The Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN station is typically known for easy access to the Georgia Dome and Philips Arena, but it may also be the hidden gem of MARTA stations, as it could easily be the nicest downtown station. Off the blue/green rail line and one stop away from Five Points, the major transfer point between all rail lines, it offers a rather manicured and pleasant walking access to numerous attractions, hotels and restaurants. Plus, the crowd of street preachers and potential hagglers often found at Five Points don't hang out here.
Interested? Read on to learn about the best this station has to offer.
The station has a direct entrance to a lower level of the Georgia Dome, so you don't even need to go outside to enter. And if you've parked nearby for an event in the past, you know the gridlock mess that can be. So consider instead the $5 MARTA fare for the train ride. Look for signs pointing to the Georgia Dome once arriving at the station.
Immediately next to the station is Philips Arena, which hosts concerts and sporting events, including Atlanta Hawks games. There is even a special MARTA entrance to the building at street level once you go up the tall escalators out of the station.
Georgia World Congress Center
Bordering the garden-like courtyard shared by the Dome and Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) also hosts large conferences and events. You'll find everything from home shows to auto shows, and cheerleading competitions to the Chick-Fil-A FanFest.
Whether you work at the CNN Center or want to go for a tour, the building is less than a block from the MARTA station. A food court, Starbucks and a handful of shops can also be found here. Take the Philips Arena exit out of the station and turn right at the top of the escalators and then a quick left on Centennial Olympic Park Drive. An entrance to CNN is about a block down on the left.
Centennial Olympic Park
Walking to Centennial Olympic Park from this station is a little less urban than the walk from Peachtree Center, and provides a quicker access to the south end of the park where there are regular free concerts during the warmer months, including the Wednesday WindDown series from April-September and Music @ Noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also celebrate July Fourth here -- the water fountains and glass buildings reflect the firework show as an added perk.
College Football Hall of Fame
Scheduled to open in August 2014, the new College Football Hall of Fame will sit in front of the Georgia World Congress Center, adding to the cultural and recreational attractions around the station.
Glenn Hotel SkyLounge/Glenn's Kitchen
For an incredible skyline view of the city, head to the top of the Glenn Hotel to visit their trendy SkyLounge. Comfortable seating and bar make this a great date or late-night spot. Or head indoors for fine dining with a Southern twist at Glenn's Kitchen.
If beer and bourbon in a pub-atmosphere is more your thing, head to Park Bar across the street from Centennial Olympic Park. Take the Philips Arena exit out of the station and turn right at the top of the escalators, then left on Centennial Olympic Park Drive. Walk about two blocks to reach the bar, which is located just behind Subway.
As the closest bar to the Dome station, Taco Mac has over a hundred beers on tap and 48 HDTVs for watching sports. Take the Philips Arena exit out of the station and turn left at the top of the escalators. At the first street intersection, turn right to walk around the side of Philips Arena to reach the restaurant/bar.
Repeatedly ranked as one of the top sports bars in the country, Stats is a destination not to miss. Patrons get to tap their own beer and a rooftop deck adds to the fun. Various event spaces are also available to rent for larger groups. Take the Philips Arena exit out of the station and turn left at street level to walk alongside Philips Arena. Turn right at the first street and follow it around to Marietta Street. Turn left on Marietta and walk about two blocks.
McCormick and Schmick's
As the closest, upscale restaurant to the MARTA station, McCormick and Schmick's is a national chain that specializes in seafood and regularly has happy hour specials. It is located inside the CNN Center, with an entrance off of Marietta Street. Take the Philips Arena exit out of the station and turn right at the top of the tall escalators. From there, turn left on Centennial Olympic Park Drive then left on Marietta Street.
Did you say beer? For a unique spot to have a drink, check out Der Biergarten for authentic German food and some cool patios to boot. Oh, and did we mention an alley with Fussball and table shuffleboard? Take the Philips Arena exit out of the station and turn left at street level. Walk around Philips Arena and turn right at the first street intersection. Continue walking around Philips Arena, then turn left on Marietta Street and walk about two blocks.
Next to the CNN Center, the Omni gained fame when it was hit by a tornado in 2008. It is also the closet hotel to the Dome station and convenient to all the nearby attractions.