Walking Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery

When researching places to go in a big city, the cemetery is not a place that readily comes to mind. After making a couple of visits to Oakland Cemetery in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta, I’ve completely changed my tune.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery represents the Old South. It takes you back into history when within. It’s the oldest cemetery in Atlanta founded in 1850. It sits on six acres and has roughly 70,000 graves. Past mayors, governors of Georgia and famous Atlantans rest here, along with many soldiers dating back to the Civil War era. The famous golfer Bobby Jones and Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Mind, also reside here.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Marvel at all the various architecture featured throughout. Oakland Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places which helps with the upkeep and preserving.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Along with being a cemetery it’s also a vast botanical garden and park with beautiful colors all year long. I was lucky to make a trip here in Autumn and being able to experience the Fall colors throughout.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

This Grant Park neighborhood cemetery is also a beautiful spot to capture the downtown Atlanta skyline from. Always keep the camera out when walking the grounds!

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Grab a coffee from Octane Coffee across the street and head in in the early morning hours. The park has many entrances, I recommend going in from Oakland Avenue. Your feet will take you onto the red bricked paths of many named narrow streets throughout. I walked around on my own, but guided tours are also available.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Some additional info:

  • Being a public park, Oakland cemetery is open dawn to dusk every day of the year.
  • No fees to enter.
  • Go on an official self-guided tour. Download the Android or iPhone app.
  • Guided tours are available every weekend during the warmer months and for tour groups and schools.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Tip: When on the Northeast end of the cemetery checkout the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills plant off in the distance.

What other historic cemeteries would you recommend checking out?

9 responses to “Walking Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery

  1. Cemeteries are wonderful to visit – I agree!

  2. Your opening line amused me because in European cities, cemeteries are often high up on sightseeing lists because of historical figures buried there, the architecture or design of tombs and headstones and the often plentiful ghost stories that go hand in hand with them.
    Nice photos, looks peaceful.

    • Definitely agree with you on that. Oakland Cemetery is known as a must visit in the ATL, but in many of the other cities I’ve spent lots of time in in the US, don’t see cemeteries come up as places to visit to often. 😦

      There were others checking it out the times I have been there, but definitely gives off a peaceful vibe. They have ghost story type stuff going on at Oakland Cemetery right now being almost Halloween. 🙂

  3. Looks like an exciting place!

    • It is. Lots and lots to do. Great, beautiful place to go for a morning stroll every day right in the heart of Atlanta.

  4. The cemeteries in New Orleans are also worth checking out. There are some quite beautiful tombs and headstones, many of which are pretty elaborate.

  5. Truely, cemeteries are the best way to explore “local”…especially in the South where you are. The ghosts of the south lived deep in tradition! And if they were alive, they’d make ya sweet tea, or feed ya till your bell full, and you’d beg them to let ya go to bed because your belly full and the cicadas sing so sweet!!! Let alone the artistry the families out into their tombstones and mausoleum. Craftsmen at the highest level. What a treat to explore the cemeteries of the south! They never sent a stranger!

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