Every year in the late winter and early spring, people start asking me where the best GWTW venues are in Atlanta to visit. Sometimes, they are expecting to arrive in Atlanta and be able to visit locations where Gone With the Wind was filmed. Before we get started, if you're planning to go see film locations of Gone With the Wind, you won't find any in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia. Gone With the Wind was filmed exclusively in Southern California! There are, however, some awesome GWTW venues to visit in the metro Atlanta area that will fill any fan's expectations!
Three pieces of advice in preparing for a visit to Atlanta!
1) Plan your trip and Prioritize! The number 1 piece of advice I can give to anyone planning a trip to Atlanta is to plan ahead. Atlanta has a lot to offer any visitor and is one of my favorite vacation spots! Remember, Atlanta is a big place and just because two places you want to visit are both located "in Atlanta," doesn't mean you can realistically make it to both places in the same day. Also, since Atlanta is the Hollywood of the eastern United States, it is possible to be rerouted because of filming or possibly arrive at a special place only for it to be closed due to filming. Always call ahead to any place you want to visit and make sure they will be open at the times you are planning to visit. I also recommend the Georgia Tourism Guide to assist you in planning your trip. You can order a free copy of the Georgia Tourism Guide here.
2) Get your own personal transportation - My next piece of advice is to be prepared to provide your own transportation. Atlanta does have public transportation with the MARTA system. However, MARTA doesn't go everywhere and the connections between buses and subways can take over an hour. I've never had a problem parking in Atlanta, but it's still Atlanta, so be prepared to pay for parking. If you are renting a car from the airport, I highly suggest pre-booking your car. I found picking up a car at Hartsfield Airport was very easy with a reservation. One piece of safety advice is to park in well-lit, public places and keep the inside of your vehicle clean. Don't try to stretch your budget by parking in alleys or in free spots. It's better to pay a little more for secure and safe parking. If you are visiting the Georgian Terrace, go ahead and use their valet parking.
3) Plan to come back - My third piece of advice is, like Scarlett, be prepared to return to Atlanta again in the future. If you're like me, you will probably want to see and do a lot of things. Even after visiting Atlanta over 10 times in my life, I still have places on my list I have not yet visited. You're not going to get to do EVERYTHING that Atlanta has to offer in 1 visit to the city. So, research, make your list, and plan to come back!
Visiting Gone With the Wind in Atlanta
The bottom of this post list a few more sites that may be of interest to GWTW fans. Please remember Atlanta also has lots of other opportunities for tourists and families that are not highlighted on this blog post. No matter what you're interested in, there is something for everyone in Atlanta.
Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square - Marietta, GA
18 Whitlock Avenue
Marietta, Georgia 30064
The Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square has been a mainstay in downtown Marietta since April 2003 when it opened in the historic Old Thomas Warehouse Building. With an extensive collection of memorabilia provided by Dr. Christopher Sullivan the museum is sure to delight and intrigue any Gone with the Wind fan, from novice to aficionado.
The Marietta GWTW Museum is a top location for any GWTW film fan to visit. The museum is one of the only locations in the country where a GWTW costume, the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh, is on permanent display. This gown is a delight to see because of its intricate and delicate design. You'll also learn that the gown is not the bright white you see on screen, but a cream color. This is due to the fact that costume colors had to be adapted to reflect the correct color in technicolor. In addition to the gown are international editions of the novel, original storyboards, and original papers from several cast members, including Ann Rutherford, who maintained a personal friendship with Chris Sullivan and made many trips to Marietta until her death in 2012.
Margaret Mitchell House Museum - Atlanta, GA
990 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Operated by the Atlanta History Center, the Margaret Mitchell House features guided tours of the apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind, a Gone With the Wind movie exhibition, an exhibition showcasing the life and times of one of America’s most famous authors, and the Margaret Mitchell gift shop.
I have visited the Margaret Mitchell House at least 4 different times and have learned new information each time. Seeing where Mitchell wrote the bulk of GWTW is both an inspiring and empathetic experience. I think we could all relate to living in a place that we nicknamed "the dump." But, it is amazing to think while Mitchell lived there during her convalescence from her broken ankle, she created this story which is has survived for 75 years! The Margaret Mitchell House is well worth the visit for any GWTW fan or anyone exploring Atlanta!
A special exhibit highlighting the premiere of GWTW called "The Stars Fall on Atlanta" is on display at the Margaret Mitchell House through 2015. You can read my blog about that special exhibit here.
