TOP 9 Atlanta Beltline Highlights

The Beltline has become a major attraction to city life in Atlanta and has transformed all the areas that it currently reaches. This 22 mile loop of old railroad tracks was proposed to become a public use space in 1999 when an Architectural and City Planning student at Georgia Tech did a joint master thesis on its creation. As of 2018 only the northside and northeast portions-about a quarter of the loop-have been completed. In this partially completed section alone many interesting and wonderful leisure,dining and retail spots are exploding. These have become the biggest buzzing areas in Atlanta! I have taken panoramic photos of the exact locations on the Beltline to access these awesome areas.So let’s check it out!

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#1 Ponce City Market

So what seems to be the most prominent and successful renovation that is connected to the development of the Beltline is the Ponce City Market.This gigantic structure was at one time the Sears,Roebuck and Co.’s wearhouse--and soon after was occupied by the City of Atlanta as City Hall East.For years it was abandoned until in 2015 it transformed into a giant market space showcasing an amazing restaurants-Skyline Park, on the rooftop, featuring mini golf/fairway type games--and plenty of retail shopping.Considered to be one of the biggest and currently relevant food halls it stands next to very few like its kind.The interior is that of a stripped out parking garage filled with floors of exotic and upscale vendors that would make any foodie’s head swirl-check out the list! .Save yourself the parking hassle/cost by using the beltline access entry and ride your bike to lunch!

#2 Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park has always been the center of the city--the “Central Park” of Atlanta,if you will. A place with sprawling green spaces for all types of outdoor frolicing. There is a fenced off dog park,public pool,playgrounds,soccer fields,running/walking paths,and also features the Park Tavern with plenty of food and drinks.Most of all the biggest festivals in town are held here,like Music Midtown and the Atlanta Jazz Festival  and with the parking garage being at the most northern end of the park-taking the beltline is easy as it feeds right to the park entrance.At the Piedmont Park entrance the beltline also intersects with the Midtown Promenade that has restaurants like  the Mellow Mushroom,bars like Apres Diem,a movie theatre and a Trader Joe’s --all easily accessible off the beltline.

#3 Botanical Gardens

Most people don't know that the Beltline connects to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.These gardens feature some of the most amazing and unique plant life that cannot be found anywhere where else in the state.Also integrated art installations feature some of the world's most popular visual artists amongst the flowered and jungle landscape.There is a traditional Japanese garden with a annual Bonzai fest along with many other special events and of course a place to hold wedding ceremonies.Check out the Gardens super easily by using The Beltline instead of paying to park.

#4 Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark

The Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark  is a public skateboard,scooter,bmx and other street sports park that is great for beginners and pros.Featuring two big pools,half pipe,ramps and rails to grind.Here you will see some real serious action coupled with younger riders still learning the ropes.There is also a big open field that is great for dogs after long walk.Often medium sized festivals happen there along with smaller meetings for yoga and things like dog training classes.Secret tip-this is the best place to park to enter the beltline.The Willoughby Way NE entrance to the skatepark snakes back through a neighborhood and parking is seldom taken.Plus it puts you closest to the beltline than any other place to park. Also good to note that there is a restroom and water fountain located there as well.

#5 Historic Fourth Ward Park

The Historic Fourth Ward Park is one of the most beautiful urban landscaped parks that you will ever see in the center of a city.It has amazing landscaping-ponds with fountains and a very unique build,as it's rather sunken down below the street level.There is a natural amphitheater that has small concerts with a natural outdoor stone seating for an audience. This park is a perfect juxtaposition of concrete and nature and gives you a great view of the skyline while being surrounded by lush greenery.

#6 Highland Park

Highland avenue has long been an artery into midtown and the North Highland and Virginia Ave neighborhood is one of the oldest bar districts in Atlanta.With the building of Highland Park area-and direct development of the beltline has turned the southern end of Highland into a much busier area than its older counterpart neighborhood of North Highland. The Highland park condominiums are directly accessed by the beltline and amongst other living spaces has become one of the most sought after places to live in Atlanta. All of these living spaces were designed tall enough to create a whole row of retail space in this entire neighborhood. Many restaurants like MF Sushi, coffee houses like Inman Perk and shopping like Bill Hallman --all accessible from the beltline!!

#7 Krog Street Market

Before it became The Krog Street Market ,this structure was built and used by The Atlanta Stoveworks to build pot bellied stoves and iron frying pans in 1889. After just shy of 100 years  of use it was abandoned in 1988.It was used as a studio space by Tyler Perry amongst other film/stage production type companies until 2014 when it was transformed into an open air market featuring some of the best restaurants Atlanta has to offer. Upscale eateries like Bar Marcado and Rathbun’s are some of the highest rated in the city. Places like Fred’s Meat and Bread and Richard’s Fried Chicken are more laid back and made to be enjoyed in communal food court area.This place is a foodies dream and so close to the beltline so you can walk off that meal!!

#8 Krog Street Tunnel / Wiley Street Art 

This area has the biggest collection of street art in the city.You can’t turn on a music video that was shot in Atlanta without seeing the Krog tunnel in all its colorful splendor.Daily there are groups of people taking all kinds of pictures and selfies in front of some of these amazing murals. The Krog tunnel started it all but it has spread out and all down Wiley and all through the Cabbagetown neighborhood.

#9 The Carter Center

This location is one of the most low key tourist attractions to visit in Atlanta. The Carter Center- built in the honor of president Jimmy Carter--this museum documents his career and the chairtible works he is continuing to do.Weather you care for him as a president or not--or even like historical fact based museums will pale in comparison to beauty of the landscaping and the tranquil environment. The pond around the back of the park has to be my favorite place to picnic. There is usually no people around and the property is well maintained. No loud noises or buildings can be seen once you immerse yourself in this park and allows you to get to your quiet place after walking,running or biking the beltline.

These are just some of the connections off the Beltline to amazing places and events that can be all accessed very easily.There are many plans to complete the full loop and with its success-the funding is coming quickly.The future of the Beltline is very bright-make sure you know all the secrets it has to offer!

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