Atlanta

I

n years past, biking through Atlanta’s metropolitan streets was a risky hobby. These days are coming to an end in neighborhoods, such as Midtown, whose strides towards a bike-friendly future is putting Atlanta on the map. Named one of the countries five best neighborhoods in late 2016, the community has been recognized for their efforts to grow in their sustainability, livability and walkability.

Located in the heart of Midtown, Loews Atlanta is central to shops, restaurants, entertainment and the great outdoors. When exploring Midtown and surrounding neighborhoods by bike, you are able to see so much more than one can by foot or car.

At Skate Escape, steps from the hotel, you can rent skates, bikes, tandems or mountain bikes hourly, daily or overnight. Relay Bike Share has several locations around town where you can find, rent and return bikes all from your mobile device. You can pay by the hour or upgrade to monthly plans, if visiting for an extended period of time. Now it’s time to hop on that bike and ride through Atlanta in stride.

SEE & DO

Atlanta, nicknamed the “City in a Forest,” should never be visited without experiencing Piedmont Park and the BeltLine. Both entrances are located a few short blocks from the hotel, so there’s no excuse not to check them out. Designed by the same architect as New York City’s Central Park, the 189-acre Piedmont Park is lined with greenery and an urban skyline, and noted as one of the city’s most picturesque locations. If you want to completely bathe in nature, it is the perfect place for a picnic after a morning ride throughout the park.

The other entrance leads straight to the BeltLine, a 22-mile redevelopment project connecting 45 neighborhoods with trails, parks and public art displays. Since motorized vehicles are prohibited, it is great way to explore the city in a unique manner that is quite literally off the beaten path.

DRINKS & DINING

If you are traveling on the BeltLine, you will discover countless dining options available along the way. Leave your bike with the complimentary bike valet at Ponce City Market for a NYC Chelsea Market inspired experience. Inside you will find a central food hall for dining, leading retail brand stores, living and working spaces and live entertainment.

One can also enjoy the outdoors at Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, known for its campfire & lodge theme, then continue into the Inman Park neighborhood. Here you can appreciate beautiful historic homes before sipping wine on Barcelona’s patio or savoring bites at Ford Fry’s Beetlecat, among many other restaurants.

If you’re not wanting to do much exploring and your definition of “outdoorsy” is to enjoy drinking on patios, check out a self-guided patio bar tour. But remember to please drink responsibly.

LOCAL EVENTS

Throughout the calendar year, there are several events which highlight cycling and the outdoor culture. In June, one can enjoy the Atlanta Cycling Festival, a week-long festival filled with rides, parties and classes. The festival claims their “only ROI” is thousands of smiles, which I think we can all appreciate.

My personal favorites are the Atlanta Streets Alive events throughout the year. Each taking over a different neighborhood, these festivals temporarily close the streets to cars to create a vibrant city experience. Even without a bike, the event is a blast. Just take a look at last year’s recap video.

Pack your sneakers and start planning your trip to Atlanta today. You won’t be needing your car, so leave your keys at home.

Karen