If graves could talk, those that fill the Oakland Cemetery would never stop. Founded in 1850, this is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta and the final resting spot for many of the individuals who built the city, as well as those who helped it grow along the way. An estimated 70,000 people are buried at Oakland, including famous Georgians Bobby Jones, Margaret Mitchell and Maynard Jackson. The last plots were sold in 1884, but incredibly, burials continue today through the use of family-owned plots and city exceptions for notable figures.
The 48-acre site was built during a movement toward garden cemeteries, which has resulted in the cemetery also functioning as a beautiful park today, featuring winding stone paths, large trees and blossoming flowers. The cemetery encourages the public to visit and pay respects to those interred and to learn more about Atlanta's history. Events are held here throughout the year, including a very popular annual Victorian Street Festival, during which some patrons come dressed in Victorian clothing. Music festivals and various special events also fill up the cemetery's calendar.
Free self-guided tours are always an option for the public, as there is no fee to enter the cemetery. The Historic Oakland Foundation also offers guided tours (no reservation required) every weekend, as well as weekend special topic tours from mid-March through mid-October. Guided tours cost $10 for adults, with half-priced discounts available for students and seniors over 65 years old. The site is open from dawn until dusk every day of the year.