Need quick Charlotte, NC advice

May 29th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 700
Need quick Charlotte, NC advice

I am going on a spur-of-the-moment mini road trip with two teenagers this weekend. The main purpose of the trip is to attend a concert at Carowinds in Charlotte on Saturday night. We are about 5 hours from Charlotte and will be coming through Asheville. We will not be in a hurry on Friday and will probably take the scenic route and stop off at Chimney Rock park for a couple of hours, arriving in Charlotte around dinner time. Here is where I need advice...I have read through tons of old posts and a jillion hotel reviews on Trip Advisor. I cannot decide where we should stay. I think I'm going to try Priceline, but I'm not sure whether I should aim for uptown/city center or for the South Park area. We will have "exploring" time Friday evening and Saturday until about lunch time. Which area would be more interesting to be in, especially with two (15 and 17) teenage girls? They won't have tons of money to spend shopping, so I don't know how much interest an upscale mall would have. I also need an interesting, but not too expensive dinner recommendation. We would (at least I would!) like to avoid chains, if possible. Thanks for any and all help!
BetsyinKY is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 447
The Concord Outlet Mall is popular
with teenagers. Lots of clothing
stores,Saks outlet, TJMaxx, inexpensive jewelry and
accessories. It also has a food
court with everything from California
Pizza to Barbecue. That might be
a good starting place.
pilgrim is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 03:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,759
Stay Uptown, you will also have the best dining options there. To get in & out of the Southpark area is nightmarish, even for those of us that reside here. From Uptown you can hop right onto I-77 & go straight to your concert. Brixx (Pizza) although a chain offers some options. Next door is LaVecchias (sp?) if you like seafood (both on 6th St.). Depends on what you are seeking, & how much $$$ you want to spend.
SAnParis is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 04:03 AM
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Don't Priceline unless you bid for two rooms. Priceline doesn't guarantee the room configuration - just that there's enough room for two ppl (not 3).
starrsville is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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I think uptown will be pretty boring for teens--I'd stay in SouthPark. It is easy to get on the road to I77 from there. Getting around the edges of SouthPark (where the hotels are) is no more difficult than it ever was.
You will have more choice in all price ranges of restaurants than uptown.
SouthPark is upscale but fun to browse and certainly sales are possible. Or shop elsewhere. Concord Mills is about 30 minutes north.
There is a Marriott Courtyard (hopefully reasonable) near SouthPark and other possibilities, that on a week-end, may have better rates than weekday.
There are also hotels right on the interstate--Holiday Inn has two on Woodlawn Road and Embassy Suites is there also.
Gretchen is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 04:53 AM
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If you decide to saty in the Southpark area (which is closer to Carowinds), you can try the Village Tavern for dinner. They hava nice big patio for outdoor dining. It is located in the office park across the street from the mall, but is not a chain and is very pleasant. Also, Phillips Place is close by if they are interested in taking in a movie.
bankbabe is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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Bankbabe--Village Tavern is a chain (10 locations according to their website). There is one around the corner from my house in GA. However, that said, I like it and it doesn't feel like your typical chain. Good food, have always had good waitstaff and prices are reasonable.
OneWanderingJew is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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I wondered about that, OWJ. I LOVE the Village Tavern. Great restaurant - and doesn't feel like a chain.

Check out Carowinds' website for hotels that offer discounts -
starrsville is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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I didn't know it was a chain--doesn't feel or look like one. Harper's is NOT a chain and is also across the street from SouthPark. Good "fern bar" food.Oak fired wood grill.
For breakfast there is the Original Pancake House across from SouthPark also.
I went on Hotwire and you could look at this page. The lower starred hotels at SouthPark should be fine. I put in "one room, 1 adult, 2 children" by the way.

What's the name of the restaurant at the back of the Specialty Shops? It's good.
And in the mall is Maggiano's, Cheesecake Factory, McCormick and Schmick's. And P.F. Chang's in Phillips Place just down the road. I know these are chains, but the food is good and dependable.

Gretchen is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 06:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 700
Thanks everyone for the quick feedback. After all my reading last night and then your responses this morning, I went to Bidding for Travel to check out the hotels that typically come up on Priceline. In the SouthPark area, the only 3 star that has been showing up is the Doubletree Guest Suites, which according to the hotel website, is an all suite hotel...perfect for the three of us. I put in a bid a few minutes ago and got the Doubletree for $55 a night. Woohoo! That's cheaper than any of the "inexpensive" hotels in that area! Anyway, thanks to everyone for their quick responses. I'm printing out all your dinner recs, as well. I know a lot of them are chains, but I realized we really won't have much time to explore and prowl. Thanks again!
BetsyinKY is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Gretchen, I hate to tell you this but Harpers IS a chain.

My friend used to be the managing partner at that one and we eat at the one in Five Points in Columbia all the time.

Great food, highly recommend it!
May 30th, 2007, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,157
I've been to the Harper's in Louisville/Lexington? I forget which, it was very good.
leahinsc is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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It may be a "chain" but it is owned by a group of NC (and probably SC) businessmen who VERY tightly control the quality of the food and service in their restaurants. Denny's it isn't.
They also own Mimosa Grill and Upstream and I believe, Frankie's in Charlotte. Nice people.
If the original poster wants a really good dinner in the SouthPark area, go to Upstream. If she wants one in Uptown, go to Mimosa. If she wants a VERY good meal, go to Zebra near SP.
The resto I was trying to remember is Manzetti's at Shops on the Park. It is also moderate, good food.
Gretchen is offline  

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