North Carolina Advice

Jan 30th, 2009, 06:53 PM
  #1  
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North Carolina Advice

I posted a while back for advice on NC beaches. We are trying to finalize our travel plans & need to figure out the 2nd half of our trip. We will be flying from Seattle to Charlotte, NC on March 25. Spending March 25 - 29 at Hampton Inn in Concord while we attend the AKC National Agility Championships. Our flight home is April 3 in the evening out of CLT. We still don't know where we're going the last four nights. Originally we thought we'd head towards the beach. From the wonderful advice we've gotten from fodorites we've decided that the outer banks is too far for the time we have. Given our time frame and the fact we'll have a dog (6lbs) with us, what do you recommend? We'd love to stay at a beach house, but none rent to us this far in advance for less than a week. Any ideas would be appreciated!

Serendipity42
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Jan 30th, 2009, 06:56 PM
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Head to one of the Charleston beaches in South Carolina. They are much closer than the NC beaches.

Try Wild Dunes.
GoTravel is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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Beaches in the middle of March?

It will be too cold yet then.

Try the mountains.

Ashville is about 2 hours from Charlotte.

Great Smokey Mountains is another 2 hours or so from Ashville along Blue Ridge Parkway.

Lots of waterfalls in the Brevard/Franklin/Cashiers area.
dusty56438 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Dusty - we've already come to the conclusion that any beach in NC in March is going to be much warmer than a beach in WA in June (and possibly July & August too <G> ) We live in an area of WA close to mountains & waterfalls, hubby has a desire to see the beach, so the beach we will see! No, we don't plan on surfing or swimming. Just want to feel the salt spray on our faces.

If we can't find a beach house for just 4 nights, any ideas for a decent pet friendly motel?

Serendipity42

Serendipity42
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Jan 30th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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Hmmm...the dog adds a wrinkle to the equation, but GoTravel's suggestion of a South Carolina beach is a good one, if you are set on a beach. It is a little over three hours from Charlotte to Charleston or around 4 hours from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach. We have stayed on Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms in the Charleston area many times and love it, no matter what time of year. At the end of March, you probably will have days warm enough to be out on the beach, though not swimming weather. At any rate, we have used Island Realty for rentals in the area. I don't know how many pet friendly rentals they have, but at that time of year, you shouldn't have much trouble getting one for less than a week, since it's not peak season.
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Jan 30th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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Yes, a rental on Isle of Palms or Sullivans Island is an excellent idea as you are only 20 minutes to downtown Charleston.

Charleston is one of the loveliest cities you'll ever encounter and you'll find the arts, culture, amenities, shopping, dining, and attractions of a much larger city.

The gorgeous architecture is icing on the cake.

Late March early April will definitely be warm. I've had beach days as early as March so you may be in luck but the ocean temps will only be around 70 so no swimming. You can easily sit around a pool in your bathing suit.

Pup will love the beach!
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Jan 31st, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Agree Charleston area beaches, and you could get lucky on the temps, but it could also be chilly. Walking/biking on the beach can definitely be enjoyed, but there will be no sea spray (think wide, flat beaches with little wave action compared to the west coast - unless there is a storm offshore).

Isle of Palms is great location with it's own good restaurants, or it's 20 minutes into Charleston (which you should definitely spend some time in).
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 01:07 PM
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GoT needs to invest in a map. www.ncbrunswick.com
SAnParis2 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Why do I need a map?

It is 200 miles to Wilmington from Charlotte and 200 miles to Charleston from Charlotte.

The roads to Wilmington are state highway and two lane roads.

It is all interstate to Charleston.

