Amanda Arnold

Correspondent

  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Amanda Arnold is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent based in Atlanta. Arnold likes to give readers the inside scoop about some of the world’s most gorgeous hotels and tastiest eateries. She has worked at Discovery Communications, where she edited and composed pieces for its many websites, including TLC.com, Discovery.com and Howstuffworks.com. When it comes to her own travels, she’s game for either outdoorsy excursions (kayaking in Grand Teton) or luxury boutique stays (in the French Riviera, please!) — or better yet, one trip that includes a little of both.

  • On June 3, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best restaurants in Atlanta?

    I'm going to second Ford Fry's Nuevo Laredo Cantina vote for best casual spot in Atlanta. The "salsa to end your search" declaration on the menu at this Mexican dive is accurate. You'll be addicted immediately — the chicken diablo, chicken enchiladas, lobster tacos and fajitas are delish. For something a bit trendier and dressier, my latest favorite is No. 246 (which, incidentally, is owned by Ford Fry) just outside Atlanta proper in downtown Decatur — a quaint area any visitor to the city should visit, and you can even get there via Marta. Everything tastes so good there — even the olive oil and bread they bring out as a starter. I recommend the spaghettini with Georgia shrimp, sugar snap peas, garlic and spinach, or the gnocchi with spicy pork meatballs, English peas, roasted mushrooms and garlic. Nearby Cakes and Ale is also a popular spot, with a seasonal gourmet menu that will surprise you with its simplicity and pure, delicious flavor. I still think about the oysters I sampled at this spot. And speaking of oysters, the Oyster Bar at Fry’s The Optimist is a great spot to eat light on a wide selection of fresh oysters (the menu changes daily). I’m dying to try the key-lime push pop, too, next time I visit. 
  • On May 31, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best restaurants in Atlanta?

    I'm going to second Ford Fry's Nuevo Laredo Cantina vote for best casual spot in Atlanta. The "salsa to end your search" declaration on the menu at this Mexican dive is accurate. You'll be addicted immediately — the chicken diablo, chicken enchiladas, lobster tacos and fajitas are delish. For something a bit more trendy and dressy, my latest favorite is No. 246 (which, incidentally, is owned by Ford Fry) just outside Atlanta proper in downtown Decatur — a quaint area any visitor to the city should visit, and you can even get there via Marta. Everything tastes so good there — even the olive oil and bread they bring out as a starter. I recommend the spaghettini with Georgia shrimp, sugar snap peas, garlic and spinach, or the gnocchi with spicy pork meatballs, English peas, roasted mushrooms and garlic. Nearby Cakes and Ale is also a popular spot, with a seasonal gourmet menu that will surprise you with its simplicity and pure, delicious flavor. I still think about the oysters I sampled at this spot. And speaking of oysters, the Oyster Bar at Fry’s The Optimist is a great spot to eat light on a wide selection of fresh oysters (the menu changes daily). I’m dying to try the key-lime push pop, too, next time I visit. 
  • On May 31, 2013
    Amanda Arnold is now following Jaydine Sayer
  • On May 30, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best restaurants in Austin?

    Austin takes pride in its food — you can see it in the eyes of the city’s many attentive servers, who present dishes with extra special care. There are a gazillion great spots to chow down on something delicious, but here’s a small sampling of a few greats:

    Uchi. Chef Tyson Cole is a James Beard Awards winner, so it’s clear the sushi at his Austin spot is top notch. The seafood is flown in from a market in Tokyo, but the rest of the ingredients are seasonal and local, which results in interesting ingredients combinations you probably won’t find on any other sushi restaurant’s menu.

    TRIO. Found at the bottom of a grand carpeted staircase that leads to the ground level of Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Hotel Austin, this fine-dining establishment overlooks a lovely manicured lawn and Lady Bird Lake. Be sure to snag a seat on the patio to dine outdoors on filet mignon, rack of lamb or Texas shrimp. This restaurant serves all the dishes you’d expect from a traditional steak and seafood fine-dining spot, and its cocktails are Four Seasons worthy with fresh ingredients and quality liquor. (This is Texas, so try the margarita.)

