You know the Atlanta BeltLine as a place to get fresh air and exercise, and sample excellent food from its many restaurants. Here are some things to do that you might not know about.
1. Rent a scooter. People make their way down the Atlanta BeltLine on virtually anything - bikes, e-bikes, electric scooters, skateboards, hover boards, 1800s bicycles, horses, even a shopping cart. Reclaim your inner child and join the fun of whizzing by on a scooter. Just download an app from one of several companies - Bird, Spin, Veo or Helbiz - and enter your payment info. The app will tell you where to find an available scooter (although this isn’t always reliable), or you will likely come across clusters of them on the BeltLine - at Ponce City Market, Old Fourth Ward Skate Park, Parish Cafe, Irwin Street and other places. Use the app to scan the QR code on the scooter, and it comes to life. You are charged by the minute or mile, depending on the company. When you’re done, you can leave it anywhere. Just make sure to park it off the BeltLine.
2. Show your Atlanta pride with some merch
Buy an “Atlanta Influences Everything” shirt at Bombchel or “Atlannuh” sweatshirt or hat at Citizen Supply, both located on the second floor of Ponce City Market. Bombchel sells colorful clothing made in Liberia, as well as fun gifts (such as a Kamala Harris candle or Ruth Bader Ginsburg face mask). Citizen Supply is divided into stalls of locally crafted artisan goods, and their Atlanta collection boasts clothing, mugs, prints of neighborhoods, as well as a scavenger hunt guide of the BeltLine. (Another quirky thing to do). And for some nostalgia, Good Times Atlanta, in Inman Park, sells vintage Atlanta 1996 Olympics shirts.
3. Find four Tiny Doors.
The Tiny Doors ATL art project was started by Atlanta artist Karen Anderson Singer. She creates 7-inch doors and installs them in public places, at the invitation of the neighborhood. Her creations have sparked a worldwide movement, reaching as far as Australia, and featured in Oprah Magazine, Lonely Planet and Travel Channel. There are 4 doors on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. Hint: One of them is actually oversized, with the claim “It’s so big that it will make YOU feel tiny!”
4. Feed the fish & ducks in Historic Fourth Ward Park
With 17 acres of an amphitheater, playground, splash pad, pond and picnic areas - Historic Fourth Ward Park is worth checking out. On any given day, you may find scores of dogs on a playdate at the top of the park next to Anthem apartments or below at North & Line apartments. And during non-COVID times, the park serves as a backdrop for numerous festivals and concerts. A new elevator and stairs across from New Realm Brewing will soon connect the BeltLine to the park, or you can cross North Avenue from Ponce City Market. Make your way down to the pond, stocked with fish, turtles, Mallards, and an occasional Blue Heron. For a fun kid activity, bring bread to feed the fish and birds.
5. Have a cheap glass of wine at Murder Kroger
Yes, Kroger offers wine starting at $4/glass from its takeout window. The infamous Murder Kroger was rebuilt and revamped (call it BeltLine Kroger now), and their patio overlooking the BeltLine has become a hot gathering spot. While the wine is budget, you’d be hard pressed to tell. If wine is not your thing, there is also a Starbucks. It’s a great vantage point to watch the comings and goings on the BeltLine.
6. Chow down on chips, salsa and margaritas - No meal required
When you go to a Mexican restaurant, do you wish you could just keep eating the chips & salsa? Then Guac y Margys is your place. Their menu is primarily guacamole, cheese dip and salsa - with some daily tacos and bowls - and a massive array of margaritas. It was started by three friends - one with an amazing guacamole recipe, one with a stellar margarita recipe and the third with a movie set design background. They hold themed Trivia Nights (The Office, Schitt's Creek) and have been known to serve Harry-Potter themed cocktails. The best part: They have patio seating with “beachfront” access to the BeltLine.
February is Black History Month. Read, learn or contribute in some way. Here are some ideas.
An Atlanta native, Nicole Gustin is the Founder & CEO of BiteLines, which offers walking food tours on the Atlanta BeltLine. She considers the BeltLine her backyard, and is excited to see how Atlanta is reinventing itself. The BiteLines blog features art, restaurants, happenings and weirdness on the Atlanta BeltLine. Share story ideas and pics at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow on Instagram @bitelinesatl.
Note: We have paused our tours during the pandemic, but will ramp up again as soon as it’s safe.