to introduce the Southern U.S. to established artists who haven’t broken into the region’s art world yet.

The facility also has space set aside for outreach and education. Workshops and classes are held on the premises to inspire aspiring artists, and portions of the building are used as studio spaces for people who participate in the museum’s art program.

Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest MARTA station is Peachtree Center.

  • Address: 535 Means St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

2. Atlanta History Center

Atlanta History Center
Image Credit: Atlanta History Center

Atlanta’s History Center is the city’s premier research and exhibit facility for commemorating local history. Originally founded in the 1920s, the museum has grown to encompass 9 permanent exhibits and a handful of other buildings spread around Atlanta.

Of its main permanent exhibits, the “Cyclorama: The Big Picture” is perhaps one of the most beloved. It mixes both traditional and multimedia displays that delve into the history surrounding its centerpiece, the “Battle of Atlanta” painting.

In addition to the exhibits in the main museum building, the center also manages a series of historical buildings, like the Swan House, the Mary Howard Gilbert Memorial Quarry Garden, and the Margaret Mitchell House.

This space also regularly hosts temporary galleries that take a closer look at specific periods or figures that were important to Atlanta’s history and development.

Admission is free for members and children under 4, $10 for kids 4 to 12, $20 for students 13+ with a student ID and seniors 65+, and $24 for adults 13 to 64. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Peachtree Road and East Paces Ferry Road NE.

  • Address: 130 .W Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

3. Birth Home of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Birth Home of Martin Luther King Jr
Image Credit: Chris Yunker via Flickr (license)

Located in the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, the Birth Home of Martin Luther King, Jr. is a biographical museum. King lived in the home until he was 12, and it belonged to his family for even longer. Many of the furnishings in the home are original and belonged to the family.

The home consists of 13 areas, both inside and outside, that have been restored to the state they likely would have been in when MLK and his family lived in the house. Though there are also pieces that commemorate some of the activist’s later achievements, the purpose of the building is to preserve his early years.

The museum offers guided tours to give visitors a more in-depth and educational experience. However, each tour can only accommodate 15 people at a time, and reservations aren’t possible.

Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Boulevard NE and Old Wheat Street NE.

  • Address: 501 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Hot Tip:

Tours of the Birth Home are suspended through November 2025 as it undergoes rehabilitation.

4. Center for Puppetry Arts

Center for Puppetry Arts
Image Credit: Center for Puppetry Arts

Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts is one of the largest museums in the world dedicated to this particular type of performance art. Located in the heart of the arts district, the space has been open since 1978 and has been visited by some of the most important names in the industry, including Jim Henson.

Currently, there are over 5,000 items in the facility’s collection. Among the puppets and props on display in the museum’s exhibits are “Skeksis” from the film “The Dark Crystal,” the “Rowlf the Dog” Muppet, and mask models used in the Broadway rendition of “The Lion King.”

Additionally, the space also serves as a performance venue. Hundreds of puppet shows are hosted on the premises each year for people of all ages. It’s also possible to rent the area for private events.

Admission is free for members and children under 2, $12 for children 2 to 12, $14 for seniors, and $16 for adults. Group discounts are also available. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest MARTA station is Arts Center Station.

  • Address: 1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

5. Children’s Museum of Atlanta

Childrens Museum of Atlanta
Image Credit: Children’s Museum of Atlanta

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta opened in 2003 and has since been a favorite spot for families visiting the city.

The facility has 6 permanent exhibits that explore creativity, science, and the world in ways that young visitors can understand. These exhibits are “Fundamentally Food,” “Gateway to the World,” “Leaping into Learning,” “Let Your Creativity Flow,” “Step up to Science,” and “Tools for Solutions.”

Everyone is welcome, but the hands-on displays are designed for children 8 and under. In addition to the museum’s main exhibits, the space hosts temporary galleries and events for families throughout the year.

The most popular annual events are the on-site movie nights and “Snow Days,” which occur throughout December. Private events can also be hosted here.

The museum has information available in multiple languages to accommodate visitors from around the world.

Admission is free for children under 12 months and members. Tickets follow surge pricing and typically range between $15.95 and $19.95. The museum is open Thursday to Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The nearest MARTA station is Peachtree Center.

