Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park#2 in Best Things To Do in Atlanta
Walk in the footsteps of one of history's most important figures with a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. Here you'll find the modest home where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born and raised. You can also head over to the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was once a pastor. And at The King Center, you'll find engaging exhibits on the civil rights movement and King's gravesite. These, along with several other landmarks and museums, are jointly considered a national historic site.
Most agree a trip to Atlanta must include time spent at this historical park. Many travelers recommend arriving early to take a free 30-minute guided tour of King's birth home. Tours start at 10 a.m. and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Weekdays and Sunday mornings are the least crowded, according to the National Park Service. Also, remember to wear comfy shoes since the entire complex is spread across several city blocks. Several of the best Atlanta tours feature stops at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.
This historic property is located in Atlanta's Sweet Auburn neighborhood, about a mile east of the city center and a half-mile northeast of MARTA's King Memorial train station. The No. 3 bus and the Atlanta Streetcar also have stops nearby, and free parking is available in a lot on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. Admission to all of the property's attractions is free. The site is open year-round – except major holidays – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out the website for more details.
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#1 Atlanta History Center
Spread across 33 acres in Atlanta's trendy Buckhead neighborhood, the Atlanta History Center seeks to explore Georgia's past through comprehensive exhibitions, historic homes and miles of gardens and trails. The center's primary facility is the Atlanta History Museum, which showcases exhibits that span the region's history, from Native American culture to life in the antebellum South.
Near the museum is the Swan House, a restored estate originally built in 1928. Living up to its name, every room allegedly features at least one swan (motif). Outside the house, the Swan Woods Trail is lined with beautiful plants native to Georgia. Nearby, you can also see how the other half lived at the Smith Family Farm, a plantation house from the mid-1800s. Meanwhile, bookworms won't want to miss a tour of the Margaret Mitchell House, where the author penned her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Gone With the Wind."
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