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A conversation with Aarti Tandon about the Smart City Expo Atlanta

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With the first Smart City Expo Atlanta coming up in less than two weeks, Rico sits down with Aarti Tandon, the CEO, and co-founder of the expo. Aarti talks about how they’re striving to redefine “smart” by bringing in the human aspect of innovation into their event. By bringing in younger generations, people from the public and private sector, CEOs of corporations to mayors to non-profits, Aarti shares how the United States’ first Smart City Expo will instigate essential conversations and dialogue about what the future of technology is, how its applications can impact cities, and how we all can reframe our mindset towards “smart” technology.

Resources

SmartCityExpoAtlanta.com
Email: info@smartcityexpoatlanta.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SmartCityATL/photos/?tab=album&album_id=310784826476114
Instagram: @smartcityatl
Twitter: #SCATL19

“The conversation is so comprehensive. It’s micromobility, but it’s also building a workforce that’s not just the future of work, but how do you build dignity into the future of work. We talk about economic mobility. I think for us, in reframing the narrative, we want to talk about not just autonomous, electric and micromobility. We want to talk about social mobility, economic mobility. We want to talk about human capital alongside venture capital. And we want to make sure the infrastructure is equitable while it’s intelligent.”

Aarti Tandon, the CEO, and co-founder of smart city expo atlanta

Transcript of the podcast:

Rico [01:26 ]: Hi, this is Rico Figliolini, host of Peachtree Corners Life, a podcast that’s centered here in the city of Peachtree Corners, just north of Atlanta. The city of Atlanta that’s gonna be hosting, for the first time, the Smart City Expo Atlanta, which is an offshoot – it’s the US edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress that’s hosted every year since 2011 in Barcelona. And over the years, they’ve expanded to other cities like Brazil, Turkey, Japan, Mexico, Argentina – other countries – and this is the first time in the United States. So, what I want to do is bring on Aarti Tandon, who’s the cofounder of the Smart City Expo. So let’s bring her on. Hey Aarti, how are you?

Aarti [02:13 ]: Hi Rico, thanks for having me!

Rico [02:15 ]: No, this is great. I appreciate you bearing with me for the technical difficulties we were having before. But thank you for coming on.

Aarti [02:25 ]: My pleasure.

Rico [02:27 ]: So tell us a little bit about Aarti. Tell us who you are and how you got to Smart City Expo and stuff. Give us a brief.

Aarti [02:35 ]: Thank you for asking. So, I’m actually lawyer by trade, and many years ago, I was working in entertainment and after that, working at a project for a client of mine who was serving 14 years in federal prison. And I really understood what, at that time – how do we actually, really build an inclusive economy. I spent five years working pro bono for this case, and President Bush had granted a commutation to my client in 2008, and since then, I’ve been really trying to understand, you know, how do we use sports, entertainment and marry it with justice. I went on to produce a bunch of films, and then, in 2000, or actually probably three years ago, I was asked to be the executive director of Smart City New York. And in that process, I really wanted to talk about what makes a city smart. And sort of redefine the term. And we ended up having 2000 people from over 80 countries – over 30 countries. But we had the CEOs of UNICEF and Robin Hood and Boys and Girls Club in conversation with the Mastercards and the Microsofts. And we really felt that everyone had to have a seat at the table if we were going to make sure we had an inclusive, 21st century economy. And so last year, Mayor Bottoms was at our conference and I established a relationship with Vera, and we had decided, you know, she had a focus on developing strong Smart City strategy, and Atlanta would be an ideal place to host the first Smart City Expo World event in the US.

Rico [04:15 ]: So you were in – you helped run the Barcelona event, then?

Aarti [04:19 ]: No, I ran a separate New York event. It was just a Smart City conference.

Rico [04:24 ]: Oh, okay. So this is the big expo then.

Aarti [04:26 ]: This is the big one. Yeah. This is really exciting. So Smart City Expo World Congress, which is the original temple event that’s happened since 2011 in Barcelona, 20,000 people attend. It’s basically the CES for cities. And what’s interesting about it is that, the rest of the world has really been focused on smart city strategy. So when you think about actually countries that have had conflict, they’ve leapfrogged into the future because they didn’t have legacy issues to deal with that we have in the United States. And so they’re deploying all sorts of incredible work in Estonia and Kosovo and Rwanda. And so Smart City Expo World Congress has been convening these thought leaders since 2011.

Rico [05:12 ]: So, with the mayor of Atlanta talking – sort of getting it set up here in Atlanta. Now – you’re gonna – eventually it’s gonna be a three-year deal on this one.

Aarti [05:25 ]: Yeah. We – our goal is to really plant ourselves in Atlanta, right? That’s the temple event for the United States. And it’s hosted in Atlanta, but it’s actually a national event. And part of the reason for that is because a lot of the people from the public sector in the US can’t justify, or really afford, sending their CIOs to Barcelona. And so they’re missing out on a lot of the sharing of best practices that are happening, especially, you know, the Nordic countries are so ahead of us on circular economy and sustainability. People are working on cyber around the world. And so we really, genuinely felt that this conference is a national conference. And if you’re a CIO from South Dakota or Minnesota, you have the same challenges that most cities do, and we’d love to have them come and learn.

Rico [06:16 ]: So, and if I understand correctly too, there is – smart city is not just about corporations or upper or middle class people that can afford an iPhone ring or something like that. It’s really bringing it to an equitable position, right? All the people on the street, if you will, can feel the effects of a smart city. That’s what this theme is, I guess, for Atlanta?

Aarti [06:42 ]: Yeah. So our theme is – let’s redefine the term ‘smart’. People ask me all the time – the most inevitable question is, “What is a smart city?” And I did a presentation for the state department a few weeks ago, and my response was, increasing quality of life. And so, what does that mean? How do you use the data to increase quality of life? So my dear friend, the mayor of Helsinki – he says his goal is to give every citizen one hour back in their day. And if you come from that premise, right – you think about – so if you knew your train was gonna be 20 minutes late, you may take a bus, you may take a bike, you may do something else, right? So how you make those choices so you can go home and spend more time with your family? And that’s how we look at what makes a city smart is how we’re deploying the technology. I’d love to just give you a few examples. I know you’ve got a bunch of questions. So, NYU Langone, and he’s gonna be one of our speakers, Dr. Gorovich, did a study on population health, and the health of cities. So it’s affordable housing, transportation, the actual health. In a few cities, and one of the cities was Providence, Rhode Island, I believe. Again, we have 250 speakers, so if I’m missing something let me know. But one of the things he realized was absenteeism was a really big issue in Providence. So what do you do with that data? Well, the mayor ended up putting washing machines in the public schools, right? That is how you create equity. That is where you say, we’re gonna give every child the opportunity to learn, and we don’t want them to be ashamed that they can’t come to school, and we’re gonna make sure that they have a safe environment from which they can prosper. That to us is equity. Other examples of that are – you know, there are all these amazing energy-generating pavements that are being used in stadiums and universities. So you generate energy off of the foot traffic. Well, why don’t we put that on a basketball court in the Bronx? You want people to understand what the 21st century is gonna look like, and they think it’s robots and they think it’s automation. It’s also – let’s meet people where they are, and that’s how this conference is designed. And that’s why we’re redefining the term smart.

