Summer is great time to get out and explore Atlanta. Choose from many free outdoor events, festivals and activities from outdoor movies to pools and bike trails. View the list below for the top summer things to do near each MARTA station to plan your summer to-do list. Note that MARTA will be on modified holiday schedules on Fourth of July and Labor Day, and trains typically run every 20 minutes on the weekend.
Get out of town: Take the train to the Airport MARTA station for domestic terminals and shuttle to the international terminal for a summer vacation that involves a flight. Not flying? Use the same station to reach the 24-hour SkyTrain to the rental car center if you’re planning a road trip instead of a flight.
Laughs and movies: Get out of the heat with a show at Whole World Theatre, less than a 10-minute walk from the Arts Center station. Or head to Atlantic Station for Improv in the District to view the comedy outdoors on the second Tuesday of the month through September. Also in June and July at Atlantic Station, enjoy outdoor movies on Thursday nights. View the movie calendar to learn more. There’s also a movie theater for watching all the new releases.
Bike trails: Go on a bike ride via the Westside BeltLine and the Lionel Hampton PATH trails near the Ashby MARTA station. You can rent a bike via Relay Bikes and take it with you on the train if needed or schedule a rental at the bike docks in Washington Park or about a block from the Ashby MARTA station on MLK Jr. Drive.
Proctor Creek Greenway: Take your bike on MARTA or rent a Relay Bike at a station and take it to Bankhead to explore the new Proctor Creek Greenway. The scenic trail travels along Proctor Creek and through the Westside Reservoir Park. Future expansion is planned to the Chattahoochee River and the BeltLine. Look for the paved trail just west of the MARTA station.
Watch international sports: Hudson FC International Sports Bar is across the street from the Brookhaven MARTA station and has plenty of TVs and an outdoor patio for cheering on your favorite soccer, rugby or cricket team.
Nightlife: Head to the top of the W Hotel to experience Whiskey Blue, a bar and lounge with a skyline view of Atlanta. For a more down-to-earth night out, walk to AMC Dine-In Theatre or Phipps Plaza for the latest movie.
Park time: Walk 10 minutes from MARTA rail for a public swimming pool (pictured top) or to play or picnic in Candler Park. Special events include the outdoor movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet” on August 17.
Outdoor concerts and ice cream: Chamblee hosts free summer concerts in the downtown area on June 7, July 4 and August 9. Sister Hazel is the big show in August. Combine your Chamblee trip with a visit to the Frosty Caboose for ice cream.
Adult pool parties: Walk to the W Hotel Downtown for pool parties with a view. The WET Deck has events on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Decatur Square frolicking: Enjoy a variety of festivals, restaurants and frozen treats near the Decatur MARTA station. Highlights include the Decatur Beach Party on June 21, Fourth of July parade and fireworks, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Steel City Pops, Jack and Coke slushies at Victory Sandwich Bar, adult milkshakes at Grindhouse Burgers and tiki drinks at S.O.S Tiki Bar. For water lovers, the Ebster pool on Trinity Avenue is a short walk from the Decatur MARTA station (and Square) via the Swanton Way exit.
Mexican food and margaritas: Walk to Monterrey Mexican Restaurant for food and drinks. Patio seating is available.
Shop: Get your retail fix at Perimeter Mall, which is a very short walk away from the Dunwoody MARTA station. As a summer bonus, stop by Dairy Queen or Haagen-Dazs in the food court.
Urban hiking and biking: The PATH Stone Mountain Trail is next to the East Lake MARTA station. Walk or bike to downtown Decatur for a short excursion or continue all the way to Stone Mountain.
Downtown East Point: Downtown East Point is a historic area across from the MARTA station that has restaurants and special events. Check out the East Point Farmers Market on Wednesday evenings between 4 and 7 p.m. for local food and crafts. For music and drinks, head to Wednesday Wind Down on June 26 and view fireworks at the July 4 Salute to the Red, White and Blue Celebration.
Play or watch soccer: Station Soccer got its start at Five Points. Stop by for a free pickup game on the weekend (open to players ages 14 and up). The soccer field is directly above the MARTA station.
Historic partying: The Georgia Railroad Freight Railroad Depot is the oldest building in downtown Atlanta and an event space. Two events to check out this summer include the Pancake and Booze Art Show on July 12 and a ’90s block party on August 17.
