Where to stay in Atlanta without a car? In this article, we will help you to decide the best areas to stay in Atlanta without a car, how to get around without a car, and the best hotels in Atlanta without a car for all budget visitors.
It is possible to get around in Atlanta without a car. Atlanta is known for its car-dependent infrastructure, but there are alternative transportation options including public transport, walking, biking, and using rideshare services.
Atlanta is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Georgia. It is located in the northern part of the state and serves as a major cultural, economic, and transportation hub in the southeastern United States.
Atlanta is a diverse city with a significant African American population, and it has a reputation for being a center of Black culture and civil rights activism.
Notable landmarks in Atlanta include the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which includes Dr. King’s childhood home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, as well as the Georgia State Capitol building and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Atlanta has become a major filming location for the entertainment industry, earning the nickname Hollywood of the South. Many films and TV shows, including The Walking Dead and Stranger Things, have been filmed in and around the city.
Atlanta is known for its extensive highway system and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. The city’s public transportation system includes a MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) rail and bus system.
Where to stay in Atlanta without a car?
The best areas to stay in Atlanta without a car for tourists are Downtown Atlanta, Midtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Old Fourth Ward, and Decatur. When choosing where to stay, consider proximity to MARTA stations and attractions.
In general, if you want easy access to major attractions and public transportation, Downtown and Midtown Atlanta are your best bets. They are often known as the best areas to stay in Atlanta for first-time visitors due to their central locations.
However, if you prefer a more relaxed and local atmosphere, Decatur and Old Fourth Ward could be charming locations. Buckhead offers luxury and shopping, but it may be less convenient for tourists without a car.
Overviews of the best areas to stay in Atlanta without a car
Here is an overview of recommended areas in Atlanta for visitors without a car and why you should stay in each area:
|Best areas in Atlanta without a car||Why should you stay in this area?|
|Downtown Atlanta||Downtown Atlanta is home to major attractions like Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, and the World of Coca-Cola. It’s well-connected to MARTA, and you can explore much of the area on foot.|
|Midtown Atlanta||Midtown is a popular choice for tourists as it’s a vibrant, walkable area with many restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions such as the High Museum of Art and Atlanta Botanical Garden. The Arts Center and Midtown MARTA station serve Midtown.|
|Buckhead||Buckhead offers a mix of upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment. Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza are popular malls. While it’s not as well-connected by MARTA as other areas, you can still find hotels close to Buckhead MARTA Station and Lenox Station.|
|Old Fourth Ward||This area is located next to Downtown Atlanta, right along the Atlanta BeltLine, and is home to the historic Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Ponce City Market. It’s close to the North Avenue MARTA station.|
|Decatur||Located east of downtown, Decatur is known for its charming downtown square, restaurants, and cultural events. The Decatur MARTA station provides easy access to the city center.|
Map of the best areas to stay in Atlanta without a car:
How to get around Atlanta without a car as a tourist?
Getting around Atlanta without a car as a tourist is certainly possible thanks to the city’s public transportation options and other alternative methods of transportation.
Here are some ways to navigate Atlanta without a car:
MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority):
MARTA is the city’s public transit system, consisting of buses and trains. The MARTA rail system is particularly convenient for tourists as it connects many popular destinations, including the airport, downtown Atlanta, Midtown, Buckhead, and more.
You can purchase single-ride tickets or multi-day passes for unlimited rides.
The Atlanta Streetcar connects several downtown attractions, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, and Centennial Olympic Park. It’s an affordable and convenient way to explore this part of the city.
Atlanta has been working on becoming a more bike-friendly city. You can rent a bike from various bike-share programs like Relay Bike Share, which has stations throughout the city.
Many neighborhoods, like Midtown and the BeltLine, have dedicated bike lanes and paths.
In certain areas of Atlanta, such as downtown, Midtown, and the Old Fourth Ward, you can explore many attractions on foot. Be mindful of the weather, as it can get hot and humid in the summer.