Rico [09:02 ]: That’s cool. Because lots of people think it’s Amazon delivering their stuff by drone. They can’t wait for that because it would be easy, I guess. delivery within an hour or two, right? Or an AI machine that would be able to almost predict what you may want in the next two hours. But I like that idea. And it’s not too far flung out to say that it could happen within years as opposed to within a decade or two.

Aarti [09:29 ]: It’s about a year. And I think what we’re doing is helping mayors in cities understand that it’s literally right here, but your constituents have to understand it. We have to meet people where they are. So, like, you mentioned drones. Drones can be scary to some people, and it also can be helpful in the sense where you reduce congestion on the streets. Right? So there has to be a balance, and that’s the key. That’s why the integrated approach to cities is so important. I think what happened in the past – it was like the smart water meter, the smart parking meter. And those are really important, but if they’re not interoperable, a city ends up not knowing what the right hand’s doing with its left hand.

Rico [10:10 ]: Does that almost mean that you want, sort of a, you know, this – the UI, right? Universal integration, right? That’s the problem with a lot of these smart devices. You have the apple iHome, or you have the iHome, the Apple Home, you have all these devices – Alexa and stuff. Can they integrate together? Can we – is there a highway that we can all go on, if you will?

Aarti [10:36 ]: And so one great way to look at that, Rico, is – so a few years ago, the city of Columbus won the big smart city transportation – the smart city challenge that was issued by the DOT. And I think 83 cities applied, and the reason Columbus won is because women couldn’t get to the hospital on time to deliver their babies. And they came from a very human issue and decided that if they won the grant, they would then adjust how their roads and their emergency response and how their police operated. So when you think about integration the way you just said it, how do we take a human problem and then get everybody to participate on that highway so that we can clear it? And so what happened was they ended up changing their bike lanes and their emergency response. And they ended up addressing climate issues, right? Because now they put in electric buses, and they created bus lanes. So the city started to move better, the environment was better, but it required everyone to come together and do that. So the interoperability doesn’t actually have to be between the technology. It actually has to be between the groups that are workin to solve the problem.

Rico [11:47 ]: And would you say that, I think some people think you have to invest a lot. Some cities would have to invest a lot to get there. But maybe that’s not the case, right? You have infrastructure money anyway. To spend it wisely makes more sense, no?

Aarti [12:03 ]: Yeah, so I think financing is a major issue in the US because we don’t have public partnership models as robust as the rest of the world. Like, Canada and Australia are leading the way in those places. I think the US also has a lot of procurement issues and, like, how do you get from pilot to deployment. Those are all issues we’re covering at the conference. And so, you know, financing mechanisms are key, and I think a lot of the private sectors looking to help figure out new models.

Rico [12:38 ]: So who would you say are the – some of the key players that will be speaking at the expo?

Aarti [12:45 ]: That’s my favorite question – I have literally 250 speakers, and so many of them are people – you know, of course, we’re so honored to have the CEOs of Cox, the CEO of Suntrust, the CEO of the Atlanta Braves, and all for different reasons. The CEO of Cox is working on his commitment to sustainability and innovation. HE’s funded tech stars, he’s funded carbon lighthouse – or invested in carbon light house. The CEO of Suntrust is so focused on financial inclusion, public private partnerships. The CEO of Atlanta Braves is obviously also focused on public private partnerships – think about all of the technology that’s advancing consumer experience inside a stadium, right? So we have all of them – we’re thrilled. We’ve got TI coming in to talk about the importance of – you know, how do you drive economic development within our communities, and he’s doing an incredible job that way. We have John Hope Bryant who will be in conversation with TI. But then we also have a woman named Veronica Scott who runs the empowerment plan. Who created a jacket for people who are homeless that turns into a sleeping bag.

Rico [13:54 ]: Oh, wow.

Aarti [13:55 ]: We’ve got such extraordinary entrepreneurs and innovators. We have a guy who basically has created a coral that regenerates or is helping to regenerate coral reefs. We’ve got, you know, obviously the best of the best soft bank robotics. We’ve got Block Rock coming to talk about social impact. We’ve got Cisco and we’ve got Southern Company – our founding partner. And they are doing extraordinary work to enable the infrastructure for a city to be smart.

Rico [14:25 ]: Yeah, will some of these companies be part of the exhibitors also?

Aarti [14:29 ]: Yes. We have 50 plus exhibitors. My colleague Adam Lennon has done an extraordinary job. We’ve got two tiny houses. We’ve got eight different EV/AV vehicles. We actually have the first autonomous, electric truck in the world by Einride. Know that we’ve got drones, and I know that we’ve got Bird doing an activation. So when you think about – you asked earlier in the podcast about, you know, what to expect. I mean, the conversation is so comprehensive. It’s micromobility, but it’s also building a workforce that’s not just the future of work, but how do you build dignity into the future of work. We talk about economic mobility. I think for us, in reframing the narrative, we wanna talk about not just autonomous, electric and micromobility. We want to talk about social mobility, economic mobility. We want to talk about human capital alongside venture capital. And we want to make sure the infrastructure is equitable while it’s intelligent.

Rico [15:39 ]: That’s exciting. I think that, you know – I have a kid that goes to some high school who just started last year, right? And I own a magazine called Peachtree Corners Magazine, and our next story in the next issue is about technology in the school and how that works. That’s the high school that has four days of school and one digital day. And doing online work.You know, it’s interesting to see how young people use technology. And in the easiest way. Because they’re growing up in that environment and don’t know different. So how – are there any exhibits or anything along the way that you can talk about that?

Aarti [16:20 ]: Well, you talked about young people and I’m so glad that you brought them up. For us, smart city is defined by every generation. So we actually have a Harvard debate, diversity council scholars, four high school seniors coming in to talk about how they envision the future of cities. We have people with disabilities being represented. We have the top – we have top disability commissioners in the country from Chicago, New York and LA coming to talk about – what does it mean to build an inclusive city? And the reason I bring it up is because, in New York City, the – to cross the street, it’s about 22 seconds, which is based on a 22 year old, white male. Now, think about the fact that, if you have a disability, or you’re a parent with a stroller, right? The city wasn’t designed for it to be accessible. And so, we have the youth, we have a lot of – we’re really focused on gender issues. Women leading smart cities. And we’re also making sure that minority communities are represented. And, just to go back to your STEM question again, I think the key for us is, you know, kids especially have new ways of learning and acting. And they’re almost like, they get to leap frog into the future, right? They don’t have the legacy issues that we do when working with technology. But when they find a real, life way of experiencing it, they’re inspired. So, like, a lot of kids in hip hop, for example, they learned about Nipsey Hussle Smart store out in LA. What happened to Nipsey was tragic and all of those things, but he – a lot of innovation is coming from these young people in the streets, and if we can harness them in a way that’s safe and exciting so it’s like, when they’re learning STEM, they can see the real life application for it, that’s a lot more exciting.

