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TRAVEL: My Guide to Atlanta
Keith Robinson
 
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In the ten years since the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta has gone from being a place that one rarely visited willingly to one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. There’s a rich Southern cultural history, which has spawned such musical talents as Usher, Outkast, Lil’ John and Ludacris; there’s also the combination of delicious Southern food and hospitality that makes Atlanta a prime destination to visit.

Hotels
For a great hotel, try the traditional, posh Four Seasons. (Their pool is filled with salt water instead of chlorinated water.) The Ritz Carlton is always a good choice because of its easy access to shopping and nightlife. The Grant Hyatt and the modern Swiss Hotel are also good places to stay. Then there’s the really cool W Hotel. It’s got a nice ambiance and a modern décor. It’s my personal favorite.

Restaurants
Piedmont Park is an area with a lot of great restaurants and bars. My favorite restaurant is Blue Pointe. It’s a wonderful seafood restaurant that blends modern American cuisine with a hint of Asian flavor. I also like Two Urban Licks, which combines New Orleans and Southern cuisine, and One Midtown Kitchen, which serves modern American cuisine. All three have great food. For traditional soul food, go to Beautiful. It’s a cafeteria on the south side that’s been around for years. It’s one of Atlanta’s best restaurants. For a quick bite, try Varsity for greasy food like burgers, fries and big onion rings. There’s a restaurant called the Sun Dial at the top of the State Building downtown, which is a great place to take a date. You can see the whole city from up top. They serve steaks, seafood, great salads—stuff like that.

Shopping

Buckhead, the area also known as the “Shopping Mecca of the Southeast,” boasts incredible shopping and plenty of restaurants. It’s the spot in Atlanta. It has everything from Gucci to Ralph Lauren to Sean John. It’s like a mini-city inside downtown Atlanta. Downtown also has a lot of men’s shops, including Walker’s shoes, a landmark in Atlanta, right on the corner of Peachtree Street. The Highlands, a miniature version of New York’s SoHo, is a really artsy neighborhood with cool shops where you can buy vintage clothing, vintage records and the like.

Nightlife
Downtown Atlanta is pretty much where it’s popping. You should stop by Diddy’s restaurant, Justin’s. They have a great happy hour there. If you want comedy, there’s The Comedy Corner, right off Peachtree.
For bars, definitely visit The Lounge, Strip, and a new spot next to the Georgia Aquarium called Lucky. As far as clubs go, there’s Compound, which is really nice and huge. You’ll get a young professional crowd there and lots of beautiful women. Two other popular downtown clubs are The Velvet Room and Verve.
A lot of people hang out at strip clubs in Atlanta. We’ve got a million of them. Magic City is a tradition in Atlanta. There’s also Body Tap and Pink Pony.

Keith Robinson stars in the Fox legal drama Canterbury’s Law, airing in January. He also stars alongside Val Kilmer in the CBS mini-series Comanche Moon in December. Catch Robinson on the big screen in This Christmas, opening November 21. He also has three singles available on iTunes: “Red Eye,” “The One” and “Ride For You.”

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