From Civil Rights activists to soda bottling plants, Atlanta is full of rich history that will intrigue the whole family.

Martin Luther King Mural in Atlanta

A History Buff’s Guide to Atlanta

From Civil Rights activists to soda bottling plants, Atlanta is full of rich history that will intrigue the whole family. No need to read a history book when you’re here – seeing the sites in person with enthusiastic and well-versed tour guides, you’ll be considered an Atlanta history buff in no time. While it is possible to visit most of them in a single day, you may want to spread your historical site visits out so you don’t feel rushed.

The Martin Luther King National Historic Site

(Image via Flickr CC - Jim Bowen)
(Image via Flickr CC – Jim Bowen)

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Visitors to Atlanta will discover the home where the legendary Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. This section of town is placed along several blocks of Sweet Auburn, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was ordained before moving to Pennsylvania for his studies. Visitors may also enjoy visiting Atlanta’s Morehouse College, where King received his degree. Come hear his story, visit his grave, and marvel at his vision for social change.

 The Oakland Cemetery

This 48-acre garden cemetery is a hallmark of Atlanta. Ancient mausoleums, sculptures and old trees dot this showcase of old architecture. In total, there are 70,000 individuals buried here. These graves include the resting places of Confederate and Union soldiers as well as a Jewish section and an African-American section. Atlanta’s most noted citizens including Bobby Jones, Margaret Mitchell, and Maynard Jackson rest here, along with two monuments to Civil War veterans. Visitors can find walking tours and guidebooks with the visitor’s center, and stroll through the botanical preserve with ancient oaks and magnolias lining their pathway.

 Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company

(Image via Flickr CC - Wally Gobetz)
(Image via Flickr CC – Wally Gobetz)

The oldest building ever used by the Coca-Cola corporation, this building marks the transition that Coca-Cola made from providing drinks on tap to selling in bottles. Built in 1891 and converted to a factory in 1900, today, the interesting Victorian building remains at the same address at 125 Edgewood Avenue. This quick tour will teach you about Coca-Cola’s rich history as an American brand, and all guests will leave with a complimentary bottle. You’ll also get dangerously close to the vault that contains the highly protected Coca-Cola formula.

Atlanta History Center

(Image via Flickr CC - theunquietlibrarian)
(Image via Flickr CC – theunquietlibrarian)

Stop by the Atlanta History Center for a 360-degree view of Atlanta history. Spanning 33 acres, this center includes artifacts from the Civil War, and rotating exhibits. Visitors can enjoy historic tours of the Tullie Smith Farm and the Swan House. And if you’re toting kids around? Bring them along. There is something for everyone at this family-centered spot. Monthly family festivals, toddler programs, homeschool days and lecture series will keep everyone intrigued.

As a leading city in the Confederacy, Atlanta’s history covers the antebellum, postbellum and Civil War days. In modern days, it is recognized as an important city for Civil Rights Activists and multinational companies. Understand the past, present and future of this important U.S. city and the people in it by visiting these compelling historical sites.

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