Rico [18:21 ]: I would think. And you’re right, I mean, they’re using technology at this point, so they’re not afraid of it. You have older people, and I’m sure in the cities across this country, there are a lot of older people, if you will, that are in positions of power. And I saw this when Congress originally – I think it was about a year ago – one of the communities talked about security online with Google and Facebook and stuff, and the questions they were asking were so out of pace with the real world. It was scary that these people actually – you would think that if given the right questions to ask. It just didn’t sound right. And so those are the people that have to be convinced that smart technology can be a great investment over a period of time. And they shouldn’t be looking short term, and the United States is very local oriented, as far as cars, right? We built our highways after World War II, I mean. If you look at Europe and other countries – Kyoto and other cities around the world – they don’t have a lot of cars, but they also have a lot of bikes. There’s a human traffic a lot different from – very different from here. Manhattan – I used to live in Brooklyn – in Manhattan, you wouldn’t want to cross the street because that bike is riding fast by, or that yellow cab was gonna, you know, cut the traffic or something. So, technology is a big thing. As far as the cities go, as far as the young people go in this building, are there other things we should be looking forward to at this expo?

Aarti [19:58 ]: Yeah. Well first of all, the opening at Peachtree Corners is very exciting, right? That speaks to everything that we’re doing because – to have the, I believe, it’s the second 1.5 mile autonomous test track in the country in Georgia. And basically, they’re saying, for free, we invite all these innovators to come and test their pilots and their innovations. I mean, that’s what people are looking for. And to have it powered – the 5G powered by Sprint. I mean, if we’re gonna get these kids inspired and take them out of the classroom and be able to have them demo their work, then that’s really important for us. And I think that’s what’s happening in the rest of the world is – you know, you talked about urban planning and cities and, you know, we just have to have a design of what we want our cities to look like. And have people move in that direction.

Rico [20:53 ]: I think so, too. It does take foresight. I know that when the city first started, that they had in mind that doing this – developing a smart city. So, they really put into their budget. They had forethought about doing that. And they had also an understanding, Brian Johnson city manager, the mayor and the council – an understanding that you want to be able to provide this environment – Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners – in a free way. Because it does provide economic impact on the city as well. So, you know, there is that. But I think being able to get ahead of this, because a lot of other cities will be looking at doing the same thing now, in the next decade or so. I mean we have Michigan that’s planning now. And so it’s exciting to see all of that, you know? You have Tesla moving forward with all the stuff they’re doing.

Aarti [21:47 ]: And the rest – I mean, you asked about some of the other people. I mean, one we’re really honored by is, first of all, the support from the private sector and the public sector. But we have almost ten mayors coming from across the country, and I – mayor of Honolulu to the mayor of Denver to the mayor of Montgomery, the mayor of Newark. And they’re all so different, and yet they have the same challenges. And to see how they’re addressing them, to see how they’re – I mean, we have the President of the US Conference of mayors – Mayor Barnett of Rochester Hills. And he, like so many other mayors, are excited about autonomous mobility because of the fact that – you know, most people don’t frame it this way. Autonomous mobility is going to help move people with disabilities and the elderly. And think about the impact that that will have in those communities, right? So they’re already embracing the innovation. The US Conference of Mayors – their platform is infrastructure, innovation and inclusion. And those are their three pillars. And the mayors are really rallying around it.

Rico [22:53 ]: You know what I like about this, Aarti? Is that you’re providing – the expo is not just, alright you have a lot of speakers, you have a lot of exhibitors. But it’s also providing a place for people to meet, to brainstorm, really. Because they’re gonna be talking about all sorts of things, and I know from experience and from listening to others that you start one way, and you wind up somewhere else, right? So mobile, mobility, having an autonomous vehicle – can that happen in five years or ten years? Maybe the delivery aspect of autonomous vehicles. Maybe the non person in the car, if you will. The pizza delivery for lack of a better way of looking at it, may happen sooner than, let’s say, a passenger riding for, you know, without having a steering wheel, practically. Like in, was it Blade Runner was the movie? So, I mean, that – that part might be a little further out, cause you have to build 5G – 

Aarti [23:48 ]: Not as far out as you think, which is really the fascinating part of it. We’re not Dubai, where we have drone taxis, you know? Because they can sort of put up whatever they want in the air. But I will tell you that in conversation with former FAA advisors, they will tell you it’s right around the corner, and I’m sure, you know, Elaine Chao – Secretary Chao – she likes to use the word “self-driving”, not driverless. And they are, you know, putting in policies for that. Because you think about the stretch of roads across America, right? Just the trucking, like – you can – that’s why we have the first autonomous, electric truck to join us. I mean, they’re – it’s not that far. They’re changing FAA regulations for drones. Is it a little awkward? Yeah. Like, I was sitting outside of a friend’s place. There was a drone overhead, and I felt quite upset. Like, I felt so violated. But at the same time, if there is a way to start maximizing the air and, you know, creating more public space on the ground, that’s interesting. So, I don’t know the ramification.

Rico [24:54 ]: No no no. I agree with you. There are so many aspects to it. You have counties, you have cities, you have states, federal government – federal highway, state highway, state streets. I mean, there’s so many regulations that have to come into bear on this. And then the technology, like Sprint, I mean. There’s only certain amount of places that 5G enabled Sprint, right? Enabled areas and Sprint is one of the companies doing it. But one of the companies doing it with us in Technology Park, where our track is at. And so, because you really can’t have autonomous vehicles without that 5G – 

Aarti [25:29 ]: Right, with the infrastructure.

Rico [25:30] : So, just a lot of stuff. A lot of interesting – it’s almost like sci-fi in a way, but it’s really not because it’s almost like near future, what’s gonna happen.

Aarti [25:39 ]: Right, right. And I think it’s so important communicating that to the public. They should feel part of it. That’s why I used the basketball example, like, if they understood the technology could benefit them – yes, there’s a lot of issues around it. I’ll be the first to say, predictive analytics, the criminal justice space – things like that are major issues. But, you know, the one thing Europe has is GDPR, which we don’t have in terms of privacy, which, you know, scares people. And rightfully so. So I think that there are issues around that. But, you know, part of this is what you said. It’s to have a dialogue, for people to understand and to reframe their thinking. And to help people understand that they, too, have a role in the 21st century.

Rico [26:22 ]: Yeah, I think as much as Americans believe that we’re exceptional to a degree, and that we sort of drive technology or the future in some way, there’s a lot of different thinking outside the US. Right? Europeans, with their privacy – and some of the American companies are adopting anyway, because they know it’s gonna come this way. And then you have a place like Japan with robotics because of their aging population. Now, how do you handle that, you know? People think robots like arms and legs, but it doesn’t have to be. Could be a box, I mean, it’s whatever it needs to be. So great stuff. If someone wants to be able to attend, this is over the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th?

