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Travel

Page history last edited by Indigo 4 years, 5 months ago

 


 

Travel To Atlanta

By Car

The main interstates into Atlanta are I-75/85 from the North and South, and I-20 East/West.

WARNING:  Labor Day Weekend is also the weekend of the ACC/SEC college football kickoff game, as well as the Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR race. These fans will clog the roads and make traffic a lot less bearable (NASCAR fans in particular. There will be thousands of ancient old men in slightly-less-ancient RVs, and drunken idiots in pickup trucks who don't know where they're going). If you're arriving on Friday or Saturday you'll see heavier-than-normal traffic, and if for some reason you're arriving on Sunday you may be stuck in an interstate parking lot. PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

 

From the North

On I-75/85 Southbound take exit 249C for Williams Street. Follow Williams Street south for several blocks, then turn left onto Harris St NW.

 

From the South

On I-75/85 Northbound, exit at 248C for Andrew Young International Boulevard.

 

From the East/West

On I-20, look for the exits to I-75/85 Northbound for Greenville/Chattanooga, exit 57. Stick to the right and exit at 248C for Andrew Young International Boulevard. 

 

On the Surface Streets

If you've followed the above instructions you should be on Andrew Young (one-way, going West) or Harris (one-way, going East). For Hyatt or Marriott parking, turn onto Peachtree Center Avenue NE (one-way, North), which runs between the two hotels. For the Hilton, follow Harris past the Hilton on the left to Peidmont Avenue NE and turn left, then an immediate left onto Baker (one-way, West), followed by a left onto Courtland (one-way, South). For the Sheraton, follow Harris St to Courtland and turn right. The hotel will be on the left.

 

Surface Street Protip: All the one-way streets make this a tad tricky, but the veterans can tell you that there's a handful you can remember that will always get you to where you're going, so it's helpful to write these down: Harris and Baker are East/West roads, Courtland, and Peachtree Center are South/North roads (note that there are literally dozens of streets named Peachtree... you're after Peachtree CENTER). Those four are all one-way, and they converge to surround the Marriott. If you find an intersection of any of those, you're next to two of the host hotels.

 

By Plane

You will be flying into Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Once you've collected your baggage your best bet is to follow the signs to the connected MARTA rail station, underground towards the south end of the terminal. You will be on the RED/GOLD North/South line at the stop furthest South. For fee information see the MARTA section below. You will be riding North eight stops to Peacthree Center Station, from which you have a short walk up Peactree Center Avenue to the Hyatt, or from there a downhill walk along Harris to the Marriott or Hilton.

 

When going back to the airport after DragonCon you will take the RED/GOLD line south again to the Airport, the furthest-South stop on the line.

 

Other Possibilities

AMTRAK has routes into Atlanta (though not may of them to be honest). If you do take AMTRAK you'll be stopping at the Atlanta-Brookwood station. Nearby is a MARTA bus stop for bus 110. The 110 route will take you to the Arts Center Station. From there you can take the Red/Gold line south to Peachtree Center Station.

 

Greyhound buses have a depot at

232 FORSYTH ST
Atlanta, GA 30303

 

This stop is a short walk away from the Garnett MARTA station. From that station, take the gold/red line a few stops north to Peachtree Center Station.

 

While Greyhound buses are becoming more comfortable it's worth noting that you'll be hurting for luggage space if you bring more than just a couple of suitcases.

 

Travel Within Atlanta

 

MARTA

The central rail line stop for the Dragon*Con host hotels is Peachtree Center Station. From the station, the Hyatt is a short hike up Peachtree Street, while you'll turn right onto Harris to go to the Marriott or, a bit further, the Hilton. For the Sheraton go south on Peachtree to Andrew Young International Boulevard, and turn to your left (Eastward) for a few blocks. The Westin is across the street. The Hyatt and Marriott can also be accessed through the Peachtree Center mall via escalator from the station. There are maps posted prominently in the area to help you find your way around downtown.

