I’ve written in the past about street art in Atlanta, but one of the city’s best places to both explore and see public art works is The Beltline. I related it to New York’s High Line, as its a former rail line that has been turned into an award winning walking and biking path. It’s based on a track that ran a complete circle around the perimeter of the city, but is fragments at the moment, connecting public parks along the way.
The Eastside Trail is the most popular and most accessible, running from Piedmont Park in Midtown to Krog Street Market in the Old Fourth Ward. There’s always people walking, running, biking and skating their way down the path. Krog Street Market is a future development to restaurants and shops, but currently home to The Luminary, a restaurant by Top Chef alum Eli Kirschtein.
Park on a side street down there and cross onto the paved path. On your left, you’ll see bike rentals and service if that’s your preferred method of transportation. Each highway overpass will have street art and pieces made from recycled objects. Historic Fourth Ward Park and Skate Park is also on your left, where you’ll see skaters young and old, as well as people playing catch with their dogs.
A handful of restaurants are located directly on the Beltline, making for a great brunch spot to sip your mimosas while admiring the work ethic of the runners. Among the restaurants are Parish, Kevin Rathbun Steak, Ladybird and Two Urban Licks. New spots are constantly opening on this much sought-after space. You can also check out one of the main locations of King of Pops, which is right off the trail.
The biggest landmark is the maybe soon-to-be-opened Ponce City Market, which I visited while it was still undergoing construction last year. It will contain a food hall, countless restaurants, apartments, offices and retail spaces. Until then, shop at Paris on Ponce, an antique market/cafe/event space with some great finds.
I’m glad to have the Beltline, especially when training for my half marathon last year. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon in the city without spending any money.