Here’s your list of more than 40 Georgia Museums, Cultural Institutions and historic sites with Free Admission.
Free Georgia museums are great locations for home school students to enjoy history lessons and families to stretch their travel budgets.
This article contains affiliate links.
Let’s get started!
Adairsville has a rich history built around the train depot and wheat farming. Adairsville is also known for Barnsley Gardens, a 3,000 acre resort with a lot to offer.
Thronateeska Heritage Center Thronateeska’s campus includes a history museum, science museum, rail car display, and a 40′ full dome HD planetarium system, the first in the world of its kind.
Albany Museum of Art A museum about art and a museum for people. A very active museum with lots to do; garden tour, book club, family days, summer camps, and more.
Bear Hollow Zoo 293 Gran Ellen Dr., Athens Georgia 30606. Take a self guided tour through the Zoo. It’s located within Memorial Park. Visit the link for an interactive story map.
Georgia Museum of Art located at 90 Carlton Street in Athens on the UGA Campus is the official Art Museum for the State of Georgia.
U. S. Navy Supply Corp Museum (one of only 11 official U. S. Navy Museums)
Atlanta Monetary Museum (currently closed until September 2021 so check back after then)
The museum features a display on the history of money; interactive, multimedia exhibits explaining the Federal Reserve’s role in the economy; and a view of the bank’s automated vault and cash processing areas.
David J. Sencer Center for Disease Control Museum (currently closed to the public-check back after Pandemic actually ends)
The David J. Sencer CDC Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, uses award-winning exhibits and innovative programing to educate visitors about the value of public health, and presents the rich heritage and vast accomplishments of CDC.
Georgia Capitol Museum 206 State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia 30334
The Georgia Capitol offers visitors an opportunity to view first-hand the most important government building in the state. Interpretive tours provided by the Georgia Capitol Museum give visitors an overview of Georgia history and the Capitol building.
Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking 500 10th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking is an internationally renowned resource on the history of paper and paper technology.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site John Wesley Dobbs Ave.
The National Historic Site was established to commemorate Dr. King and his work.
The only national park to serve as a memorial to all Americans ever held as prisoners of war, Andersonville National Historic Site preserves the site of the largest of the many Confederate military prisons that were established during the Civil War. During the 14 months it operated, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here.
Also see: 3 Don’t Miss Sites at Andersonville, Ga.
Old Courthouse Museum Town Square Blairsville
The historic Union County Courthouse was built in 1899. It was condemned in the 1970’s but was saved from demolition by the Union County Historical Society. Since then it has been restored and maintained by the Union County Historical Society along with several other preservation projects and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mountain Life Museum 25 School St. Blairsville, Ga.
Visit the Old Courthouse Museum and the Mountain Life Museum in Blairsville. Free admission at both.
Cherokee County History Museum and Visitors Center 100 North Street, Suite 140
Canton, GA 30114 (currently closed for remodeling, expect to reopen sometime in 2021)
This museum includes an overview of Cherokee County history with artifacts, photographs, and interactive iPad presentations. There are also short videos about four Cherokee County residents ranging from 1838-1942, including a 10-year-old Native American.
Kingston, rich in antebellum history, displays its pride through artifacts, scrapbooks and photographs in two museums maintained by the Kingston Woman’s History Club. The newest museum, The Martha Mulinix Annex, opened in April 1998 and displays material about Kingston and the surrounding area. The Civil War museum portrays Kingston’s role in the Civil War along with memorabilia from past Kingston Confederate Memorial Day Observances (the oldest such ceremony in the nation).
The Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center is located on a hill, just off Joe Frank Harris Parkway, in the Cassville community. It is the restored Rosenwald School that was built in 1923 as the first school for black children which was built to standard specifications in the Bartow County School System. The school was closed in 1955 when all schools for black children in Bartow County were consolidated to form the Bartow Elementary School.
White County History Museum Located in the old courthouse on the Cleveland square
The museum houses artifacts that depict life in the north Georgia mountains for the past 150 years, a large collection of genealogical records, and newspapers from the late 1800’s to present. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Columbus Museum brings American art and history to life for the communities of the Chattahoochee Valley.
With thousands of artifacts, monuments, interactive exhibits and video presentations on display, the National Infantry Museum is one of the nation’s leading military history destinations. Visitors of all ages can experience firsthand the American Infantryman’s journey to defeat tyranny around the globe.
The Environmental Learning Center is a hands-on interpretative facility focusing on the natural history of the region.
Also see: 9 Small Town Coffee Shops in Georgia
Waffle House Museum 2719 E. College Ave. Decatur. By appointment
Located on the site where Joe Rogers, Sr. and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant in Avondale Estates, Ga., the Waffle House Museum captures the spirit and history of the 24-hour chain. The museum includes a re-creation of that first restaurant Joe and Tom opened on Labor Day, 1955, and is filled with more than 60 years of Waffle House memorabilia.
Elberton Granite Museum and Exhibit features exciting historical exhibits, artifacts and educational displays. Three tiers of self-guided exhibits allow visitors to see unique granite products as well as antique granite working tools used in the quarrying, sawing, polishing, cutting and sandblasting of granite cemetery memorials.
Located on Covered Bridge road, the welcome center and museum presents the history of Euharlee and southwest Bartow County, beginning with Cherokee history through to the present day.
Georgia State Parks
Georgia State Parks Find a state park near you with the easy map on their site. Most parks have free admission but charge for parking, generally $5 which can be exempted using the Library Park Pass program here.
