Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Favorite road trips from Charlotte

One of the reasons so many people are moving to Charlotte, newcomers tell me, is they like being close to both mountains and the beach.

I experienced this advantage for myself last week when I visited Isle of Palms, a beach just outside of Charleston about a 3.5-hour drive from Charlotte. (This helps explain my long gap in postings – sorry about that). I had a great time there with family, even after sharks provoked a scare by biting two swimmers within a few hours, prompting a temporary beach closure.

If you haven’t been yet, you should add this to your list of road trips. (I promise, shark bites are extremely rare). So long as you dodge hurricane warnings, this destination will only get better as the summer days wind down (I had a great time there once in November). When you go, here are some recommended stops:

--Windjammers. A bar you get to right after you cross onto the Isle of Palms, it always has interesting live music and a generally friendly crowd.

--The Boat House and the Sea Biscuit. Two popular restaurants on the island; Boat House is a dinner stop and Sea Biscuit is great for breakfast. Both easy to find once you’re on the island.

--Shem Creek. This inlet between Sullivan’s Island and Charleston is home to many pleasant restaurants. I particularly enjoyed R.B.’s.

--And, of course, you have to go into Charleston for shopping and sightseeing. The kids will enjoy a visit to the S.C. Aquarium; I enjoyed roaming the historic Market, where I purchased pottery directly from the potter who made it.

The Isle of Palms Web site is And click here for more information on Charleston and other popular coastal destinations from the Observer’s Road Trips guide.

What’s your favorite road trip from Charlotte? Post here or e-mail me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbia and Asheville both make good day trips (3 hours or so each way) as long as you leave early. Columbia's better for families, Asheville for singles/hipsters.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Leigh said...

I wanted to share this one I just got from a reader via e-mail:
I love to drive up to the Shelton Winery in Dobson just under 2 hours early Saturday morning especially in the fall. There are lots of apple stands on the way and once you are at the winery the tour and wine tasting are so reasonable and the Shelton’s are so hospitable they even take the wine cartons to your car. Also the café there is wonderful they make some of the cheeses sold there and you can just sit out on the winery grounds and have a nice bottle and some cheese and crackers and enjoy the wonderful weather and you may even get a visit from the two winery mascots (dogs) Cabernet and Chardonnay J They love potato chips! I have never been to the Summer Concerts though I have heard they are wonderful with beach music and bbq….

10:50 AM  
Blogger Julie Kelly said...

That's so funny - Isle of Palms is actually where I was a few weeks ago. Great family beach. Love it!

My in-laws like to go to Asheville from here and do wine tours. Easy to roll around on the Blue Ridge pkwy for bit while you're there too and remember what it's like to breathe.

My fam's in Greenville, which has a lovely downtown and is only about 2 hours from here. I'm not sure of scenic routes, but I know there are peaches on the way!

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like going to the mountains/Asheville.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I f anyone wants a cheap thrill try DAVIDSON COLLEGE and its Historic town; All across the State are dotted with small Southern Historic towns ; Leigh could get all the small towns and list them for us if she wanted; These towns are for real and have ANDY and BARNEY riding around the town as we speak; Lexington is another but DAVIDSON college was founded before the civil war by a CIVIL WAR General; Thw town has a nice railtrack that may be used one day for Light rail and is very shady during the hot summer. Cornelius is another favorite of mine; They have made the town look like a 18th century with Old time light poles and cobblestone side walks ; The towns are really neat and so is Huntersville Historic town and Mt. Holly area ; All these places are what we all came fro the NORTH for is to find ANDY and BARNEY and MAYBERRY.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try Wythville just shy of STATESVILLE nestled in the MOUNTAINS; I love this town . The air if fresh and the senic mountian drives are some of the N.C. best. the views from Wythville are some of the best and the People are genuine. Statesville has a nice historic town also. If you have a nice car drive the back road to CHIMNEY ROCK Park ; If the Sherrif aint back there you can get there in 90 minutes . Stop at INGLES just before you get there and look at the view they have before and after they shop for groceries.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of us YANKEES watched ANDY GRIFFITH and BARNEY Fife and we to are always looking for MAYBERRY RFD. Thats why we really come down here to have a town where aunt Bea takes out an apple pie from the oven. Where Opie comes in with a trout hooked to the line to show his paw; Where emma lou still exsists and the town is curious of exspensive cars and strangers. Where OTIS comes riding into the sherrifs office on a cow; thats what People look for when they come here.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to get the Governor Easleys Office to open a wine cellar at CHIMNEY rock giving out maps to get there and stocked bottles of wiwne from each winery; Maybe a theatre that shows all of N.C. wineries and maps. I also want to get a winery who will create the first BLUEBERRY wine and maybe a champagne. This Champange will be served on cruise ships and around the world.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LIEGH can you give us all a list of all the wineries and how to get there in a Sunday addition? I would like to see CARROWINDS become like Cedar POINT of Sandusky , Ohio. I want %50 percent more rolla coasters and Haunted houses , and water rides. I want it now not two years from now.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love RAMSEY creek state park and the little hide aways and walking trails there; I like to sit a few chairs under the trees and just sit a spell. Go for a ride through JETTON park under all the shade trees and get you a fold out chair and just watch the fun People have on the water.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just went to Seagrove, NC last week. It's a collection of over 90 different pottery artisans (and a few others thrown in). Had a range of potters from the very country traditional style to beautiful modern potters. And half the fun is driving through all the little country roads, trying to locate the potter from the map (must stop at the museum in Seagrove itself to pick up the map and choose the potters you want to see from there, as you can't stop at all of them). We never knew if we would end up in a beautifully lit studio, a room off of someone's house, or a renovated barn complete with bales of hay showcasing some amazing NC talent. Definitely worth a day trip - about 90 min from Charlotte - definitely worth it!

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Leigh could be chauffered to all the wineries for PICTURES and maps to get there to be manifested in the SUNDAY Edition for all of us; I have commanded Governor Easleys Office to examine the possibility of a TRAM to take us up to CHIMNEY ROCK and a building dislay at the bottom made of the earths natural stone; The bilding would display all the greta wines we are producung and a DVD disk of all the wineries and how to get there info; This DISK could be mailed to all states for just a small fee on the surrounding borders and in STATE. I once lived near the MIRROUSO winery in SAN JOSE and it was great tour.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am asking Charlottes city council for a HARRAHS casino right downtown built into one of their hotels; I have got some great feed back now that the LOTTERY IS here anyway. this event would bring in Peopl and Members of HARRAHs from all over to see our city.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to start a HORSE track near the CHARLOTTE area complete with thress level of glasses in PENTHOUSE with fine dining overlooking the track and a clubhouse with dress/casual and finally a general affair for the People who like shorts and regular good ole fashion dress. The Horse track could bring a race much like the Kentucy Derby; This business is multi billion dollar and creates many jobs around the entire area of Lancaster, Great falls, Huntersville and all along York county. Feed Mills and Horse health care/training/ I just cant wait People.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go to the ncwine website

4:31 PM  

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