What’s the best time to visit Atlanta?

I would say during the beginning of our spring. It’s getting a little warmer out, but there’s still snow on the ground in New York and Chicago. That’s the best time of year for me. Or during football season.

  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are the best art galleries in Atlanta?

    The top notch art gallery in Atlanta is the High Museum.
    It's world famous -- and the interior is STUNNING -- and is one of Atlanta's most admired landmarks. It caters to high end art lovers, but is inviting to would-be enthusiasts. One of the best activities around town is the High Museum's “Friday Night Jazz” series, followed closely by “Films at the High” and family hands-on events which include “Toddler Thursday” and “Second Sunday Funday.” It's both educational and entertaining and gives one heck of an art fix.
    Now through the end of September, the must-see exhibit is "The Girl With The Pearl Earring," which features the artistic achievements of the Dutch Golden Age.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are the best parks in Atlanta?

    One of the best parks in Atlanta is Piedmont Park.
    It's a sprawling area that's home to Piedmont Park Aquatic Center, Active Oval, playgrounds, paths, trails and lush lawns. It's also where Atlanta's most known festival happens -- the Dogwood Festival, in addition to the Peachtree Road Race and the Music Midtown event.
    But on any given day, there's something going on in the summer time and fall. Here, you'll find park-goers running, biking, skating and holding private picnics on the green space.
    There also are organized activities throughout the summer like Campfit, which is happening now until August, where campers from the ages of 11 - 15 can do yoga, pilates and stretching, calisthenics, basketball, soccer and kickball.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are the five best free things to do in Atlanta?

    Yes, there are free things to do in Atlanta!
    Some of my suggestions make for awesome and inventive dates, so romantics take note!
    • Head to Piedmont Park and take in a festival, play tennis, have a picnic or just walk around the area and take in the lush foliage.
    • Go to the High Museum on the first weekend of the month -- if you hold a Bank of America card and are a student or resident of Fulton County, it's free!
    • Pretend it's 1996 -- when the Olympics were held here! -- and run through the Olympic Rings fountain at Centennial Olympic Park.
    • Get a dose of history and take in the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic site.
    • See how the other half lives (or at least the head of this state) and tour the Governor's mansion.
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  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are the best restaurants for outdoor dining in Atlanta?

    There are plenty of outdoor dining options in Atlanta -- and I'll take you through several different cuisine options for some of the better places to head to.

    Aja is one of Atlanta's best Asian restaurant concepts, and has been around since 2008. Yes, it's one of these see-and-be-seen places (you've likely caught a heated argument happening there from one of your guilty pleasure reality TV shows!), but the food and the atmosphere holds up.
    They boast sophisticated sushi and seafood, inventive cockstails and they also have a private dining room that'll seat up to 50 people (should the outside weather prove to be too brutal!).
    The patio gives diners views of the Buckhead skyline, and if you catch a breeze on the right day, it makes for the most perfect al fresco dining area.

    Another great option is Canoe -- it's pricier, but well worth every bit of it. It offers a rare, outdoor seating option in Atlanta that gets you so close to water, you'll think you're ... well, you'll think you're not in Atlanta. The food is fantastic -- that almost goes without saying -- but it should be noted that this place serves rabbit and a smoked salmon with goat cheese, and both are out of this world.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are the best day trips near Atlanta?

    Let's face it: Napa Valley is a bit of a hike from the Peachtree State (not to mention it can be quite the strain on your checking account). So a quicker solution? Check out Georgia's wine country!
    Head to Montaluce Vineyards and take a tour of the breathtaking scenery. Here, you can sample wines in a private dining room and eat dinner at Le Vigne Restaurant. And this is a fun overnight trip for sure -- there are tons of Bed & Breakfast locations neighboring the vineyards.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are some things I should know before visiting Atlanta?

    By now you know all about how fantastic the food is in Atlanta, so the thing you need to know before you head here is that your waistline WILL expand!

    One of your first stops should be Mary Mac's Tea Room, which has been an Atlanta tradition for generations. But don't expect to get tea and scones here. In fact, the only tea served up here is cold and sweet, just the way it should be.
    Instead, you'll feast on chicken and dumplings, black eyed peas, unlimited hot yeast rolls and corn bread with butter.

    And if the food doesn't do you in, the nightlife will be just the trick. Inman Park is by far my favorite neighborhood, but for a more tony nightlife experience, head to Virginia Highlands, which is an Atlanta must-do.
    Here, you'll find casual pub-hopping, fantastic local bars and great local color eateries like DBA BBQ. It's also one of the easier neighborhoods to get around in, so it's plumb for cabbing. Must see bars include: Atkins Park, Highland Pub, and Limerick Junctions.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Atlanta?

    credit This month there are only two concerts of note to save up for and they actually happen on the same night!
    Hometown hero and reality star T.I. takes the stage with hitmaker Lil' Wayne, in one of the most anticipated concert tours this summer in all of hip-hop.
    Now if that concert is a little too savory, Beyonce Knowles heads to Atlanta the same night, for her highly anticipated Mrs. Carter North American tour. She just kicked it off at the end of June stateside as part of the BET Experience to rave reviews.

    The hip-hop show happens at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta at 7 p.m. and Beyonce's show happens at the Arena At Gwinnett Center in Duluth at 8 p.m. on July 12th.

    Which one will you choose?
  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    Should visitors rent a car in Atlanta?

    If you're planning on staying in midtown or downtown Atlanta, renting a car may not be entirely needed.
    While cabs aren't as plentiful as say they are in New York City or Chicago, you'll always see them regularly at area hotels. But one of the best new services to hit the city is UBER, which recently launched a low cost transportation option called uberX. It still works much in the same way as UBER, in that you download an app to your cell phone and request a car wherever you are, and this new service picks guests up in a hybrid or mid-range car -- like a Toyota Prius -- that can seat up to four people. 
    The rates are about what you'd find for a taxi -- base fare starts at $3, minimum charge is $8. Of course, if you want to travel with a bit more luxury, you can still summon a black car from UBER or an SUV (prices start at $7 for the black car and $14 for the SUV).

  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What should I pack for a trip to Atlanta?

    They don't call it Hotlanta without good reason!
    Now that we're in the thick of the summer -- humid, hot and sweltering on good days -- you'll want to make sure that you're prepared for this extreme heat that often comes with intense rain showers. In July, you'll want to pack for outdoor weather -- strappy maxi dresses, flowy skirts and tanks for women, cargo shorts and polo shirts for men -- but you'll want to bring shawls, light sweaters and denim jackets for the frigid indoor A/C temps. Many restuarants and hotels and indoor spaces accommodate guests suffering from the uber heat that they're experiencing outside; bringing something to toss over your shoulders will help immensely to keep the chill off.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Kelley L. Carter answered the question: Kelley L. Carter

    What are the best boutique hotels in Atlanta?

    The Georgian Terrace Hotel is perhaps one of the best boutique hotels in Atlanta.
    Rich with southern culture and charm all wrapped around modern luxury, this boutique spot is consistently one of Atlanta's best hotels and for good reason.
    It's ripe with antebellum history -- Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh stayed here before they attended the "Gone With The Wind" premiere at the historic Fox Theater, which is located right across the street.

    The hotel has been around since 1911, has been restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Georgian Terrance has 103 rooms, filled with the modern conveniences of flat screen televisions and free Wi-Fi.

    Be sure to have dinner at the Livingston Restaurant + Bar in the hotel -- and splurge on the lobster.