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Tips for riding MARTA to Atlanta festivals

The Dogwood Festival kicks off Atlanta's festival season each year in April.
The Dogwood Festival kicks off Atlanta's festival season each year in April.
Todd Dominey

Atlanta unofficially begins its festival season each year in April with the historic Dogwood Festival, over 70 years old and still one of the most well-attended events in the city. Shortly after the festival’s disc dogs and art booths pack up, the Sweetwater 420 Fest and the Inman Park Festival with its infamous parade, multiple music stages and tours of Victorian homes keep the momentum going -- and that's just the month of April alone.

With many of Atlanta’s festivals now requiring a MARTA (or alternative transportation) commute due to limited public parking, see these tips to make your trip as easy as possible, whether you're jumping into the start of the spring season festivities or heading to a late summer event.

Purchase a Roundtrip Fare
To save time at the fare machines, always purchase a roundtrip fare at the start of your trip. You can load fares online or at any point in advance of special events to further save time.

Use Free Station Parking
If you live north of the city, the Lindbergh Center station is your best bet for parking and riding. It has three parking decks (off Piedmont Road at the intersection with Lindbergh Drive and Sidney Marcus Blvd.) and both red and gold line trains stop at this station, which means twice as many trains. Commute time to the Midtown station (near the Dogwood Festival) is less than 10 minutes.

Wear Comfortable Shoes
Walking time to the edge of Piedmont Park, home to many of Atlanta’s festivals, is 10 minutes from the Midtown station. Candler Park is also a 10-minute walk from the Candler Park station and Centennial Park is about a 7-minute walk from the Dome or Peachtree Center station.

Know The Train Schedules
MARTA’s On the Go app for iPhone and Android includes rail and bus schedules that can help you plan your trip. Keep in mind that trains run every 20 minutes on the weekend and operate until about 1 a.m.

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