Summer Hometown Tourists: Stone Mountain Park

As we continue on with our Summer Hometown Tourist agenda, we visit Stone Mountain! This natural wonder in Georgia has a dark history, but it makes for a fun - and history-filled - adventure for folks visiting the Atlanta area. Click through to read more about what all you can do when you visit Stone Mountain!

My family’s summer bridge activity continues with a natural wonder that is unique to Georgia. If you’re just joining me, we’ve also taken a tour of Oakland Cemetery, had an epic adventure on Bolton Road, and perused the Coke Museum.

But no tourists worth their salt would dream of visiting Georgia without going to…

Stone Mountain Park

Let me just say that if you’ve never seen Stone Mountain, you should go immediately. It’s stunning.
As we continue on with our Summer Hometown Tourist agenda, we visit Stone Mountain! This natural wonder in Georgia has a dark history, but it makes for a fun - and history-filled - adventure for folks visiting the Atlanta area. Click through to read more about what all you can do when you visit Stone Mountain!
The carving is 2 football fields in length and 400 feet tall.
Like many attractions in Atlanta, the mountain has a dark past. 
 
As we continue on with our Summer Hometown Tourist agenda, we visit Stone Mountain! This natural wonder in Georgia has a dark history, but it makes for a fun - and history-filled - adventure for folks visiting the Atlanta area. Click through to read more about what all you can do when you visit Stone Mountain!
From the Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 28, 1915, in the public domain
Stone Mountain was privately owned before the state purchased it in 1958. The previous owners allowed the Ku Klux Klan to host its “grand opening” ceremony (complete with cross-burning) atop the mountain in 1915 and extended an indefinite invitation for them to hold their festivities there. 

The engraving was begun in 1916 and completed in 1972. Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson are all depicted astride their favorite horses.

Today the park is filled with family fun from sun-up to sun-down–miniature golf, train-rides, a petting zoo….

As we continue on with our Summer Hometown Tourist agenda, we visit Stone Mountain! This natural wonder in Georgia has a dark history, but it makes for a fun - and history-filled - adventure for folks visiting the Atlanta area. Click through to read more about what all you can do when you visit Stone Mountain!

But the best feature of the day is the laser show. It begins at 9:30 P.M. when it’s nice and dark. I hadn’t been to the laser show in years–probably about 25 (when the show first began).  Lights in picture form are projected on the engraving, there are fireworks, and lots of great music.

My favorite part of the show was the tribute to Georgia singers–REM, James Brown, Ray Charles….But Gladys Knight was noticeably missing.

Stone Mountain powers-that-be–where is Gladys? Don’t you know that she took the “Midnight Train to Georgia”? It was originally the “Midnight Plane to Houston.”

But the most interesting thing about the show (to me) is how much it’s changed over the years. They still play Elvis’s rendition of “Dixie”, and the horsemen still ride off the mountain, but that is no longer the highlight of the show. While that used to be the climactic ending, the ending now is the “Star Spangled Banner” and a tribute to the U.S.A. as opposed to the Confederacy.

Anyone who was raised here will recognize the significance–it’s a celebration of the United States over the Confederate ones.

You really have to be there, but here’s a decent recording of a little bit of the laser show.

It was a fun day for all of us. My son slept soundly through the church service the next day.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your town? Have you been to Stone Mountain? Leave a comment below to let me know!

 

 

 

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