    Green Pastures Restaurant. This historic restaurant occupies a Southern Victorian home, complete with a wraparound porch, live oak trees and a manicured lawn populated with peacocks. The wood floors are creaky, the décor is appropriately antique, and the French-influenced cuisine is truly delicious. For lunch, I recommend the surprisingly flavorful Chicken Romaine Salad, with avocado, macadamia nuts, cranberries, Manchego cheese and roasted garlic dressing. We also sprung for the Bananas Foster for dessert, which was prepared right by our table by our jovial server and tasted delicious.

    24 Diner. The restaurant’s website describes itself as a “finer diner” — a spot that serves up comfort food made with all-natural ingredients. The eggs? Vital Farms free-range and grass-fed. The pork? Beeler’s all-natural and nitrate free. The bread? Made fresh daily. There’s even a gluten free menu. But while the cuisine is grease free, it’s still diner true. There are 11 types of burgers to choose from (bacon gorgonzola with caramelized onions; spicy pepper with Monterey Jack, pepper relish and avocado); a long list of milkshakes made to order with local strawberries and single-origin chocolate; and of course breakfast faves like chicken and waffles, and corned beef hash.

    Food trucks. It’d be a shame to visit Austin without trying out its many food trailers. There are tons to sample, but whatever you do, be sure to finish off your meal at Holy Cacao, which serves a frozen drinking chocolate (hot chocolate combined with ice and Blue Bell ice cream) that will top any milkshake or glass of chocolate milk you’ve ever drunk. Truly to die for.
  • On May 29, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best things to do in Austin?

    Austin, Texas is sure to win you over with its flawlessly friendly people, excellent food, vibrant arts scene and easy-to-navigate downtown. Here’s what to do while you're in the area:

    1. See the bats. Austin is known for being a bit quirky, so it’s no surprise that some of the city’s most beloved residents are the 1.5 million bats who live beneath the Congress Avenue bridge downtown. Each night, when the sun goes down, the bats flood out of the bridge and swarm down the Colorado River toward the countryside, where they do the area farmers a favor by ingesting insects. It’s quite a sight. At dusk, Austin tourists and locals gather on the bridge, on the grassy bank next to the bridge, on the dock by the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, and even on kayaks, paddleboats and riverboats on the water below to watch the spectacle. And so should you. 

    2. Hear live music. Music is what this city is all about, so be sure to hit up one of its many dive music establishments. Perhaps venture down the stairs to The Elephant Room, a dimly-lit, speakeasy-esque, basement club on Congress Avenue that features live jazz music.

    3. Eat some barbecue. Texas knows its meat. And barbecue joint The Salt Lick, in Driftwood, Texas, just a bit outside the city, is a good place to sample it. Carnivores will love the juicy pork rib and beef brisket, with two spicy sauces — not to mention the pecan pie a la mode and pale of local Shiner Bock beer. The property includes a vineyard, as well, so you can even participate in a wine tasting. Dining is super casual at this Hill Country establishment — eat outside or inside on wide picnic tables with benches. Many locals even roll in their own coolers of beverages.

    4. Visit the food trucks. You’ve surely heard of the delicious eats dealt out of Austin’s renowned food trailers. So be sure hit up a taco truck like Torchy’s — perhaps order the Trailer Park taco, which includes fried chicken, green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese. And definitely try Holy Cacao for dessert. Its frozen drinking chocolate (hot chocolate blended with ice and Blue Bell Dutch chocolate ice cream) is the best thing I've tasted in a long time. 

    5. Visit the Texas Hill Country. To the west of Austin, you’ll find the Hill Country, a peaceful, rolling landscape dotted with trees where you can taste wine at wineries (try Becker Vineyards), visit lavender farms and view wildflowers. The area is best in April when the famous bluebonnets bloom, making for a particularly lovely scene. 
  • On May 28, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best things to do in Austin?