  • Address: 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

6. College Football Hall of Fame

College Football Hall of Fame
Image Credit: College Football Hall of Fame

Since it first opened in 1951, the College Football Hall of Fame has commemorated some of the best coaches and players in college football. Hundreds of names have been inducted into the Hall of Fame over the years, representing over 300 different university institutions in the process.

In addition to the hall of fame, the museum also showcases uniforms, photos, and other artifacts to show how the sport has changed over time. Using a combination of traditional and interactive exhibits, the space aims to create an immersive experience for both serious and casual fans of college football.

Some of the most popular areas in the museum are the “Peach Bowl Skills Zone,” which lets visitors test their kicking and throwing abilities, and the “Champion Gallery,” which displays biographies of some of the sport’s most important figures.

Admission is free for members and children under 3, $23.75 for kids 3 to 12, and $30.25 for adults. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest MARTA station is GWCC/CNN Center Station.

  • Address: 250 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

7. David J. Sencer CDC Museum

David J. Sencer CDC Museum
Image Credit: David J. Sencer CDC Museum

First opened in 1996, the David J. Sencer CDC Museum shows visitors the value of the agency and why controlling and detecting illnesses is vital to public health. The museum is broadly divided into 3 departments.

The Permanent Gallery houses, among other exhibits, “The Story of CDC,” which shows how the organization developed and grew over the years. It also details some of the most important diseases the agency has studied and helped prevent the spread of. As the world of public health is ever-changing, this museum is consistently updated to reflect the CDC’s work.

The Lobby Gallery and Temporary Gallery spaces house rotating exhibits that dive into broader or more abstract topics related to health, such as the health implications of the 9/11 attacks and segregation. The museum can be toured alone or with a guide who can answer questions.

Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Monday to Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Clifton Road and CDC Parkway.

  • Address: 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30329

8. Delta Flight Museum

Delta Flight Museum
Image Credit: Delta Flight Museum

Since its opening in 1995, the Delta Flight Museum has taught visitors the history of aviation and Delta Air Lines. The idea for the museum came from a group of Delta retirees.

The museum is housed in 2 decommissioned hangars that once housed Delta planes. Today, artifacts from over 40 airlines related to Delta are stored and displayed on the premises.

The facility uses interactive exhibits, including an open-world flight simulator and other hands-on displays, to help bring the history, technology, and engineering of flight to life.

Of course, the museum also houses several flight artifacts, including planes. Some pieces in the collection are a Delta Ship 41, “The Spirit of Delta” (the company’s first Boeing 767), and the Delta Ship 6301, which is usually kept outside and can be boarded and explored by guests.

Admission is free for children under 5, $10 for kids 5 to 17, and $15 for adults. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is North Inner Loop Road at Delta Boulevard.

  • Address: 1060 Delta Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30354

“The Delta Flight Museum showcases the history of Delta and its family airlines in 2 1940s aircraft maintenance hangars. The Museum has aircraft and exhibits on display, as well as a full-motion simulator for those that want to enhance their visit. We’re a family-friendly destination for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs, and avid travelers alike.”

Tiffany Meng, director of operations, Delta Flight Museum

9. Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Image Credit: Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Using its over a dozen exhibits, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History aims to teach visitors about the natural history of Georgia and the rest of the world. These exhibits include both indoor and outdoor spaces and use a mix of traditional displays and interactive activities to curate more immersive learning for people of all ages.

Some of the most popular exhibits at the Fernbank are “A Walk Through Time in Georgia,” which shows the state’s evolutions over millions of years, “Fantastic Forces,” which looks at physics, and “Fernbank Forest,” which offers guests a chance to go on a self-guided nature walk.

Additionally, the museum also regularly hosts temporary exhibitions which delve into particular scientific fields. These temporary galleries are typically rotated between 3 and 6 times a year, so repeat visits are virtually guaranteed to offer different experiences.

Admission is free for members and children under 3, $23.95 for kids 3 to 12, $24.95 for seniors 65+, and $25.95 for adults 13 to 64. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Ponce De Leon Avenue and South Ponce De Leon Avenue.

