Things to Do in Atlanta - page 2
Glance up during a movie, concert or live performance at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and you will be dazzled by a gleaming starry sky. The man-made "sky’"projects 96 crystal stars and even clouds that drift, and this is only one of the many architectural features that make the Fox Theatre so fabulous. It opened on Christmas Day in 1929 to incredible fanfare and was designed and built to be grand and opulent, a decadent escape for patrons of the arts. That kind of opulence could not be maintained during the Great Depression, however, and the venue sunk into bankruptcy.
The salvation and revitalization of the Fabulous Fox, as it is known in Atlanta, was a community effort. Over $3 million was raised to protect the theatre, most of which came from Atlanta residents. The site reopened in 1975 and today ranks among some of the country’s most notable not-for-profit performing art theatres.
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta’s stunning temple of visual treats, is hard to miss. First, the building is built of white porcelain tile, and inside are four floors of galleries strung together by semicircular pedestrian ramps surrounding a sun-filled four-story atrium.
And that’s just the building. The High Museum of Art collection itself holds more than 11,000 works of art, including a stellar collection of American art, which includes fascinating works from the turn of the 20th century, plus contemporary pieces from the likes of Gerhard Richter and folk art from Georgia treasure Howard Finster. You can also see a marvelous collection of Italian paintings and sculptures from the 14th through the 18th centuries, as well as paintings by French Impressionists and German Expressionists. The collections of sub-Saharan African art and works by noted 19th and 20th century American and European photographers are also world-class.
In the middle of Midtown, Piedmont Park is where locals come to play, picnic, and commune with nature. Indeed, the park is a glorious, rambling urban park, filled with verdant lawns, rolling hillsides, and Lake Clara Meer – all set against the backdrop of the Midtown Atlanta skyline. The park also is the setting of many cultural and music festivals, as well as some superb people watching.
For the active, Piedmont Park has softball and soccer fields, tennis courts, a public swimming pool, and fantastic paths for jogging, skating, and biking. For leisure activities, there’s fishing on Lake Clara Meer, picnic tables and benches, and expansive lawns for lazing in the sun. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is also here. Children will have endless fun, as open, car-free spaces abound. Make sure they don’t miss PlayScape, at the 12th Street gate.
Antebellum, Georgia comes to life in the 1939 classic film, Gone with the Wind. Often thought of as the greatest romantic movie ever made, the film's heroine and hero, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, are featured in the film and in the halls of the Gone With the Wind Museum. Memorabilia from the iconic film lines the halls, and the exhibits transport visitors back to the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
Opened in 2003, the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum features an impressive collection of artifacts from the film. One of the top attractions on display is the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by O'Hara's character. The film is based on Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name, and many of the author’s personal volumes of the novel are on display here as well. Other notable displays include additional costume pieces, foreign prints of the novel and a personal script of an actress in the film.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream is realized every day at Atlanta's Historic Fourth Ward Park in the neighborhood in which he was born. Today the area houses the first completed urban park of the Atlanta Beltline Project, which brings modern, renovated park spaces to the city.
This 17-acre space celebrates Atlanta’s natural beauty with wide open green areas and its central two-acre lake, also used as a stormwater retention basin. Multiple lawns dot the park, all suitable for reading, a game of Frisbee and picnics. A modern playground with a splash pad is the crowning jewel of the park for young kids, and a skate park, athletic field and amphitheater round out the park’s entertainment options.
Immerse yourself in Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler's enigmatic romance at the Road To Tara Museum, which brings to life Tara, the mythical plantation where Gone With the Wind takes place. Margaret Mitchell, the novel's author, created Tara based on the sprawling Victorian homes she saw in Clayton County, Georgia ,so today, Clayton County and the city of Jonesboro have been officially designated by the Georgia State Legislature as the "home of Gone With the Wind." Fittingly, the Road to Tara Museum is housed in the 1867 Train Depot in downtown historic Jonesboro.
At the museum visitors can see original props, wardrobe items and keepsakes from the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the feature film. The centerpiece is a large original oil mural depicting Rhett and Scarlett from the film, while additional oil paintings flank this large one. The museum also has an exhibit on the Civil War, featuring the Battle of Jonesboro.
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