Atlanta | How To Spend 24 Hours In Atlanta, Georgia
Recently, I went on a press trip to Georgia and had a quick stopover in Atlanta before and after doing a road trip in the northeast region of the state. It was my first time in the state and first time in Atlanta. Even though my time was really brief, I was excited to visit since it is one of the bigger American cities that I have been wanting to visit for some time. Here is my 24 Hour Guide To Atlanta with some suggestions and inspiration for your future travel.
Did you know Hartsfield-Jackson, the Atlanta airport is the busiest airport in the world? I didn’t!
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HOW TO SPEND 24 HOURS IN ATLANTA
Before my road trip, I stayed at the Hotel Indigo. It’s located right by the airport in College Park. The hotel is conveniently located right by the MARTA Station. I don’t know how safe it is at night but during the day, it was easy and convenient to get into the city. If you have an extended layover in Atlanta before travelling off to another destination, this hotel is convenient, clean, and sufficient.
Look up the best Atlanta hotel rates with cancellation on Booking.com
The walk to the MARTA station was about 5 minutes and it was simply getting a ticket to ride the train. I used Google Maps to map out my destination and it gave me clear instructions on which stop to get out at and what bus to connect to. One way into the city was $3.50.
If you’re staying in downtown Atlanta and want to conserve money, you can catch the MARTA at the airport. If you prefer, Atlanta is very Uber friendly. Obviously, there are taxis in Atlanta but I did not take any during my visit.
MARTA ticket machine
My transit ticket
MARTA Station in College Park
Before meeting up with folks for my trip around Georgia I had a few hours to kill. I took the MARTA from College Park to Five Points and then a bus over to Krog Street Market. It was easy to navigate especially if you have a smartphone and access to data. The bus I took to Krog Street Market seemed to have gone rogue according to Google Maps but I managed to walk the rest of the way.
Krog Street Market is a marketplace with restaurants, cafes, food vendors, and shops. I’m a fan of these types of destinations so it was on the top of my Atlanta to-do list. I knew that I was going to be hungry so I headed there first.
I wanted to go to Octane Coffee but also wanted to check out Krog Street so I got my fill at the Little Tart Bake Shop which serves Octane.
A cortado and a cookie, my mid-morning ATL snack
Get meaty at Spotted Trotter, a boutique charcuterie
I went early in the morning to Krog Street so most shops were just opening and I was not quite in the mood for meats, bbq or ice cream. I’m definitely keen on coming back, though! Everything looked tasty as the vendors were setting up for their day.
After I left Krog Street Market I walked toward the Jackson Street Bridge. It was a bit too bright but it was going to be the only time for me to visit this popular spot for photos. It’s the skyline of Atlanta and if you’re a Walking Dead fan you may recognize this view.
You’ll come across some great murals all around Atlanta. I was not there for too long and came across some really great street art.
A piece by Greg Mike right around the corner from Krog Street
Ponce City Market is another popular destination in Atlanta. It’s filled with food stalls, restaurants, bars, and shopping. This is totally my kind of place and if you’re into food, don’t miss it. I came here when I returned back from my exploration of the north.
Some well-known national retailers have set up shop here besides local shops
Food food food!
King of Pops is a must especially when it’s hot! They even do popsicle cocktails!
There was a really great retailer called Citizen Supply that is several vendors under one roof that focus on artisanal and small batch goods.
One of the retailers within Citizen Supply
The Atlanta Beltline are former railway lines that surround Atlanta. The rail lines have been transformed into pathways that people can walk, bike, and jog and connect different outdoor green spaces and neighbourhoods around Atlanta. In some parts of the Beltline, you can also find public outdoor art.
The Beltline from Ponce City Market
Piedmont Park is an urban park near downtown Atlanta between Midtown and Virginia Highlands neighbourhoods. Within the park, you can walk, jog, bike as well as play basketball, soccer, bocce, baseball, volleyball, tennis, swim, and even fish (with a license of course). If you have a dog, there’s a dog park. You can also skateboard along the paths! There is a green market on Saturdays that runs from March to December in the morning until early afternoon. If you are driving, parking is tough around the park but if you’re visiting Ponce City Market, it’s connected by the Beltline and you can walk to it in about 10 minutes.
I have to admit that after travelling through Georgia and eating so much fried food, I actually didn’t have much of an appetite when I returned to Atlanta. I may not be vegan or vegetarian but I am used to eating a lot more vegetables, especially of the unfried variety. I’m not a California cliche but I was in desperate need of green juice to reset. When I was walking on the Beltline towards Piedmont Park I came across Arden’s Garden, a local juice shop. The prices here are really cheap and the juices were tasty!!!
My new buddy Alan from Alan Maxcy Photography was kind enough to bring me to a coffee shop after our trip around Northeast Georgia. He’s big into coffee like me so he took me to his favourite spot in the city, Revelator (he also took me to Sublime Doughnuts and to Ponce City Market). They have several locations around the south with 2 in Atlanta.
While I didn’t officially go to Octane Coffee (I had some of their coffee at a bakery, as seen above), they are probably the most popular place to have coffee in the city and have several locations.
When I returned to Atlanta I stayed with my friend and wine blogger/podcaster, Elizabeth from Wine for Normal People. She lives in the Virginia Highlands area and just minutes away from Alons, a popular bakery, and marketplace, where she took me for lunch. These types of places are my favourite because I can pick and choose several items to at then and there and then take treats home with me.
On a trip that Elizabeth and I went on months before in Canada, I was the meat-eater that ate everything while she eats more of a vegetarian diet with fish. But after so much heavy food I ordered her favourite, a vegetarian sandwich on ciabatta bread baked in-house. Not my normal order but so delicious!
My buddy Alan took me to Sublime which is a local doughnut shop owned by Chef Kamal Grant, a CIA educated pastry chef. I sampled the Orange Dream Star and picked out the A-Town Cream!
A-Town Cream doughnut
My time in Atlanta was extremely short and sweet. If I had more time I would have liked to visit:
- The Center For Civil Rights
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
- High Museum of Art
- Restaurants by Art Smith, Hugh Acheson, and/or Ford Fry
- Sister Louisa and Joystick Bar – as recommended by my friend Christy from Hello Gem
- We Suki Suki (my friend Paul’s sister’s Vietnamese cafe)
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**Disclaimer: Many thanks to Georgia Tourism for their support. My itinerary and activities in Atlanta were chosen and paid for by me. This post contains affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.**