    Austin, Texas is sure to win you over with its flawlessly friendly people, excellent food, vibrant arts scene and easy-to-navigate downtown. Here’s what to do while you're in the area:

    1. See the bats. Austin is known for being a bit quirky, so it’s no surprise that some of the city’s most beloved residents are the 1.5 million bats who live beneath the Congress Avenue bridge downtown. Each night, when the sun goes down, the bats flood out of the bridge and swarm down the Colorado River toward the countryside, where they do the area farmers a favor by ingesting insects. It’s quite a sight. At dusk, Austin tourists and locals gather on the bridge, on the grassy knoll next to the bridge, on the dock by the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, and even on kayaks, paddleboats and riverboats on the water below to watch the spectacle. And so should you. 

    2. Hear live music. Music is what this city is all about, so be sure to hit up one of its many dive music establishments. Perhaps venture down the stairs to The Elephant Room, a dimly-lit, speakeasy-esque, basement club on Congress Avenue that features live jazz music.

    3. Eat some barbecue. Texas knows its meat. And barbecue joint The Salt Lick, in Driftwood, Texas, just a bit outside the city, is a good place to sample it. Carnivores will love the juicy pork rib and beef brisket, with two spicy sauces — not to mention the pecan pie a la mode and pale of local Shiner Bock beer. The property includes a vineyard, as well, so you can even participate in a wine tasting. Dining is super casual at this Hill Country establishment — eat outside or inside on wide picnic tables with benches. Many locals even roll in their own coolers of beverages.

    4. Visit the food trucks. You’ve surely heard of the delicious eats dealt out of Austin’s renowned food trailers. So be sure hit up a taco truck like Torchy’s — perhaps order the Trailer Park taco, which includes fried chicken, green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese. And definitely try Holy Cacao for dessert. Its frozen drinking chocolate (hot chocolate blended with ice and Blue Bell Dutch chocolate ice cream) is the best thing I've tasted in a long time. 

    5. Visit the Texas Hill Country. To the west of Austin, you’ll find the Hill Country, a peaceful, rolling landscape dotted with trees where you can taste wine at wineries (try Becker Vineyards), visit lavender farms and view wildflowers. The area is best in April when the famous bluebonnets bloom, making for a particularly lovely scene. 
  • On May 28, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best things to do in Austin?

    Austin, Texas is sure to win you over with its flawlessly friendly people, excellent food, vibrant arts scene and easy-to-navigate downtown. Here’s what to do while you're in the area:

    1. See the bats. Austin is known for being a bit quirky, so it’s no surprise that some of the city’s most beloved residents are the 1.5 million bats who live beneath the Congress Avenue bridge downtown. Each night, when the sun goes down, the bats flood out of the bridge and swarm down the Colorado River toward the countryside, where they do the area farmers a favor by ingesting insects. It’s quite a sight. At dusk, Austin tourists and locals gather on the bridge, on the grassy knoll next to the bridge, on the dock by the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, and even on kayaks, paddleboats and riverboats on the water below to watch the spectacle. And so should you. 

    2. Hear live music. Music is what this city is all about, so be sure to hit up one of its many dive music establishments. Perhaps venture down the stairs to The Elephant Room, a dimly-lit, speakeasy-esque, basement club on Congress Avenue that features live jazz music.

    3. Eat some barbecue. Texas knows its meat. And barbecue joint The Salt Lick, in Driftwood, Texas, just a bit outside the city, is a good place to sample it. Carnivores will love the juicy pork rib and beef brisket, with two spicy sauces — not to mention the pecan pie a la mode and pale of local Shiner Bock beer. The property includes a vineyard, as well, so you can even participate in a wine tasting. Dining is super casual at this Hill Country establishment — eat outside or inside on wide picnic tables with benches. Many locals even roll in their own coolers of beverages.

