Mine is a love-hate relationship with Atlanta. While the museums, music and restaurants are enticing, the traffic, sprawl and poorly-designed infrastructure make me itch. But my friend Cheryl had the brilliant idea to enjoy a day trip but park at the southernmost station for MARTA, the city’s mass transit system. MARTA’s reach barely makes a dent in the capitol’s overwhelming footprint, but it does criss-cross midtown like a giant plus sign, stopping at most spots tourists find interesting. After studying the route map, Cher and I settled on Decatur as home base, and off we went.

While exploring the area, we…

  • Saw an art complex with a goat farm.
  • Devoured vegetarian food and local beer.
  • Ogled jewelry made from recycled soda bottles.
  • Bought quarts of soup prepared with fresh ingredients.

And all without a single, angry minute spent looking for a parking spot. It was downright decadent.

(Hey, Brad, did I mention the urban goat farm?)

MARTA, goats, urban farm, Dew Abides
Think anyone would notice him on MARTA?

At the end of the day, MARTA zipped us back to the starting point, leaving only an hour’s ride home via car. And parking south of the city allowed us to completely bypass the worst traffic.

This was such a successful scouting expedition that we plan to go back, with husbands and bicycles in tow — especially once more segments of the new 22-mile multi-use BeltLine are completed.

Trying to see the world while reducing our environmental impact is something Brad and I constantly wrestle with, so it’s a relief to know our options are expanding with every foot of Atlanta’s rails and trails.

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