Atlanta, Georgia, welcomes groups to explore its dynamic arts scene and rich heritage. With galleries, museums, and performance venues, this Southern gem has something for everyone. Groups can chart their own course as they explore Atlanta’s story of identity, innovation, and imagination.
Begin your group visit at the Atlanta History Center. The 33-acre campus weaves Atlanta’s stories and artifacts together to chart the course of the city’s past, present, and future. The center maintains one of the nation’s largest Civil War exhibitions, which recounts the national story of the conflict from its origins to the end. In fact, the center- piece is the immersive cyclorama painting, “The Battle of Atlanta.” Over 1,500 original artifacts from photographs to cannons, uniforms, swords, and letters empower visitors to march through the past and grapple with the enduring legacy of the conflict.
To that end, groups must prioritize engaging with history and current events at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. The Visitor Center is filled with interactive spaces that paint a comprehensive picture of Dr. King’s life within the framework of the Civil Rights Movement. Groups can arrange for guided tours of King’s childhood home and appreciate how his childhood and education impacted his life’s work. Ranger-led programs and special events throughout the year offer groups plenty to ponder.
In Atlanta, the past and present are intertwined, and nowhere is this more evident than in the artistic expression found throughout the capital. Appreciating Atlanta’s arts scene is as simple as letting your senses guide your visit. Culinary creativity is on display at places like the Ponce City Market. This historic locale has been reimagined as the home of a vibrant cuisine scene with food stalls, specialty shops, and restaurants catering to a variety of palates. Diners can indulge in crafted Southern fare or opt for dishes with a more global flavor as they search and sample the many tastes available.
Meanwhile, groups can engage more senses at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, a wonderful way to stop and “smell the roses.” Visitors can wander through several themed gardens showcasing an array of plants set among water features, architecture, and statuary that offer a serene setting.
The High Museum of Art is an impressive and inclusive collection of artistic media, styles, and stories. Although a self-guided visit allows for individual exploration, the High Museum offers a menu of group pro- grams. Lectures, artist talks, hands-on work- shops, and curated tours help visitors develop insights about techniques and themes while cultivating connections to the artwork.
Atlanta’s music scene can be experienced at the capital’s bevy of clubs, festivals, and entertainment venues. A cradle for creativity in hip hop and R&B music, Atlanta has no shortage of upbeat offerings for visitors to experience the vibrancy of a live musical performance. Music festivals are a fun way for groups to experience a variety of new and established artists.
The Fox Theatre is a cultural institution where groups can experience the thrill of a touring Broadway show, a ballet, or concert. For those interested in stepping behind the curtain, the theater offers programs like backstage tours, a guided architecture talk, or a symphonic exploration of the storied “Mighty Mo” organ.
Written by Michael McLaughlin
Main Image: The Fox Theatre; Credit: Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau/Gene Phillips/atlantaphotos.com