Last Saturday, after I’d finished work, the weather was beautiful so the German and I decided to take a walk along the Atlanta BeltLine. It was the perfect day for it, sunny but not too hot, spring really is the best time of the year in this city!
So, the BeltLine is a little bit like the HighLine in New York City. It’s an old railway line that has been turned into a public park. It’s currently a work in progress with only sections of the BeltLine completed but, once it’s done it will be 22 miles of trails, parks and transit options that will circle around Downtown Atlanta, connecting many neighborhoods and tourist spots, however, that won’t be until 2030 so there’s still quite a way to go.
The BeltLine is the brainchild of Georgia Tech student Ryan Gravel, who as a master’s student back in 1999 came up with the idea for his thesis. Now though, what started as an idea, evolved into a grassroots campaign of local citizens and civic leaders before being turned into the vision it is today – an integrated approach to transportation, land use, greenspace and sustainable growth.
As well as giving Atlantans a place to hang out and get some exercise, the BeltLine has led to tons of growth along its trails. Apartments are being built, restaurants are being opened, companies are flocking into old buildings along the route and masses of old buildings are being regenerated into hip lofts or designer offices.
The largest section that is completed right now (the Eastside trail) starts in Midtown (at the bottom of 10th Street near the Park Tavern) and stretches up to Krog Street Market in the Inman Park neighborhood. So, we walked through Piedmont Park and headed for the Park Tavern to join the BeltLine.
This trail is 2.25 miles long and the section we decided to walk along, ending up at Krog Street Market to grab some lunch before heading back. So, off we went! This trail can get pretty busy, especially on weekends so be wary of the bikes that often whizz by! It is pretty spectacular though.
As well as the walkway, there are several parks along it including a skate park, various shops, restaurants and bars have also opened up alongside it. At various parts along the trail there are different pieces of artwork that brighten up your walk:
There are also some great views of the city’s skyline:
Once we made it to Krog Street we filled our faces with some delicious food (that place deserves a blog post of its own) I chose a Greek laffa whilst the German tucked into a Po Boy, all washed down with a beer and glass of wine – hey, we had to fuel ourselves up for the walk back!
Whilst walking back to Piedmont Park, we spotted this little gem:
A Tiny Doors ATL! It’s so detailed but so small – such a cute little addition to the BeltLine – the German knocked but sadly nobody was home.
And, of course, we can’t forget that Atlanta’s very own popsicle maker King of Pops has it’s headquarters along the route with a window to buy the tasty treats from. Of course, the German and I couldn’t resist!
Once we made it back to the park, we’d worked up a thirst, so topped off our BeltLine trip with a beer at the Park Tavern.
All in all it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon and something you should all try if you’re ever in the area!