MARTA’s bus service is usually seen as the ugly duckling of transit, and some riders who ride the train wouldn’t dream of getting on a bus. But, if you are visiting from out of town or just trying to get to some of Atlanta’s major attractions (or your job) without driving, there are a few bus routes that actually go places and are worth the extra effort. Read on for the list of routes you should consider riding.
How much do we like bus 36? Let us count the ways: Piedmont Park, Park Tavern, Trader Joe’s, Midtown Arts Cinema, Virginia Highland, Morningside and Emory University (including the Michael C. Carlos Museum). Connect with the route at the Midtown and Avondale stations. Be sure to check schedules though, as it doesn’t run very late on the weekends.
Bus 2 was nominated by Creative Loafing as the best bus route of 2011. It travels down colorful Ponce de Leon Avenue from the North Avenue MARTA station, where you’ll see a bit of everything, from street personalities to landmark buildings. Hop off the bus at Ponce City Market, BeltLine Eastside Trail, Poncey Highland, Virginia Highland, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Olmstead Linear Parks and Deepdene Park. It is a great commute option for those who live in the nearby neighborhoods as well as a solid tourist route.
Bus 16 is often overlooked, but it’s also a great route for locals and visitors. It starts downtown at the Five Points MARTA station and travels to Old Fourth Ward Park, BeltLine Eastside Trail, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and then up popular N. Highland Avenue to destinations such as Poncey Highland (Manuel’s Tavern, Plaza Theatre and Highland Inn Ballroom), Virginia Highland and Morningside. The final stop is Lenox Square Mall if you are looking for a day full of activities off of one bus route.
If West Midtown is on your agenda, bus 1 has you covered. The route travels to hip and upcoming spots including Westside Provisions, King Plow, Terminal West, Uptown Comedy Corner, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and other galleries, apartments and popular restaurants off of Marietta Street — The Optimist, 5 Seasons Westside, Miller Union and Bacchanalia to name a few. As a bonus, bus 1 also travels to Top Golf, Atlanta’s new nightlife hot spot, and shops on Ellsworth Industrial and Chattahooche Avenue.
Also called “The Peach”, bus 110 has views of the famous Peachtree Street and Peachtree Road from downtown to Buckhead. You can see a great deal of both historic and modern Atlanta from your seat. Stops off this route include the Shakespeare Tavern, Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles, Fox Theatre, Midtown business and nightlife district, Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, Woodruff Arts Center, the Amtrak station, Peachtree Battle shopping area, Atlanta History Museum, Buckhead Theatre, Buckhead business district and Lenox Square Mall. It is also one of the more frequent bus routes, though traffic can be heavy. Get a daily pass so you can spend your day exploring with unlimited rides. There are also several hotels off this route, which can make seeing the sights convenient.