Travel + Leisure ranked Ponce City Market as one of the World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions in 2014, and it has become even better since then. Today this iconic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building is a towering beacon of history and entertainment that welcomes thousands of visitors. Just a five-minute drive from Stonehurst Place, people come from all over Atlanta and beyond to try the cuisine, explore the stores, and admire the unparalleled Atlanta skyline view from the rooftop. Are you ready to join them for an experience like no other? Read through our guide and discover some of the treasures and hidden gems this landmark has to offer. You can even enhance your visit and get the full Atlanta experience by exploring our complete Travel Guide! Just like Ponce City Market, our guide is packed with possibilities just waiting for you to enjoy them. Plus, it’s free!
Discover Two Million Square Feet of Food, Fun, and Fascination
1. Embrace Your Inner Shop-a-Holic
If you’ve ever fantasized about going on an all-out shopping spree, you can make that dream a reality at the many Ponce City Market shops. Inside this massive facility is a neighborhood of stores featuring everything from old-fashioned candy shops to upscale jewelry boutiques. You may not have any specific products in mind when you come here, but don’t be surprised if you still find yourself with arms full of shopping bags! Here are some of the top spots worth checking out:
2. Treat Your Taste Buds
All that shopping is sure to work up an appetite and lucky for you, Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall can satisfy any craving. You can sit down at a table and let James Beard Award-winning chefs dazzle you with gourmet dishes. Or, grab a coffee and a sandwich to-go so you can continue your shopping adventures. Either way, the Food Hall is a must. Plus, the marketplace atmosphere has a charming vibe that you wouldn’t find at your average food court. Look through some of the top-notch eateries and enjoy the flavors of Atlanta. Make sure you try the ramen at Ton Ton!
Classic American Fare
Treats for Your Sweet Tooth
3. Take Excitement to New Heights
The rows of shops and restaurants may be the highlights for some visitors, but many people say the real Ponce City experience begins well above ground level. The Ponce City Market rooftop overlooks the city, offering remarkable views and unforgettable experiences. Leave all your worries at the elevator door and get ready to venture upward for carnival-style games and rides, a craft beer garden, and more. You can even challenge your friends to some mini golf and see who has to buy the next round of drinks!
Ten dollars for admission is more than reasonable when you think about all of the fun times waiting for you at Skyline Park. Test your skills at games like skeeball and ring toss, ride to the top of the Heege Tower, and see if you can score a hole-in-one on the 18-hole mini golf course. When hunger strikes, you can grab hot dogs, soft pretzels, tacos, and more. There are plenty of tasty cocktails available, too!
9 Mile Station
There’s nothing like sitting back and gazing at the Atlanta skyline with a glass of wine in hand. Nine Mile Station makes this daydream a reality, and trust us — it’s even more beautiful than you can imagine. The rooftop at Ponce City Market offers a sweeping view of Midtown, Downtown, and Buckhead. Head to 9 Mile Station’s lovely outdoor seating area and drink it all in! They have a variety of wines, local craft beers, and a full dinner menu of delicious food.
Local Tip: In the wintertime, The Roof at Ponce City Market sets up an ice-skating rink and pop-up igloos for dining at 9 Mile Station. Pair these with the star-lit skyline, and you’re in for a truly romantic date night in the city.
4. Learn the Story Behind It All
Of course, Ponce City Market wasn’t always what it is today. For you history buffs out there, it’s worth learning about the fascinating timeline of this Atlanta icon.
Did you know that in the 1860s, the location was initially named Ponce de Leons Springs because of the spring water’s supposed ability to cure sicknesses? Ponce de Leon Amusement Park was added several years later, attracting people from all over the city to take part in the thrills. They nicknamed it “the Coney Island of Atlanta!” The year 1907 brought the addition of Ponce de Leon Baseball Park for minor league players and cheering fans.
One of the most notable moments on the Ponce City timeline is when Sears, Roebuck & Co. purchased land here for their massive warehouse and store. However, this only lasted until 1989. The mayor of Atlanta then bought the building and turned it into City Hall East two years later. Finally, with plans to revitalize the old Sears building while preserving its history, Jamestown purchased the structure and began restoration efforts in 2011. In 2014, Ponce City Market was officially open for business!
Tips and Tricks for Visitors
- Bring comfortable walking shoes so you can spend plenty of time exploring the shops!
- Ponce City Market is on the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. You can easily walk, jog, or bike from Piedmont Park.
- Ponce City Market offers free bike valet service for cyclists by the BeltLine entrance.
- Hours vary depending on the businesses, so view the directory before your visit if there’s a specific one you want to check out.
- If you’re heading to the rooftop, make sure you check the weather forecast!
Keep an eye out for some unique Ponce City Market events, too. This historic building is full of exciting possibilities, and so is its calendar. The options range from Mardi Gras celebrations on the rooftop to cooking classes. You’re sure to find something to suit your interests! So, whether you’re meeting someone new or learning something new, you’re in for an exceptional experience.
Enjoy the Luxury and Convenience of Stonehurst Place Nearby
To get the most from your visit, we invite you to stay nearby at our luxurious boutique inn. Stonehurst Place is a five-minute drive from Ponce City Market, and our Midtown Atlanta location is convenient to the Atlanta BeltLine if you prefer to walk or bike there. The advantages go well beyond our location, though. Our historic mansion is home to six unique rooms and suites for you to choose from and they all come with luxurious amenities like seven-layer Comphy linens, plush bathrobes, and Amazon Echo smart alarm clocks.
Consider a stay in our Master Suite and discover what true relaxation feels like. This spacious retreat features a king-size walnut and leather bed, a large executive desk, and a cozy sitting area by the fireplace. Every detail in the Master Suite has been meticulously designed to offer you the perfect experience, all the way to the heated marble flooring in the bathroom. And, there’s plenty of room in the walk-in closet for all your shopping bags from Ponce City Market!
Book your stay at Stonehurst Place and enjoy a truly memorable visit to Atlanta!
Photos courtesy of Jamestown