  • Address: 767 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30307

10. High Museum of Art

High Museum of Art
Image Credit: High Museum of Art

The High Museum of Art, known locally simply as the High, is one of the largest museums in the southeastern region of the U.S. The facility’s collection includes over 19,000 pieces, though only a portion of these are kept on display at any given time. These pieces span a variety of genres and come from artists all over the world.

However, of particular note is the museum’s large number of 19th- and 20th-century folk, modern, and contemporary art from the Americas. The structure’s permanent exhibit space is divided into 7 broad categories. This doesn’t count the parts of the museum set aside for temporary exhibitions.

Some highlights in the collection are “Lazy Gals Quilt” by Arcola Pettway, “The Seashore” by John Frederick Kensett, and “Cindy” by Alex Katz. The museum also hosts numerous events which are open to the public, including youth camps, lectures, and artist talks.

Admission is free for members and children under 6 and $18.50 for everyone else. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Arts Center Way at 15th Street.

  • Address: 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

“Located in the heart of Atlanta, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection of more than 19,000 objects and a dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging programs, including the popular Friday Jazz and High Frequency Friday events.”

Marci Tate Davis, manager of public relations, High Museum of Art

11. Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
Image Credit: Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Opened to the public in 1984, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum commemorates the life and career of the 39th U.S. president. The facility houses millions of artifacts between document pages, photos, objects, videos, and more. Together, these items tell the comprehensive story of the Carter administration.

An accurate model of the Oval Office during Carter’s administration and gifts from heads of state are included in the exhibits. President Carter’s personal life is also honored in the museum through letters and photos, as are the lives of his wife and family.

In recent years, the facility has added interactive elements, including a map similar to what the president would use to monitor public health and safety. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum houses temporary galleries. These dive further into topics relating to Carter’s career and life.

Admission is free for children under 17, $10 for students, military personnel, and seniors 60+, and $12 for adults. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The nearest bus stop is North Highland Avenue at North Avenue.

  • Address: 441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

12. Madam CJ Walker Boutique Museum

Madam CJ Walker Boutique Museum
Image Credit: Madam CJ Walker Boutique Museum

Comprising 2 very important but different parts of Atlanta’s history, the Madam CJ Walker Boutique Museum and WERDSTUDIO complex offer a multifaceted look at the city’s development.

The combined museum honors 2 celebrated black-owned business institutions. Madam CJ Walker was the first ever self-made millionaire in the country, earning her fortune with her personal-care item business in the 19th century.

WERD was a beloved 20th-century radio station focused primarily on prayer, news, talk shows, and music that spoke to the African-American community.

Artifacts, documents, and equipment both businesses used are displayed in these exhibits, allowing visitors a unique opportunity to learn about 2 very distinct moments in local history and see the parallels and differences between them. The museum also commemorates the neighborhood, officially the Sweet Auburn District, and its importance in helping Atlanta eventually become the city it is today.

Admission is $7 per person. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Auburn Avenue NE and Hilliard Street NE.

  • Address: 54 Hilliard St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

13. National Center for Civil and Human Rights

National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Image Credit: National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Since it first opened in 2014, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights has promoted and celebrated the work of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. Recently, it’s also honored other human rights activism around the world.

Today, the museum houses thousands of artifacts, from photos to personal items belonging to the movement’s most notable activists, to help showcase the history of the fight for equal rights. Currently, the center is divided into 3 permanent exhibits.

One is nearly entirely dedicated to the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and contains over 13,000 artifacts from his life and activism. This wing even has drafts of some of his sermons.

The next wing focuses on the American Civil Rights Movement, from the Civil War through contemporary history. The final wing focuses on worldwide fights for human rights. The museum also houses temporary galleries and hosts educational events regularly.

Admission is free for children under 7, $15.99 for kids 7 to 12, $17.99 for seniors 65+, and $19.99 for adults. Military personnel and students can get a discount with an ID. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest MARTA station is Civic Center.

  • Address: 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

14. SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion Film
Image Credit: SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

Covering the topics of both fashion and film, SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film showcases how clothing has been used to tell stories throughout history. Open with the Savannah College of Art and Design, also known as SCAD, the museum has connections with creatives from a variety of industries who have contributed to the museum’s collection.

