As you know our family is moving away from Charlotte, North Carolina to embark on a new adventure in Charleston, South Carolina. Before I go, I wanted to share my love and my favorite things to do in the Queen City. I have lived here most of my life an know the city pretty well. Here are some of the things that I will miss.
1. Plaza Midwood - This is my favorite neighborhood in Charlotte. We lived here before moving to Cotswold, but always end up here on our date nights. I love having a delicious meal at Soul and then walking (carefully) down the stairs to Gallery Twenty-Two for wine and art. This neighborhood is eclectic, full of artist, young blood and heart.
2. Discovery Place- It’s geared toward children, but Discovery Place is good fun for the entire family. Charlotte’s only children’s museum features hands-on activities and exhibits that explore science and fun. My family spends some TIME at Discovery Place in the winter and hot summer days. We spring for the membership to Discovery Place, Discovery Place Kids and Nature Museum and it is worth it. A perfect day is when you can play in the morning Discovery Place then enjoy a nice lunch at the Community Cafe without leaving the building.
3. Freedom Park- Freedom Park is Charlotte’s own version of Central Park….on a much smaller scale. It is a great place to go to bike, walk or simply people-watch. I spent my teenage years doing “teenage related activities” and my adult years with my kids at this park. From the panthers playground to Festival at the park it is one of my favorite places.
4. Carowinds…more specifically the Intimidator. If amusement parks are your thing then you need to visit Carowinds. I grew up going to Carowinds and have many fond memories of Smurf Island eating blue ice cream. As an adult, my husband and I are addicted to the best roller coaster in the world… the Intimidator. It has a 100-foot free-fall, and one of the fastest and longest coasters in the southeast. It is one of those rides that once you are strapped in you question your decision about getting on the ride. Then, you ride it and give “high-fives” to strangers for the rest of the day.
5. ImaginOn - Every-time I take my boys here, I can’t believe it is free. I have enjoyed their story time and special exhibits. After my first son was born we were financially strapped and would spend many hours reading and playing at ImaginOn. This place was my savior.
6. U.S. National Whitewater Center- Food, beer, zip-lines, kayaking, canoeing, white water rafting, mountain bikes, running and music. Another bonus is that you can bring your dog a long for the fun.
7. The trees on Queens Road in Myers Park. I love driving down this road in the summer when the trees are full and canopy the road. If you have out-of-town guest, I would make point to drive them down Queens Road West.
8. Charlotte is freaking a clean city! I always notice this when traveling to other cities. Downtown is clean, the roads are clean…it is just clean. I am sure we have our fair share of pollution, but if presentation is anything, Charlotte looks good.
9. Ikea- I know, I know Ikea is not special to Charlotte, but I will really miss Ikea. It is so easy to jump in the car, travel to Ikea, eat a $ 1 ice-cream cone, purchase cool looking furniture and the spend hours trying to put it together.
10. Running – Charlotte is a great city for running. We have hills, trees, sidewalks, great races, trail running and tons of running groups to join. Just make sure you read the fine print on running groups. I joined a group and after a run discovered that it was a “Singles” running group. Whoops! When people come to visit they often comment about all the people dressed in work-out clothes out and about. I mean, it is comfortable to be dressed in yoga paints, but there are a lot of exercisers here.
Of course I will miss our friends, neighbors and the connections that we have made here. This will be the hardest part about leaving.