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History buffs will want to start their museum tour at the Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, 404-814-4000. Here you'll find exhibits on the Civil War, the filming of Gone With The Wind, and black history. Once you finish studying the exhibits you can head outside and tour the 1928 Swan House Mansion, 1840s Tullie Smith Farm, and the 32 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and nature trails. If you are wanting to do family or historical research while in Atlanta, you'll want to spend some time at their McElreath Hall's library and archives.
Students of the Civil War will want to make a stop at the Big Shanty Museum, 2829 Cherokee Street, Kennesaw, GA, 770-427-2117, where they will find the famous Civil War locomotive "The General." Just in case you're not up on your history, this was the locomotive hijacked during Andrew's Raid. Another interesting history stop is the Atlanta Heritage Museum at Underground, 55 Upper Alabama St at Underground, 404-584-7879, where you can view photographs, a 1920s trolley, and a Civil War bomb shelter.
A visit to the Fernbank Science Center & Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Rd. NE, 404-370-0960, will give you a chance to enjoy exhibits like A Walk Through Time in Georgia, a hands-on gallery with interactive exhibits on light and sound, one of the nation's largest planetariums,and an IMAX theater.
You'll find the southeast's largest collection of archaeological exhibits at the Michael C Carlos Museum at Emory University, Main Quadrangle, 571 South Kilgo, 404-727-4282. If you are a star gazer, you'll want to drop by the Fernbank Science Center, 156 Heaton Park Drive NE, 678-874-7102, where you'll find an exhibit hall, 2 miles of trails through the 65 acre forest, and an observatory which is open on clear Thursday and Friday nights.
Its rating as one of the top 10 science museums in the United States, makes SciTrek, the Science and Technology Museum Adventure, 395 Piedmont Ave, 404-522-5500, a must see. Here you'll find over 150 interactive exhibits divided between the Electro-Magnetic Junction, the Color Factory, Light Reflections, Perceptions and Illusions, Simple Machines, Mathematica, Power Your Future, the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia, KIDSPACE, and Making Work Easier. Another great stop for kids is the Image It Children's Museum, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW, 404-659-5437. Here they will find lots of hands on exhibits about world cultures, history, and science.
At the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum, 1 Copenhill Rd., 404-331-0296, you'll find interactive displays, films, videos, and a lovely Japanese Garden donated by Tadao Yoshida. As you appreciate its beauty, you might enjoy knowing that the two waterfalls symbolize the President and his wife. A visit to the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change, 449 Auburn Ave NE, 404-526-8900, will give you a chance to tour his birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, and pay your respects at his final resting place.
A visit to the African-American Panoramic Experience, 135 Auburn Ave NE, 404-523-2739, will give you a chance to enjoy African art and exhibits on local black history. For more African-American art, visit the Hammonds House Galleries, 503 Peeples Street, 404-752-8730. Touring this restored Victorian Home, you'll be greeted by works by Romare Bearden, Haitian art, and one of their traveling exhibits.
Art lovers will also want to visit the High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, 404-733-4536. Here you will be treated to European and American paintings, African, decorative, and 20th century art, photography, graphics, and, if you are traveling with children, they will enjoy the Spectacles Gallery.
If you like the unusual, head to the Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring Street at 18th NW, 404-873-3089. This museum features Wayland Flower's Madame, some of Jim Henson's original Muppets, and even holds performances and workshops throughout the year so get out your sock puppet and start practicing (hey, that advice worked pretty well for Lamb Chop didn't it!). Now if socks don't bring out your creativity but paper does, you'll want to head instead to the Robert C Williams American Museum of Papermaking, Institute of Paper Science & Technology, 500 10th St NW, 404-894-5700.
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