Atlanta is a sprawling metropolitan area with limited public transportation, making getting around without a car quite challenging. However, with some strategic planning, it is possible to visit Atlanta and have an enjoyable trip even if you don’t have your own set of wheels.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Downtown Atlanta and Midtown neighborhoods offer the most convenience and accessibility for visitors without cars, with walkability, transit connections, and abundant lodging and entertainment options.
In this comprehensive guide, we will provide detailed suggestions on the best neighborhoods, hotels, and transportation options to help you make the most of your car-free Atlanta vacation.
Getting Around Atlanta Without a Car
MARTA Public Transportation Overview
One of the best ways to get around Atlanta without a car is by utilizing the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) public transportation system. MARTA operates buses and trains throughout the city, making it easy to navigate Atlanta’s various neighborhoods and attractions.
With over 48 miles of rail and more than 90 bus routes, MARTA provides convenient and affordable transportation options for both residents and visitors.
MARTA trains run from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays and 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on weekends, with trains arriving every 10 to 20 minutes depending on the time of day. The system covers popular areas such as downtown Atlanta, Midtown, Buckhead, and the airport, allowing travelers to easily access major attractions, shopping centers, and entertainment venues.
For more information on MARTA routes, schedules, and fares, you can visit their official website https://www.itsmarta.com/.
Another convenient option for getting around Atlanta without a car is to use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. These popular app-based transportation services offer a reliable and efficient way to travel around the city.
With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can request a ride and be on your way to your destination.
Rideshare services are readily available in Atlanta, with drivers operating in all major neighborhoods and attractions. They provide a convenient alternative to traditional taxis and can be more cost-effective than renting a car or using public transportation, especially if you’re traveling with a group.
To use rideshare services, simply download the Uber or Lyft app, create an account, and enter your pickup and drop-off locations. The app will provide an estimated fare and the option to choose between different vehicle types, depending on your preferences and group size.
Bike Share and Scooter Programs
For those who prefer a more active and eco-friendly mode of transportation, Atlanta offers bike share and scooter programs. These programs allow users to rent bicycles or electric scooters for short-term use, making it easy to explore the city at your own pace.
Atlanta has several bike share programs, including Relay Bike Share and Zyp BikeShare, which offer stations located throughout the city where you can pick up and drop off bikes. Electric scooter programs like Bird and Lime are also available, offering a fun and efficient way to navigate Atlanta’s streets.
Both bike share and scooter programs can be accessed through mobile apps, allowing you to easily locate available bikes or scooters nearby. Simply unlock the bike or scooter using the app, and you’re ready to go!
It’s important to note that when using bike share or scooter programs, you should follow all traffic laws and safety guidelines. Wearing a helmet is highly recommended, especially when riding scooters or biking on busy roads.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Atlanta Without a Car
Atlanta is a vibrant city with a lot to offer, and you don’t necessarily need a car to explore its best attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Atlanta and prefer not to rent a car, there are several neighborhoods that offer convenience, accessibility, and a plethora of things to see and do.
Here are three of the best neighborhoods to stay in Atlanta without a car:
Downtown Atlanta is the heart of the city and a fantastic choice for travelers without a car. The neighborhood is home to iconic landmarks such as the Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center, and Centennial Olympic Park.
With its walkable streets and excellent public transportation options like MARTA, getting around downtown is a breeze. Visitors can also explore the vibrant food scene, enjoy shopping at the various boutiques, or catch a show at the historic Fox Theatre.
Midtown Atlanta is known for its cultural attractions and is another great neighborhood to stay in without a car. One of the highlights of Midtown is the famous Piedmont Park, a beautiful green space that offers stunning views of the city skyline.
In addition to its natural beauty, Midtown is also home to the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the historic Fox Theatre. With its pedestrian-friendly streets and the abundance of bike lanes, exploring Midtown on foot or by bike is a delightful experience.
Inman Park is a trendy neighborhood located just east of downtown Atlanta. It is known for its charming Victorian-style houses, tree-lined streets, and a vibrant food and shopping scene. Inman Park is also conveniently located near the BeltLine, a popular multi-use trail that connects various neighborhoods in Atlanta.
