- Avery Newmark For the AJC
On any given day, the Atlanta Beltline trail buckles beneath runners, walkers, bikers and spectators.
The route is one of the most comprehensive urban renewal efforts in the United States, repurposing 22 miles of unused railroad corridors into a network of parks and trails circling the core of the city's intown neighborhoods.
More on the Atlanta Beltline:
It's become part of Atlanta history thanks to Ryan Gravel's innovative vision and the city's willingness to make it a reality.
For details on the various trails and the Atlanta Beltline map, click here.
If you’ve been wondering just how to take in Atlanta’s outdoor hot spot, this list offers the 7 best ways to experience the out the Atlanta Beltline:
Stroll past murals, tiny doors and even piano installations while cruising the Beltline. Art is found throughout the entirety of the Beltline. A chunk of that art you'll find throughout the 2.5 miles of the Eastside Trail - basically a walkable, outdoor museum. The trail showcases the work of hundreds of performers, visual artists and musicians. By yourself or with company, experience the vibrancy and diversity coming from the artist's work. Materials you'll most likely see range from metals, kinetic cubes, photography displays and movable puppetry.
Don't let the wintry months keep you away from the art pieces. Warm up with a scarf and jacket and take in the culture.
Don't just walk the Beltline, walk it with an expert from Trees Atlanta Docent. Learn firsthand about the trail's horticultural collections and interesting facts about the Beltline. A plant-based narrative of our city at last. Tour groups meet Fridays and Saturdays (registration required) and last almost two hours. Bring some sunscreen and water and prepare for a journey like none other before.
Looking for something more fast-paced? The Beltline is accessible by more than just foot; grab a bicycle and go. If you don't own a bike, you can purchase or rent one from Atlanta Bicycle Barn. They offer hourly rates (if you're short on time) as well as a $20 daily flat rate.
Once you grab your bike, pedal faster to the bar or farther away from town; the choice is yours. If you're one of those who would rather get to the bar in a jiffy, the Eastside Trail (Piedmont Park to Irwin Street/Krog Street Market) is the most developed.
If you're looking for a change of city scenery, try The Northside Trail. It offers less crowded paths with a rougher terrain.
Beware on the weekends however, as the path tends to fill up and you might just end up walking - with bike in tow.
An art gallery with an eclectic mix of 30-plus curators, collectors and designers. Gain entry right off the Beltline by Ponce City Market and make way to purchase your new favorite item. The building sprawls over 46,000 square feet showcasing oddities, antiques, furnishings and art. Room after room you're sure to be delighted in the warehouse of dreams.
Enjoy the Beltline's walk-up patios from lunch, dinner and all the way to those late night cocktails. The view only gets better while noshing on great food and drinks.
You can never go wrong with Park Tavern's menu and view of Piedmont Park but if you're wanting a more artisan approach, try Krog Street Market. It offers a variety of Southern-grown restaurants with West Coast style right in the heart of Inman Park.
Fan of Jack Daniel's? A Jack and Coke slushie at Victory Sandwich Bar might become your favorite. Victory has two locations but you'll find their Inman Park location most accessible from the Beltline.
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall is another fantastic spot off the trail. An urban explorer favorite; often hitting a two hour wait time on summer nights. Ladybird has a traditional bar inside and also offers a outdoor-oriented bar that takes place in a camper. Late night is especially pretty with the camping themed-chairs and twinkly strung lights - drink in hand.
If you know where the gigantic "A 24/7 Timestar Lives," by Charlie Smith, is located, you'll know that's just one of the best views of the city you can get. The rising 24-feet-tall art piece is located on the Eastside Trail right next to the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark. A beautiful art piece with a stunning view of the city as it's back-drop.
Atlanta Beltline map: How to access the Atlanta Beltline
Here’s a nifty map of the entire Atlanta Beltline. For more on how to access the Atlanta Beltline, visit http://beltline.org/.