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Atlanta History Center

Travel back to Atlanta’s days as a farming town, spend hours pouring over Civil War relics and stroll through six different gardens at this diverse museum complex.

The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, north of downtown, encompasses an interesting museum, two historic houses and six gardens. While the exhibitions explore everything from Southern folk culture to Atlanta’s growth into a cosmopolitan city, the museum is best known for its huge collection of Civil War relics. 

History buffs will want to spend an entire day exploring the permanent exhibits and several temporary displays. Start at the Shaping Traditions exhibit, which traces folk culture from antiquity to today through pottery, quilting, woodwork and weaving. The Turning Point exhibit has 1,500 artifacts from both sides of the Civil War. Finish at the Metropolitan Frontiers exhibit, which details Atlanta’s rise to a commercial capital.

Spend an hour or so touring the two historic homes on the 33-acre (13-hectare) campus. The history center also has a midtown campus, where the Margaret Mitchell House is located.

The Swan House is a classical-style mansion restored to its original condition. Wander through this luxurious home to experience upper-class life in the 1920s and ’30s. The living quarters, butler’s pantry, library, kitchen and surrounding gardens are all open to the public.

The Tullie Smith house, built in the 1840s, was one of few houses in Atlanta to survive the Civil War. It was moved to the Buckhead campus in the 1970s. Explore the detached kitchen, a nearby blacksmith’s shop and slave’s cabin to see what life was like in pre-Civil War America. 

Spend some time taking a leisurely stroll through the gardens that surround the museum’s buildings. There are native plants, vegetable patches, exotic flowers and lavish colonial-style gardens to admire.

The Atlanta History Center, including tours of the three historic homes, is open every day except most national holidays and Christmas Eve. A general admission pass includes access to everything at the center, as well as the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.

There’s free parking on the grounds, but this can fill up quickly on weekends. Consider catching a train or bus from downtown.

Guide to Exploring around Atlanta History Center

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Lodging Near Atlanta History Center

See all 379 Hotels near Atlanta History Center
Wingate by Wyndham Atlanta/Buckhead

Wingate by Wyndham Atlanta/Buckhead

3600 Piedmont Rd Ne, Atlanta
of 5, from 869 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located within 9 miles of downtown Atlanta attractions, this hotel is within 3 miles of Chastain Park Amphitheater, Phipps Plaza, Lenox Square, and North Fulton Golf Course.

The St. Regis Atlanta

The St. Regis Atlanta

Eighty-Eight West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta
of 5, from 89 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Buckhead, this luxury hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Atlanta History Center and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Piedmont Hospital. Swan House and Legoland Discovery Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Atlanta Buckhead

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Atlanta Buckhead

3459 Buckhead Loop Ne, Atlanta
of 5, from 936 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Complimentary shuttle service is provided within 2 miles of this Buckhead aparthotel, which is less than a mile from Lenox Square Mall, Phipps Plaza, and a light-rail station.

Hyatt Place Atlanta/Buckhead

Hyatt Place Atlanta/Buckhead

3242 Peachtree Rd Ne, Atlanta
of 5, from 1,634 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Set amid the pleasant streets of Buckhead, Hyatt Place Atlanta/Buckhead is a free 4-minute shuttle ride from Lenox Square, where guests can shop at high-end boutiques. It's only 15 minutes on highway I-85 to downtown Atlanta and top attractions like World of Coca-Cola and CNN Center.

The Westin Buckhead Atlanta

The Westin Buckhead Atlanta

3391 Peachtree Rd Ne, Atlanta
of 5, from 740 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This 22-story hotel is adjacent to Buckhead's Lenox Square Mall, near business centers and shopping. The hotel is a half-mile from the historic Peachtree District and 10 miles from downtown Atlanta.

Oakwood At Elle Of Buckhead

Oakwood At Elle Of Buckhead

235 Pharr Road, Atlanta
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Buckhead, this apartment is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Atlanta History Center and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Piedmont Hospital. Swan House and Legoland Discovery Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).

Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead

Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead

3300 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta
of 5, from 1,574 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

The 25-floor Grand Hyatt is in fashionable Buckhead, 6 miles north of downtown Atlanta, in the heart of the city's premier shopping, dining and entertainment area. Complimentary area shuttle within a 2-mile radius.

Embassy Suites Atlanta - Buckhead

Embassy Suites Atlanta - Buckhead

3285 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
of 5, from 1,526 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

This 16-story atrium hotel is 2 blocks from a MARTA light-rail station; 3 miles from the Chastain Park Amphitheater; and within 9 miles of Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, and CNN Center.