In our 10K steps series, we've asked writers for the best places to get in your steps while enjoying city sights, favorite routes and some secret detours. In this one Sheeka Sanahori takes us through some of Atlanta's neighborhoods via the BeltLine Eastside Trail.

It doesn’t have to be rush hour for Atlanta visitors to witness the city’s notorious traffic. With people moving to Georgia’s capital in droves, and the city’s overdependence on cars, slow traffic is a regular occurrence.

The beautiful thing about the Atlanta BeltLine – a 22-mile outdoor trail that makes a loop around Atlanta’s neighborhoods – is it’s removed some of the dependence on cars and brought joy back to neighborhood strolls. Before construction began on the BeltLine in 2005, many Atlanta neighborhoods weren’t closely connected to each other.

Today, the BeltLine has residents enjoying the outdoors more than ever. This trail gets busy, especially on the weekends, and cyclists may have to navigate between a lot of pedestrians. My favorite stretch is along the Eastside Trail, which is a 4.6-mile stretch from Piedmont Park to Reynoldstown. Along the way, you’ll encounter a skatepark, renovated shopping districts, and some of the city’s best eateries. Here’s how to take my favorite stroll through Atlanta’s east-side neighborhoods.

Where to start: Piedmont Park

You’ll start your stroll in Atlanta’s most popular park. Piedmont Park is home to several of Atlanta’s biggest festivals, but even on regular days, you’ll find this midtown park full of joggers, bikers and picnickers. Make your way to the southeast corner, where you’ll find the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive. Wander under the colorful Virginia Avenue bridge and you’ll be on your way.

The walk: The Eastside trail is fully paved and wide enough to fit several joggers, walkers and bikers going at different speeds. On the weekends, the path starts getting busy by about 8:30am.

Stores and restaurants and people at the Ponce City Market in Atlanta
A stroll through Ponce City Market is worth the detour © silkfactory / Getty Images

Stop for shopping at Ponce City Market

About one mile into your stroll, look for the scooter-lined sidewalk on your right that leads to Ponce City Market. This is where the trail connects to one of Atlanta’s hottest shopping districts. Take your first off-trail adventure to walk through the market and get your fill of local designers, food stalls, and beautiful rooftop views of Atlanta.

Enjoy a patio drink and take in some city views

Now you've had your fix of retail therapy, get back on the trail and head south for another half mile until you reach the back patio of a smaller shopping center, on your left. Grab a seat on said patio at New Realm Brewing Co for craft brews and pub grub. Or head next door to TWO Urban Licks for wood-fired American food and live blues music. If you’re looking for entertainment, check out the immersive VR exhibits at Illuminarium Experiences Atlanta.

People skating at the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park in Atlanta, Georgia
Relax in the Historic Fourth Ward Park as you watch the skaters perform tricks and flips © Christopher V Jones / Shutterstock

Hang out (or skate!) at the Historic Fourth Ward SkatePark

Take just a few more steps south on the trail to stumble upon the Historic Fourth Ward Park, on your right. Here, you’ll find skaters of all ages enjoying the city’s first designated skatepark. Adjacent to the park is a field for everyone to use. On any given day, you’ll see people working out, or simply hanging out, in this multipurpose urban oasis.

Grab a bite in the Inman Park neighborhood

Go under the Freedom Parkway underpass, which is lined with street art. On your right, you’ll see the BeltLine Marketplace, which is a couple of converted shipping containers that serve as incubators for new businesses. Once you’re on the other side of the underpass, look for the rhino sculpture on your left next to a sidewalk that will temporarily take you off the trail and deeper into the Inman Park neighborhood.

You’re now in one of Atlanta’s best neighborhoods for dining. This community has everything from coffee shops and wine tasting rooms to gastropubs and fine dining. Once you grab something to eat, you’ll have to retrace your steps to get back on the BeltLine and continue your stroll.

Graffiti inside the Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta.
My favorite stretch of street art is near the Krog Street Tunnel © Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

Stop to admire the street art

By now, you’ve seen plenty of street art along the way, but my favorite stretch of art is in the Reynoldstown/Cabbagetown neighborhoods near Krog Street tunnel. There’s a beautiful mix of graffiti and ever-changing murals inside the tunnel, as well as more permanent street art (and an Atlanta Tiny Door) on the MARTA train wall along Wylie Street. Look for the vibrant, open-mouth characters created by Atlanta artist Greg Mike – his murals are all over the city and loved by ATLiens.

The walk: Once you reach the intersection with Memorial Drive, you’ve officially walked the entire Eastside Trail! If you want to see more of the city's, head west to go to Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood or head east to hang out in East Atlanta Village. Or explore more of the trail by crossing over Memorial Drive and continuing south to start your jaunt on the Southside Trail.

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