The South’s metropolis overflows with history, things to see and do and plenty of local character throughout its neighborhoods. While home to Coca Cola and CNN, there is much more to Atlanta beyond the bottle and newsroom. Loaded with attractions, many visitors come to Atlanta and spend a pretty penny on entrance frees at some its esteemed attractions. However, you can get to know Atlanta without spending a dime by frequenting these four funky freebies in the city.
Meet Atlanta’s Past at the Historic Oakland Cemetery: It might sound like the last place you would want to go while on vacation, but the Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is one of the city’s favorite free attractions. Founded in 1850, the cemetery was designed in a Victorian style to act as both a park and a burial ground. A stroll through the Oakland Cemetery is a feast for the eyes with its remarkable architecture, sculpture, ancient oaks and magnolias. A survivor of the Civil War, it remains the oldest cemetery in town. You can find a number of notable people buried on these grounds including Civil War soldiers, Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with The Wind, golf great Bobby Jones and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor. While tours are offered for a fee, you are free to roam the grounds without forking over admission.
Take in the Show at The Lasershow Spectacular at Stone Mountain Park: Atlanta shows off its offbeat side at Stone Mountain Park, a 3,200-acre park littered with attractions. One of those attractions is the Lasershow Spectacular. It features state of the art digital graphics, lasers and fireworks to put on the ultimate show for viewers. The 30-year tradition is free to go watch on scheduled nights throughout March and late October. The laser and fireworks spectacular choreographed to music usually lasts around 45 minutes. If you are driving to the show, be aware that you will have to pay $10 for parking.
The Center for Puppetry Arts: Another one of Atlanta’s funky attractions is its Center for Puppetry Arts. Proudly touted as the largest organization in North America dedicated to the art of puppetry, the center features a museum where you can see over 350 puppets from around the world, including several Jim Henson creations. The interactive museum generally charges for admission but if you show up on Thursdays from 1PM to 3PM, you can get in for free.
The Atlanta Monetary Museum: Set up in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Atlanta Monetary Museum ironically comes with no admission charge. The museum details the history of money and the stormy history of banking in America. Exhibits showcase rare coins and currency. In addition, you can see cash processed before your eyes at the cash-processing operations point of the museum. Here, millions of dollars are counted, sorted and shredded each and every day. The Atlanta Monetary Museum also features exhibits on how to spot counterfeit money from the real thing. What makes this one of Atlanta’s funkiest free attractions is the souvenir that you receive at the end of the tour, a bag of shredded bills.
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