Sporting events and concerts: Head downtown to cheer on Atlanta United and Atlanta Dream, or go to a concert at State Farm Arena. Some of the top shows this summer include Jennifer Lopez, Shawn Mendes, Jonas Brothers, Khalid and Queen. View the State Farm Arena calendar and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium calendar to plan your summer outing and consider getting a drink with a skyline view on top of the Glenn Hotel before or after your event.
Amusement park: Connect with bus 201 or request a car at H.E. Holmes to reach Six Flags Over Georgia for a day or evening of amusement park fun.
GSU fun in the sun: Sorry, you have to be a Georgia State University student, faculty or staff member, but if yes, head to the Indian Creek MARTA station to reach the GSU Indian Creek Recreation Area for a swimming pool, nature trail, ropes course, sand volleyball and more.
Urban trails: Inman Park is the best way to reach the BeltLine Eastside Trail without dealing with heavy car traffic. Reach the trail via tree-lined Edgewood Avenue or Elizabeth Street. Relay Bikes are available to rent next to the MARTA station and in the Inman Park Village. Don’t forget to stop by the King of Pops window to get a pop. You can also walk or bike on the Stone Mountain PATH Trail, which is accessible via a PATH spur trail next to the MARTA station.
Day trip: Take a day trip to explore Clarkson or Stone Mountain Village via MARTA buses that connect with the Kensington MARTA station. Known for welcoming refugees, Clarkston has international restaurants, Refugee Coffee Co. and a public swimming pool (Milam Park Pool). Stone Mountain Village has a vintage 1915 wooden caboose, shops, restaurants and a side entrance into Stone Mountain Park. Board bus 125 for Clarkston and bus 119 for Stone Mountain.
Cemetery event: Attend one of the various events in Oakland Cemetery next to the King Memorial MARTA station for a unique and historic thing to do. Summer happenings include Malts and Vaults on June 16, Summer Solstice yoga on June 21 and various themed tours.
Go to a concert: Transfer to bus 42 or request a Lyft or Uber car at the Lakewood/Ft. McPhearson MARTA station to reach the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood (view concert schedule).
Mall activities: Get out of the heat with a visit to Lenox Square Mall. In addition to shopping and exercise options at The Forum Athletic Club, video gamers can attend various game events at the Microsoft store. View the event calendar to learn more.
Allergy check: Not very fun or exciting, but there are several allergy doctors and offices near the Medical Center station. Plan for the fall or get a handle on your summer allergies.
Piedmont Park: Atlanta’s playground, Piedmont Park has festivals, a Saturday farmers market, swimming pool, sport fields, walking paths and greenspaces for picnics or playing catch. Visit Atlanta Sport and Social to view leagues or check out summer events including the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival on July 21, Atlanta Balloon Glow on August 1 and Sunset Sessions concerts at Park Tavern.
Classic movies and frosted drinks: Enjoy the non-alcoholic and famous frosted orange drink at The Varsity, which you can combine with a movie at the Fox Theatre (finish your drink before entering the building!). The 2019 Coca-Cola Summer Movie Festival schedule was recently announced with Disney favorites, The Princess Bride and The Wizard of Oz.
Roswell adventure: Connect with bus 85 or Lyft/Uber at North Springs and check out the historic downtown Roswell, rent a kayak/tube/paddleboard at Shoot the Hooch or go on a waterfall hike at Vickery Creek.
High and low must-visit spaces: Trader Vic’s has three locations in the United States, and one of those locations is in the basement of the Atlanta Hilton Hotel. You won’t want to miss this tropical tiki restaurant with Mai Tai cocktails and live music on Thursdays. Or if you haven’t been to the rotating Sun Dial and Polaris lounges recently or ever, stop by to get an amazing view of the city. The Sun Dial also has jazz on Wednesdays and Thursdays evenings starting at 7 p.m.
Classic summer fun: REI is across the street from the Sandy Springs MARTA station. Check out a bike class or take advantage of their shuttle for bike trails in North Georgia. Check out the store’s event schedule to learn more. Not a big cyclist? Walk to Stone Cold Creamery for a frozen treat or watch a movie at Regal Cinemas Perimeter Pointe, the closest movie theater to a rail station.
Take a tour: Take a tour of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is directly across the street from the Vine City MARTA station. You can walk across the fancy new pedestrian bridge to get there. Or walk in the opposite direction to reach The Herndon Home to tour the residence of one of Atlanta’s prominent black families (view walking directions).
Cemetery visit: Westview Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the Southeast and it’s also in walking distance of the West Lake MARTA station. Walk through the West View Abbey Mausoleum or visit the grave of the Coca-Cola founder and other famous Atlanta residents.