I’m going to Carolina in my mind…well actually in person. (July Travels Part II)

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Ok – I am way behind on my summer posts! But better late than never!  (See Part 1 here!)

Trip #2 of July was a 4-night quick trip up to the Charlotte area of NC (and SC too!)  Steven’s headquarters for work are in Fort Mill, SC, so he has been spending some time up there.  AND my brother and sister-in-law just happened to move to the northern Charlotte area – so it seemed like the perfect time and reason to visit!  (See them below – Uncle D and Aunt K!)

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We had beautiful weather, so we spent much of our time outside exploring different parks and neighborhoods around Charlotte.  I was very impressed with how easy the city was to navigate.  Set up similar to Atlanta, with a perimeter around (485 instead of 285), everything was just a little closer.  We stayed on the southwestern side in a corporate/retail area called Ballantyne.  Lots of retail and restaurants.  And home to The Ballantyne Hotel (a fancy resort!)

Here are a few of the places we visited:

Discovery Place Kids

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Perfect museum for kids under 8.  Huge playground, water area, trucks, racecars, planes, boats, vet clinic, mini grocery store, gymnastics area, building area, and so much more!

The spraypark at Latta Park (a cute little intown neighborhood).  This was pretty busy and in the direct sun – so within an hour we checked out 2 water parks for the kiddos (see next one below!)

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The Green.  A little tiny park right in the center of downtown Charlotte.  Virtually deserted when we went, the kids had a blast with these unpredictable fountains, including 4 from the mouth of fish!  Very clean, shaded park.  Perfect for little ones!

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Belle Johnston Park.  On the AM the kids and I left, we decided to try and burn some energy at one last park (which Charlotte is in no short supply of!), so I found this little gem in Pineville, NC.  Very clean, well maintained, and super fun for the kids!

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Baxter Village is a little “town” (planned community) in Fort Mill, SC complete with homes, shops, restaurants, parks, and walking trails.  Such a cute little concept.  The kids spent one morning at Baxter’s Bunch Playhouse (a super nice bounce house).  And then we returned with Uncle D and Aunt K for dinner again later in the week!

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Overall a fun, somewhat relaxing 4 days!  Definitely will go back as we now have family there.  And there is still so much more to do.  On our list (but not limited to):

US National Whitewater Center
Imaginon Museum
Discovery Place
Charlotte Nature Museum
Lazy 5 Ranch

And so many more parks and greenways, sounds like the perfect fall destination (with the pups) for some outdoor adventures.  And bonus, it’s so close (maybe 1.5 hours) from Asheville, NC another favorite fall destination for us!)

Any other Charlotte suggestions?  Thanks for reading!  One more summer fun post to come!

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