Historic Oakland Cemetery - Atlanta, GA
248 Oakland Ave, SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
Gone With the Wind Tour at Oakland
Important Atlanta milestones are represented at Oakland, from early builders, to Civil War soldiers, to leaders of industry, to Civil Rights pioneers, no matter where you turn, history surrounds you. Oakland's most famous resident, Margaret Mitchell, is visited by thousands of tourists each year. Oakland Cemetery offers a guided Gone With the Wind Tour. This tour will visit the gravesites of Margaret Mitchell and her husband, John Marsh, as well as other Mitchell family members and pioneers of Atlanta. Meet several residents Margaret Mitchell is believed to have used as a basis for characters in Gone With the Wind. While none of the characters in the novel are specifically based on real-life people, she scrambled appearances and personalities of some she knew and knew of, to weave a compelling saga of a world turned upside down.
Public GWTW tours are scheduled in advance by the cemetery. You can pre-arrange a private GWTW tour in advance by calling the cemetery.
Public GWTW Margaret Mitchell tours are scheduled for Saturday, June 6, 2015 and Saturday, September 5, 2015. Private GWTW group tours can be pre-arranged by calling Oakland Cemetery.
You can also visit any grave site including Margaret Mitchell's for free without any pre-arrangements during regular operating hours.
Gone With the Wind Tour
327 Nelson Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30313
855.255.FILM / 855.255.3456
If you want to hit major highlights in one day and not worry about the hassles of driving or arranging separate visits to some of the major GWTW stops in Atlanta, you can take the Gone With the Wind tour with Atlanta Movie Tours.
This tour is a Broadway play on wheels and a must-see for any fan of Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell or anyone interested in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era!
- Join “Margaret Mitchell” herself as she shares the fascinating story of her life while touring you through Atlanta
- Walk with her as she traces her footsteps at The Margaret Mitchell House where she wrote Gone with the Wind
- Learn how the South’s most beloved novel was finally shared with the world
- See her typewriter, first drafts of the book and her Pulitzer Prize
*Vouchers for this tour will also gain you entry to the Road To Tara Museum in Jonesboro and the Marietta Gone With The Wind Museum, as well as re-entry to The Margaret Mitchell House at no extra charge (a $44.95 value).
PLEASE NOTE: ALL GUESTS MUST HAVE A TICKET. NO EXCEPTIONS. THIS INCLUDES CHILDREN OF ALL AGES.
Livingston Restaurant in the Georgian Terrace
659 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
I stayed at the Georgian Terrace in July 2014 during the 2-day screening of GWTW at the Fox Theater. The service was superb and the rooms spacious, comfortable, and clean. The room I stayed in was formerly an apartment complete with a kitchen and washer/dryer. The roof of the Georgian Terrace is a glorious sight to behold with a swimming pool and overlook of downtown Atlanta.
If you're looking for a more affordable option to experience the Georgian Terrace, consider having a meal at the Livingston Restaurant, found in the lobby of the hotel. The Livingston is located in the area that was the original entrance to the hotel. You will be treated as a VIP guest to wonderful food prepared by the chefs of the Livingston! You will be able to sit in the area where Clark Gable greeted guests and you can walk out on the balcony where Vivien Leigh spoke to the throngs of crowds who were waiting for the premiere. You can relish the memories with images of the premiere that surround the restaurant. Three hours of complimentary valet parking is available if you are dining at the Livingston. Regardless of whether you are staying at the Georgian Terrace or dining at the Livingston. I highly recommend the valet parking service. It was very convenient day or night and we had no problems with the security or access to our vehicle.
Just think, being in the Georgian Terrace is one of the few places in Atlanta where you can truly walk in the footsteps of the stars of Gone With the Wind!
25 Andrew Young International Boulevard
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 525-8228
The story is told that when Scarlett visited Atlanta she always stayed with Aunt Pittypat. During those visits, Aunty Pitty would prepare only her best recipes. At Pittypat's Porch, the tradition continues... Begin with a cool beverage; then sample our unique appetizers. Our Pittypat's sideboard comes next, followed by our traditional Southern entrees, created in a new Southern style, served with lots of vegetables and homemade breads. And don't forget to leave room for our great Southern specialty desserts.
Pittypat's porch is one of my favorite stopping points in Atlanta to get some GWTW ambiance along with some great service and superb southern food! You can enjoy GWTW images and collectibles throughout the restaurant! Reservations are highly recommended during peak tourist season.
