Atlanta History Center

Atlanta History Center: Hours, Address, Atlanta History Center Reviews: 4.5/5

Atlanta History Center
Historic Sites • Gardens • History Museums
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9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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The Atlanta History Center was founded on the big ideas and relentless fascination of 14 Atlantans who were emphatic about our city’s historical relevance in society. In a sense, our organization was created by Atlanta’s biggest fans, and we love that detail. In 1926, these founding members introduced the Atlanta Historical Society into the world with one mission: to help preserve Atlanta’s history. In 1990, after decades of collecting, researching, publishing and celebrating the early stories of our great Southern community, the Atlanta Historical Society and all of its holdings officially became the Atlanta History Center.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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1,435 reviews
Very good

Laura H
Dahlonega, GA19 contributions
Jan 2020 • Family
This place is really amazing if you like history, viewing artifacts, and reading about stuff. I went with teenagers who were mildly impressed but my husband and I loved it. We stayed about 3 and 1/2 hours and it was not enough time to see everything. First we went to the cyclorama. I highly recommend going to the presentation which includes a short video and a curator talking about the history of the painting and diorama. She will point stuff out that you might not notice on your own. Then we saw the train and the exhibits in the main gallery. I could have spent longer in the main gallery area because I like to read all of the stuff. Then we went to the Swan house in the back. Definitely spend time talking to the actor portraying the architect of the house. He is highly knowledgeable about the property. We quickly walked through the Smith Farm house at back and there is no signage out there so I don’t really know the significance of those buildings. Finally we went back into the main building and briefly walked through some of the other galleries. The entrances are deceiving and these galleries are actually huge spaces with several rooms. You could spend more hours there exploring these rooms. But we were tired and hungry by then so we decided to leave. Also included in the ticket price is entrance to Margaret Mitchell’s home. She wrote Gone With the Wind. Her house is not in the same grounds. You have to walk there. If you can’t get there the same day, your ticket is good for nine days after your purchase. We didn’t go so I can’t tell you about that.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Los Angeles, CA65 contributions
May 2022
I spent 6 hours here, including an hour in the cyclotron exhibit which included a live introduction followed by a video. The DuBose exhibit on the civil war is filled with artifacts collected by the DuBose family. Be sure to get the audio guide from the front desk. There is a very good short film about each year of the war.The Swan House is also on the grounds. This is an American palace built by the Inman family.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bradley B
11 contributions
Jan 2020
I am an Atlanta native, as were both my parents. It's a town that's always been a huckster's paradise, so it's always raced after the fastest buck (dollar), often to the detriment of the things that made it unique.
The Cyclorama was always an exception to me: absolutely authentic, a rarity, and always on my itinerary for people visiting from out of town, especially of from an entirely different region and/or culture.
When I heard it was to be relocated to the Atlanta History Center, my heart sank, because I was afraid of "what might happen to it" during the move. I couldn't imagine a more successful fate for this masterpiece (or maybe just call it "object of wonder").
Everything that made the old venue and experience worthwhile has been preserved and increased many-fold: actual preservation actions, how you view the piece, the surrounding support materials and exhibits, the "movie" that accompanies the cyclorama, everything.
This is a MUST-SEE in Atlanta, worth your time in so many ways. Have a bit at Super Jenny's while you're there, but budget between 2-3 hours for the entire complex, especially if you plan to go see Tullie Smith House and The Swan House.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sally Caldwell G
10 contributions
May 2022
I was very disappointed in the Cyclorama exhibit at the history center. There was no info on how to view given at the ticket counter, in a handout or on the museum walls. There should be directions given such as "you need to have time to walk around and view the cyclorama and punch a lot of buttons to get the information on what you are viewing." The movie which they tell you at the ticket booth is shown at the top of each hour is only about the story of the Cyclorama being developed and its history, not the story of the battle. In its past location there was a 360 degree view and you were given the story of the Battle of Atlanta as you viewed the 3-D painting. Our docent spoke very softly , had no laser to point at scenes as in the past and we didn't even know she was there giving info about the painting until we went up the escalator right before the movie was to start. Sooo, Give yourself time to go around the scenes and punch all the buttons as you stand viewing and walking around it and enjoy the 12 minute movie as a "how did it get here".
Written May 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Leesville, SC1,314 contributions
Jun 2021
This was by far our favorite thing to do in Atlanta. It is a bit north of downtown. You can get there on public transportation or drive your car - they have free parking. We arrived just after 9:00 and walked the gardens and saw the cyclorama before the Swan House opened at 11:00. Then we had lunch at the Swan Couch House and visited the farm and indoor galleries. All in all we were there for about 4-5 hours and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The gardens are really a botanical garden with plants identified and everything well tended. The Swan House was amazing. You are permitted to walk through it on your own including the main floor, upstairs and basement. It is beautiful and in perfect condition as if time had stood still. They even had several old cars out in the back that you can sit in. The cyclorama is an impressive art display and tells of its origin and history and covered both sides impressions. And there are several galleries that were very good from early American art to the civil war. Our lunch at the Swan Couch House was a perfect addition to our day and most memorable. The farm was also fun and informative of the time, perfect for the kids. The staff were the nicest that could be and very interesting to talk with. We found this to have so much interesting displays and provided a perfect day for us. We highly recommend a visit if you are in Atlanta.
Written June 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Las Vegas, NV2 contributions
Mar 2022
Did not spend allocate nearly enough time and only got to do the Swan House and the Cyclorama. Had no idea what the cyclorama was but what a cool exhibit. It was like a circus tent but the whole interior was painted 40 feet into the air, and there was also a landscape diorama that gave it dimension. Wish we would have had more time though. I'd say 3 hours if you want to see everything at a good pace, but give more if you want to slow down and enjoy it.
Written March 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wayne K
Alamo Heights, TX44 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Enjoyed the Cyclorama and Civil war exhibits alone made it worth the trip here. The Swan house was pleasant. Olympics display was nice. There were a few other smaller exhibits but time was not unlimited. The Souper Jenny cafe and Bash coffee shop on the premises have excellent quality. The staff at both were great and food/coffee were excellent. Many locals come there for either the food/coffee or both.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