Aarti [27:05 ]: No, it’s the 11th, 12th and 13th and the Georgia World Congress Center. Tickets can be purchased at www.SmartCityExpoAtlanta.com. I literally just dated myself because your child would just say SmartCityExpoAtlanta.com, and I put the “www” in front of it. And, but you know, they can reach out to us at info@SmartCityExpoAtlanta.com. We’re happy to answer any questions. If people would like to attend the exhibit or are just curious, we love to engage and have them be part of this community. 

Rico [27:41 ]: What about – can they follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook?

Aarti [27:49 ]: Yes, at @SCAtl and #SCAtl, I believe, are the handles. My team might kill me that I don’t know that off the bat, but I do believe that those are it. And maybe you could post it when you post this.

Rico [28:06 ]: I think you are right. I think that is correct. And in fact, in the show notes, when people are listening to the podcast on this and on YouTube, I’ll have it in the links below, so feel free to look through that. And I’ll tag the Facebook page when this is up and going.

Aarti [28:22 ]: Perfect. And can I just – yes. And I’ll send you a link. Perfect, great.

Rico [28:29 ]: So I’m gonna sign off, but you hang in there with me, Aarti. Thank you everyone for being with us. This is an interview with Aarti Tandon, CEO and co-founder of Smart City Expo Atlanta. My name is Rico Figliolini, host of Peachtree Corners Life, publisher of Peachtree Corners Magazine. Find us at LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com. I appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

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Fernbank Museum Rings in 2024 with an Eight-Legged Invasion

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Guests using one of Fernbank Museum's interactive displays

This winter, Fernbank Museum invites guests to come eye-to-eye with the hunting, burrowing and weaving world of spiders in the new special exhibit, “Spiders— From Fear to Fascination.”

Opening Feb. 10, 2024, and featuring over 250 live and preserved spider specimens, this exhibit will leave audiences with a new fascination for arachnids.

Guests will be able to explore an exhibition of spiders in all shapes and sizes—from the intimidatingly venomous Black Window to the famously large Huntsman—through a variety of curated displays.

Visitors will be able to virtually journey through hundreds of scattering spiders along a glowing forest floor through the use of augmented reality.

In addition to encountering live spiders, dioramas with taxidermy spiders, panels featuring real preservations and interactive components, guests will have the opportunity to use the free “Spiders Augmented Reality” app.

Some of the spiders featured in the app include the Wolf Spider, Trapdoor Spider, Desert Blonde Tarantula and more.

“Spiders evoke a combination of curiosity and horror, fear and fascination alike. The ‘Spiders — From Fear to Fascination’ exhibit is extraordinary as it makes spiders accessible and appealing, while still presenting the most up-to-date research and understanding of their biology,” said Linda S. Rayor, Cornell University‘s scientific consultant, exhibit manager of live animals and President of the American Arachnological Society.

Developed by the Australian Museum, “Spiders — From Fear to Fascination” features seven themed sections audiences can use to build their knowledge of the arachnid animal classification.

These themes include the spider family tree, diet and hunting, diversity of spiders from across the globe, spiders’ life cycles, their senses and silk production and weaving.

This exhibit will be included with General Admission at Fernbank from Feb. 10 through May 5, 2024. For more information, please visit fernbankmuseum.org/Spiders.

“Spiders — From Fear to Fascination” was created by the Australian Museum and sponsored locally in part by the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation, Inc.

Interested parties can purchase their tickets here today.

Photos courtesy of fernbankmuseum.org.

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Atlanta’s Iconic NETHERWORLD Haunted House Is Now Open

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Haunt season is officially here and NETHERWORLD Haunted House opened its doors on Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23 with two new spine-chilling experiences.

This year, NETHERWORLD has expanded. There is a festival-styled Midway, a monster museum featuring movie props and a collection of NETHERWORLD memorabilia as well as five escape room games for many nights filled with frights.

NETHERWORLD is also introducing the PRIMORDIAL and CRYPTID CHAOS-themed haunted houses. 

In PRIMORDIAL, elemental beings of water, wind, earth and fire, fueled by the energy of the gateway to the NETHERWORLD, are on a mission to destroy.

In CRYPTID CHAOS, Cryptid Creatures and nightmarish urban legends battle it out with the Boogeyman for a spot at the top of the horror food chain. Those brave enough to enter will encounter special effects, advanced animatronics, live actors, intricate sets and much more.

“Each haunt features a continuation of past tales, with new and returning characters–the storytelling and incredible details within our haunts is something that sets us apart from the rest,” said NETHERWORLD Co- Creator Ben Armstrong

“We love building on our past themes and thrilling guests with new monsters, surprises and features, in addition to the fan-favorite elements that they have come to know, love and expect from NETHERWORLD,” he added.

Those who dare to enter both haunts will continue to NETHERWORLD’s Halloween-drenched Midway. The Midway features photo ops, a skeletal dragon and horror-themed games, complemented by plenty of monsters and creatures roaming about. 

Visitors can enjoy food and beverage options, including mini donuts, hot dogs, nachos, and gourmet popcorn. Fudge, pretzels and bratwurst have also been added to the menu. 

The mad scientist from Dr. Octane’s Bizarre Beverages is also back serving up colorful non-alcoholic fizzy, bubbling concoctions.

“Each year we aim to give both first-time haunt goers and loyal NETHERWORLD fans a new over-the-top experience,” said NETHERWORLD Co-Creator Billy Messina

“Each element we have to offer this season, from the haunts and museum to the Midway and our new Escape Game (Alien Terror), create an immersive experience for anyone who loves this season as much as we do!”

NETHERWORLD Haunted House is located at 1313 Netherworld Way, Stone Mountain, GA 30087. The experience is open from now until Nov. 11. Visit fearworld.com to purchase tickets and find available dates.

Photos by Bruce Johnson

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Best of Peachtree Corners Readers’ Choice Awards 2023

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Marlows Tavern

Our readers have spoken! Here are the results of this year’s “Best of Peachtree Corners” survey.

More than 2,300 of our readers and social media friends shared their opinions to help us compile this list of area favorites.

Thank you to all our voters, and congratulations to all the chosen businesses and organizations.

Best Mexican Food

#1. Taqueria Tsunami

Taqueria Tsunami takes the best flavors from the Far East and South of the Border to dish up a variety of hand-crafted, fusion tacos, salads, appetizers and cocktails, in a fun, contemporary atmosphere. Dedicated to helping out victims of tsunamis and natural disasters, a portion of sales from top selling tacos are donated to the Georgia Red Cross.