Though the university has a collection of costumes, garments, films, and photos, the museum doesn’t have permanent exhibits. Instead, it hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, usually rotated at 6-month intervals. These galleries cover topics such as film history, costume design, and storytelling through style.

Some notable past exhibitions are “Oscar De La Renta,” “Johnathan Becker: A Fashionable Mind,” and “Dressing for Dystopia: The Handmaid’s Tale Costumes by Ane Crabtree.” The museum also hosts events throughout the year, including panels with designers in the film and fashion worlds.

Admission is free for members, children under 14, and SCAD students and staff, $5 for SCAD alumni and college students, $8 for seniors 60+ and military personnel, and $10 for everyone else. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Peachtree Street and Buford Spring Connector.

  • Address: 1600 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

15. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
Image Credit: Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

According to statements made by the facility, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is the only art center in the country focusing on female artists who identify as part of the African diaspora. To ensure the museum can consistently spotlight women artists, the facility dedicates much of its space to temporary exhibits by emerging and established artists.

However, the structure also has a permanent gallery comprised of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more. Only a portion of the work in the college’s care is displayed at any given time.

Some highlighted pieces in the museum are “Four Figurations” by Hale Spacio Woodruff and “In the Garden, the Artist at Home” by Beverly Buchanan. Some notable contemporary artists who have showcased their work at the gallery are Mickalene Thomas, Zanele Muholi, and Amy Sherald.

Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested per person. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest MARTA station is West End.

  • Address: 50 Spelman Lane SW, Atlanta, GA 30314

16. World of Coca-Cola

World of Coca Cola
Image Credit: World of Coca-Cola

First opened to the public in 1980, the World of Coca-Cola brings visitors inside the history of one of the most popular companies in the world. Featuring flavor labs, history displays, theaters, and more, the museum offers an interactive and immersive experience appropriate for people of all ages.

It even gives guests a peek at Coca-Cola’s secret formula and a 3D show. There’s also an exhibit dedicated to how the sense of smell is closely linked with taste and how scents are used to enhance beverage flavors. Additionally, the museum offers visitors a chance to try up to 60 different Coca-Cola beverage flavors from around the world.

Some of the most beloved items on display in the museum are the old machines used for storing and distributing Coca-Cola and the vehicles used by the company’s delivery drivers. The museum has spaces dedicated to private events for parties or company trips.

Admission is free for children under 3, $16 for kids 3 to 12, $18 for seniors 65+, and $20 for adults. The museum is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Baker Street at Williams Street.

  • Address: 121 Baker St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Atlanta Museums

We’ve indicated with each museum whether or not children, students, or seniors receive free or reduced admission. Several other programs offer similar concessions.

The Museums for All program offers free or reduced admission to museums across the U.S. for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). Participating attractions in the greater Atlanta area include the Atlanta Contemporary, the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, the Historic Oakland Foundation, the Museum of Design Atlanta, and the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

Bank of America’s Museums on Us program offers cardholders free general admission on the first full weekend of every month to the following Atlanta museums: the Atlanta History Center, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the High Museum of Art.

Participation is subject to change; please verify participating museums and entry conditions before your visit.

Final Thoughts

Atlanta has no shortage of museums on a variety of topics, any of which is capable of making your trip to the “Big Peach” worth remembering. We hope this list has helped you narrow your options so you know which of the city’s museums deserve a spot on your travel itinerary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything fun to do in Atlanta?

Atlanta is one of the most vibrant cities in the Southern U.S. It offers plenty of memorable opportunities for tourists and locals, including the city’s many different museums.

What kind of museums are in Atlanta?

As a cultural hub for everything from art to history, there’s a variety of museums in Atlanta. Fashion, culture, and even food all have dedicated museums, galleries, or exhibits, so there’s an Atlanta museum able to suit virtually anyone’s interests.

What is Atlanta famous for?

Atlanta is famous its music scene — one of the most important in the country — and its film industry. And many important figures in contemporary U.S. history have called Atlanta home.

Is Atlanta an art city?

In recent decades, Atlanta has established itself as one of the country’s biggest art cities. This reputation extends to all forms of art, from traditional mediums such as painting and sculpting to performance art, including music, theater, dance, and film.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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