"Gone with the Wind" Walking Tour, Atlanta

"Gone with the Wind" Walking Tour (Self Guided), Atlanta

Atlanta does “give a damn” about Gone With The Wind. There is a number of museums and sites in the city that commemorate one of America's all-time classic stories. Although released as far back as the 1930s, both Margaret Mitchell's award-winning novel and the film that followed shortly still inspire curiosity about and are equally celebrated in Atlanta.

The first port of call for Gone With The Wind fans, thanks to its central location in Midtown, is the Margaret Mitchell House. “The Dump”, as Mitchell herself lovingly called her apartment on the ground floor of this redbrick house, today is a museum and the holy grail of all Gone With The Wind stops – because this is where it all started! The museum includes the restored rooms in which most of “Gone With The Wind” was penned.

The breathtaking Georgia Terrace Hotel. Here, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Olivia de Havilland stayed while the film premiered in Atlanta. You can possibly sleep in the very same room as the movie stars once did. Beneath the grand staircase inside the hotel Margaret Mitchell also attended the after-party for the Gone With The Wind premiere.

While Atlanta Central Library itself isn’t the original Carnegie Library co-founded by Mitchell’s father, it does acknowledge the past establishment's connection to Gone With The Wind. Inside is a permanent Margaret Mitchell exhibit, featuring, among other essential artifacts, her Remington typewriter and the 1937 Pulitzer prize for Gone With The Wind.

The Oakland Cemetery, a historic oasis at the highest point of Atlanta, is an iconic and eerily pretty location for the burial spot of more than 3,000 Confederate soldiers and 16 Union soldiers, as well as for Margaret Mitchell herself, who was tragically killed by a speeding car while heading to the movies with her husband, John Marsh.

If you wish to follow in the footsteps of Atlanta’s most famous author, see the sites related to her life and otherwise explore the events, facts and fiction associated with Gone With The Wind, take this self-guided walking tour.
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"Gone with the Wind" Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: "Gone with the Wind" Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Atlanta (See other walking tours in Atlanta)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 4
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Margaret Mitchell House and Museum
  • Georgian Terrace Hotel
  • Margaret Mitchell Collection at Atlanta Central Library
  • Historic Oakland Cemetery
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum

1) Margaret Mitchell House and Museum

One could honestly stay in the Margaret Mitchell House for hours given the amount of experience, information, and context provided. From seeing what Atlanta was like back in the 1920s to insights into Margaret Mitchell's entire life; the hype around the casting and making of the "Gone With the Wind" movie – you will find it all here!

The "house" part itself is really just the first-floor apartment where Margaret and her husband lived (they did not actually occupy the whole space), which was recreated with 1930s decor. Although the artifacts were not owned by Margaret, the look and feel bring observers into the aesthetic of where she penned her famous novel. Midtown Atlanta might not have been the best area back then, hence she referred to the apartment as "The Dump", but you'll likely find it to be pleasant.

If you have time, be sure to head into the separate building across the backyard (covered in the price of admission) to watch part of the documentary on how the "Gone With the Wind" film was made, including the original casting footage with various Hollywood stars at the time. Another interesting section, packed with pictures, news reels, and newspaper articles, documents what it was like during the movie's 1939 premiere in Atlanta.

All in all, if you at all enjoy the "Gone With the Wind" book or film, then you should check this nice little gem out!

Admission to the Atlanta History Center also includes tickets to the Margaret Mitchell House which you can use at any point during in the next 9 days. The visit to the house itself is greatly enhanced by a tour with a docent, which does not cost extra but is not always offered, so call ahead to make sure you can get on it. There are several exhibits inside house as well as a two-hour film on the making of "Gone with the Wind" in an attached building, so give yourself enough time.
Georgian Terrace Hotel

2) Georgian Terrace Hotel

The Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta has a rich and fascinating past. It first opened its doors in 1911, and quickly became one of the most prestigious hotels in the city. Its prime location on Peachtree Street, just a few blocks away from the Fox Theatre, made it a popular destination for theater-goers and celebrities alike.

