Atlanta is home to some of the best museums in the southeast. Most of my local friends know this list of Atlanta museums well, but if you are new to town or here on vacation, we welcome you!
We hope this list of amazing museums in Atlanta, Georgia helps you navigate our city with your family, enjoying our unique and educational attractions that will bring a smile to your kids’ faces. Oh – and adults will love them too.
Here are 41+ of the best museums in Atlanta that we know you and your crew will adore.
If you’re visiting Atlanta, the Museum of Illusions is a must-visit destination that promises unparalleled entertainment and intrigue! Having explored its wonders myself, I can attest to the captivating exhibits that challenge reality.
The vortex tunnel is particularly exhilarating, distorting your sense of balance and leaving you in awe. Its central location makes it easily accessible, fitting seamlessly into any Atlanta itinerary.
More than just a museum, it offers an interactive experience that’s perfect for all ages. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this immersive attraction offers a unique perspective, making it an essential stop to enrich your Atlanta adventure.
INTOWN ATLANTA MUSEUMS
ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER
The Atlanta History Center is a history museum and research center located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. The Museum was founded in 1926, and currently consists of six permanent (including one of the best Civil War exhibits in the country), and several temporary exhibitions. Be sure to visit for their many kid-friendly special events.
The Atlanta History Center also operates the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown, where Mitchell wrote the book Gone with the Wind. The Swan House is also operated by the AHC -- it was built in 1928 an offers behind the scenes tours so you can soak up the history.
CENTER FOR PUPPETRY ARTS
The Center for Puppetry Arts is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to the art form of puppetry. The Center focuses on three areas: performance, education, and a museum.
It is one of the few puppet museums in the world! The shows here are amazing, and their museum is worth the trip. And lest you think puppetry is only for kids, check out their adult events too.
CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF ATLANTA
The Children's Museum of Atlanta went through a major redesign in 2016, and now it's better than ever! The museum is located Downtown, adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, and focuses on teaching through play.
The museum has permanent hands-on exhibits, and hosts a traveling exhibit several times a year. Of all the museums in Atlanta, this one is specifically geared toward kids 12 and under.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame is the ultimate in tailgate fun. Located in Downtown Atlanta, it's a favorite destination when there's a football game at Mercedes Benz stadium.
This is a very interactive museum and includes a turf field where you can throw and kick. Plus no matter what college team you root for, you'll find lots of cool facts presented in an interactive way.
The Hall is within walking distance of many other attractions and part of Atlanta CityPASS, which allows you to save up to 43% off regular ticket prices. AND…it’s even great for locals because you now have up to 30 days to use the tickets. See more info here about CityPASS.
FERNBANK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
It’s a dinosaur museum, a place to explore Georgia’s history, home to several DeSoto artifacts, a great place for a date, with lots of hands-on science explorations. Fernbank Museum is one of our favorite museums in Atlanta for kids!
The Fernbank Forest is a fabulous place to play outside, and Fernbank Quest is the perfect indoor playground.
The Georgia Aquarium is a favorite for visitors and locals alike. It houses thousands of animals, representing several thousand species.
In addition to being a fun place to visit for a day trip, you will also want to check out the Aquarium's special programming. We LOVED swimming with the whale sharks and getting up close and personal with Cruz, the sea otter.
Did you know you can even spend the night at the Aquarium? Yup. You can also have a pretty special date night watching the belugas with the Atlanta Symphony playing over the speakers - it sets a very romantic mood.
Discount Tickets: Georgia Aquarium Admission Tickets
HIGH MUSEUM OF ART
The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. Located on Peachtree Street in Midtown -- the city’s arts district -- the High Museum Atlanta is a division of the Woodruff Arts Center.
In addition to contemporary art exhibits, the High also has some amazing traveling exhibits. Kids love the interactive Green Family Gallery, and programs like Second Sunday.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site consists of several buildings, including King’s boyhood home and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church -- the church where Dr. King was baptized as a child, and where he served as co-pastor until his death.