One Margaret Mitchell Square
Atlanta, GA 30303
With one of the most extensive collections of Margaret Mitchell’s photographs, books and personal items, the Central Library’s Special Collection Department is a must-see destination for all lovers of literature and Margaret Mitchell. The collection includes almost 1,500 pieces including 73 editions of 35 translations of Gone with the Wind; over 500 of Mitchell’s personal books used for her research; over 400 personal photographs documenting all aspects of her life and work; motion picture stills of the film; Mitchell’s Red Cross uniform; her National Book Award for fiction dated 1936 and her 1937 Pulitzer Prize; Mitchell’s Remington typewriter, used to write Gone With the Wind; and her Atlanta Public Library card.
Allow an hour to hang out on the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library’s fifth floor, location of the Margaret Mitchell collection. On display is Mitchell’s second-hand Remington typewriter used to write “Gone With the Wind” along with personal items, photographs and rare editions of the novel.
Mary Mac's Tea Room
224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Mary Mac’s Tea Room opened in 1945, today it is the last of sixteen tea rooms that once dotted intown Atlanta in the 1940s. It is also widely known that Margaret Mitchell frequented Mary Mac's Tea Room, often dining with her cousin Margaret Lupo.
In tribute to Margaret Mitchell and one of her favorite dining establishments I recommend stopping in to Mary Mac's to experience their great hospitality and long tradition of great southern dining.
Jonesboro, Georgia in Clayton County
Road to Tara Museum - Jonesboro, GA
104 North Main Street
Jonesboro, Georgia 30236
(770) 478-4800 | (800) 662-7829
Located in the old train station of Jonesboro, Georgia, the Road to Tara Museum is home to some original GWTW costume pieces and nearly perfect reproductions of the famous GWTW costumes. The Road to Tara museum is probably most famous for its section dedicated to Loew's Grand Theatre. There you can see an original seating chart to Loew's Grand, original theater seats, and a poster that hung outside the theater. The four portraits of the main characters that hung on the Richardson Building (across from the Loew's Grand Theater) during the 1939 Atlanta premiere are also on display. The museum also boasts a unique collection of foreign editions of the novel. The Road to Tara museum also uniquely connects the history of the area and the battle of Jonesboro to Scarlett and Gone With the Wind.
Runs Monday-Saturday at 1:00 pm
Call 800-662-7829 for reservations.
Immerse yourself in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind on this tour that explores the details of the book and Margaret Mitchell's unique ties to Jonesboro. You get the inside scoop behind Margaret Mitchell and the Fitzgerald family, why Gone With the Wind was set in Jonesboro, and the historical significance of the Battle of Jonesboro.
- A brief stop outside the Warren House, where the names and sentiments of soldiers who fought in the Battle of Jonesboro were found written on the plaster walls throughout the house, attracting the attention of a young news reporter, Margaret Mitchell
- A walk through the Patrick R. Cleburne Memorial Confederate Cemetery
- Glimpse the fireplace chimney that was once on the grounds of the Fitzgerald home outside of Jonesboro, Margaret Mitchell's maternal family home
- An account of how Margaret Mitchell's family had connections to John Henry Holliday, better known as "Doc" Holliday of Tombstone, Arizona fame
- Stories about the real-life inspirations for such Gone With the Wind characters Melanie Hamilton, Ashley Wilkes, Gerald O'Hara, Frank Kennedy and Prissy
- True stories, tales and legends of the places in Jonesboro that were impacted by the Battle of Jonesboro and how Margaret Mitchell wove those places into her epic story
The façade (or front) of Tara from the movie “Gone with the Wind” has not been seen commercially since it arrived in Atlanta, Georgia in 1959 under a banner saying, “Tara has come home”. Although a number of groups have sought to display the iconic relic of the 1939 film, it has never been available for the public to view ... until now.
The many pieces of the movie home to Gerald O’Hara and his family have been lying in storage waiting for the right time to come out of hibernation and make a grand appearance once more. It has survived the ravages of weather and neglect on the back lot of the Selznick (later Desilu) Studios, the dismantling and shipping to Georgia where it has been loaded and reloaded by governmental and private groups seeking to build a permanent home, to its current resting place not far from the kitchen of the lady who sought it, bought it and protected it throughout her life.
Due to a long relationship with the owners and his connection to “Gone with the Wind” thru his internationally known tours, Peter Bonner has come with his film crew, his experts and his willing volunteers to “powder her nose” and put the façade on camera once again.
In the summer of 2014, I had the opportunity to privately tour the Tara set with Peter Bonner. The set was tagged throughout and has plenty of supporting documentation authenticating it. There are many immediately recognizable pieces to the set including the steps that Melanie and Beau sat on with other soldiers at Tara. There are doors and window pieces that Peter can document came from specific shots in the film.
