Learn something new at Atlanta’s off-the-beaten-path museums

Museum of Design Atlanta

Photograph by Andria Lavine

  • Museum of Design Atlanta: Founded in 1989, MODA is art meets function. Celebrating all things design with rotating exhibits, it’s located in a swanky space across from the High on Peachtree Street. They also frequently host cool and quirky events. 1315 Peachtree Street, 404-979-6455, museumofdesign.org
  • David J. Sencer CDC Museum: Award-wining exhibits tell how scientists have combated diseases from smallpox to AIDS to Ebola. 1600 Clifton Road, 404-639-0830, cdc.gov/museum
  • Booth Western Art Museum: Did you know the nation’s largest permanent exhibition space for Western art is in Cartersville? 501 North Museum Drive, Cartersville, 770-387-1300, boothmuseum.org
  • Tellus Science Museum: Also in Cartersville, this Smithsonian affiliate has exhibits on fossils, minerals, plus a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory with a 20-inch telescope. 100 Tellus Drive, 770-606-5700, tellusmuseum.org
  • Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History: Near the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, this Civil War museum is most famous as home of the General locomotive, made famous during the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862. 2829 Cherokee Street, 770-427-2117, southernmuseum.org
  • Marietta Museum of History: This quirky little museum has exhibits ranging from Native American artifacts to daily life in the mid-twentieth century. 1 Depot Street, 770-794-5710, mariettahistory.org
  • Herndon Home: This opulent mansion, completed in 1910, was built by Alonzo Franklin Herndon, a former slave who went on to found the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, one of the nation’s most successful black-owned insurance businesses. 587 University Place, 404-581-9813, herndonhome.org
  • Millennium Gate Museum: The impressive arch guarding Atlantic Station actually houses a museum of Georgia history. 395 17th Street, 404-881-0900, thegatemuseum.org
  • Atlanta Monetary Museum: Learn the history of currency at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. 1000 Peachtree Street, 404-498-8500, frbatlanta.org/about/tours/museum.cfm
  • Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking: Georgia Tech’s tour of paper history and technology is a nice antidote to today’s digital world. 500 10th Street, 404-894-7840, paper.gatech.edu