What Can You Do on The Beltline?

What can you do on the Beltline?  I’ll be honest, as an avid runner, I trained my brain to believe that the Eastside Beltline trail was only good for walking your pups, biking, or jogging.   When I’m on the Beltline, it’s usually because I’m looking to get a nice, easy (and non-hilly) 2 miles added onto my run.  When I jog down it, I am just trying to get to the other end because that means I’m that much closer to being done and onto breakfast!
I decided to see what all the hype about this Beltline could possibly showcase besides my love for running.   So one sunny Sunday afternoon, I finally took a a leisurely walk with my husband along the Beltline to answer my question of “What can you do on the Beltline besides walk, jog, or run on it?”  Turns out that I have been running blind down this trail for a couple years.  I discovered that there are actually a lot of fun stops along the way and let me tell you about them starting from one end and working our way to the other side.
Starting off at the south end of the Beltline along Irwin Street you’ve got 3 good foodie options:
Jakes Ice Cream1) Check out the food stations and wine/beer shop at Krog Street Market.  If you’re not familiar about Krog Street Market, check out one of my prior posts which describes it HERE.
2) Treat yourself to a specialty ice-cream or coffee at Jake’s Ice Cream at Irwin Street Market.  Jake’s is known for having some funky yet delicious ice-cream flavors.
3) If you need to brush up on your cooking skills, take a cooking class at the Cooking School at Irwin Street Market.
If you walk about 1/4 mile from Irwin and get thirsty or hungry, don’t panic.  Luckily there is an eclectic pub called Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall.  They offer some unique snacks, dinner options, and fun desserts like peanut butter s’mores pie!  Who doesn’t love s’mores…and peanut butter!  It also has a great patio.  During the weekends, be prepared to see people having a drink and people watching.
As you keep moving north, you’ll find Parish on your right hand side.  Check out their Neighborhood Cafe on the lower level.  You can order everything from brunch and lunch items, or just a cup of coffee and a pastry.  They even have picnic tables right along the beltline for some easy, quick dining.
Beltline Graffitti
So far, I’ve mentioned a lot of food options near the end of the south part of the Beltline.  After you pass Parish things get a little bit less food-centric.  For example, there are some different art structures along the path and also a giant cement slab of graffiti under the Freedom Park overpass.  Perhaps many years ago it was more of an eye-sore, but now it just seems to work with the overall Beltline flow.
Just after you go under the overpass, look to your left.  If it’s a weekend, theskateboard park will be full of talented kids that have much more skill and courage than I do on a skateboard.  And just beyond that is an open field thatgets utilized for soccer, frisbee throwing, and kite flying.
If skateboarding is a little too risky for you, maybe you could take a stab at bocce ball!  Keep walking just a bit further until you find Two Urban Licks on your right.  Besides being a great restaurant, they sport a bocce ball court just off the Beltline.  Grab a drink and test out your inner bocce ball rolling skills.
Continuing on, just after you go over the bridge on North Street, you’ll come to an eclectic flea market called Paris on Ponce.  I had never stepped into this place for the whole time I’ve lived in Atlanta but when you are out just walking around, it’s a fun place to look for hidden treasures.  There is a collection of unique oddities, collectibles, and well, some strange stuff!  If that isn’t enough, there is a cute cafe shop inside where you can grab a cup of joe or chai tea latte.  For those of you with dogs, I’m pretty sure I saw people bring their dogs inside, so don’t count yourself out!
IMG_0771We’re almost to the end of the Beltline and I can’t help but talk about the “new” Beltline Kroger (or as others will always refer to it..murder Kroger).  We actually stopped here on our way home to pick up a few groceries for dinner.  I’ve been in this Kroger before the Beltline existed and I must say, this Kroger has really come a long way with improvements.  It’s no longer that questionable grocery store that features a pot-hole filled parking lot.  Give it a try next time you are there, you might be surprised.
Finally, we are at the end of the Beltline adventure. The end of this trail leads right into the beautiful Piedmont Park and Midtown skyline.  After taking the time to take in the sights and stops along the Beltline, I think I’ll stop thinking of the Beltline as “just a running trail.”  It’s much more than that!  If you are interested in living near the Beltline Eastside Trail, check out current homes along the Beltline HERE.

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