William D
Atlanta, GA1,045 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
My wife and I have been here 3 or 4 times and it's like a whole new experience every time. What a great way to spend your day.

First of all military and disabled veterans are free to get in, which is great!

Before I begin with the attractions/features I will mention they have several bathrooms scattered all over the complex. There is an eatery on-site and also a coffee ship, both on which are excellent. The eatery is Souper Jenny's and they have soups, leafy salads, fruit salads, pasta salads, chili, sandwiches, drinks, and food is excellent (try the chili, but AFTER you walk around! 🙃). The coffee shop has very good coffee and similar drinks. Highly recommend both.

Now onto the museum. I could write several thousand words about this place but I'll try to be brief, but like a said, you will be hard pressed to see the whole set up in one day, so plan ahead.

The museum is actually a large ~40 acre site almost in the heart of Buckhead, on West Paces Ferry Road very close to Peachtree Road. There are numerous buildings to visit, with the Cyclorama being a main attraction in one of the buildings. The Cylorama is a huge 360° "mural" that you walk around inside to view. It portrays the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. This mural is massive and spectacular.

There are numerous exhibits throughout the museum grounds, depicting numerous events and the many faceted and fascinating history of Atlanta and the metro area.

Another main focal point is the Schulze-Inman house, where the original owners lived before donating the property to the City of Atlanta.

There is ample parking both off West Paces Ferry and also a large parking area and deck off Andrew's Road. Parking has been free whenever we visited.

This place is a must see and a great place to come on a date, with kids or friends or groups. We've been several times and haven't seen everything yet. Next trip we are planning to come early morning and just plan on staying all day and having our lunch there. See the main page for hours.

100% enjoy and 100% recommend, one of our favorite places to visit in Atlanta.
Written March 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mesa, AZ422 contributions
Mar 2021
The history portion of this museum is very informative and it covers so much of Atlanta local history. From MLK meeting his wife, to the Olympic games held in Atlanta, The train's cinematic history. And of course the famous Cyclorama which is amazing to see. But then they have grounds to walk around with historic barns and homes. Not to mention The actual Swan house. Also be sure to book a reservation at the Coach house for lunch they have great southern classics like chicken salad and frozen fruit salad both delish. Take a camera to walk around the grounds they are wedding photo worthy.
Written April 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Clarence, NY59 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
The Atlanta History Center is comprised of a museum, Cyclorama, historical Swan House and Smith Farm. The museum has various exhibits containing a large Civil War exhibit. This exhibit allowed me to understand the Civil War in a unique way…by the various artifacts shown…and the short films that were shown throughout the exhibit. The Cyclorama was an interesting part of the Atlanta History Center. One of only 2 in the country, it depicted the Battle of Atlanta in a very unique way. I would recommend this Center to anyone interested in the History of Atlanta!
Written July 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Atlanta History Center

Atlanta History Center is open:
  • Tue - Sun 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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