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 March 26, 2013
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  • On March 23, 2013
    Amanda Arnold posted:

    I'm spending a long weekend in gorgeous Los Cabos. This place is both dreamy and homey at the same time. The sky and the water are such a flawless blue. And the people are so genteel and friendly. We spent the morning searching for humpback whales with Cabo Expeditions in the Sea of Cortez and were lucky enough to spot more than a few — some of them coming up for air right beside our boat. Tomorrow we go on a camel safari in the desert. Can't wait to see what that excursion entails!

  • On March 15, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best Charleston food experiences?

    My favorite Charleston haunt is The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene, a hole-in-the-wall, locals favorite set on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, S.C., just across the picturesque Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from downtown Charleston. The screened-in restaurant serves authentic low-country-style seafood — grilled, fried or broiled scallops, shrimp, oysters and crab (served with tartar and cocktail sauce) — and scrumptious South Carolina sides like hush puppies, fried hominy, red rice, slaw and she-crab soup. Even the banana pudding is exceptional. You won’t need to dress up for this beachy, creek-side eatery — the food is served on paper plates, beer comes in a can and every table receives a bowl of boiled peanuts to start. If there’s a wait, have a drink on the dock and take in the views of the marsh and the fishing boats.

    On Easter Sunday, downtown Charleston’s streets are filled with colorful ladies’ hats, I was delighted to learn when we headed to High Cotton for Easter brunch. This tidy, top-notch restaurant with lovely heart pine floors, exposed brick walls and knowledgeable servers offers contemporary low-country-style cuisine made with local ingredients. For brunch, try the Carolina Shrimp and Grits — Andouille, okra, tomatoes, garlic and serrano shrimp broth — or the Southern Breakfast Cassoulet — sunny-side up eggs over pork belly, shredded duck, butterbeans, red pepper jelly, sweet corn and tomatoes.

    Upscale beach town Sullivan’s Island, just 15 minutes from downtown Charleston, is populated with the most gorgeous historic beach homes and its beaches are unusually peaceful. I recommend visiting for lunch at Poe’s Tavern, which sits just a couple of blocks from the beach and serves a creative selection of gourmet burgers (the Annabel Lee is topped with a Charleston-style crab cake) and fish tacos. Plus, its outdoor seating allows you to breath in the salty air.

    And last but not least — the Jack’s Cosmic Dogs hotdog (and fries … and soft serve sundae). This Isle of Palms roadside hotdog eatery set in a cinderblock building that’ll take you back to bygone era serves some seriously delicious dogs. Try the Galactic dog — homemade chili, cheddar cheese, cole slaw and spicy mustard — and the restaurant’s fresh-cut fries, made with 100 percent peanut oil. And don't forget some soda pop — a little Cheerwine is sure to refresh after a day at the Isle of Palms beach. 
  • On March 13, 2013
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  • On March 13, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What are the best things about Zarkana?

    Cirque du Soleil shows are always packed with incredible feats, but I was particularly amazed by one Zarkana act involving — of all things — ladders. Amazingly, one of the male performers was able to climb a ladder (think the kind of ladder you lean up against your house to reach the roof) that leaned on nothing. After he’d climbed a number of rungs, a female performer climbed the same ladder and then stepped onto and balanced on top of the male performer’s head (not his shoulders). But it didn’t stop there. Another performer below then handed the male performer standing on the ladder a second ladder with a point at the bottom that he then balanced on his head, while the female performer proceeded to climb it. I’m still stumped as to how any of this was humanly possible.
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  • On March 8, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    Does Javier’s have a bar?

    I really adore Javier’s bar — the cozy, leather swivel stools (with built-in foot rests) are oh-so-comfortable, the bartenders are attentive, and the restaurant’s lively playlist of songs (classics like “Heartbreak Hotel,” by Elvis Presley, as well as mariachi music) is just loud and clear enough to insulate the area from the sound of the slots. A very intriguing and rather beautiful canopy of bright white rope hangs over the circular wooden bar, which is stocked with premium tequilas. Javier’s margaritas are hand shaken, made with fresh ingredients and poured over ice into generous tumblers. I ordered the Margarita de Pepino, which had cucumbers, agave nectar and fresh lime, and tasted fresh with the perfect amount of sweetness. And of course I certainly didn’t object to the complimentary chips and salsa.
  • On March 6, 2013
    Amanda Arnold answered the question: Amanda Arnold

    What special amenities are in the rooms at Vdara Hotel & Spa?

    The bathrooms in the suites at the Vdara Hotel & Spa are quite spacious and include both a shower and a separate, ultra-deep bathtub — it was so inviting, I couldn’t resist climbing in for a hot soak as soon as I got to my room. The view from my suite was stunning, particularly at night when the Las Vegas lights were at full force. If the sunlight was too bright during the morning or afternoon, you could lower the room’s blackout shades via a central control panel on the wall to make the room completely dark, which I thought was a cool feature. I still carry a bottle of Vdara hand lotion from my suite in my purse — I love the scent.