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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?