Ride-Sharing and Taxis:
Ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber are widely available in Atlanta. They can be a convenient way to get around, especially for destinations not easily accessible by public transit.
Traditional taxi services are still available in Atlanta, although they are less commonly used compared to ridesharing apps.
Scooters and E-Bikes:
Electric scooters and e-bikes are available for rent in many parts of Atlanta. Companies like Bird, Lime, and Spin have a presence in the city, offering a fun and efficient way to cover short distances.
5 Best areas to stay in Atlanta without a car are:
1. Downtown Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta is a convenient and vibrant place to stay without a car, especially if you’re primarily interested in exploring the city’s major attractions. It is the central business district and the heart of the city as well as the cultural center of the metropolitan area.
However, it also has its pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of staying in Downtown Atlanta without a car:
Public Transportation: Downtown Atlanta is well-connected to numerous MARTA stations including Peachtree Center, Georgia State, and Civic Center Stations. This makes it relatively easy to get around the city and access other neighborhoods.
Walkability: Downtown Atlanta is a walkable area with many shops, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. The Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park, and Georgia State University campus are all within the downtown area.
Sports Venues: downtown is home to several major sports venues, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium (home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC) and State Farm Arena (home of the Atlanta Hawks). These venues host sporting events, concerts, and other entertainment.
Government Buildings: Downtown Atlanta is home to many government offices and historic government buildings, including City Hall and the Georgia State Capitol.
Proximity to Attractions: Many of Atlanta’s top attractions are located in or near Downtown, making it convenient for tourists. This includes Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Entertainment and Dining: Downtown offers a variety of dining and entertainment options, including theaters, bars, and restaurants. You can enjoy a diverse range of cuisines and nightlife without needing a car.
Safety Concerns: Like many urban areas, Downtown Atlanta may have safety concerns, especially at night. It’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions while walking around after dark.
Best places to stay in Downtown Atlanta without a car:
- Luxury ($$$): The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
- Mid-range ($$): The Candler Hotel Atlanta
- Budget ($): AC Hotel Atlanta Downtown
2. Midtown Atlanta
Midtown Atlanta is often known as one of the best places to stay without a car due to its walkability, public transportation options, and cultural amenities.
It is situated immediately north of downtown Atlanta, between the neighborhoods of Buckhead and downtown. It is bordered by the Interstate 75/85 Downtown Connector to the west and the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Piedmont Park to the east.
Pros of staying in Midtown Atlanta without a car:
Walkability: Midtown Atlanta is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the city. You’ll find a mix of shops, restaurants, entertainment options, and public transportation within easy walking distance.
Public Transportation: Midtown is well-connected by MARTA, you can easily access buses and the MARTA rail line, which can take you to various parts of the city, including the airport.
Cultural Attractions: Midtown is home to several cultural attractions like the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Fox Theatre. If you enjoy arts and culture, you’ll have easy access to these venues.
Parks and Green Spaces: Piedmont Park, one of Atlanta’s largest and most popular parks, is located in Midtown. It offers outdoor recreational activities, events, and beautiful green spaces.
Dining and Nightlife: Midtown boasts a vibrant dining and nightlife scene. There are numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs to explore, making it a great place for foodies and those who enjoy nightlife.
Safety Concerns: While Midtown is generally safe, like any urban area, it can have occasional safety concerns. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
Best places to stay in Midtown Atlanta without a car:
- Budget ($): Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta-Midtown
- Mid-range ($$): The Starling Atlanta Midtown
- Budget ($): Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta
Buckhead is a great place to stay in Atlanta without a car, especially if you enjoy upscale dining and shopping, and don’t mind using public transportation for other parts of the city.
Buckhead is an upscale and affluent neighborhood, situated in the northern part of the city and is one of Atlanta’s most prominent and desirable areas to live, work, and visit.
Pros of staying in Buckhead without a car:
Walkability: Buckhead has several walkable areas, especially around Buckhead Village and Lenox Square Mall. You can easily access shops, restaurants, and entertainment options on foot.