    4. Visit the food trucks. You’ve surely heard of the delicious eats dealt out of Austin’s renowned food trailers. So be sure hit up a taco truck like Torchy’s — perhaps order the Trailer Park taco, which includes fried chicken, green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese. And definitely try Holy Cacao, if you get a chance. Its frozen drinking chocolate (hot chocolate blended with ice and Blue Bell Dutch chocolate ice cream) is the best thing I've tasted in a long time. 

    5. Visit the Texas Hill Country. To the west of Austin, you’ll find the Hill Country, a peaceful, rolling landscape dotted with trees where you can taste wine at wineries (try Becker Vineyards), visit lavender farms and view wildflowers. The area is best in April when the famous bluebonnets bloom, making for a particularly lovely scene. 
  • On May 28, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best things to do in Austin?

    Austin, Texas is sure to win you over with its flawlessly friendly people, excellent food, vibrant arts scene and easy-to-navigate downtown. Here’s what to do while you're in the area:

    1. See the bats. Austin is known for being a bit quirky, so it’s no surprise that some of the city’s most beloved residents are the 1.5 million bats who live beneath the Congress Avenue bridge downtown. Each night, when the sun goes down, the bats flood out of the bridge and swarm down the Colorado River toward the countryside, where they do the area farmers a favor by ingesting insects. It’s quite a sight. At dusk, Austin tourists and locals gather on the bridge, on the grassy knoll next to the bridge, on the dock by the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, and even on kayaks, paddleboats and riverboats on the water below to watch the spectacle. And so should you. 

    2. Hear live music. Music is what this city is all about, so be sure to hit up one of its many dive music establishments. Perhaps venture down the stairs to The Elephant Room, a dimly-lit, speakeasy-esque, basement club on Congress Avenue that features live jazz music.

    3. Eat some barbecue. Texas knows its meat. And barbecue joint The Salt Lick, in Driftwood, Texas, just a bit outside the city, is a good place to sample it. Carnivores will love the juicy pork rib and beef brisket, with two spicy sauces — not to mention the pecan pie a la mode and pale of local Shiner Bock beer. The property includes a vineyard, as well, so you can even participate in a wine tasting. Dining is super casual at this Hill Country establishment — eat outside or inside on wide picnic tables with benches. Many locals even roll in their own coolers of beverages.

    4. Visit the food trucks. You’ve surely heard of the delicious eats dealt out of Austin’s renowned food trailers. So be sure hit up a taco truck like Torchy’s — perhaps order the Trailer Park taco, which includes fried chicken, green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese. And definitely try Holy Cacao, if you get a chance. Its frozen drinking chocolate (hot chocolate blended with ice and Blue Bell Dutch chocolate ice cream) is the best thing I've tasted in a long time. 

    5. Visit the Texas Hill Country. To the west of Austin, you’ll find the Hill Country, a peaceful, rolling landscape dotted with trees where you can taste wine at wineries (try Becker Vineyards), visit lavender farms and view wildflowers. The area is best in April when the famous bluebonnets bloom, making for a particularly lovely scene. 
  • On May 24, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What should I pack for a trip to Charleston?

    Charleston, South Carolina is by far one of the quaintest towns in the Southeast. We’re certain you’ll enjoy your visit. Here’s what you should bring along for the ride:

    1. Stylish walking shoes. You’ll want to walk the charming streets of Charleston to get a closer look at the gorgeous architecture. The homes on the Battery, in particular, are sure to draw you in for a long gaze, so driving simply won’t do. Slip into a pair of comfortable walking shoes — perhaps boat shoes, to fit in with the natives of this seaside town — and hit the pavement (and cobblestone).

    2. Sundresses and shorts. Like many cities in the Southeast, Charleston is not just hot but ultra-humid in the spring and summer. Sticky weather calls for light and breezy clothes (trust us), which is why you’ll see so many of the native ladies wearing sundresses. Join the crowd, girls, and don a muted sundress during the day — and also out to dinner and drinks at night. Guys, bring your khaki shorts. 