5160 Town Center Blvd.

taqueriatsunami.com

@TaqueriaTsunami, 678-310-1079

#2. La Parrilla

5131 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 1005

laparrilla.com

@LaParrillaMexicanRestaurant, 770-242-0766

#3. Taqueria Del Mar

5075 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 105A

taqueriadelmar.com

@TaqueriadelMar, 770-696-4582

#3. Kiko’s

3435 Medlock Bridge Rd.

kikosmexican.com

770-441-1818

Best Tacos

#1. Taqueria Del Mar

Taqueria del Mar is a fast casual grill and bar featuring affordable Southwestern cuisine with handcrafted margaritas, cocktails, beer and wine. Sustainability is important to this restaurant, as it uses recycled and reclaimed supplies, fixtures and equipment. The entire restaurant interior was built using recycled and reclaimed wood.

5075 Suite 105A Peachtree Pkwy.

taqueriadelmar.com

@TaqueriadelMar, 770-696-4582

#2. Taqueria Tsunami

Taqueria Tsunami
Taqueria Tsunami

5160 Town Center Blvd.

taqueriatsunami.com

@TaqueriaTsunami, 678-310-1079

#3. Kiko’s

3435 Medlock Bridge Rd.

kikosmexican.com

770-441-1818

#3. Jimmy’s Tequila and Carnes

6365 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Doraville

jimmystequila.com

@JimmysTequila, 470-359-2884

Best Place for a Business Lunch

#1. Marlow’s Tavern

Marlows Tavern
Marlow’s Tavern

Marlow’s Tavern features the “Best of the Best” in American tavern fare served in a modern atmosphere. A neighborhood feel is accomplished with an open kitchen that invites diners to watch chefs at work, communal tables and large cozy booths.

5210 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 260

marlowstavern.com

@MarlowsTavern, 470-550-1197

#2. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

5224 Peachtree Pkwy.

lazydogrestaurants.com

@LazyDogRestaurants, 470-735-4501

#3. Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

5215 Town Center Blvd.

firebirdsrestaurants.com

@FirebirdsGrill, 770-225-4662

Best Barbecue

#1. ‘cue Barbecue

‘Cue has only one philosophy: Make everything from scratch and make it yummy, fill the restaurant with good fun people to serve you, change up the menu utilizing locally grown fruits and vegetables and bring in some unique beers and inspiring wines so that each day is a new day. Wait, maybe that’s more like five philosophies.

5260 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross

cuebarbecue.com

470-299-5117

#2. Moe’s Original BBQ

5005 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 810

moesoriginalbbq.com

@MobPeachtreeCorners, 770-696-2931

#3. Shane’s Rib Shack

5770 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Ste. 111

shanesribshack.com

@ShanesRibShack, 770-416-6606

#3. JR’s Log House Restaurant

6601 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.

jrsloghouse.com

770-449-6426

Best Breakfast

#1. Flying Biscuit Cafe

Famous for their grits and biscuits, Flying Biscuit Café bakes almost 5,000 biscuits per week at each location. Focused on a Southern-inspired menu of comfort food made with fresh ingredients, guests come to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the day.

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 120

flyingbiscuit.com

Flying Biscuit Cafe
Flying Biscuit Cafe

@FlyingBiscuitCafe, 770-407-5885

#2. First Watch

5230 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 110

firstwatch.com

@FirstWatch, 470-781-9190

#3. JR’S Log House

6601 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.

jrsloghouse.com

770-449-6426

Best Brewery

#1. Anderby Brewing

Anderby Brewing
Anderby Brewing

Founded in 2019 as a brewery, Anderby has just added ‘Distilling’ to their name. They use care and detailed techniques with their line of lagers, traditional beers and now whiskies, bourbons and rums. Driven by an intense desire to create something different, some may say they’re curiously different.

Editor’s Note: as of July 3rd Anderby Brewing is permanently closed.

110 Technology Pkwy., Ste. 200

anderbybrewing.com

@AnderbyBrewing, 770-559-7550

#2. Kettlerock Brewing

6025 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 1

kettlerockbrewing.com

@KettlerockBrewing, 678-615-2600

#3. Social Fox

20 Skin Alley, Norcross

socialfoxbrewing.com

@SocialFoxBrewing, 470-359-4109

Best Burgers

#1. Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Firebirds is an American restaurant and steakhouse known for their scratch kitchen, bold flavors and inviting atmosphere. Diners enjoy authentic wood-fired steak and seafood entrées, bold flavors, especially cocktails and select wines in a polished-casual atmosphere.

5215 Town Center Blvd.

firebirdsrestaurants.com

@FirebirdsGrill, 770-225-4662

#2. Ted’s Montana Grill

5165 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 205

tedsmontanagrill.com

@TedsMontanaGrill, 678-405-0305

#3. J Alexander’s

5245 Peachtree Pkwy.

jalexanders.com

770-263-9755

#3. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

5224 Peachtree Pkwy.

lazydogrestaurants.com

@LazyDogRestaurants, 470-735-4501

Best Chinese Food

#1. Lon U

The menu at Lon U is full of unique and flavorful Asian dishes, from classic favorites to more adventurous options. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you won’t be disappointed.

5005 Peachtree Pkwy.

lonunorcross.com

770-441-0200

#2. New Dragon

5450 Peachtree Pkwy.

newdragonpeachtreecorners.com

770-558-4262

#3. Panda Express

3200 Holcomb Bridge Rd.

pandaexpress.com

@officialpandaexpress, 678-969-0028

Best Boba Tea

#1. Gong Cha

Gong Cha is one of the most recognized bubble tea brands around the world. Known for quality tea and service, Gong Cha offers a variety of tea, iced smoothies, coffee and creative mixed beverage options.

5210 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 220

gongchausa.com

@GongChaTea, 770-417-8223

#2. Peachy Corners Cafe

6367 Spalding Dr.

peachycornerscafe.com

Peachy Corners Cafe
Peachy Corners Cafe

@Peachy_Corners_Cafe, 678-691-0547

#3. Unbelibubble

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 118-A

unbelibubble.com

@UnbelibubbleTea, 770-864-1775

Best Desserts / Ice Cream

#1. Beard Papa’s

A premier bakery that originated in Japan in 1999, Beard Papa’s serves up the world’s best cream puffs in Metro Atlanta. It’s an ideal spot for an afternoon pick-me-up for a cream puff and coffee while shopping or on the way home for dessert. They’re committed to bringing a smile and Japanese oishii! (delicious!) to the world.

5215 Town Center Blvd.

beardpapas.com

@BeardPapas, 770-807-0564

#2. Tiff’s Treats Cookie

5230 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 130

cookiedelivery.com

@TiffsTreats, 470-387-1200

#3. Peterbrooke Chocolatier

5135 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 930

peterbrooke.com

@PeterbrookeChocolatier, 770-817-8118

#3. Kremo Ice Cream

5200 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 240

Kremoicecream.a-zcompanies.com

@KremoPeachtreeCorners, 808-222-2963

Best Sushi

#1. Sushi Osawa

On the frontier of Japanese restaurants, Sushi Osawa presents unique and wonderful cuisine created from the finest ingredients. Serving the freshest seafood, meat and produce in a fun and friendly atmosphere, it’s a one of a kind experience that inspires guests to return again and again.

