Up until 1949, Atlanta had an extensive streetcar network, one that rivaled other major U.S. cities. Then after 65 years of focus on the automobile, the streetcar returned on Dec. 30, 2014. But unlike the original streetcar lines that traveled from downtown Atlanta to surrounding neighborhoods, the modern streetcar, similar to new streetcars in other cities, travels in a loop around the downtown business district (view map).
So if you’re new to the Atlanta streetcar or curious how to use it, here are the five best reasons to catch a ride.
1. Tourist Loop
If you’re sightseeing in Atlanta, the Atlanta Streetcar is a great way to see multiple downtown attractions. Ride the entire route to view downtown (about 26 minutes) or get on and off to visit destinations including SkyView, Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center, Fairlie-Poplar Historic District and the King Center. Connect with the streetcar via the Peachtree Center MARTA station’s Ellis Street/Peachtree Street East station exit if traveling by train to downtown Atlanta.
Tip: A one-way streetcar ticket is good for two hours.
2. Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site
The Atlanta Streetcar is the best way to reach the Martin Luther King Historic Site on transit. Exit at the King Historic District stop to visit the resting place of the famous Civil Rights leader as well as the famous Ebenezer Church and childhood home. View MARTA to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site for transit and walking directions (and as a bonus, walk to the Jackson Street Bridge while in the area).
3. Weekday Lunch
For those who work or go to school in downtown Atlanta on weekdays, the streetcar is a great option for grabbing lunch at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market or a restaurant along the route. Places to eat near streetcar stops include The Food Shoppe, Alma Cocina, Park Bar, Waffle House, Ted’s Montana Grill, Subway, Quiznos, Rising Roll Cafe, Bone Lick BBQ, Wok N Roll, Sweet Auburn Seafood and Mangos Caribbean.
4. Georgia State University
If you’re a student at Georgia State University or just visiting, the streetcar is a useful option for getting from one end of campus to the other. The Aderhold Learning Center and College of Law are near the Woodruff Park and Park Place streetcar stops. Other campus buildings are at the Hurt Park stop, including the School of Art and Design, Recital Hall, Kell Hall, Langdale Hall, Sparks Hall and University Library.
5. Edgewood Avenue Nightlife
Ping pong, beer, arcade games, live music and DJs are all options on Edgewood Avenue. Exit at the Edgewood at Hilliard stop for Atlanta’s hip nightlife scene and check out some of the popular venues including Joystock Gamebar, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room, Sound Table, Georgia Beer Garden, Noni’s and the Edgewood Speakeasy.
Tip: Streetcar service ends at 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights (11 p.m. all other days).