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10 less-touristy museums around Atlanta you shouldn’t miss

These intown attractions might fly under the radar, but they all deserve a visit

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Home to the High Museum of Art, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta is no stranger to high-profile institutions. But it’s also home to many quality museums that often get overlooked.

Visitors can document history, learn the story of money, descramble the origins of Waffle House, and more. These museums are noteworthy, informative, and entertaining—and worthy of a spot on your ATL itinerary.

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1. William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

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1440 Spring St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 222-3700
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Dedicated to Jewish history, the Breman Museum features a permanent exhibition on the Holocaust, “Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years, 1933-1945,” a gallery devoted to Southern Jewish history, and a gallery for traveling and rotating exhibitions. It also hosts special events such as author talks, Historic Jewish Atlanta tours, and guest speakers.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students and educators, $4 for kids ages 3 to 6, and free for kids age 2 and younger.

2. David J. Sencer CDC Museum

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1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 639-0830
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Go behind the scenes of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see how CDC scientists work with high-tech science to decipher and treat mystery diseases. Covering not only the history of the CDC, this free museum also showcases permanent and changing exhibitions that cover such topics as the world of public health and the use of high-containment labs to investigate infectious diseases.

3. Atlanta Monetary Museum

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1000 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 498-8500
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Take a deep dive into the history of money, and see how and why the Fed conducts monetary policy and provides payment system services. You also can take a look at the bank’s automated vault and see the robotic transports that move millions of dollars every day.

Free self-guided tours are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must present a valid government-issued ID and be prepared to walk through a metal detector.

4. Michael C. Carlos Museum

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571 South Kilgo Cir NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-4282
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Located on Emory University’s campus, the Michael C. Carlos Museum showcases artwork from around the world. See mummy masks from Egypt, Buddha figures from Asia, sculptures from Rome, and so much more. The museum also hosts traveling exhibitions featuring paintings, photography, and many other mediums.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, students, and children ages 6 to 17, and free for children ages 5 and younger.

5. Delta Flight Museum

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1060 Delta Blvd B-914
Atlanta, GA 30354
(404) 715-7886
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At this museum, you can dig into the history of Atlanta’s hometown airline and aviation itself. The 68,000-square-foot facility showcases Delta’s original 1940s-era aircraft hangars, and you’ll see such aircraft as the first Boeing 747-400, a 1940 Douglas DC-3 passenger plane, and a Waco 125 biplane.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12.50 for seniors (65+), $10 for kids ages 5 to 17, and free for children younger than 5.

Airport hangar with a biplane hanging from the ceiling. ©Ron Rizzo / Creative Sources Photography – Atlanta

6. Millennium Gate Museum

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395 17th St NW
Atlanta, GA 30363
(404) 881-0900
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Located on 17th Street across from Atlantic Station’s commercial core, the Millennium Gate Museum houses Georgia history, art, culture, and odes to the state’s philanthropic heritage. In the Glenn Gallery, you can learn about the Atlantic Steel mill that previously occupied the site of Atlantic Station.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, and military.

7. Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

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1315 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 979-6455
Visit Website

The only museum in the Southeast dedicated solely to the study and celebration of all things design, the Museum of Design Atlanta, or MODA, showcases exhibitions that explore all elements of artistic trades. It also offers classes and activities for both kids and adults, professional lectures, and “Design Conversations” with featured designers.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military, and educators, $5 for college students and kids ages 6 to 17, and free for children age 5 and younger. Purchase online for additional savings.

8. Waffle House Museum

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2719 E College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
(770) 326-7086
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If you’ve ever wondered where this iconic 24-hour restaurant got its start—that would be Avondale Estates, east of downtown Atlanta—this museum provides the answer. Located in the very first Waffle House, it’s been restored to its 1955 origins, and includes a collection of Waffle House memorabilia from the last 60 years.

Tours are free, but must be scheduled by appointment only on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

9. Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945

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5920 Roswell Rd NE A-209
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(770) 206-1558
Visit Website

This free exhibit tells the story of Anne Frank through more than 500 photographs, a short film, and a replica of Frank’s room. You’ll also see traveling exhibits such as “Witness to the Holocaust: WWII Veteran William Alexander Scott III at Buchenwald,” a photographic and essay exhibit, and “Georgia’s response to the Holocaust,” which features survivor stories along with the stories of soldiers who witnessed the liberation of Nazi camps.

10. Georgia State Capitol Museum

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206 Washington St SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 463-4536
Visit Website

True, a lot of history is made each year at the Georgia State Capitol. But this famous building also is home to a collection of exhibits, artifacts, and memorials documenting history throughout the state.

Most exhibits are on the fourth floor and can be examined via a self-guided tour or a free guided tour. Stop by the Tour Desk for a Capitol tour brochure, then make sure you check out the two-headed calf.