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 119

sushiosawa.online

678-691-3034

#2. Sushi Mito

6470 Spalding Dr.

sushimito.com

@Sushi_Mito, 770-734-0398

#3. Aomi Japanese Restaurant

5145 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 470A

aomijapanese.com

770-840-8710

Best Ramen

#1. Sushi Osawa

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 119

sushiosawa.online

678-691-3034

#2. Aomi Japanese Restaurant

5145 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 470A

aomijapanese.com

770-840-8710

#3. Jinbei West

5170 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 410

jinbeiwest.com

678-587-5323

Best Latin Food

#1. Mojitos Cuban American Bistro

Mojitos is a family-owned and operated Cuban American restaurant that boasts over 15 years serving the Metro Atlanta area. It features the finest mojito cocktails and authentic family recipes passed down from generation to generation. With live music and dancing on the weekends, you’ll feel like a guest in their home while having a memorable dining experience.

5165 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 630

mojitosbistro.com

@MojitoSatl, 770-686-3254

#2. Tortugas Cuban Grill

3466 Holcomb Bridge Rd. NW, Ste. AA

tortugascubangrill.com

@TortugasCuban, 470-275-5599

#3. Latin Fresh

4941 S. Old Peachtree Rd.

latinfreshgroup.com

@LatinFreshGroup, 470-861-7786

Best Thai Food

#1. Royal Bistro

Royal Bistro is a vibrant and enchanting restaurant that invites diners to embark on a culinary journey through the flavors of Thailand. It showcases a wide array of delectable dishes that capture the essence of Thai cuisine. From aromatic curries to zesty stir-fries, each dish is expertly prepared using the finest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.

6365 Spalding Dr., Ste. A

royal-bistro.com

678-404-7733

#2. Thai Star

5370 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Chamblee

thaistarmenu.com

770-326-9991

#3. L’thai Organic Cuisine and Wine Bar

5450 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 7-D

lethai.com

770-807-7684

Best Outdoor Dining

#1. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

Lazy Dog is a cherished creation born out of a multigenerational passion for hospitality and a deep appreciation for that authentic small-town mountain feeling. Through handcrafted meals made with love, carefully sourced ingredients, and a seasonal menu that pays homage to nature’s bounty, Lazy Dog aims to be your home away from home.

5224 Peachtree Pkwy.

lazydogrestaurants.com

@LazyDogRestaurants, 470-735-4501

#2. Pêche Modern Coastal

5155 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 320

pecheforum.com

@PecheModernCoastal, 770-674-1098

#3. Fire & Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen

5215 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 610

fireandstonekitchen.com

@FireandStoneKitchen, 470-219-5100

#3. Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

5215 Town Center Blvd.

firebirdsrestaurants.com

@FirebirdsGrill, 770-225-4662

Best Pizza

#1. Fire & Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen

Fire & Stone serves Neapolitan and New York style pizzas made with the freshest premium ingredients and prepared at 800º in custom-built wood fired ovens. Their dough is made fresh in-house every day, and they use only the finest cheese and toppings to make sure they’re serving up the best pizza.

5215 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 610

fireandstonekitchen.com

@FireandStoneKitchen, 470-219-5100

#2. Dagwoods

7746 Spalding Dr., Sandy Springs

dagwoodspizza.com

770-441-7773

#3. California Pizza Kitchen

5175 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 1400

cpk.com

770-971-7950

#3. Marco’s

5270 Peachtree Pkwy.

marcos.com

770-840-9991

Best Seafood

#1. Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

5215 Town Center Blvd.

firebirdsrestaurants.com

@FirebirdsGrill, 770-225-4662

#2. Pêche Modern Coastal

5155 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 320

pecheforum.com

@PecheModernCoastal, 770-674-1098

#3. Stäge

5260 Peachtree Pkwy.

stagepeachtreecorners.com

@StagePeachtreeCorners, 770-680-2728

Best Vegetarian Food

#1. Loving Hut

Loving Hut is one of the largest and fastest growing family vegan restaurants in the world with over 200 locations in 35 countries. They serve delicious plant-based meals using only natural and healthy ingredients as they work to respect and protect the planet through sustainable practices.

6385 Spalding Dr., Ste. E

lovinghut.us

@LHVeganBanhmi, 678-421-9191

#2. Clean Eatz

3975 Holcomb Bridge Rd.

cleaneatz.com

@CleanEatzPeachtreeCornersGA, 678-833-5353

#3. Cava

5150 Peachtree Pkwy.

cava.com

@Cava, 470-740-5432

Best Local Venue for Private Parties

#1. Anderby Brewing

110 Technology Pkwy., Ste. 200

anderbybrewing.com

@AnderbyBrewing, 770-559-7550

#2. Kettlerock Brewing

6025 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 1

kettlerockbrewing.com

@KettlerockBrewing, 678-615-2600

#3. Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners

475 Technology Pkwy.

marriott.com

770-263-8558

#3. Atlanta Tech Park

107 Technology Pkwy.

atlantatechpark.com

@AtlantaTechPark, 470-482-1800

Best Wings

#1. Three Dollar Café 

One of the top 25 restaurants in Atlanta since 1994, Three Dollar Café is known for the best chicken wings in Georgia, a wide selection of cold beer, delicious food and many screens to watch your favorite games. It’s a great choice for fun, family sports and food.

6050 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 100

threedollarcafe.com

@ThreeDollarCafeATL, 770-441-8520

#2. Wings 101

6135 Peachtree Pkwy.

wings101.square.site

678-691-5199

#3. Jolene’s Wings & Beer

5224 Peachtree Pkwy.

jolenes.com

@JolenesWings, 470-735-4501

Best Barbershop

#1. Boardroom Salon for Men

The Boardroom Salon strives to make real connections and positively impact the lives of anyone that walks through the doors. From their signature service, The Benchmark, to a variety of cuts and shaves, it offers real transformation. They invite customers to grab a cold one, have a seat and get comfortable.

5210 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 230

boardroomstylinglounge.com

@TheBoardroomStylingLounge, 470-319-9001

#2. Patrick’s Executive Grooming Salon for Men

5575 Peachtree Pkwy.

pegsm.com

240-350-8547

#3. Sport Clips

5275 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 104

haircutmenpeachtreecityga.com

678-291-0707

#3. Yany’s Hair Salon

5450 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 1C

yanyshair.com

770-729-1767

Best MedSpa

#1. Suburban Med Spa

A comprehensive beauty and wellness center offering a wide range of aesthetic treatments and services. Their skilled team of professionals specializes in non-surgical procedures, including laser treatments, injectables, and body contouring, to help clients achieve their desired cosmetic goals.