    3. Your swimsuit. One of the most wonderful things about Charleston is that it’s so close to the beach. Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island and Kiawah are each a mere 20 minutes or so away from the city, so you should definitely pay a visit to the ocean.

    4. Your camera — or your phone, that is. If you’re a first-timer to Charleston, you’ll be transfixed by all the intricate details of Charleston’s historical architecture. Don’t be surprised if you start snapping images of potted lemon trees on porches, ornate columns and wrought iron balconies. It’s all just so pretty.

    5. Your appetite. Charleston is known for its rich, low country fare, and you need to experience it. Nix the diet and dig into a deep plate of spicy shrimp, Andouille sausage and grits — not to mention fried hominy and hush puppies. It's worth it. 
  • On May 23, 2013
    Xania Woodman is now following Amanda Arnold
  • On May 22, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What should I pack for a trip to Charleston?

    Charleston, South Carolina is by far one of the quaintest towns in the Southeast. We’re certain you’ll enjoy your visit. Here’s what you should bring along for the ride:

    1. Stylish walking shoes. You’ll want to walk the charming streets of Charleston to get a closer look at the gorgeous architecture. The homes on the Battery, in particular, are sure to draw you in for a long gaze, so driving simply won’t do. Slip into a pair of comfortable walking shoes — perhaps boat shoes, to fit in with the natives of this seaside town — and hit the pavement (and cobblestone).

    2. Sundresses and shorts. Like many cities in the Southeast, Charleston is not just hot but ultra-humid in the spring and summer. Sticky weather calls for light and breezy clothes (trust us), which is why you’ll see so many of the native ladies wearing sundresses. Join the crowd, girls, and don a muted sundress during the day — and also out to dinner and drinks at night. Guys, bring your khacki shorts. 

    3. Your swimsuit. One of the most wonderful things about Charleston is that it’s so close to the beach. Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island and Kiawah are each a mere 20 minutes or so away from the city, so you should definitely pay a visit to the ocean.

    4. Your camera — or your phone, that is. If you’re a first-timer to Charleston, you’ll be transfixed by all the intricate details of Charleston’s historical architecture. Don’t be surprised if you start snapping images of potted lemon trees on porches, ornate columns and wrought iron balconies. It’s all just so pretty.

    5. Your appetite. Charleston is known for its rich, low country fare, and you need to experience it. Nix the diet and dig into a deep plate of spicy shrimp, Andouille sausage and grits — not to mention fried hominy and hush puppies. It's worth it. 
  • On May 21, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What should I pack for a trip to Miami?

    You’ll definitely need a swimsuit for this beachy destination, but what else should you bring for your trip to sun-filled Miami?

    1. Sunscreen. Whether you’re going for an early morning jog on the South Beach boardwalk, enjoying an afternoon of shopping on Lincoln Road, or kicking back on one of your hotel’s cushioned beach chairs, you’ll need plenty of SPF to protect your skin from the sun.

    2. Your trendiest, most brightly-hued clothes. As you’ve probably heard, fashion is dialed up to a higher volume in Miami, so you’ll actually feel out of place if you aren’t flaunting your loudest sundress and highest heels. Don’t be afraid to turn it up.

    3. Beach bag. You’ll likely be spending plenty of time sunbathing (with your SPF on, of course), so be sure to bring along something cute and stylish to carry all of your belongings (e-reader, phone, sunscreen) in to the pool or to the beach.

    4. Sunglasses. The sun is bright in Miami, so be sure to arrive in your shades. Though, if you do happen to forget yours from home, you’ll certainly find plenty of inspiration in Miami, where everyone seems to be wearing the hippest shades on the market. Purchase a new pair — automatic souvenir!

    5. Nail polish. Either arrange for a pedicure at your hotel's spa or bring along your own polish — just make sure your toenails look their best for pool time and for those open-toed heels you're planning to wear at night. And the shade should be bright — Miami bright.
  • On May 20, 2013
    Amanda Arnold is now following Jordan Lawson
  • On May 20, 2013
    Amanda Arnold is now following Jennifer Kester