By Doc Lawrence
Responding to many requests from excited college football fans coming to Atlanta, my hometown, I selected a few sites here that should elevate the experience and save a bunch of money during the holiday football weekend. These are all easily accessible, some are even free and all are suitable for anyone.
More than anything, they represent a good measure of the magic that makes Atlanta the South’s renaissance city, a center for the arts and culture.
A stand-alone wonder and great urban park drawing over 7 million visitors annually, features a winter snow experience. Climbing the mountain is worth the effort. The Historic Village of Stone Mountain showcases Art Station, one of Georgia’s cultural gems. Don’t miss artist Olivia Thomason’s spectacular exhibition “My Southern Memories.” www.artstation.org
|"My Southern Memories" at Art Station|
Dr. Martin Luther King’s grave and memorial is a short distance from Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Nobel Laureate preached the gospel of peace. www.thekingcenter.org
FERNBANK SCIENCE CENTER
The planetarium, a celestial theater in the round, is one of the nations best. The museum displays the Apollo 6 Command Module. www.fernbank.edu
Visit the grave of “Gone With The Wind” author Margaret Mitchell and walk through the amazing sculpture lined walkways and impressive grave monuments. Free. www.oaklandcemetery.com
THE FABULOUS FOX THEATRE
Elvis, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, countless Broadway shows performed on this stage, the centerpiece of one of the finest movie palaces and architectural achievements in North America. www.foxtheatre.org
Each visit confirms why Atlanta is a national arts center. A spectacular building with a Rodin sculpture out front facing fabled Peachtree Street houses special collections and blockbuster exhibitions. www.high.org
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Well, you’re in Atlanta for football and a tour here will enrich the experience. Memories of everything from Pop Warner to Bear Bryant, Jim Thorpe to Deion Sanders, brilliantly curated. www.cfbhall.com
NATIONAL CENTER FOR HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Atlanta, home of Dr. King, John Lewis, Andrew Young and many others who paved the way for the Civil Rights movement, forging critical alliances with leaders like Jimmy Carter and Atlanta’s Ivan Allen Jr. One of the areas top attractions. www.civilandhumanrights.org
ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN.
Combine this with a walk through adjacent Piedmont Park. Esthetically stunning juxtaposition of natural beauty combined with amazing sculpture. www.atlantabg.org
THE CARTER PRESIDENTIAL CENTER
A library, fabulous bookstore and gift shop with mementoes connected to the nations 41st president and Georgia’s native son. It’s sometimes possible to bump into Mr. Carter who, even at 92, remains very active. www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov
Tip: If you visit here, go down the street and relax with beer and hot dogs at landmark Manuel’s Tavern. A genuine Atlanta experience.
ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER
One of the country’s best. Collections, exhibitions, guided tours and grounds that feature historic preservations like the Tullie Smith Farm and a lovely architectural wonder, the Swan House. www.atlantahistorycenter.com