Compared to cities like New York, Chicago and Seattle, which CNBC ranked in its top 10 list of walkable cities in America, Atlanta is a sprawling metropolis. It isn’t easy to drive (let alone, run, bike, or walk) from Buckhead in the north to College Park in the south. However, intown Atlanta is comprised of numerous neighborhoods, and it’s possible to experience the history, charm, and views of a few of those over the course of just three miles.
A run starting at the intersection of Boulevard and Freedom Parkway, near The Martin Luther King Jr. Center in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, begins with a skyline view of downtown. Heading north on Highland Avenue, the runner passes white columns erected at the corner of Highland Avenue and Glenn Iris, an artistic expression of the skyline. Within a mile on the same street, the runner begins passing the 19th and 20th century architecture of the houses of Inman Park, as well numerous restaurants, some well-acclaimed and some yet to be discovered by the mainstream.
Less than a mile more and the runner reaches the watering holes of Highland Avenue. Hand in Hand, Dark Horse Tavern and Blind Willies provide entertainment to diverse crowds every night of the week. While Highland Avenue becomes North Highland Avenue, the runner soon reaches the shops and bars of Virginia-Highland, named after the intersection of Virginia Avenue and North Highland Avenue, which is also the location of the first-ever Taco Mac. (Don't trust the clock though, which appears to be right only twice a day.)
In another two blocks, the runner reaches Fire station 19, Atlanta's oldest operating fire station, which has been serving Atlanta since 1925. Continue a block more, past a post office and San Francisco Coffee, and end up in the residential and somewhat hilly neighborhood of Morningside/Lenox Park.
Although this ends a three-mile run, the street continues, and the tour can too.