Once a railway corridor running around the core of the city, the Atlanta Beltline has become a significant drawcard for some areas that had previously gone into disrepair. Although still in development, the total length is planned to be 22 miles, with around 2,544 acres involved in the redevelopment. But where did the project begin, when will it end, and what Atlanta Beltline activities are available for you to take advantage of today? In this blog we are going to delve into everything there is to know about the Beltline. If you’re interested in discovering more about the Peach capital then take a look at our sightseeing and history tours or get in touch with us, we’re always happy to chat!
The concept of the BeltLine began way back in 1999 as a master’s thesis by a student at Georgia Tech. As one of the most sprawling cities in the country, with predictions that the metropolitan population would increase by almost 50% in the next 20 years, the city was crying out for a solution. And we found one. Although, it wasn’t until 2005 when the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership was formed that the journey truly began. Later that year, plans were approved by the Atlanta City Council, and in 2006, the Bellwood Quarry was purchased and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. was formed.
In October 2008, the first section, West End Trail Phase I, was opened and progress has steadily continued since. May 2010 saw the first temporary public art exhibition open, 2011 saw D.H. Stanton Park and Historic Fourth Ward Park & Skatepark open to the public with a total area of 25 acres between them. Another important landmark was the opening of Ponce City Market, a derelict Sears warehouse that was transformed into a collection of gourmet spots (the perfect group of Atlanta BeltLine restaurants), boutique shops, office space, and apartments. The redevelopment also included affordable housing projects, the first of which were reopened in January 2015 in Peoplestown.
The beauty of the Atlanta BeltLine is that it is accessible from all sides of the city. The concept was to create a metropolitan that wasn’t so reliant on the three main central business districts. For a detailed and interactive Atlanta BeltLine map, which includes information on Atlanta BeltLine parking and access points, head to their website here. With over 22 miles of multi-use trails, streetcars, events, and parks, there are a ton of activities to enjoy.
What To Do
If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Atlanta then the BeltLine is definitely one of the best options. There is a range of public parks, bike rental options such as Atlanta Bicycle Barn, Skate Escape, or Relay Bike Share at various points throughout the loop, and even public art spaces. You’ll also find the Tiny Doors along the BeltLine, which we wrote about as a cute example for date ideas in Atlanta. The BeltLine also provides things to do in Atlanta with kids, thanks to its host of trails, parks, and even skateparks. Check out Explore Georgia’s detailed guide for more information.
All that activity can be exhausting so a stop at a bar or restaurant is a neat way to finish the day. Take your pet along with you to the Monday Night Garage Brewery or Park Tavern as you overlook Piedmont Park, one of our favorite parks in the city. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, then you won’t leave hungry from Krog Street and Ponce City Markets to the host of restaurants located at many points along the line. Our recommendation if you’re looking for the most options is to take the Eastside Trail. We promise you won’t leave disappointed!
The Atlanta BeltLine is still in development and is constantly providing new and exciting things to do in Atlanta for both locals and tourists alike. If you want to take advantage of the trails with the whole family, we can get your crew and all of the bikes there in one of our vehicle options, or get in touch and we can help organize the perfect day, maybe coupled with a city night tour to round out the day.