Over the years, the Georgian Terrace has been the site of many important events and milestones, having hosted many notable guests throughout the years, including President Calvin Coolidge, Walt Disney, and Elvis Presley. In 1936, the hotel played host to the premiere of "Gone with the Wind," and Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and other cast members stayed here during the film's Atlanta premiere. The hotel also served as a temporary home for soldiers during World War II, and later became a hub for civil rights leaders during the 1960s.

The building has undergone several renovations and restorations throughout its history, but has managed to maintain its historic charm and elegance. Today, the hotel boasts 326 guest rooms, as well as a variety of dining and event spaces.

Visitors to Atlanta can still experience the grandeur and history of the Georgian Terrace by booking a room or dining at one of its on-site restaurants. The hotel's iconic architecture and storied past make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Atlanta's history and culture.
Margaret Mitchell Collection at Atlanta Central Library

3) Margaret Mitchell Collection at Atlanta Central Library

Completed in 1980, the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library building is the last creation of Bauhaus-movement architect Marcel Breuer. Designed in the brutalist style, it is largely praised as a "masterpiece" by architectural experts.

The library replaces the original Carnegie Library which was co-founded by Margaret Mitchell's father, and as such it acknowledges its predecessor's connection to "Gone With the Wind". Here, in the Special Collections Department on the 5th floor, you will find the Margaret Mitchell permanent exhibit donated to the library in keeping with her own wish, as part of a bequest outlined in the will of her second husband, John Marsh.

On August 11, 1949, Margaret was struck by an automobile while walking to a movie theater along Peachtree Street. She died five days later. A week after the author's death, the staff of the Atlanta Public Library established a small memorial collection in her honor.

The collection features numerous items, including Mitchell’s Remington typewriter (the one she used to write "Gone With the Wind"), her 1937 Pulitzer prize and American Book Award. Among other essential artifacts on display are Margaret’s library card, photos, various important editions of "Gone With the Wind", pieces of ephemera, as well as her personal books and reference publications used to fact-check her novel.

Across the street there is a monument dedicated to Atlanta’s most famous writer.
Historic Oakland Cemetery

4) Historic Oakland Cemetery

Nestled in the vibrant heart of Atlanta, Georgia, lies Historic Oakland Cemetery—a captivating oasis that offers a serene escape from the bustling cityscape. Established in 1850, Oakland Cemetery spans across 48 acres and holds the stories of more than 70,000 souls. Far from being just a resting place for the departed, this beautiful landmark intertwines the past with the present, allowing visitors to explore the rich history of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.

A visit to Historic Oakland Cemetery is akin to walking through an outdoor museum, where art, architecture, and nature blend harmoniously. As one of the city's oldest public parks, Oakland Cemetery stands out with its collection of Victorian-style sculptures and mausoleums. Winding paths invite visitors to wander among a stunning array of magnolia trees, blooming azaleas, and ancient oaks.

Oakland Cemetery is the eternal home of many notable individuals, including former mayors, governors, and Civil War soldiers. It also commemorates the lives of famous Atlanta citizens such as author Margaret Mitchell, known for her timeless novel "Gone with the Wind," and golfer Bobby Jones. These stories, and many more, paint a vivid picture of the city's cultural heritage and societal evolution.

A stroll through Historic Oakland Cemetery is a journey through Atlanta's past—a chance to connect with its rich history, marvel at its architectural beauty, and pay tribute to the lives of those who helped shape the city. As both a solemn resting place and a dynamic cultural attraction, Oakland Cemetery is a must-visit destination for those seeking to experience the multifaceted spirit of Atlanta, Georgia.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the most interesting places to see in Atlanta, full of history, beauty, secrets and stories across its many sections.
Tours are inexpensive and led by intelligent guides who engage people in conversation, and provide facts about the notable Georgians buried here, including civil rights leaders, governors, and mayors.
The space itself is massive with many well-preserved and ornate Victorian-era headstones, monuments, and mausoleums, as well as numerous walking trails and stately trees that cast plenty of shade throughout.

Stop by the Visitor Center when you first arrive to get a few bottles of water and to find out about the guided and/or audio tour if you're so inclined.
The 'Capturing the Spirit of Oakland' Halloween tours occur over two weekends near the end of October and are sold out quickly each year.

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