Starting in 6500 B.C., Africans made great advancements in agriculture, astronomy, philosophy, and medicine. At The APEX Museum, the history of African-Americans begins on this uplifting note before venturing through what the museum calls the "Door of No Return." This section of the museum traces the history of slavery in unflinching detail and profiles the heroes who fought back, such as Henry "Box" Brown and Harriet Tubman.
After the exhibits reach the Reconstruction Era, the museum focuses on Atlanta's African-American history as framed by Auburn Avenue. Artifacts, photographs, and multimedia spotlight the ways in which this street was a beacon of African-America entertainment, education, and entrepreneurship from the mid-1800s to the 1960s. APEX calls special attention to entrepreneurship with its replica of the Yates and Milton Drug Store, one of the first Atlanta businesses owned by African-Americans.
Along with its in-house exhibitions, the museum curates several travelling exhibitions that bring African-American historical perspectives to institutions around the country. Those include Breaking Barriers, an examination of African-American contributions to the American space program, and Whats the Big Idea?, which celebrates the African-American inventors of objects such as the ice cream scooper.
The eclectic organizers at Red Frog Events take a lighthearted and fun-focused approach to building their adventurous events, such as obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and themed bar crawls, to connect city dwellers with local neighborhoods. Their creative, interactive offerings include regularly occurring competitions such as the Warrior Dash, Great Urban Race, and Beach Dash, the proceeds from which usually benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Like the idea of having a pet rock, their events have grown more popular annually, and frequently spring up in cities across the United States.
Aboard their luxury buses, vans, or motor coaches, the guides at Atlanta Sightseeing Bus Tours immerse locals and visitors alike in the rich history, culture, and architecture of the Greater Atlanta area. As tours trundle past sites including the Atlanta White House, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and the Margaret Mitchell House, tour guides passionate about the region and its myriad anecdotes relay interesting tidbits about historic locales such as the Fox Theatre and Centennial Olympic Park, the site of the three-legged race finals at the 1996 Olympics. During the five-hour voyage, passengers can take pictures, stretch their legs at hand-picked stops, and take in sweeping views of the Atlanta skyline and Appalachian Mountains from 825 feet up in the Skyride swiss cable car at Stone Mountain.
Founded by the city in 1850, Historic Oakland Cemetery is a reflective park with lush greenery and architectural monuments for its 70,000 burial sites. Knowledgeable tour guides share tidbits of Atlanta’s history during tours, paying visits to the gravesite of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor. Architecture in a variety of styles rises across the grounds, including mausoleums with Tiffany Studios stained-glass windows and gigantic bronze urns. The stone-hewn Lion of Atlanta marks the burial ground of 3,000 unknown Confederate soldiers. The hanging bows of oak, magnolia, and dogwood trees shade visitors, surrounded by the colorful, fragrant camellias.
Gory, brutal, and open only to adults, Chambers of Horror takes scaring to the extreme—so much so that HauntedAttraction.com made it #13 on its list of 25 Must See Haunts in 2010. A staff of mutilation professionals and special effects experts eschew childish zombies and goblins in favor of actual monsters: psychopathic doctors, lawyers, and congressmen willing to do unspeakable things to win your shrieked support on election day. Inside the torture chamber, grisly scenes and relentless assailants force visitors to grope through room after torment-riddled room, where they'll encounter horrors orchestrated by the insidious Herr Scudder, Lord Faust, and Lil Dahlia, the dismemberment queen.
Those in need of a little liquid courage before entering the darkness can swing by the open-air Splatter Bar and Lounge. Guests who become too scared to brave the chamber can also opt to stay at the bar, where horror movies, independent musicians, and sideshow performers drown out the faraway sound of a friend's terrified protestations that he is not really afraid.