Take a ride through Atlanta on two wheels and see the city through new eyes. Biking through this day trip will not only get you from destination to destination, but this bike tour will take you through some of the best cultural, natural and culinary attractions Atlanta has to offer!
Prep your wheels
Make sure that your tires are properly inflated and your bike is in good working order before you roll out. Atlanta Trek and Fresh Bike Service are certified beginner-friendly bike shops and offer tune ups as well as bike rentals to make sure you’re ready to ride. If you’re checking up on your own bike, check the maintenance section of the free Atlanta Bikes app for free tutorials on DIY bike maintenance. But first, coffee…and breakfast!
The Zagat-rated Highland Bakery is the perfect place to start your day. They brew local beans and specialty drinks for your morning eye-opener. A muffin is non-negotiable, even if you have to take it for later. Cilantro corn pancakes and ricotta pancakes are just two winners on a menu from which everything could be your favorite. Considering that cycling is part of this restauranteur’s backstory, there’s no better place to start your bike tour day!
Choose Your Adventure: Museum or Garden
The High Museum’s award-winning architecture and collections of fine art from classical to contemporary make this stop a must for any art lover. The High has a first-class collection of art from around the world, including pieces by artists from the Southern United States.
Getting there (0.360 miles): Turn left out of Highland Bakery to head west on 14th Street NE. At the intersection with Peachtree Street NE, make a left. You will pass the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on your left just before arriving at the High Museum of Art.
Atlanta Botanical Garden is a peaceful paradise filled with blooming flowers, flowing water features, and winding walkways. “Stop and smell the roses” in the rose garden that peaks in May and June. Transport yourself to desert, the tropics, the mountains and the surreal orchid house as you meander through almost 20 unique gardens and plant houses.
Getting there (0.716 miles): Turn left out of Highland Bakery to head west on 14th Street NE. Continue on 14th Street NE until you cross over Piedmont Avenue NE into Piedmont Park. Continue riding on the paved path, going left you’ll ride around the ball and soccer fields, and then pass the tennis center (all on your right). Continue on the path to arrive at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Take a Lunch Break
Work up an appetite on the ride over to this local favorite at Centennial Olympic Park. If your taste buds aren’t so adventurous, there’s plenty of reliable “deli” basics on tap as well as a kids menu, but the Korean Kitchen menu is not to be missed. The Galbi (short ribs in Korean BBQ sauce) and the crispy tofu are so good that they attract visitors from out of town!
Getting there (3.51 miles): If coming from the Botanical Garden, return the way you came, but when you reach Peachtree Street NE make a right and head north. If coming from the High Museum of Art, make a left onto Peachtree Street NE to head north. At the intersection with 17th Street NE make a left. Follow 17th Street to State Street NW and make a left. Follow State Street NW into the beautiful Georgia Tech campus. When you reach Ferst Drive make a right and follow Ferst Drive around the loop. Bear right just before the aerospace engineering department building (if you reach Cherry Street you’ve gone a little too far) and use the paved path to cross onto Tech Pkwy. NW. Cross over North Avenue NW and continue south on Luckie Street NW. Ride down Luckie Street all the watt to Centennial Olympic Park where you can park your bike and walk to lunch and your next adventures.
Choose Your Adventure: Aquarium or CNN
Enter another realm where playful and peculiar creatures will captivate you. The Georgia Aquarium is an underwater wonderland where the smallest jellyfish to the mammoth whale shark dwell. Learn about each fascinating species and how humans can help conserve aquatic environments around the world. The Georgia Aquarium is located at the north end of Centennial Park.
Atlanta is the global headquarters of news juggernaut CNN and the largest of its 48 news bureaus around the world. The Inside CNN Studio Tour will take you behind the scenes with interactive exhibits and a backstage glimpse at the network’s studios and newsrooms. Keep your eyes open – you may run into one of your favorite news anchors! The Inside CNN Studio Tour is just south of Centennial Park.
Hop off your bike and walk with the dinosaurs at the Fernbank Museum. Plenty of hands-on activities will teach you about science, culture and natural history. The IMAX theater will immerse you in “the biggest screen in town,” and the permanent “Giants of the Mesozoic” exhibit will introduce you to a life-size skeletal cast of the Argentinosaurus, the largest dinosaur ever classified!
Getting there: From Centennial Park, head west on Baker Street NW. Cross over Piedmont Avenue NE and on the other side you’ll find the paved Freedom Park Trail. Hop on the Freedom Park Trail for a nearly car-free cruise to the Fernbank. Follow the Freedom Park Trail alongside Freedom Parkway. You’ll eventually ride into Freedom Park, where you’ll pass the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Continue on the path’s twists and turns. The path will turn into the Stone Mountain Trail after crossing over Candler Park Drive NE and continue to Dellwood Park. At Clifton Road, you’ll follow the path left to arrive at the Fernbank Museum on your right.
End your day on a sweet note at Cacao Cafe (1046 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306) on your way back. This signature Atlanta chocolaterie will have you melting in hand-crafted artisan chocolates. Taste your way through “health chocolates,” caramels and confections — and make sure to try the sipping chocolate!
Getting there (4.63 miles): As the sun begins to set on your bike touring adventure, be sure that you have flashing front and rear lights on your bicycle! Follow the Stone Mountain Trail/Freedom Park Trail the same way you came from Centennial Park earlier today. Just past the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum where the Freedom Park Trail meets back up with Freedom Parkway NE, there is an intersection with the Eastside Beltline Trail. Cross Freedom Parkway NE to ride north on the Eastside Beltline Trail all the way to Virginia Avenue NE. Make a right to head east on Virginia Avenue NE, then make a left onto North Highland Avenue NE. Cacao Cafe will be on your left.
Call it a Day
To return to the starting point of your adventure, make a right out of Cacao onto North Highland Avenue NE, and another right onto Virginia Avenue NE. Turn right onto the Eastside Beltline Trail and follow it into Piedmont Park. Find your way to the north side of the park, where you’ll see the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Make a left to ride the paths west from here. You’ll ride around the tennis center and soccer fields. Exit the park at 14th Street NE and ride 3/10 of a mile to return to Highland Bakery.