5 Atlanta Tours That Celebrate The City’s Past And Present

Al Such / WABE

Whether you’re interested in Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods, the traditional Southern food that Martin Luther King Jr. would have eaten as he helped organize the civil rights movement or the recent pop culture history the city has made as the backdrop of many new films, Atlanta has a tour for everything.

Here are five tours that give residents and guests a glimpse of some prominent areas of Atlanta and their history:

Atlanta Civil Rights Tours – Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal driver and aide Tom Houck takes riders through important sites in Atlanta’s civil rights history on this tour. The tour includes videos of interviews conducted with civil rights leaders Houck knew from the movement, such as Andrew Young and John Lewis. Guests will learn about what life was really like during that time as they experience the voice of law student Daryl Thomas, who sings freedom songs along the tour.

AtlCruzers Segway and Electric Car Tours - AtlCruzers takes guests on a trip through Atlanta’s historic and modern sites, helping guests to plan their stays in the city by showing them a general overview of a variety of attractions. Guests will pass by Ted Turner’s Luckie Street penthouse, Underground Atlanta, the King Center and more while learning about the major events that brought change to the city, such as the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and the civil rights movement. Tours are available on an electric car, but the company also offers Segway tours of Midtown and Eastside Atlanta, according to the company website.

Downtown Atlanta Southern Food Walk - Learn all about the history of Atlanta through the restaurants, both old and new, that shape the city’s eclectic Southern food scene. The Atlanta Downtown Southern Food Walk brings guests on a trip to taste fried chicken and sweet potatoes at Paschal’s, where Martin Luther King Jr. would hold meetings coordinating the civil rights movement, as well as soul food at Metro Deli, juices from Arden’s Garden and more. The tour spans Atlanta neighborhoods ranging from Castleberry Hill to Sweet Auburn.

Tour Oakland Cemetery – Historic Oakland Cemetery showcases many major periods of Atlanta history, including the Civil War and the civil rights movement. Guests can see the graves of figures like Ivan Allen Jr., Alfred Austell and some members of the Inman family. The cemetery offers several tours including a general overview tour, a tour of the Jewish Grounds of the cemetery and an exploration of death and dying in the 19th century.

Atlanta History Center Swan House Capitol Tour – The Swan House at the Atlanta History Center was once the home of Atlanta’s Inman family, for whom the Inman Park neighborhood was named. While this 1920s mansion provides a glimpse of what the life of a Prohibition-era aristocrat was like, the house also served as a set for many scenes of the “Hunger Games” movies “Catching Fire,” “Mockingjay Part 1” and “Mockingjay Part 2.” During the tour, guests can see the location of President Snow’s office as well as gardens and courtyards where various scenes were filmed.