When planning your visit to the Tara facade, please remember, you will literally be going into a barn that is on private property. I suggest wearing sturdy, closed toe shoes and carrying a water bottle, especially during the hot Georgia summer. This is an on-going, active project in a barn, not a museum, and this is NOT a tour of a historical home. Lots of effort has been undertaken to make it accessible to the public, but you should be prepared for weather, some dust, some uneven ground, and the possibility of seeing or encountering things that live outside, like bugs! Also, you will be seeing pieces of the set that have been put back together by Peter and his team of volunteers.
I highly recommend take the time to visit the facade with Peter. It's a unique experience to walk with Peter among the pieces of what we came to know as Tara.
100 Carriage Lane
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Stately Oaks is an 1839 antebellum house listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its plain Greek Revival architecture is representative of the era in which it was built. It was originally constructed in 1839 by Mr. Whitmill Allen who sold his home to Robert McCord in 1858 and then moved to Tyler, Texas. It is located in Jonesboro, GA., the very city where Scarlett had to pay the taxes on Tara. Even though Tara only existed in Margaret Mitchell’s imagination, she placed Tara in Clayton County where she had visited relatives who lived on a large plantation south of Jonesboro.
Located on the property of Stately Oaks is a one-room school house, Judd's Country Store, a re-created Creek Indian village, and a tenant house. Also the chimney to the Fitzgerald House, the home of Margaret Mitchell's great grand parents and Margaret's idea of "Tara" is on the property.
Holliday-Dorsey-Fife Museum House
140 Lanier Ave. W.
Fayetteville, GA 30214
The presence of Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind is felt throughout the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife Museum House. From documents connecting Margaret Mitchell to Fayetteville to photos of the cast, to replicas of the costumes, to iconic images from the film, GWTW is ever-present in the house, and therefore makes it an important stop for anyone who is a fan of Gone With the Wind. To see photos and more information about this house read my blog on touring Fayetteville.
Fayetteville Historic City Cemetery
Ga. Hwy. 54 / Stonewall Ave.
Fayetteville, GA 30214
The Fayetteville Historic Cemetery was donated by the Bennett family in 1823, at the western most border of the city limits. The African America section was deeded in 1882 by a benevolent citizen. Many famous people are buried in the cemetery including the Fitzgerald's, ancestors of Margaret Mitchell, and over 80 confederate veterans are buried in the cemetery.
There is a walking tour of the cemetery that begins at the historic entrance at the Board of Education parking lot.
Margaret Mitchell Library at the Fayetteville Historical Society
195 Lee St.
Fayetteville, GA 30214
Built in 1948 by the "Library Ladies" (five former members of the Fayetteville Women's Club), with the financial aid and tireless support of the famous author, Margaret Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell donated many books from her personal collection until her death in 1949. The building is now the headquarters of the Fayette County Historical Society. Be sure to check hours because they are very limited.
Other GWTW-related points of interest in the Atlanta Area
130 West Paces Ferry Rd
Atlanta, GA 30305
The Atlanta History Center is a wonderful place to visit. The center has temporary and permanent exhibitions accounting the history of Atlanta. They often use their temporary exhibits to explore more specific points of history and to highlight some of their unique pieces of their vast collections. The Atlanta History Center almost always has some exhibit related to Gone With the Wind. With your admission also includes a tour of the Swan House, a historical home that has been featured in many film and television productions. The Atlanta History Center owns and manages the Margaret Mitchell House.
800 Cherokee Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30315
Take a stirring journey through time in Atlanta's Cyclorama. Sit at the center of a sweeping panorama of the Battle of Atlanta, fought on July 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. On that day Confederate troops led by General John B. Hood made a desperate attempt to save Atlanta from the encircling Union armies. They were initially successful, but the Union troops, led by Major General William T. Sherman, regained positions lost earlier in the day and won the battle. By nightfall, more than 12,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing.
The Cyclorama painting — 42 feet tall and 358 feet in circumference — is said to be the largest painting in the world. It offers breathtaking realism enhanced by a foreground of three-dimensional figures and terrain. The presentation is accompanied by music and narration, available in five languages.
Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable visited the Cyclorama in 1939. There is a soldier in the exhibit that resembles Clark Gable and was placed there in honor of his visit.
900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive
Kennesaw , GA
This 2,888 acre National Park preserves the battleground where the Confederate army temporarily stopped General William T. Sherman’s troop advance southward before the fall of Atlanta. The Park serves as a memorial to the entire Atlanta Campaign. The Visitors Center houses numerous exhibits that illustrate the history of the Atlanta Campaign and the battle that took place there on June 27 , 1864.