This makes it easy to explore neighboring areas such as Old Fourth Ward and Poncey-Highland without a car. Visitors to Inman Park can enjoy browsing the local shops, dining at unique restaurants, or simply taking a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood’s beautiful parks.
When staying in any of these neighborhoods, visitors can take advantage of Atlanta’s efficient public transportation system, including the MARTA trains and buses. This allows easy access to other parts of the city, including attractions like the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or someone who simply enjoys exploring new neighborhoods, Atlanta offers plenty of options for a car-free adventure. Choose one of these neighborhoods and get ready to experience the best that Atlanta has to offer.
Top-Rated Hotels Accessible Without a Car
Atlanta is a vibrant city with a lot to offer, and fortunately, you don’t need a car to explore all its wonders. If you’re planning a trip to Atlanta and prefer not to drive, there are several top-rated hotels that are easily accessible without a car.
These hotels are conveniently located near public transportation options, making it convenient for you to explore the city and enjoy all it has to offer.
1. The Westin Peachtree Plaza
The Westin Peachtree Plaza is a highly-rated hotel located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. It offers stunning views of the city skyline and is within walking distance of many popular attractions, such as the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola.
Additionally, the hotel is just a short walk from the Peachtree Center MARTA station, which provides easy access to other parts of the city.
2. The Ellis Hotel
If you’re looking for a boutique hotel experience, The Ellis Hotel is a fantastic choice. This eco-friendly hotel is located in downtown Atlanta and is known for its luxurious accommodations and personalized service.
It is conveniently situated near the Peachtree Center MARTA station, making it easy to explore the city without a car.
3. The Georgian Terrace Hotel
The Georgian Terrace Hotel is a historic landmark in Atlanta and offers a blend of classic elegance and modern comfort. It is located in Midtown Atlanta and is within walking distance of the Fox Theatre and Piedmont Park.
The nearest MARTA station, North Avenue, is just a short walk away, allowing you to easily access other parts of the city.
4. The Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Situated in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta is a premier hotel known for its upscale accommodations and exceptional service. This hotel is conveniently connected to the Peachtree Center MARTA station via a covered walkway, making it incredibly convenient to travel around the city without a car.
5. The Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta
If you’re visiting Atlanta to catch a game at the Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, The Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta is the perfect choice. Located within The Battery Atlanta complex, this hotel offers easy access to the stadium as well as various dining and entertainment options.
The hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle service to the Arts Center MARTA station, allowing you to explore other parts of the city.
When choosing a hotel in Atlanta without a car, it’s essential to consider its proximity to public transportation options. These top-rated hotels not only offer excellent accommodations but also provide convenient access to Atlanta’s public transportation system, making it easy for you to explore the city without the need for a car.
Key Attractions Reachable by Transit or Foot
The Georgia Aquarium is one of Atlanta’s most popular tourist attractions, and luckily, it’s easily accessible without a car. Located in downtown Atlanta, the aquarium is just a short walk or transit ride away from many hotels in the area.
Visitors can take advantage of the city’s MARTA system, which offers convenient rail and bus routes to the aquarium. MARTA stations are located throughout the city, making it convenient for visitors to get around without the hassle of driving and parking.
World of Coca-Cola
The World of Coca-Cola is another must-see attraction in Atlanta that can be easily reached without a car. This iconic museum showcases the history and culture of the Coca-Cola brand and offers a variety of exhibits and interactive experiences.
Located near Centennial Olympic Park, visitors can easily access the World of Coca-Cola by walking or taking public transportation. MARTA stations are conveniently located nearby, allowing visitors to explore the city without the need for a car.
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of downtown Atlanta and serves as a legacy from the 1996 Olympic Games. This park offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and is a great place to relax and take in the sights.
Fortunately, the park is easily accessible without a car. Visitors can take advantage of the city’s transit system or simply take a leisurely stroll from nearby hotels. With its central location, Centennial Olympic Park is a great starting point for exploring other nearby attractions as well.
While Atlanta’s sprawl and limited transit can seem daunting without a car, sticking to the most central, walkable neighborhoods makes a car-free visit very feasible. Downtown, Midtown, and Inman Park put you in close proximity to major attractions while also offering convenient access to public transportation, rideshares, and other options to get around.
With strategic lodging and activity choices, you can still relax and enjoy Atlanta’s southern hospitality even without your own wheels.