 

Fee Information

MARTA has given up on the old style tokens (any old ones you have are now useless except as collectors items). At any depot you will be able to purchase a Breeze card and load it for a set number of journeys (one trip is $2.50, ten for $25, etc.), If you're going to be wandering the city a lot during your stay, a 4-day unlimited trip pass is available for $19. There is a $1 surcharge for purchasing the card. If you're a D*C regular, you can reload this card each year as needed, so it may be a useful long term investment if you don't lose it and remember to carry it with you.

 

The MARTA webpage is www.itsmarta.com and has schedule and trip planner information.  This is important because MARTA does not run 24 hours.

 

Road Travel and Parking

So listen, you may have your car with you but it's in your best interests to get to the hotel, park, and not think about the car for the next several days. If you give up your parking spot it will be a nightmare to find another, and the hotel lots often don't allow you to come and go with your car anyway.

 

There are plenty of parking lots in the area and you'll have no difficulty finding one as they're well-labeled. None will likely have a spot if you're not there by Thursday, however. The host hotel parking lots will fill up immediately (except the Sheraton, they have an awesome private parking garage), so you really shouldn't count on them. To one side of the Marriott you'll find a good amount of open air parking but 1) this will fill up very quickly as the dealers and exhibitors will store their trailers there, and 2) it's not especially secure if you need to store anything in your car.

 

There are three particular parking garages that the veteran D*C drivers like to use, although both are expensive.

  • The first is straight along Andrew Young International. Once you pass the Hard Rock Cafe on the right, you'll see a 10 story parking garage on the right. This place is seriously nasty, dirty, horrible, and has the slowest, nastiest elevator you've ever seen. But it's parking, and you can get away with multiple nights: $75 should do it. From there it's a block's walk to the Hyatt.
  • The second is the SunTrust building. If you drive just past the Marriott you'll see it on the right. There's a lot of parking and it's very clean and, more importantly, secure. Plus it's conveniently nearby if you need to make multiple trips to the car. It is, however, incredibly expensive. Plan to blow $120 on parking there for the weekend if you arrive Thursday.
  • The Courtland parking garage is across the street from the Hilton and catty corner from the Marriott.  The rates are usually tweaked on Friday morning for DragonCon and those prices last until Monday.  It has the advantage of a sky bridge that connects it directly to the Peachtree Center food court.  It's also potentially $120 for the weekend.

 

The hotels vary in parking availability.  Valet of course is more expensive.  The Hilton is $22/day for self parking.  The other hotels' prices vary, and they give preferential treatment to the people who hold memberships. 

 

It's worth noting that if you arrive during business hours on Thursday or Friday a lot of the parking spaces will be taken up by people parking and going to work. You'll generally still be able to find a spot, but after 5pm on either day you'll have an easier time of it... though you'll have a much, much worse time of getting anywhere through the traffic.

 

Other Driving Alternatives 

 

  • Zipcar is a car sharing service.  They have a handful of cars around the DragonCon area,  including 2 right across the street from the Sheraton. You pay for the time you use the car,  and that's all, unless you're late. Then they charge a fee.  Otherwise,  they cover the cost of gas and insurance. They charge an annual fee,  and charge to reopen your account after closing it.  So not the best choice unless you have an avid Zipcar user in your group. Their customer service can be indifferent.  They have a Twitter and frequently give away free driving credit.  
  • Uber is new to the Atlanta area.  They have 2 levels of service.  The less expensive is a local driver,  and you get whatever is available.  The more expensive option has bonded, insured,  and fingerprinted drivers for the security of passengers and luggage. Accessible via Web,  iPhone or Android.  If you have a friend,  they can provide you with a code that discounts your first ride. 
  • Lyft is also new to the area.  Pretty similar to Uber,  right down to the app and discount codes. 
  • Local Taxis can be called by the concierge of any hotel you're staying at,  if such exists.  Many cabs have a QR code you can use to download an iPhone or Android app,  but the response time is touch and go.  Uber can be considered more reliable. 
  • DragonCon also has a shuttle bus that makes scheduled rounds to get from one hotel to another.  

 

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