Kids can ask for the free trading cards and Junior Ranger packets at the front desk, both are free. If you are touring Black History museums, this is a must stop.
MICHAEL C. CARLOS MUSEUM
The Michael C. Carlos Museum is one of several art museums in Atlanta. It is located on the historic quadrangle of Emory University’s main campus. This is the museum to visit for mummies and Egyptian artifacts!
After visiting here, take a short hike along the easy Lullwater Creek Trail, also located on the Emory Campus.
MUSEUM OF DESIGN ATLANTA
The Museum of Design Atlanta is a design museum located on Peachtree Street in Midtown, right across from the High Museum of Art. MODA is the only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of all things design.
This museum offers some really fun programs for both adults and kids alike!
NATIONAL CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
The Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum in Atlanta dedicated to the achievements of both the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and the broader worldwide Human Rights Movement. This is the only museum I've been to that had tissues out for guests. It's that moving.
The highlight of the Civil Rights Museum is the lunch counter. How long can you stand the jeers and taunts of the crowd?
THE BREMAN MUSEUM
The Breman Museum is one of several museums in Atlanta dedicated to Jewish history, with special emphasis on Georgia and the Holocaust.
There is a series of photographs that depict the progression of the Holocaust that may be too much for kids, but they also have a grocery play area and traveling exhibits that are very kid-friendly. The Breman Museum is located across from the Center for Puppetry Arts.
WORLD OF COCA COLA
The World of Coca-Cola is one of the most popular museums in Atlanta. It showcases the history of The Coca-Cola Company and contains a host of entertainment areas and attractions.
See the vault where the secret formula is stored, and how bottling is done. The section most people like best is the tasting room -- beware of The Beverly!
Discount Tickets: World of Coke Admission
MUSEUMS IN COBB COUNTY
GONE WITH THE WIND MUSEUM
A treat for classic movie fans, the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum features an extensive collection that includes stunning costumes, a vast foreign edition library, a display devoted to the African American cast members, and great southern hospitality.
MARIETTA COBB MUSEUM OF ART
The Marietta Cobb Museum of Art is the only metro Atlanta fine arts museum focusing on American Art. The permanent collection houses a variety of artworks dating from as early as the 18th century to the present.
Be sure to check out their special events, activities, and educational opportunities throughout the year.
MARIETTA HISTORY CENTER
Located just off the Marietta Square in the historic Kennesaw House, the Marietta History Center's galleries explore the expansive history of Marietta and Cobb County.
The Marietta Museum of History also has a busy program of events and special exhibits throughout the year.
MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND HOLOCAUST EDUCATION
The Museum of History and Holocaust Education provides innovative programs and exhibitions to promote diversity, build character, and encourage respect.
Explore the lives and experiences of the people during World War II and the Holocaust through interactive galleries, personal stories, and a theater playing movies focused on this compelling era.
SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR & LOCOMOTIVE HISTORY
The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and features and impressive collection of Civil War & Locomotive history. If you have a train fan, put this museum on your list!
The Southern Museum is home to the “General” locomotive, made famous by the Andrews' Raiders in the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862, and the Glover Machine Works, a restored early 20th century belt-driven locomotive assembly line. The Jolley Education Center offers numerous hands-on and interactive exhibits that are fun for the entire family.
WILLIAM ROOT HOUSE MUSEUM
Visit the oldest existing house in downtown Marietta and get an authentic look at life for an average middle-class family living in antebellum Georgia when you visit the William Root House Museum in Marietta.
This modest 1840s house is more typical of its time and place than the grand plantations and columned mansions popularized by Gone with the Wind.
GWINNETT COUNTY MUSEUMS
BAPS SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR ATLANTA
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is the largest Hindu Mandir (temple) in the United States, and they welcome visitors!
