For those who love the classic book-turned-film, a Gone with the Wind, weekend tour in Atlanta has probably made it to your list of places to visit. From the book and the movie premiere to its rich Civil War history, Atlanta holds a weekend’s worth of attractions to pull you back in time and set your feet in beautiful Tara. We’ll guide you through along with tips on where to stay, eat, and visit to experience the ultimate Gone With the Wind weekend tour in Atlanta, Georgia. With so much to do and see, you’ll want to prioritize so you get to see everything you want and don’t miss out on anything on your wish list.
Where to Stay for a Gone with the Wind Weekend Tour in Atlanta
For an authentic Southern plantation feel to your adventure, look no further than the Twelve Oaks Mansion. The award winning Inn was the inspiration for Ashley Wilkes’ home seen in the film. This impressive home built in Covington, Georgia in 1836, was opened to the public in 2012. It features a luxury bed and breakfast that includes cozy gardens and an outdoor pool. The ideal room to book: the Frankly Scarlett suite. Keep in mind that if you do stay there. Your drive into Atlanta will take approximately 45 minutes, so plan your schedule accordingly.
If you’re more interested in the stars of Gone With the Wind movie rather than the story itself, try the Georgian Terrace. The hotel is located in the heart of Atlanta on historic Peachtree Street. It’s design was inspired by ornate Parisian architecture. The hotel offers luxury combined with unique history. It was the Georgian Terrace that hosted the Gone With the Wind gala after the movie’s premiere in December of 1939. All the stars you know and love from the film stayed in this hotel such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Vivien Leigh. Other notable guests include President Calvin Coolidge, Helen Keller, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Walt Disney, and the King – Elvis Presley.
Where to Eat
Remember Scarlett’s Aunt Pittypat whom she visited in Atlanta? PittyPat’s Porch was named after the popular character to reflect her hospitable personality and Southern charm. The restaurant strives to serve the same delicious Southern comfort food that Aunt Pittypat would have served on the grand porch. . For over 40 years, Pittypat’s Porch has been serving film-inspired dishes such as Aunt Pittypat’s fried chicken, Rhett’s mixed grill, Scarlett’s Passion (strawberry daiquiri) and Twelve Oaks BBQ ribs. No Gone with the Wind weekend tour in Atlanta would be complete without trying a slice of classic Georgia peach cobbler.
Once you’ve made plans for where to stay on your Gone with the Wind Weekend Tour in Atlanta, you can plan you the rest of your itinerary accordingly. Begin with the place where the whole story started: Margaret Mitchell’s home. See where the author sat down and penned the story. In this tour of her story’s beginnings, you can visit her home and apartment which she referred to as “The Dump”. You will learn all about her life before, during, and after the making of Gone With the Wind.
Exhibits to look forward to at the Margret Mitchell House and Museum:
The Making of a Film Legend: Gone With the Wind; Learn how the book was transformed into the classic movie we know and love today. This exhibit also features the front door from Tara.
Stars Fall on Atlanta: The Premiere of Gone With the Wind; This exhibit highlights events and people in Atlanta involved with the world premiere in December 1939 at Loew’s Grand Theatre.
Margaret Mitchell: A Passion for Character; The exhibit focuses on Mitchell’s motives for writing the novel. We also get a glimpse into other writings and her career as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal newspaper.
The Road to Tara Museum is located in an 1867 historic train depot fifteen miles south of Atlanta in Jonesboro Georgia. Here you’ll see items from the movie as well as Civil War artifacts. Exhibits include Margaret Mitchell’s china, reproductions of Scarlett’s most famous dresses and a foreign edition library. You will also find the portraits of the four main characters from the movie that hung on the Richardson Building during the 1939 movie’s Atlanta premiere
Since the Tara you know from the movie was actually just a set built in California, the closest thing to it is the Stately Oaks Plantation built in 1839. It has since been preserved as a historic home that you van tour. There are great things to experience on the grounds of the Stately Oaks Plantation. These include Juddy’s country store, a one-room schoolhouse, the old cook house, tenant homes and more – led by period-costumed guides.
If you’re hoping to see more props from the movie, you’ll definitely want to visit this museum in Marietta, Georgia, in the historic Old Thomas Warehouse building. Highlights of the museum include:
- The original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the movie
- Several of Margaret Mitchell’s personal volumes of the novel
- An educational display dedicated to the African American cast members
- Foreign editions of the novel
- Rare press and publicity books, costume pieces, and contracts
- The personal script of Ona Munson, who portrayed Belle Watling in the film
- Promotional pieces including foreign film posters, premiere programs, conceptual artworks, advertisements, and collectibles
- And more
To conclude your Gone with the Wind tour, visit Margaret Mitchell’s grave in Oakland Cemetery. The Author was buried there after she was killed by a speeding car on Peachtree Street while on her way to see a movie with her husband. This 48-acre space holds over 6,900 Confederate soldiers, including a separate area for African-Americans as was sadly custom during the time of slavery and segregation.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy a stress free Gone with the Wind weekend tour in Atlanta is to let someone else do the driving. Historic Bus tours in Atlanta do just that . Here are a couple to check out.
Southern Belles & Whistles Bus Tour – This bus tour follows the history of Jonesboro and passes sites such as:
- The Road to Tara Museum
- The Patrick R. Cleburne Memorial Confederate Cemetery
- The Warren House
- The intersection of Rhett Butler and Scarlett Drives
- Ashley Oaks Mansion
- Stately Oaks Plantation
Gone With the Wind Bus Tour – This tour allows you to immerse yourself in Margaret Mitchell’s fictional world through sites such as:
- A brief stop outside the Warren House
- A walk through the Patrick R. Cleburne Memorial Confederate Cemetery
- Glimpse the fireplace chimney that was once on the grounds of the Fitzgerald 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
Atlanta and surrounding cities hold a lot of fun and interesting things to do for fans of Gone with the Wind, history-buffs and others. Looking for more fun things to do in and around Atlanta, check out Top Places to Visit for a Weekend in Atlanta. And for more things to do around the South, don’t forget to like RollnSouth’s Facebook page.