Which one are you going to reach quicker?
GoTravel is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 02:36 PM
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According to Google maps, it is a shorter drive from Charlotte to Charleston (3:15) or Isle of Palms (3:24) than to Wilmington (3:55) or Kure Beach (4:24), but it's nice to know that the OP has several beach options within a reasonable drive of Charlotte.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 06:02 PM
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Our son went to UNCW and I can tell you that the beach weather will be fine for a person from the north. The beaches near Wilmington are beautiful, Wrightsville, Carolina, Kure, Fort Fisher all good picks. We visited him often in winter and even if we weren't in the water we walked the beach and found it very comfortable. Our son would surf until after Thanksgiving and then use a wet suit for the warmer days in the winter, yes it took him five years to graduate but the guys rented a house on the beach for the winter and commuted to school.
emalloy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 06:28 PM
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Here is a link to pet friendly lodging.

http://www.petswelcome.com/cgi-bin/ghotelframe.pl
BuckeyeBud is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 06:29 PM
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Better link

http://www.petswelcome.com/
BuckeyeBud is offline  
Feb 1st, 2009, 04:51 AM
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From Charlotte you can be in the Myrtle Beach area in 3.5 hours--but please go a bit south to maybe Litchfield/Pawley's Island if you are going to that area. And the Charleston BEACHES will be a bit over 4 hours, and you will have the city of Charleston to compete with beach time!!
The Pawley's Island area has some of the best seafood on the SE coast, there is Brookgreen Gardens for a lovely tour for an afternoon, GREAT shopping of all sorts--small shops to outlets.
And south of Wilmington will be a little warmer. We love the beach in these off months.
The pet may make it more difficult but you have some leads there. If Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort is listed, I recommend it. Also the Hampton Inn at Pawley's/Litchfield is a beautiful property. Litchfield Inn is right on the beach and adequate--has been renovated. I imagine you don't want to consider it, but there are boarding facilities along the road (route 17) that we have noticed.
The drive to MB from Charlotte is not interstate, but is 4 lane road for 99% and off season, is not crowded.

And I agree--Starrs needs no map link.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 03:40 AM
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I can get to most any of the Brunswick Islands in 3.5 hours, tops. Except for a small portion, that is now all 4 lane. Of course, much will depend on what time you choose to travel as I-77 can be a bear as can 74 thru Monroe. To get to Kiawah or Seabrook tacks on another 30-45 minutes. Being in Matthews (as I am), the disparity is even greater. Thanks Gretchen
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Feb 2nd, 2009, 04:07 AM
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Yes because Kiawah is 45 minutes south of Charleston.

You owe me an apology.
GoTravel is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 04:57 AM
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I am unaware of any beach houses in Charleston proper. If/When I go to the beach in Charleston, personnally, I go to Seabrook. You were looking at Wilmington & Charleston probably IS closer than Wilmington, but it isn't closer to Oak Island, or Holden Beach or Ocean Isle or Sunset Beach.
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Feb 2nd, 2009, 06:31 AM
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Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, James Island, Johns Island, Folly Beach are all considered Charleston Beaches. Seabrook is not because it is so far outside Charleston. Ditto for Edisto.
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Feb 7th, 2009, 07:00 AM
  #19  
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Thanks everyone for the advice & links. I didn't mean for this to become a discussion on which area is closer, we've pretty much decided on the Wilmington area.

A couple other quick questions - can anyone recommend a good place aprox halfway between Wilmington & Charlotte for one night?

And is anyone familiar with Concord & the Cabarrus Arena? I'm looking for some specific info, thanks!

Serendipity42
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Feb 7th, 2009, 07:21 AM
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Serendipity - don't assume you can't find something to rent for less than a week then - the resort-area realtors are gasping for business and you might well be able to cut a deal. I love Wrightsville, and a few phone calls might find you what you need.

Be aware that The Waterway Lodge http://www.waterwaylodge.com/ says it accepts pets - it's not on the beach, but . . . .

Otherwise, two realtors are http://www.bryantrealestate.com/
http://www.intracoastalrentals.com/enjoy.htm

Otherwise, NC is somewhat less pet friendly about its beaches than other places, so check local regulations - often it's a matter of season and hours (e.g., in the summer, no pets at all; shoulder seasons, only before 9 am or after 6 pm).

Good luck with the Agility tests.

PS why do you need to break up the trip between Charlotte and Wrightsville? - it's only about 4 hrs.
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