Four insider tips your Georgia State tour guide won’t tell

Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal
  1. Don’t waste your time inside Saxby’s.

Despite what seems to be the most convenient place for coffee and a snack, do not spend your time in the numbing line out the door of Saxby’s, which often leaks into the library. Saxbys is always full of library dwellers and professors who are running late. There’s also no need to walk to Peachtree Street for a cup of coffee at the Starbucks across from Aderhold. If you have a class within the plaza buildings, it’s rather unnecessary to take the 10 minutes up to Peachtree to the Starbucks.

There are much closer, quicker and cheaper options. First off, the closest option lies under the parking garage that doubles as Kell Hall. On the very bottom floor, or ramp, there is Georgia State’s Corner Cafe. It’s not so much a secret, but hides in plain sight. Under Kell, there is not a lot of foot traffic, so the lines are quicker and crowds are thinner. It’s not a fully stocked Starbucks by any stretch of the imagination, but there are classic coffee go tos that include French Roast, Cappuccinos, and Cafe Lattes. Bagels, pastries, fruit, and other quick options are supplied as well.

Across the street from Hurt Park, located in the lobby level at Woodruff Volunteer Center Tower, is Magnolia Bistro. If whispers are heard of a “Secret Starbucks,” Magnolia Bistro is the very one. Inside, besides lunch, breakfast and snack food are Starbucks frappuccinos, Iced Lattes, and Iced Chai Tea. Don’t walk to Peachtree, just cross Hurt Park.

  1. Shuttles can be unpredictable.

Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal
Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal

The shuttles help on a rainy day, but ultimately take longer. Once you get to Georgia State, walking to class might seem like a nuisance, but in actuality the shuttles might be more of one.

The schedule that the Georgia State shuttles are supposed to keep is very unofficial. At every bus stop there are estimated arrival times that are seldom kept to. They wait a good amount at each stop to allow students to get on. While a good thing for some, it can be rather inconvenient when you are trying to make it to class on time.

The answer is simple, take the streets yourself. If you are in no rush to get to campus, take the shuttle. On any regular day, I recommend walking if you are able. While walking on campus, you can witness any new additions in town and get to class at a similar or faster rate than the shuttles. Also, through walking, you can potentially get more done than arriving through the shuttles. You can pop in somewhere to pick up a bite to eat or accomplish an errand.

  1. Plaza hours are packed.

In between Sparks Hall, Kell Hall, Langdale Hall, Classroom South and the Library, Georgia State’s Plaza sits. Throughout class hours, each day, people fluctuate there from a handful or barely any room to move.

While the hours when there are crowds of students aren’t official, they are when protests take place, DJs are playing and events are promoted. If you are looking to congregate with your fellow students or enjoy the outdoors relatively unbothered, knowing when the Plaza is busy may be essential at Georgia State.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:15 p.m., the Plaza receives its busiest hours. If you are looking to catch the largest meeting of students, music, events or a good place to people watch; plant yourself on a ledge.

  1. Bike and camp for dirt cheap.

If you are in the mood to bike the Atlanta Beltline or want to drive up to a lake with a few friends one weekend, Georgia State’s Touch the Earth is an untapped resource.

Photo by Jason Luong | The Signal
Photo by Jason Luong | The Signal

At Touch the Earth, bikes can be rented for up to three days for essentially no charge.

As long as you do not bring the bike back late, with missing parts or destroyed, the requested $20 deposit is given back to you. Also at Touch the Earth, tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, cook kits, stoves, lanterns, ponchos, coolers, canoes, kayaks and other items are available for rent at a price that is significantly cheaper than obtaining them yourself.

Some items are available for rent if Touch the Earth certification is completed. Also, through Touch the Earth rock climbing is for free with your PantherCard in Georgia State’s Recreation Center. Through this program, having a rather pricey adventure is especially affordable.