PSA: Ponce City Market + The Beltline

Sometimes I think there’s a place you’ve just got to know about and my Public Service Announcements (PSAs) will give you the full skinny.

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I’m gonna be honest with you; I’ve never been an Atlanta fan.  I know it’s supposed to be the “coolest” city in my native state of Georgia, but I always preferred my hometown of Savannah.  Atlanta has always been too spread out for me – there was nowhere to go to just walk around, pop in and out of places, and get a local flair.  I still think places like that are few and far between in Atlanta, but I finally found a place that felt like a true destination: Ponce City Market.

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If you’re familiar with Chelsea Market in NYC, Ponce City Market is basically the same thing.  It’s a large space filled with a food hall, retail stores, and activity centers.  Similar to Chelsea Market’s location on the Highline, Ponce City Market can be found along the BeltLine, a walking park with cool street art.  I spent several hours walking around the area – pretty much the first time I’ve spent several hours doing anything in Atlanta.

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Ponce City Market is located inside the old Sears & Roebuck building, which means 1) it’s all industrial, loft-like, and cool 2) it’s a historical landmark, which is pretty cool.  They’ve kept the original steel and beams, and note fun facts about the building and city throughout the building, like the gears below.

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Ponce City Market can be broken out in a few parts:

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Looking down on the food hall from above
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Biltong Bar
  • Food

    • Food Hall:
      • ALL types of food can be found here.  You can get the famous Holman and Finch burger, or a gourmet hot dog, ice cream, retro candy, ramen, coffee, drinks, Moroccan, and so so much more.
      • I had already eaten lunch, but I stopped into Biltong Bar, which is a combo cocktail bar and beef jerky store.  I tried a bunch of the jerky flavors and brought some home with a special spice blend for my beau.
    • Street Vendors: People’s Pops and gelato sandwiches can be found along the BeltLine so you can easily cool down after a long walk in the sun.
  • Shopping

    • National Chains: West Elm, Anthropologie, Frye, William Sonoma, Lululemon, etc.
    • Local Boutiques: There are tons of retail outlets with a very local Atlanta vibe.   There’s a denim shop, toy store, florist, paper goods, custom suiting, and a designer collective.
    • Unique Shopping Experiences:
      • Cobbler Union: Getting shoes is great, but getting custom shoes from a cobbler is way cooler
      • Candlefish: Not only do they sell tons of different [amazing smelling] candles, offers candle-making classes.
      • Goorin Bros. Hat Shop: They’ve got a long history of hat-making and even have a feather bar so you can make a chapeau your very own
      • 18.21 Bitters: Found within the Food Hall, this is an entire shop dedicated to bitters so you can craft a unique cocktail.
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Cobbler Union
  • Activities

    • The BeltLine: This outdoor park is basically one long walkway.  There’s some cool street art along the way, some pretty wildflowers, and great views of the streets below.  I noticed there’s a weekly run club that jogs along the BeltLine, which I think would be so much fun.
    • Art Gallery: Check out come modern art on the second floor of the building
    • Events: From classes to concerts, this building has a FULL events calendar
    • Biking: Rent bikes to ride along the BeltLine or any of the nearby trendy neighborhoods
    • Fitness Clubs/Yoga Studio: I’m sure it would be fun to go to a class and then get a bite/shop with a friend.
    • Skyline Park: Up on the roof, you can find a beer garden, event space, and Skyline Park, which features carnival games, rides, and mini golf.  (Sadly, it was closed for a private event when I was there)

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