If you're a traveler on a layover at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the first thing you may want to do is store any extra carry-on luggage. While there are no storage lockers available from the airport, luggage storage is available at the Wrap-A-Bag outlets in the terminals for a pretty reasonable price. Once you've ditched the extra weight, you can head to the Domestic Terminal, between the North and South baggage claims to find Marta's Airport Station. At the Airport Station, you'll need to purchase a fare for Marta's Bus & Rail system. Each ride is only $2.50 unless you purchase a day pass for $9.00. If you have any trouble, the Airport Station has a full-service RideStore and trained personnel to assist you. And with your Breeze Ticket or Breeze Card, you can take the Red or Gold line to Peachtree Center Station where your adventure begins.
ATLANTA STREETCAR LAYOVER | HOW TO GET STARTED:
For layover travelers, the first stop on the Atlanta Streetcar is the Peachtree Center Station, since visitors can get there with public transportation from Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Upon arrival, you'll need to head to the Streetcar Station at Peachtree Center to purchase a Day Pass for $3.00. If you purchased at the Breeze vending machine, you will receive a receipt that must be presented when boarding the streetcar. And if you have any trouble, you can generally find Marta staff that will guide you with our signature southern hospitality.
1) Peachtree Center:
With a day pass for the Atlanta Streetcar in hand, the tour begins at The Peachtree Center for a perfect start to your exploration. Peachtree Center happens to be in the heart of downtown Atlanta and boasts a variety of restaurants, both within the center and within walking distance for grabbing a bite. You can also discover shops within walking distance for finding classic souvenirs. And if your stopover is overnight, you can check in to a hotel before continuing your tour. With Peachtree Center crossed off the list, you can technically begin your Atlanta Streetcar layover tour in either direction. So feel free to reverse the direction. But, we like the idea of starting with Carnegie at Spring as the first stop. If you're hungry, you can visit the iconic Pittypat's Porch Restaurant, based on the novel turned movie, Gone With the Wind. Pittypat's provides the quintessential southern dining experience with Atlanta skyscrapers as a backdrop.
2) Centennial Olympic Park:
With some southern dining in your belly, there are endless options for things to see and do. We won't overwhelm you by trying to squeeze them all in. So we'll share our top must-see and do spots. You can visit Marta's website for a full list of locations and attractions at each stop. But the next stop is Centennial Olympic Park. Created for the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is home to the Atlanta Children’s Museum, World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, SkyView, CNN Center, and more. If it's your first time in Atlanta, you can spend the entire day exploring key tourist attractions. And if you're traveling with your family, there's a ton to keep the little ones entertained.
3) Sweet Auburn Market:
After an exploration of the typical tourist destinations, you can coast through the next three stops while you catch your breath until you arrive at the Sweet Auburn Market. This is where you can start to learn a little more about the history of Atlanta. The market was originally established in 1918 as an open-air market on land cleared by the Great Atlanta fire of 1917. Originally known as the Municipal Market, in the 1990's it adopted the name Sweet Auburn Market as a nod to the historical Auburn Avenue. Located less than a mile away, Auburn Avenue is home to the Sweet Auburn District which was called “the richest Negro street in the world” in 1956 by Fortune magazine. While at the Sweet Auburn Market, you can get a little energy pick-up by sampling from any one of the ten most popular eateries in the city.
4) Edgewood Avenue:
Leaving the Sweet Auburn Market, the next stop on the Atlanta Streetcar is Edgewood Avenue. Known for its restaurants, live music, and nightlife, Edgewood is not just where the locals hang. It's a place where people of different ages, sexual orientations, and lifestyles merge. Since you're not driving, you can have a cocktail in one of many of the neighborhood's colorful bars. Notably, Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, or simply called Church, is filled with wacky art from local bartender turned entrepreneur. If you're looking for comedy, there's Dad's Garage, a local nonprofit theatre that's been serving up laughs with its improv troop for over 20 years. And there's my personal favorite, Joystick Gamebar filled with throwback video games like Mortal Kombat and Ms. Pac-Man.
5) King Historic District:
While it's not the final stop on the loop track of the Atlanta Streetcar, the final stop on our layover tour is the King Historic District. Home to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, you can tour the home where Dr. King was born on Auburn Avenue. You can also visit Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King was baptized as a child and later went on to become a pastor. And you'll also find the King Center. Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. was created to preserve the legacy of her husband. The center happens to be the final resting place of Dr. King, Jr. and features exhibits on him, Coretta Scott King, and Mahatma Gandhi. And if you have time, you can walk to Jackson Street Bridge for the perfect photo opportunity with the Atlanta skyline as the background.