Operated in association with the Smithsonian Institute, the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is housed in a former Frey cotton gin and chock-full of rifles, pistols, uniforms, and other paraphernalia from the war years of the 1800s. But the highlight is the railroad industry, pre-, post-, and during the Civil War. The most notable train featured is the "General," made famous by the "Great Locomotive Chase of 1862," during which a band of Union spies hijacked it right near the museum site and took it for a joyride, aiming to wreak as much havoc on the rail lines as possible. (Those who were inevitably caught later were punished for their mischief by being hanged.) Another permanent exhibit details how the railways were crucial to the Civil War as they transported both troops and supplies around the region. The museum gets a couple of additional traveling exhibits a year, such as a recent photography collection of Confederate images.

Tip: As long as you're already half an hour outside of downtown Atlanta, you might as well pay a visit to Kennesaw Mountain/National Battlefield Park, which is just three miles further down the road.