How To Spend An 8-Hour Layover In Atlanta
By Bianca Lambert
If you’re like me, booking a flight minus the layover is always the goal, even when it comes to international travel.
Many layovers leave us battling to get to our terminal before the boarding doors close, but what if you have a long layover? Don’t waste it trying to catch a nap in those uncomfortable chairs. Grab a cup of coffee, perk up, and go explore. If you’re a frequent flyer, you likely end up laying over at Hartfield-Jackson — the world’s busiest airport. You won’t want to miss the culture, great food, and historic sites the city has to offer even if you just have a few hours.
Skip The Traffic
Depending on the time of day, taking a Lyft into the city might not be the best transportation option. Since Marta is just outside of the red terminal and is only $2.50 one-way, you’ll save time and money. Once in the city, you can hop off the train at Arts Center or Civic Center stations and take a Lyft to the must-see stops on your list.
Feed Your Soul
If you’re hungry and in the mood for soul food, take a Lyft from the train station to the AUC to the historic Busy Bee Cafe. Not only is this Atlanta staple known for it’s Fried Chicken and southern comfort food, but Busy Bee was also a favorite of many Civil Rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King.
Take In History
Atlanta is filled with so much history from the civil rights era. The Center for Civil and Human Rights exhibition Rolls Down Like Water, is an interactive experience that takes guests through the fight for equality from the 1950s through the 1960s. It is an experience not to be missed. Just a short drive away from the Downtown museum you can tour Martin Luther King’s childhood home and sit in the pews of Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr.King preached until his untimely death in 1969.
Get Your Body Moving
Since you’ll be sitting on a plane in just a few hours, a walk on The Atlanta Beltline will give you some fresh air before you take off. The Beltline is a part of a budding community. You can find unique locally made gems at Paris on Ponce, and just a few steps away is Ponce City Market. The marketplace has a food hall filled with local eateries, shops, and a Skyline Park.
Don’t Miss Your Flight
Now, that you’ve explored Atlanta, you might not want leave but remember you’re just a plane ride away! If you’re heading back to the airport at low traffic time of day (which is usually never), you can opt to take a rideshare service, but Marta is always a great option. On your way back to the airport, be sure to take Red Line Southbound train and exit at Airport station.