An exterior photo of the Georgia Capitol Building with its gold dome. Karon Warren

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1. William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

1440 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

Dedicated to Jewish history, the Breman Museum features a permanent exhibition on the Holocaust, “Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years, 1933-1945,” a gallery devoted to Southern Jewish history, and a gallery for traveling and rotating exhibitions. It also hosts special events such as author talks, Historic Jewish Atlanta tours, and guest speakers.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students and educators, $4 for kids ages 3 to 6, and free for kids age 2 and younger.

1440 Spring St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

2. David J. Sencer CDC Museum

1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329

Go behind the scenes of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see how CDC scientists work with high-tech science to decipher and treat mystery diseases. Covering not only the history of the CDC, this free museum also showcases permanent and changing exhibitions that cover such topics as the world of public health and the use of high-containment labs to investigate infectious diseases.

1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329

3. Atlanta Monetary Museum

1000 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Take a deep dive into the history of money, and see how and why the Fed conducts monetary policy and provides payment system services. You also can take a look at the bank’s automated vault and see the robotic transports that move millions of dollars every day.

Free self-guided tours are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must present a valid government-issued ID and be prepared to walk through a metal detector.

1000 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

4. Michael C. Carlos Museum

571 South Kilgo Cir NE, Atlanta, GA 30322

Located on Emory University’s campus, the Michael C. Carlos Museum showcases artwork from around the world. See mummy masks from Egypt, Buddha figures from Asia, sculptures from Rome, and so much more. The museum also hosts traveling exhibitions featuring paintings, photography, and many other mediums.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, students, and children ages 6 to 17, and free for children ages 5 and younger.

571 South Kilgo Cir NE
Atlanta, GA 30322

5. Delta Flight Museum

1060 Delta Blvd B-914, Atlanta, GA 30354
Airport hangar with a biplane hanging from the ceiling. ©Ron Rizzo / Creative Sources Photography – Atlanta

At this museum, you can dig into the history of Atlanta’s hometown airline and aviation itself. The 68,000-square-foot facility showcases Delta’s original 1940s-era aircraft hangars, and you’ll see such aircraft as the first Boeing 747-400, a 1940 Douglas DC-3 passenger plane, and a Waco 125 biplane.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12.50 for seniors (65+), $10 for kids ages 5 to 17, and free for children younger than 5.

1060 Delta Blvd B-914
Atlanta, GA 30354

6. Millennium Gate Museum

395 17th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30363

Located on 17th Street across from Atlantic Station’s commercial core, the Millennium Gate Museum houses Georgia history, art, culture, and odes to the state’s philanthropic heritage. In the Glenn Gallery, you can learn about the Atlantic Steel mill that previously occupied the site of Atlantic Station.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, and military.

395 17th St NW
Atlanta, GA 30363

7. Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

1315 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

The only museum in the Southeast dedicated solely to the study and celebration of all things design, the Museum of Design Atlanta, or MODA, showcases exhibitions that explore all elements of artistic trades. It also offers classes and activities for both kids and adults, professional lectures, and “Design Conversations” with featured designers.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military, and educators, $5 for college students and kids ages 6 to 17, and free for children age 5 and younger. Purchase online for additional savings.

1315 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

8. Waffle House Museum

2719 E College Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

If you’ve ever wondered where this iconic 24-hour restaurant got its start—that would be Avondale Estates, east of downtown Atlanta—this museum provides the answer. Located in the very first Waffle House, it’s been restored to its 1955 origins, and includes a collection of Waffle House memorabilia from the last 60 years.

Tours are free, but must be scheduled by appointment only on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

2719 E College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

9. Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945

5920 Roswell Rd NE A-209, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

This free exhibit tells the story of Anne Frank through more than 500 photographs, a short film, and a replica of Frank’s room. You’ll also see traveling exhibits such as “Witness to the Holocaust: WWII Veteran William Alexander Scott III at Buchenwald,” a photographic and essay exhibit, and “Georgia’s response to the Holocaust,” which features survivor stories along with the stories of soldiers who witnessed the liberation of Nazi camps.

5920 Roswell Rd NE A-209
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

10. Georgia State Capitol Museum

206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334
An exterior photo of the Georgia Capitol Building with its gold dome. Karon Warren

True, a lot of history is made each year at the Georgia State Capitol. But this famous building also is home to a collection of exhibits, artifacts, and memorials documenting history throughout the state.

Most exhibits are on the fourth floor and can be examined via a self-guided tour or a free guided tour. Stop by the Tour Desk for a Capitol tour brochure, then make sure you check out the two-headed calf.

206 Washington St SW
Atlanta, GA 30334