The greater Atlanta area is the 9th largest in the United States. It’s a a fast-growing, spread out city whose running scene has been improving. For our guide to running in Atlanta, it’s helpful to have a bit of a geographic orientation. Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead (uptown) form a north-south axis along Peachtree Rd. Just east of downtown are the streetcar suburbs, home to the Freedom Trail and some nice running in historic older neighborhoods. North of Atlanta, I-285 defines the ‘perimeter center’ and towns north are considered outside the perimeter. If you’d like to have a in-person guided running experience in Atlanta, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.
The best places to run in Atlanta, by area:
East of Downtown: Just east of downtown in some of the historic streetcar suburbs are Grant Park Oakland Cemetery, and some nice neighborhoods for running. Further east is a lovely run around Emory University and the Decatur area.
North Atlanta/Perimeter: Several routes in Buckhead and neighborhoods in the ‘Perimeter Center’ (I-285) area, including Cumberland, Sandy Springs, and Dunwoody.
Outside the Perimeter: Stone Mountain is a great destination run, as is the Silver Comet Trail from Smyrna toward the Alabama border. We’ve also mapped some good routes in Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, and Suwanee.
Atlanta is a fairly car-centric city in terms of getting around, although the MARTA subway does serve the airport, downtown, and midtown. Note also that the weather can be brutally hot in summer, so run early and hydrate. By contrast, winters are mild and spring is absolutely gorgeous in Atlanta, with blooming azaleas and dogwoods.