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Families will love:

  • Outdoor and cultural kid-bliss in spades
  • Baseball, professional football, NASCAR
  • Sophisticated Uptown with Exquisite Dining

A jewel of a travel experience awaits your family in the Southeast and, nope, it isn't Atlanta or Orlando. Charlotte, North Carolina -- gaining on her two popular sisters - is blossoming into a true beauty in her own right.

Charlotte, long a major hub in the financial world, is evolving at warp speed into a trendy visit with a chic Uptown City Center brimming in ... more
A jewel of a travel experience awaits your family in the Southeast and, nope, it isn't Atlanta or Orlando. Charlotte, North Carolina -- gaining on her two popular sisters - is blossoming into a true beauty in her own right.

Charlotte, long a major hub in the financial world, is evolving at warp speed into a trendy visit with a chic Uptown City Center brimming in hands-on cultural stops for families, impressive museums, gorgeous hotels, out-of-this-world dining, outdoor adventure, professional sports, and top-tier concerts.

While you can easily spend a week exploring Uptown, there's more. The SouthPark neighborhood is an elegant area with world-class shopping that includes the exclusive SouthPark Mall, home to Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Tiffany & Co. The kids will be thrilled to see the LEGO Store (while you're next door at Lilly Pulitzer) or the American Girl Store (allowing you to peek through The Limited). And sitting just steps from the larger mall is the Phillips Plaza layered in a European-like vibe with flowers, park benches, fountains and lamp posts.

And while the tonier side of Charlotte is amazing, be sure to make some time for Carowinds (about 25 minutes from Uptown), with mild and wild land rides, and a massively renovated Carolina Harbor with about a jillion waterslides and then some.

For more thrills, the adjacent Cabarrus County -- sitting just outside of Charlotte proper - is home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway with the popular NASCAR races.The county is also home to a Great Wolf Lodge, a sweet aquarium, budget Charlotte hotels, and more incredible eating.

Why is Charlotte nicknamed the Queen City? Long ago, a German princess named Sophia Charlotte married one King George III (yep, that King George) who dubbed this up-and-coming English colony after his well-respected bride. Walking through today's Uptown, you'll see the city's pretty logo - a crown - throughout town.

Written by Wendy Irvine less

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