When out sightseeing in Atlanta it is bound to happen that you will need a restroom. As in many big cities, public restrooms can make for a traumatic experience, but if you stick to some basic rules you may be able to avoid major distress in searching for the best option.
Public restrooms, first of all, are difficult to find. There are some in MARTA train stations, but I would do my best to avoid those. Your best bet is sneaking into a restaurant or bar and using their facilities. If you aren’t the sneaking kind, you can ask, in your absolute sweetest voice, to use the establishment’s bathroom, but don’t be surprised if they turn you down (southern hospitality only goes so far).
Gas stations aren’t a bad gamble, but they still are a gamble. Public areas like Piedmont Park offer restrooms that are usually pretty decent, depending on the activities going on in the park and the time or day. You can also try out the very popular self-cleaning bathroom stall located off 10th street. Don’t be intimidated by the futuristic look of this silver capsule, the contraption will walk you through all the steps necessary to use the accommodations with verbal prompts. Even better, the automation means you don’t have to touch a thing if you don’t want. This spaceship-like lavatory is also well designed to avoid becoming a sleeping spot for the homeless. Although the robotic restroom is a pretty cold, hospital-like environment, it can be your saving grace in a time of need.
If you are particularly sensitive about where you use the potty, my best advice is drink less water and stay close to your hotel.
[photo courtesy of bobbymond]