4989 Peachtree Pkwy.

suburbanmedspa.com

678-282-0051

#2. Dermani Medspa

5165 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 230

dermanimedspa.com

@DemaniMedspa_PeachtreeCorners, 404-383-1108

#3. Massage Envy

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 109B

massageenvy.com

770-300-0033

Best Facial Spa

#1. Dermani Medspa

Dermani is an esteemed medical spa that provides a variety of advanced cosmetic treatments and services. Their dedicated team of experts offers a wide range of procedures all aimed at helping clients enhance their appearance and boost their confidence.

5165 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 230

dermanimedspa.com

@DemaniMedspa_PeachtreeCorners, 404-383-1108

#2. Suburban Medical Spa

4989 Peachtree Pkwy.

suburbanmedspa.com

678-282-0051

#3. Massage Envy

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 109B

massageenvy.com

770-300-0033

Best Workout Place

#1. Burn Boot Camp

Burn Boot Camp offers challenging and encouraging workouts with elite certified personal trainers who will push you to your limits and completely transform your life. You’ll get all the benefits of personal training in an exciting and encouraging group setting.

5450 Peachtree Pkwy.

burnbootcamp.com

470-403-2876

#2. Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA

5600 W. Jones Bridge Rd.

ymcaatlanta.org

770-246-9622

#3. Orangetheory Fitness

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 105

orangetheory.com

678-786-4100

Best Nail Salon

#1. Urban Nail Salon

Whether you’re looking for routine nail care or special events, Urban Nail Salon will surely make you feel pampered with its excellent services and premium quality products.

5270 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 112

urbannailsalon.com 

678-292-6307

#2. Tipsy Nail and Salon Bar

5230 Town Center Blvd., Ste.120

tipsypeachtreecorners.com

770-837-2130

#3. Luxury Nails at The Forum

4880 Peachtree Corners Cir., Ste. 1115

luxurynailsattheforum.com

770-687-2258

Best Hair Salon

#1. Van Michael Salon

Brothers Michael and Van Council launched Van Michael in 1984 with the goal to raise the bar in the beauty industry and elevate hairdressing as a valued professional career. At Van Michael, clients receive tailored attention at every point of contact.

5165 Peachtree Pkwy.

vanmichael.com

@VanMichaelSalon, 678-987-3600

#2. Frost Salon

5075 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 103

frost.salon

@Frost.Salon, 770-680-4549

#3. Yany’s Hair Salon

5450 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 1C

yanyshair.com

770-729-1767

Best Yoga/Pilates Studio

#1. Sun Dragon Yoga

Sun Dragon is a yoga studio that offers a welcoming and inclusive environment for practitioners of all levels. They provide a variety of yoga classes and workshops to support individuals on their yoga journey and promote a balanced and harmonious lifestyle.

5600 Spalding Dr., Sandy Springs

sundragonyoga.com

313-303-0096

#2. Sunny Street Yoga

6375 Spalding Dr., Ste. E

sunnystreetyoga.com

@SunnyStreetYoga, 470-641-3021

#3. Teesha Yoga

5375 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 105

teeshayoga.com

@Teesha_Yoga, 470-597-0167

Best Animal Hospital / Veterinarian

#1. Spalding Animal Hospital

Spalding Animal Hospital provides the highest level of care, compassion and commitment to the health and well-being of your furry family members, from juvenile to geriatric. Every member of their highly trained team of professionals strives to maintain your pet’s health and family’s best interests.

105 Technology Pkwy.

spaldinganimalhospital.com

770-558-4347

#2. Peachtree Corners Animal Clinic

4020 Holcomb Bridge Rd.

animal-dr.com

770-448-0700

#3. Peach Paws Animal Hospital

5075 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 101

peachpawsvet.com

770-726-8725

#3. Medlock Bridge Animal Hospital

5155 S Old Peachtree Rd.

medlockbridgevet.com

770-242-9272

Best Pet Boarding

#1. PetSuites Norcross

At PetSuites, they speak pet. The trusted team of Pet Pros delivers personalized service in fun, convenient and modern spaces. Pets can’t actually give the thumbs up (no thumbs and all), but if they could they’d be way up. 

6865 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross

norcross.petsuitesofamerica.com

@PetSuitesAtlantaNorcross, 678-293-8125

#2. Camp Woof of Norcross

6000 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Ste. A1, Norcross

campwoof.com

770-558-6100

#3. Peachtree Corners Animal Clinic

4020 Holcomb Bridge Rd.

animal-dr.com

770-448-0700

Best Pet Groomer

#1. Pampered Paws

Focusing on providing exceptional grooming services for pets, Pampered Paws offers professional pet grooming services, ensuring that pets look and feel their best. With their expertise and care, they help pets maintain a clean and well-groomed appearance.

5075 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 106

alliespaws.com

770-685-1234

#2. PetSmart

6050 Peachtree Pkwy.

petsmart.com

@PetSmart, 770-300-0926

#3. Medlock Bridge Grooming

5155 S Old Peachtree Rd.

medlockbridgevet.com

770-447-5100

#3. Peachtree Corners Animal Clinic

4020 Holcomb Bridge Rd.

animal-dr.com

770-448-0700

Best Dental Practice

#1. Innovative Smiles

Innovative Smiles is a trusted dental practice that provides a wide range of oral care services. Their experienced team of dentists offers comprehensive dental treatments, with a commitment to delivering personalized and high-quality dental care to their patients.

5185 Peachtree Pkwy., Bldg. 1200, Ste. 201

gwinnettdentist.com

770-637-7672

#2. Linked Dental

6270 Smithpointe Dr.

linkdentalcare.com

@LinkDentalCare, 770-448-1977

#3. Greater Dental Health

5210 Town Center Blvd., Ste. 310

greaterdentalhealth.com

@GreaterDentalHealth, 470-508-0044

Best Day Care

#1. The Goddard School of Peachtree Corners

More than a warm and nurturing place, more than a great education for your child, The Goddard School is peace of mind. They work to positively impact their students, faculty and community for years to come by creating great experiences that help grow students academically, socially and cognitively.

5055 Peachtree Pkwy.

goddardschool.com

@Goddard_School, 770-446-7939

#2. Primrose School of Peachtree Corners

6325 Primrose Hill Ct.

primroseschools.com

@PrimroseSchools, 770-409-8732

#3. Sunshine House of Peachtree Corners

5470 Spalding Dr.

sunshinehouse.com

@SunshineHouseCenters, 770-840-7404

Best Real Estate Agent

#1. Kelly Kim

Kelly Kim is a leading real estate agent who prioritizes excellence and provides comprehensive services backed by advanced technology market expertise. Her local leadership ensures successful outcomes for clients in achieving their buying and selling goals.

ansleyre.com/site/kellykim

678-464-4929

#2. Terri Hayes

4249 Allenhurst Dr.

exechomesales.com

770-248-0770

#3. Alan Kaplan

sothebysrealty.com/eng/associate/180-a-913-4043698/alan-kaplan

404-909-6000

Best HVAC Service

#1. Spencer Heating & Air Conditioning

With over 30 years of experience, this locally owned company specializes in the installation, servicing and maintenance of heating and cooling systems for residential and commercial clients in northeast-metro Atlanta. They take pride in offering exceptional customer service, ensuring prompt and reliable repairs.

