It’s a walking trail. It’s a bike path. It’s a green space. It’s an art museum. It’s a gym. It’s an arboretum. It’s a place to play. It’s the Atlanta BeltLine! While you might think of the BeltLine as something simple, it has a lot to offer and appeals to everyone. Here are some fun ways to spend a day (or two) exploring this 22-mile long (and growing) Atlanta destination this summer.

Walk on The West Side

There are a few trails on this side of town that connect and let you explore one of Atlanta’s oldest areas. If you start on the West End Trail, you can see the 0-mile marker and start of the whole BeltLine. The Westside Trail is a perfect place to take advantage of the Arboretum Tours, which are walking tours led by Trees Atlanta and give you an insight into native plants and trees in our area. This trail is also home to some of the BeltLine’s most interesting art – murals and sculptures created by local artists.

Nearby Attractions: Highlights of this historic neighborhood include Hammonds House Museum and Wren’s Nest. The former celebrates artists of African descent, and the latter is the historic home of author Joel Chandler Harris. These museums are both accessible off of the 3-mile Westside Trail.

Sweet Treat: Honeysuckle Gelato’s West End location just off the BeltLine in the Lee & White building acts as their “test” kitchen, so flavors rotate often, and it’s where you can get a taste of something new. In addition to gelato, they offer baked goods, slushies and craft sodas.

Navigating The North Side

The Northside Trail is approximately 1 mile long and gives visitors a true sense of nature in the city. Part of this trail goes through Tanyard Creek Park and features a large playground and rock-climbing wall. The Northeast Trail is under construction; when finished, it will reach from Piedmont Park to the Lindbergh MARTA Station making more miles of connection within the city.

Nearby Attraction: The Bobby Jones Golf Course sits just off of this trail. The historic course is also home to the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, and restaurant and golf academy. The Cupps Link 5-hole, par 3 course is perfect for families. Children play for free, adults can play two rounds for $10 or free if you’re caddying for a child.

Sweet Treat: Just a short drive away, Izzy’s Ice Kreme, located inside a Greek restaurant, is a must-try if you’re in the area. They offer traditional shakes and cones, but if you want to be more adventurous, try one of their Euro-style sundaes, including baklava Nutella or sour cherry split.

Sightseeing on The South Side

This trail is unpaved but still plenty of fun. There are two parks to enjoy off of the Southside Trail – D.H. Stanton Park is super family-friendly with a splash pad, playground and baseball diamond while Boulevard Crossing Park is more open with lots of green space and sports fields. Both options are perfect for a summer picnic! With easy access from Grant Park, the Southside Trail is a great add on after a Sunday visit to the farmers market.

Nearby Attractions: The closest attraction to the Southside Trail is Zoo Atlanta, which is home to dozens of animal habitats and features a playground and splash pad for the kids. If you have older kids, Oakland Cemetery is also in the area and a meaningful way to explore the city’s history.

Sweet Treat: Inside the 9-acre Beacon development, just off the BeltLine at Hill Street, sits A Haute Cookie – an edible cookie dough heaven. You can top your dough with ice cream, and you can get your cookie baked (if you prefer a crunch). They have gluten-free and vegan options, so even those with allergies can indulge.

Exploring The East Side

Start your adventure at Ponce City Market, which is home to a food hall and shops. The roof boasts mini golf and amusement park-style games. There’s plenty of parking and you can stop off for bathrooms before you hit the trail. You can opt for walking or biking (there are rental options, but kids’ bikes aren’t the norm, so check ahead of time). Just a short walk away is the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, complete with a playground and splash pad. A little farther down, you can also head to Piedmont Park off the BeltLine to enjoy a picnic or play. If you have older kids and a sense of adventure, extend your hike by connecting to the Freedom Parkway Trail, which will add about 4,000 steps to your journey.

Nearby Attractions: Just off the BeltLine is Illuminarium, an immersive cinematic experience with 360-degree screens, scents and movement. We recommend purchasing timed tickets in advance. Another nearby option is the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which is within walking distance of Piedmont Park. The Garden has an entry fee but is well worth it. Each Friday at 10 and 10:45 a.m., kids can enjoy a fun and educational show about bugs and plants and then you can check out the Children’s Garden and splash pad.

Sweet Treat: For a combination of nostalgic and new candies, check out Sweet Inman’s Candies at Krog Street Market. The food hall is located between Irwin Street and Edgewood Avenue on the BeltLine, and Honeysuckle Gelato has bike parking.

-Tali Benjamin

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