Public Transportation: MARTA serves Buckhead with several stations, making it relatively easy to access other parts of Atlanta using public transit.
Dining and Entertainment: Buckhead offers a wide range of dining and entertainment options, from high-end restaurants to lively bars and clubs, all within walking distance.
Shopping: Buckhead is home to some of Atlanta’s most upscale shopping centers, including Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, where you can find designer brands and luxury goods.
Cons of staying in Buckhead without a car:
Cost: Buckhead is an upscale neighborhood, and accommodations and dining options tend to be more expensive compared to other parts of Atlanta.
Distance to Attractions: Some of Atlanta’s popular attractions, such as the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, are not within walking distance from Buckhead. You’ll need to rely on public transportation or other transportation options to reach them.
Best places to stay in Atlanta in Buckhead without a car:
- Luxury ($$$): InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, an IHG Hotel
- Luxury ($$$): JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead
- Mid-range ($$): The Westin Buckhead Atlanta
- Budget ($): Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Buckhead Place
4. Old Fourth Ward
The Old Fourth Ward (O4W) is a popular neighborhood in Atlanta, known for its historic charm, vibrant culture, and proximity to many attractions. It’s one of the best areas to stay in Atlanta for travelers without a car who value walkability, and a vibrant urban atmosphere.
Walkability: O4W is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Atlanta. You can easily access restaurants, bars, parks, and shops on foot, making it convenient for those without a car.
Public Transportation: The area is served by the North Avenue MARTA station.
BeltLine Access: The Atlanta BeltLine, a popular multi-use trail, runs through O4W. This provides a scenic route for walking, running, or biking and connects you to various neighborhoods and attractions.
Cultural Attractions: O4W is home to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, including the King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church. It’s also close to the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and other downtown attractions.
Safety Concerns: Like any urban neighborhood, O4W has its share of crime. While it’s generally safe, it’s essential to take standard safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Best places to stay in Atlanta in Old Fourth Ward without a car:
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Clermont Atlanta, by Oliver
- Mid-range ($$): Wylie Hotel Atlanta, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
- Mid-range ($$): The Darwin Hotel
Decatur is often considered one of the best areas to stay in Atlanta without a car, primarily because of its accessibility, public transportation options, and pedestrian-friendly environment.
Pros of Staying in Decatur Without a Car:
Walkability: Decatur is known for its walkable streets and well-maintained sidewalks, making it easy to get around on foot.
Public Transportation: MARTA rail stations, including the Decatur MARTA station, serve the area, providing convenient access to downtown Atlanta and other parts of the city.
Biking: Decatur has made efforts to become more bike-friendly, with dedicated bike lanes and bike-sharing programs available.
Local Amenities: The city has a charming downtown area with a variety of restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions, many of which are within walking distance.
Cons of Staying in Decatur Without a Car:
Distance from Downtown attractions: Decatur is located quite far from the city center, you’ll need time to travel to major attractions.
In summary, Decatur is one of the better areas to stay in Atlanta without a car due to its walkability, public transportation options, and local amenities.
Best places to stay in Atlanta in Decatur without a car:
- Budget ($): Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Decatur/Emory
- Budget ($): Courtyard Atlanta Decatur Downtown/Emory
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In conclusion, Downtown Atlanta, Midtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Old Fourth Ward, and Decatur are the best places to stay in Atlanta without a car. Each neighborhood has its own unique characteristics and advantages. The best area for you depends on your interests.
Downtown and Midtown are the most centrally located and accessible by MARTA, making them convenient for tourists and first-timers. Old Fourth Ward and Decatur offer a more local, neighborhood feel with good MARTA access. Buckhead is more upscale and can be a bit less walkable, but it still has its attractions.
Consider your priorities, such as proximity to attractions, dining options, and the type of experience you want, when choosing where to stay without a car in Atlanta.