By: Anuja Mathur, 1st year EPI
I’ll be honest, when I decided to come to Rollins I made my decision because of what the school has to offer and felt pretty neutral about Atlanta as a city. But there are actually a lot of fun things to do, and one of my favorite things is the BeltLine!
The BeltLine is an old railway corridor that is being converted into a multi-use trail, with an end goal of 33 miles around different parts of the city. Arguably the most popular section right now is the Eastside trail, which is 2.25 miles. Oh but it isn’t just any regular 2.25 miles, it’s lined by all sorts of fun things that you can easily make an afternoon out of! There are so many reasons to love it, but here are just a few of them:
1. There’s motivation to go end-to-end
The trail is bookended by two great places in Atlanta- Piedmont Park and Krog Street Market. Piedmont Park is perfect for Frisbee/people watching/running around like a child and is full of people on a nice day. Krog Street is a market that has a variety of food options and stores, many of which have locally-made crafts.
2.You can rent bikes!
Sooo, 2.25 miles can be fun to walk/run/rollerblade on if you’re cool and still own some, but personally I like the bike option. There are lots of places to rent from, and tend to be a standard rate of $5/hr. This is great for when you want to explore things that are along the BeltLine and aren’t going for real exercise purposes
3. All the things along the way
I have had several friends visit from out of town and this is my favorite place to take them, because there is something for everyone! Sometimes the trip ends up being a mini-food tour, with stops at Krog Street, Ponce City Market (see: Omoshalewa’s post ), King of Pops (creative and delicious popsicles…in case you haven’t heard, Atlanta is hot), Park Tavern, and plenty others.
Sometimes we explore all of the fun stores- and find gems like this lady below at Paris on Ponce, which always has an odd smattering of things.
There’s always something new! For example, TINY DOORS! This is not an alert, it is a real thing and they are awesome. Did you notice the tiny mailbox?!
4. The Lantern Festival
Every year in September the BeltLine hosts a lantern festival. This basically ends up being a mass of people parading toward Piedmont Park holding up lanterns they have made once it is dark out- maybe sounds lame, but I assure you it is very entertaining! I went with a friend to a Lantern Making Workshop in the weeks leading up to the festival, and we quickly realized we are super uncreative people but we still had a great time! Of course you can just make whatever you want at home, or go without a lantern just to enjoy the scenes.
5. Owen Wilson
Okay so this may not happen every time you go on the BeltLine (a.k.a maybe never) but once I saw Owen Wilson biking along the path! I won’t go into details, but basically my friends and I freaked out, sorta kinda followed him on our bikes toward Krog Street and then proceeded to take some creeper pics.
There are so many other fantastic things that I didn’t write about, such as graffiti/murals, artwork, and a skatepark. It’s also a great way to get your bearings in the city because you pass through so many neighborhoods (see: above map).
Hope to see you around at Rollins! (If you find me I will very willingly tell you more details about the Owen Wilson adventure of 2015)