4708 S Old Peachtree Rd., Bldg. 200A

spencerair.com

770-447-5289

#2. Premier HVAC Mechanical Corporation

6669 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Ste. N

premierhvaccorp.com

770-696-4189

#3. Bardi Heating, Cooling, Plumbing

2100 Norcross Pkwy., Ste. 100, Norcross

bardi.com

@Call_Bardi, 470-577-7933

Best Home Remodeler

#1. EV Remodeling

EV is a professional remodeling company that offers a wide range of services for residential and commercial properties with expertise in home renovations, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, flooring, painting and more. They strive to deliver high-quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer satisfaction.

3906 Morris Ct.

evremodelinginc.com

678-822-7573

#2. Romero’s Quality Construction

10580 Worthington Hills Manor, Roswell

romerosconstructionllc.com

404-551-9141

#3. Southland Development Services

southlanddevelopmentservices.com

770-560-3012

Best Private School (K-8)

#1. Cornerstone Christian Academy

Cornerstone is a school that provides a Christ-centered education for students from preschool through middle school, emphasizing academic excellence, spiritual development and the nurturing of character. They offer a supportive and enriching educational environment for students to thrive.

5295 Triangle Pkwy. NW

cornerstonecougars.org 

@CornerstoneCougars, 770-441-9222

#2. International Charter Academy of Georgia

3705 Engineering Dr.

internationalcharteracademy.org

@InternationalCharterAcademyGA, 770-604-0007

#3. Notre Dame Academy

4635 River Green Pkwy., Duluth

ndacademy.org

@NDAcademyGA, 678-387-9385

Best Private School (K-12)

#1. Wesleyan School

A renowned educational institution committed to cultivating the minds, hearts and spirits of students from kindergarten through high school, Wesleyan has a focus on academic excellence, character development and spiritual growth. They provide a nurturing and engaging environment where students can flourish and reach their full potential.

5405 Spalding Dr.

wesleyanschool.org

@WesleyanInsta, 770-448-7640

#2. Greater Atlanta Christian School

1575 Indian Trail Rd., Norcross

greateratlantachristian.org 

@GACSpartans, 770-243-2000

#3. Notre Dame Academy

4635 River Green Pkwy., Duluth

ndacademy.org

@NDAcademyGA, 678-387-9385

Best Youth Summer Camp

#1. Greater Atlanta Christian Summer Camps

Greater Atlanta Christian provides a great summer experience where kids can enjoy a balanced blend of play, learning and socializing in a safe and nurturing environment. With over 30 enriching programs covering athletics, arts, academics and fun, campers have the chance to make new friends, explore talents and create lasting memories.

1575 Indian Trail Rd., Norcross

greateratlantachristian.org 

@GACSpartans, 770-243-2000

#2. Wesleyan School Summer Camps

5405 Spalding Dr.

wesleyanschool.org

@WesleyanInsta, 770-448-7640

#3. Club SciKidz

atlanta.clubscikidz.com

@ClubScikidzCamp

Best Summer Camp (Kids Under 10)

#1. Wesleyan School Summer Camps

For over 25 years, Wesleyan Summer Camps have made summer fun for all children. Camps range from arts to athletics, STEM to life skills, with morning, afternoon and full day programming for both day camps and specialty camps.

5405 Spalding Dr.

wesleyanschool.org

@WesleyanInsta, 770-448-7640

#2. Club SciKidz

atlanta.clubscikidz.com

@ClubScikidzCamp

#3. Greater Atlanta Christian Summer Camps

1575 Indian Trail Rd., Norcross

greateratlantachristian.org 

@GASSpartans, 770-243-2000

Best Museum to Visit in Metro Atlanta

#1. High Museum of Art

Designed to meet audiences at the intersection of culture and community, this art museum is inspiring visitors in exciting ways. The High invites visitors to use the museum as a place to discover new ideas, meet old friends and make new ones. Every visit is as unique as every visitor.

1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta

high.org

@HighMuseumofArt, 404-733-4400

#2. Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center

2020 Clean Water Dr., Buford

@GwinnettGov, 770-904-3500

#3. Fernbank Museum

767 Clifton Rd., Atlanta

fernbankmuseum.org

@FernbankMuseum, 404-929-6300

Best Theatre Venue in and Around Gwinnett County

#1. Aurora Theatre

Aurora Theatre is a thriving cultural hub that fosters a sense of belonging through its diverse shows and programming. This theater offers a wide range of theatrical productions, concerts, comedy shows, children’s programs and community events, all housed in a world-class facility.

128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville

auroratheatre.com

@Aurora.Theatre, 678-226-6222

#2. Gas South Theatre

6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth

gassouthdistrict.com

@GasSouthDistrict, 770-813-7500

#3. Lionheart Theatre Company

10 College St., Norcross

lionhearttheatre.org

@Lionheart.theatre, 404-919-4022

Best Local Hotel for Out of Town Guests

#1. Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners

Experience genuine Southern hospitality at this hotel, conveniently located in Peachtree Corners. Enjoy the comfort of well-appointed rooms, on-site dining and more great amenities. With easy access to nearby attractions, this is the idea destination to unwind and explore without the hassle of city traffic.

475 Technology Pkwy.

marriott.com

770-263-8558

#2. Hyatt Place Atlanta/Norcross/Peachtree

5600 Peachtree Pkwy.

hyatt.com

770-416-7655

#3. Crowne Plaza Atlanta NE — Norcross

6050 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. NW

ihg.com

770-448-4400

Best Place to Work (over 50 employees)

#1. Foresite Group

Foresite is a dynamic engineering, planning, design and consulting firm that collaboratively serves public and private sector clients nationwide. With a strong foundation built on core values, they prioritize client success, excellent service, dedicated professionals and a culture that fosters creativity and growth opportunities.

3740 Davinci Ct., Ste. 100

foresitegroup.net

@ForesiteGroup, 770-368-1399

#2. Siemens

3617 Parkway Ln.

siemens.com

@Siemens, 770-326-2000

#3. Intuitive Surgical

5655 Spalding Dr.

intuitive.com

@IntuitiveSurgical, 408-523-2100

#4. Brightree

125 Technology Pkwy.

brightree.com

678-243-1800

#5. Pond & Company

3500 Parkway Ln., Ste. 500

pondco.com

@PondThrives, 677-336-7740

#6. Wesleyan School

5405 Spalding Dr.

wesleyanschool.org

@WesleyanInsta, 770-448-7640

#7. Immucor

3130 Gateway Dr., PO Box 5626

immucor.com

@Immucor_Official, 770-441-2051

Most Desired Features and Attractions as Preferred by Locals and Visitors

#1. A community arts and culture center

#2. Immersive entertainment, like BeltLine’s Illuminarium, Sandbox VR or Chicken & Pickle

#3. A satellite college campus, like Georgia Tech

#4. A major pickleball center

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