Dauset Trails Nature Center (walk the animal trail and also enjoy the Woodland Garden)
Dauset Trails is a private, non-profit nature center with approximately 1400 acres of fields, woods, creeks and small lakes to explore.
The Museum of History and Holocaust Education at Kennesaw State University presents public events, exhibits and educational resources focused on World War II and the Holocaust in an effort to promote education and dialogue about the past and its significance today.
This park is a prehistoric American Indian site, where many different American Indian cultures occupied this land for thousands of years.
Madison Museum of Fine Art 300 Hancock St. Madison, Ga. 30650
An educational art history museum with exhibition galleries, teaching gardens, Museum Store, and Tea Terrace.
Marietta Fire Museum 112 Haynes St. (Fire Station #1)
Marietta, Ga. 30060
Come discover and learn the history of the Marietta Fire Department like never before at our free Fire Museum. Located just 2 blocks off the Historic Marietta Square, the museum boasts a collection of antique fire apparatus, tools, and gear dating back to 1854. Learn how the fire department has changed over time through a self-guided tour or call ahead to schedule a guided tour for a more memorable experience.
The museum is full of vehicles, uniforms, and artifacts, a lasting display of the two Henry County Medal of Honor recipients, and a Henry County Fallen Hero area.
Georgia College Natural History Museum First floor of Herty Hall, on the corner of West Montgomery and North Wilkinson streets.
The Georgia College William P. Wall Museum of Natural History is an academic and research treasure for students, faculty, staff and the public in the southeastern United States. The 2,500-square-foot museum is dedicated to earth sciences, emphasizing paleontology – the study of fossils and ancient life forms.
Macon County Historical Museum 97 E. Railroad Street Montezuma, Ga.
The Macon County Historical Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the history of Macon County. The collection represents the settlement of the communities along the banks of the Flint River, from the first Native Americans to the present day. Exhibits emphasize the period from the founding of the County in 1837, through the end of the 20th century.
Discover the history of Colquitt County. Maintained by volunteers, the Museum welcomes visitors for tours of special exhibits and permanent displays.
The story of the small rural town that raised the 39th President of the United States begins here.
Few U.S. Presidents have had such close ties with where they were born and raised. The rural southern culture of Plains, Georgia, that revolves around farming, church and school, had a large influence in molding the character and in shaping the political policies of the 39th President of the United States.
Walk through time starting from early settlements to recent history of Rome and surrounding areas. Our rich, storied past reveals a diversity of people and lifeways that have shaped our unique southern portrait.
The museum contains numerous fire-related pictures and historical information that pertain to the Roswell area. There are also artifacts concerning fire history in Atlanta as well as information and static displays illustrating the fire service in general.
Anne Frank in the World 5920 Roswell Rd. Suite A-209, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
770-206-1558. Anne Frank in The World: 1929 -1945 was developed by the Anne Frank House and is sponsored in North America by The Anne Frank Center USA. It is presented in the state by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.
The Smyrna History Museum has undergone a total renovation of its exhibits. We are proud to share the new exhibits on Smyrna history including the stories of Smyrna’s diversity.
St. Simons Island
Moore Methodist Museum 100 Arthur Moore Dr. St. Simons Island, Ga.
The Museum, the Ministry of Memory of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, welcomes visitors to explore the history of the Methodist movement and its founder John Wesley.
The purpose and objective of the Thunderbolt Museum Society is to discover and display historical information pertinent to Thunderbolt and Georgia history.
The museum provides almost 10,000 square feet of local history displays and research material. The museum grounds also include multiple outdoor exhibits.
The Altama Museum is housed in the 1911 Brazell House near downtown Vidalia, Georgia. Inside is an array of 20th century Southern Art, antique prints, fine furniture, historic costume and an exhibit of Girl Scout history curated by the Sweet Onion Service Unit of Girl Scouts. The museum boast one of the largest collections of Staffordshire porcelain on public display in the nation.
The Vidalia Onion Museum provides you with an interactive, historical experience. The 1,300 square foot space is filled with an array of educational exhibits that highlight the sweet onion’s economic, cultural and culinary significance.
Georgia Cotton Museum 1321 East Union Street Vienna, GA 31092
The Georgia State Cotton Museum is located in the eastern part of Vienna, between historic downtown and I-75. It outlines the history of cotton, and includes a collection of artifacts such as a bale of cotton, farm tools, cotton bolls and periodicals. A visit to the museum and you will be enlightened on how farmers dealt with planting, controlling the insects, prayed for rain and sunshine, and waited for the white fluff to appear at harvest time.
Museum of Aviation Ga. Hwy 247 & Russell Pkwy. Warner Robins, Ga. 31088. Hint: Allow about half a day to tour the entire complex of four buildings as well as lots of airplanes on display outside.
The Museum of Aviation has grown to become the second largest museum in the United States Air Force and the fourth most visited museum in the Department of Defense. The museum is a place that honors our veterans and their families and reminds our Airmen of their legendary Air Force heritage.
Special Occasions with Free General Admission Offers
Admission to the popular High Museum is free for all visitors on the second Sunday of every month. Tickets must be reserved online and are given a very specific designated time to enter.
Show your valid credit or debit card from Bank of America or Merrill along with photo ID for one free entry to participating Museums during the first full weekend of every month.
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel.
The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military–Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard–including Reservists, National Guardsman (regardless of status), U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members.
The program begins on Armed Forces Day in mid-May and ends on Labor Day at the beginning of September. List of participating museums.
This program offers 4th graders and their family a free pass to hundreds of America’s National Parks.
You need to print your pass and bring it with you when you visit. Electronic copies aren’t accepted.