The Vast Beauty of Ponce City Market

Gazing upon the 2,100,000-square-foot building can be a little overwhelming the first time you arrive, but walking inside of the main portion of Ponce City Market unravels the beauty within it. Ponce City contains enough sights, sounds and scents to leave you overloaded for the next week. The smell of the ramen bar on the ground floor floats upwards to the upper level, encasing potential customers in its warmth. The sound of kitchen knives from the multiple eating establishments ring down the large halls. The feeling of the cool, metal railings along the top floor gives a sense of security that you won’t tumble down.

What’s inside?

Ponce City Market, both within the main portion of the building as well as the outskirts of the building, houses 50 different shops including Anthropologie and Sephora. It also has smaller shops to visit such as Citizen Supply and Modern Mystic. You may not find chain places to eat at such as Panera or Starbucks but Ponce City Market has 34 different places to eat, each one more unique than the last. You can pick up a coffee at Dancing Goats or the most exquisite ramen at Ton Ton. If you’re open to different foods and drinks, you’ll love what Ponce has to offer.

One of the Ponce City Market signs.

Ponce City Market is a hot spot for all types of people. There’s draft beer and wine for the adults, a very chill spot for teens to hang out, and an entire park on the roof for the kids to enjoy. Foodies and fashionistas alike can enjoy the multitude of shops found around the building. Bookworms and those into spiritualism can also find their nook. Even the budding artist has their home here. It houses such diversity that there’s something for everyone.

What to do for free?

Photo of my friend in front of a red and blue window within Ponce City Market.

My personal favorite thing to do at Ponce City Market is to take artistic photos of my friends within the building. Ponce City Market has large, antique looking windows all around the building that can make for excellent backgrounds. The building also has colored windows scattered around and inside of shops, which can be fun to photograph. There are many other hot spots around Ponce City Market that make for excellent photography spots, but the windows are easy ones to find.

Of course, there are many other free things that you can do at Ponce City Market. You can simply window shop without buying anything. You can sit out on the patio on the upper level on provided chairs and enjoy the view of the city. You can sit outside on the lower level and watch for dogs. You can take a walk along the BeltLine. There are quite a few things to do for free, you might just have to spend a little more time to find it. A day at Ponce City Market won’t be boring if you keep exploring.

Does Ponce City Market do anything seasonally?

Buildings encasing the patio of Ponce City.

Ponce City Market has a long history dating back to the 1860’s, before the gigantic building was actually created. Some bits of Ponce City’s early life still remain on the roof of the building which is now titled “Skyline Park” in honor of the original Ponce De Leon Amusement Park that once sat on the property in 1903. There are some events that occur at Skyline Park, such as nightly horror movies during the month of October. When Ponce City was the warehouse store for Sears, Roebuck and Co, they actually had a farmers market. Keeping with their history, Ponce City still has a seasonal farmer’s market to this day during April until October.

There are also seasonal events such as pizza parties, board games, flower arrangement classes, and more. Some of the more popular events are when they have movies on the roof of Ponce City Market and anything involving alcohol, which probably isn’t much of a surprise. The bookstore at Ponce City called Posman Books also has meet and greets with authors and there are cooking classes at places like Root Baking Co.

Ponce City Market isn’t just limited to its giant building, of course. Ponce expands quite a ways and influences a lot of surrounding areas. Ponce has a direct route to the BeltLine, which is primarily traveled by foot or by bicycle. The creation of what we now know as Ponce City Market and the BeltLine were both planned around the other, giving it a unique historic relationship. The 33 mile long BeltLine connects tons of diverse people all across the Atlanta area in a unique way. The BeltLine isn’t the only thing that’s around Ponce City Market, so there’s so much to explore inside and around the area. Everything about this area of Atlanta depends on each other and molds the other into what it is today.

Graffiti by an Atlanta artist named Greg Mike on the BeltLine.

There’s so much to see and experience within and around Ponce City Market that it all can’t be experienced in one visit. Your stomach can’t possible hold all of the things eating establishments have to offer in one visit. While I do have some personal recommendations, I am always interested to hear of more recommendations that I didn’t touch upon. I also conducted a survey with young adults in college to get some of their input on Ponce City Market, which was very interesting to me.

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