The temple was built in only 17 months utilizing 1.3 million volunteer hours. It is comprised of Turkish limestone, Italian marble, and Indian pink sandstone. More than 34,000 individual stone pieces were carved by hand in India, shipped to the USA, and assembled in Lilburn like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The Mandir is completely etched with intricate carvings, depicting a mosaic of tales of inspiration, devotion, and historic figures from Hinduism. Enjoy hours of beauty, peace, and discovery at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn – a masterpiece of exquisite Indian design and workmanship.
Marvel at the intricate marble carvings, participate in Hindu rituals, or learn about the world’s oldest living faith – Hinduism. Whatever you prefer, you are welcome to visit.
Read More: BAPS SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR ATLANTA
GWINNETT ENVIRONMENTAL & HERITAGE CENTER
The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center is used as a multi-use history, culture, heritage, and environment facility. Located on a 233 wooded acres near the Mall of Georgia, the center features interactive exhibits, walking trails and greenways, unique rental spaces, a gift shop, and is a model of innovative green building techniques.
The center was Gwinnett County’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified green building and has one of the nation’s largest, sloped, vegetated roofs.
And while you're there, you may want to go zip lining at TreeTop Quest. This is one of the most family friendly zip lines in the state!
SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAY MUSEUM
If you ask us, the Southeastern Railway Museum is one of the BEST places in the southeast for train lovers!
ATL AIRPORT DISTRICT MUSEUMS
CHICK-FIL-A BACKSTAGE HOME OFFICE TOUR
Located in the ATL Airport District, the Chick-fil-A Home Office is nestled on an 80-acre wooded campus full of beautiful landscaping and trails.
The 2-hour tour includes the Chick-fil-A Museum, where you can see original menus and other memorabilia, photo opportunities, and a classic car display (that includes one of the Batmobiles)!
Chick-fil-A meals and ice cream not included, but the original Dwarf House is nearby.
DELTA FLIGHT MUSEUM
The Delta Flight Museum collects, preserves, and shares aviation history and technology. Highlighting aircraft, collections, and artifacts of Delta and more than 40 family airlines, this museum is perfect for the aviation fan.
The museum is comprised of renovated airplane hangars originally constructed in the 1940s that can be used as an event space, and includes a retired Boeing 747.
PORSHE EXPERIENCE CENTER
The Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, GA offers an amazing experience for sports car enthusiasts.
MUSEUMS IN ALPHARETTA
ALPHARETTA AND OLD MILTON COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM
The Alpharetta and Old Milton County History Museum covers the history of Alpharetta, from its earliest days as Cherokee Indian territory, through its remarkable emergence as one of the nation's most vibrant, high-tech cities.
A very special part of the museum is the stories project kiosk, where visitors will be able to enjoy interviews with 80 of Alpharetta’s most interesting citizens. This project began by talking to residents, seven of whom have passed away since sharing their stories on film. The stories project is ongoing, with additional interviews planned for the future.
CHATTAHOOCHEE NATURE CENTER
The Chattahoochee Nature Center is the interpretive center of the Chattahoochee River and its watershed. CNC has a wide range of educational and conservation programs, such as wildlife rehabilitation, summer camps, fun and educational exhibits, and a community garden.
With 127 acres of woodland along the river, CNC offers unparalleled access and views of nature in wooded trails, canoe trips and the natural world. As a wildlife rehabilitation center, CNC is home to over 50 species of injured, non-releasable wildlife.
The CNC encourages visitors to be the future guardians of nature, being a part of the solution to preserve the river and our environment.
Whether it’s hiking, canoeing, or just going for a quiet walk -- being surrounded by nature is important to your health and well-being -- and the Chattahoochee Nature Center offers it all.
The Computer Museum of America (CMoA) opened its doors July 2019 as one of the largest technology museums in the U.S. with over 250,000 artifacts, including the largest collection of CRAY supercomputers, and one of the largest and significant collections of Apple artifacts.
A project that has been decades in the making, the museum aims to inspire visitors through the preservation of the history of computing and innovation that touches our everyday lives.
Here, you'll get immersed in the creative processes of the digital age and hear the stories of the giants of the digital revolution. You'll learn how they connected the dots and propelled us into the Space Age and the 21st century.
Celebrate the technology that got us safely to the moon and back, look inside supercomputers (there are over 70 in the exhibit!), view a rare P-I-X-A-R computer, and check out artwork and other inspiring artifacts.
HENRY COUNTY MUSEUMS
ARMY AVIATION HERITAGE FOUNDATION & FLYING MUSEUM
The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation & Flying Museum is a 501(c)(3) public educational organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the legacy of Army aviation through aerial demonstrations, static displays, educational tours, and ride programs.
The museum is located at the Henry County Airport (Atlanta Speedway Airport), and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call in advance to ensure a free guided tour through the hangar and a chance to climb up in the helicopters for a great photo opportunity.
Rides in Huey and Cobra helicopters are also offered on select weekends. Prices vary by aircraft and flight duration.
HERITAGE PARK VETERANS MUSEUM
The Heritage Park Veterans Museum in McDonough hosts an impressive collection of more than 20,000 pieces of military memorabilia, uniforms, weaponry, and vehicles from World War I to the present.
Go beyond the story of battles to learn the stories of specific men and women who served our country. While you are welcome to wander through the collection at your leisure, for the best experience ask for a guided tour from one of the veterans who volunteer at the museum. Through stories, these veterans offer an intimate look into the lives of soldiers who wore the uniforms on display.
DOUGLAS COUNTY MUSEUMS
DOUGLAS COUNTY MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND ART
The Old Douglas County Courthouse (completed in 1958) was saved from demolition and turned into the Douglas County Museum of History and Art. This structure is a perfect example of the rapidly disappearing International style of architecture. It has over 200 collections, including a number of mid-twentieth century rotating exhibits.
The most popular exhibit is the Lunch Box Collection of over 390 lunch boxes spanning a century! Lunch boxes were manufactured in response to the need for American workers to eat on the job instead of traveling home for a meal, and children began using metal lunch boxes prior to lunches being served in schools.
CLAYTON COUNTY MUSEUMS
Discover Georgia’s historical documents at the Georgia Archives in Clayton County. Whether you want to investigate your family tree, are a student researching records, or love history and desire to learn more about the state -- the Georgia Archives has the resources to get you started.
Visit the second Friday of the month for free monthly Lunch and Learn lectures, featuring a variety of interesting topics presented by experts.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF ATLANTA
Explore the documented narrative of the Southern experience through records dating from 1716 to the present day.
Covering all the southeastern states, the National Archives at Atlanta holds documents that are a prominent resource for further study in Civil Rights, space exploration, maritime and naval history, Southern communities, and a range of other subjects.
It's open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by appointment only.
ROAD TO TARA MUSEUM
Step into the world of Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel and the sweeping romance of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. The Road to Tara Museum in Jonesboro combines the real history of the Civil War’s Atlanta Campaign and 1864 Battle of Jonesboro, along with both Hollywood’s and Margaret Mitchell’s versions of Gone With the Wind.
See Civil War artifacts, replica Confederate and Union uniforms, items from the 1939 Atlanta movie premiere, and reproductions of Scarlett’s most famous dresses.
STATELY OAKS HISTORIC SITE
Walk among the tall oak trees while getting a glimpse of life in the mid-1800s at the Stately Oaks Historic Site in Jonesboro.
The antebellum plantation includes an 1839 Greek Revival-style home, an original log kitchen, a tenant house, a one-room schoolhouse, and a country store.
THE CHILDREN CONNECT MUSEUM
The ChildrenConnect Museum is a hands-on creativity workshop for children and their families that's located in downtown Newnan. Each month a new theme or topic sparks creativity and imagination!
In the Discovery Lab, kids explore the monthly theme through simple interactive exhibits that engage their curiosity and excitement. Imaginations soar in the Creativity Workshop where youngsters explore, create, engineer, build, and refine their own projects over a single visit or multiple trips to the Workshop.
Young creators have the opportunity to share their own projects as temporary exhibits in the museum. By empowering kids to serve as exhibit developers and curators, they create a true “children’s museum.”
SENOIA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM
A historic home in downtown Senoia is home to the Senoia Area Historical Society and Museum, whose mission is to “preserve, protect and promote the Senoia area’s unique history and heritage.”
The museum’s collection includes a wide variety of collected and donated materials, tracing the birth of Senoia in the 1860’s through the times of war, to the times of cotton gins and buggies, to the present.
Elegance and southern tradition abound in this historic home that features landscaped lawns and a private courtyard. At the McRitchie-Hollis Museum in Newnan, you'll find a historic 1937 home with period furnishings.
The museum is open for tours as well as special events such as weddings, corporate events and parties. The museum features decorative arts, classic furnishings, and ever-changing exhibitions.
MUSEUMS IN PEACHTREE CITY
COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE WII AIRCRAFT MUSEUM
The Commemorative Air Force Museum was founded to acquire, restore and preserve -- in flying condition -- a complete collection of combat aircraft flown by all military services of the United States, and selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of Americans.
More than just a collection of airworthy warplanes from the past, the CAF’s fleet of historic aircraft, known as the CAF Ghost Squadron, recreate, remind, and reinforce the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history.
The Dixie Wing was approved as the 83rd CAF unit on February 28, 1987, and has since displayed its collection of vintage World War II aircraft in numerous air shows throughout the southeast.
MORE ATLANTA METRO MUSEUMS FOR KIDS THAT WE LOVE
BOOTH WESTERN ART MUSEUM
This 120,000-square foot Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western Art in the country!
Galleries feature contemporary Western American art, historic Western art, Civil War art, Presidential portraits and letters, Western movie posters, and Western illustration.
Sagebrush Ranch is an interactive gallery where children of all ages can learn about art and Western America. The Museum’s Special and Temporary Exhibit Galleries hosts six to ten temporary exhibits per year.
TELLUS SCIENCE MUSEUM
It’s a space museum, a mineral museum, and a dinosaur museum – all in one! The Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville has it all. There is also a children’s science exhibit, a gem mining area, and a dino dig for kids.
Don’t miss the planetarium and regular exciting events throughout the year.
THINGS TO DO IN ATLANTA (printable)
Download this 1-page checklist of Things to Do in Atlanta to print at home or your local print shop. Perfect to keep in a binder, bring on your adventure or just put on the refrigerator!
(PS. This entire list is detailed in our article, 53+ Things To Do in Atlanta You Should Not Miss (From Locals in the Know).)
Format: PDF, US Letter Size, Portrait (8.5”x11”)
You will receive one PDF file. File will be emailed and available for download up to three times upon payment. No physical item will be shipped.
MUSEUMS IN ATLANTA FAQ
What museums should I not miss in Atlanta?
While any of the museums we've listed here are amazing, if you have limited time in Atlanta you won't want to miss the Georgia Aquarium, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, or the High Museum of Art.
What is the largest art museum in Georgia?
The High Museum of Art is the largest museum for visual art in the Southeastern United States. The High is 312,000 square feet and features permanent exhibits, kid-friendly areas, and special events throughout the year.
Does Atlanta have good museums?
We certainly think so! Atlanta has great museums, no matter what you're looking for. Atlanta is home to museums that are kid-friendly, historical, educational, artistic, and full of interesting things to see and do.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- ATLANTA: 53+ Things To Do In Atlanta You Should Not Miss (From A Local)
- WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
- NATURE CENTERS: 13+ Atlanta Nature Centers New Me For Enjoying Special Time Outside
- ATL HOTELS: 23 Best Hotels In Atlanta (Ranked By A Local!)
WHERE TO STAY IN ATLANTA
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