Image courtesy of charlottesgotalot.com / Kyo H Nam Photography
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly city in the American South that’s ideal for quick getaways, add Charlotte, North Carolina to your family travel bucket list. Some of Charlotte's top family-friendly attractions include the Nascar Hall of Fame, the U.S. National Whitewater Center, and Carowinds, but there’s a lot more to this little southern city that’s worth exploring.
Easily navigable and affordable, Charlotte boasts a blossoming food scene with diverse restaurants, breweries, and Optimist Hall, a recently opened food hall. There are top-notch museums ranging from Discovery Place science museum to the Mint Museum, which showcases art and design from around the world. Sports fans will love the easy access to pro teams like the Charlotte Panthers (NFL) and Hornets (NBA), while its minor league teams are just as fun to watch — the Triple-A Knights’ baseball stadium is right in the heart of downtown. Head to the funky NoDa neighborhood to wander galleries, boutiques, and cafes.
Choosing a place to stay in Charlotte will depend on your itinerary and interests, and we’ve got two favorite options to recommend: The modern Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel and the resort-like Ballantyne Hotel. Here's why we love both of these Charlotte hotels for families.
Why stay at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte? If you’re centering your explorations Uptown (Charlotte's downtown), this is a centrally located home base that will maximize your time in the city. Overlooking the quickly-expanding city skyline and BB&T Ballpark, this sleek hotel will satisfy design-conscious parents while still welcoming their offspring with its artsy, playful vibe. Guests are greeted with a sweet tea bar, and there’s a daily social hour in the lobby, plus a rooftop lounge where you can watch the sunset. The rooms are comfortable and chic, with luxurious soaking tubs or oversized marble showers in the bathrooms. Hop on provided PUBLIC bikes to explore the neighborhood, or make use of the House Car, a complimentary service for quick trips around the city. Pro tip: Bring a white noise machine, as the sounds of the city can drift up even to the uppermost floors. Check out Kimpton Tryon Park hotel deals here.
Why stay at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte? If you’re looking for a more resort-style experience or exploring more of the area’s outlying attractions, the Ballantyne Hotel is a solid pick for families. Located in an upscale area about 20 minutes from the center of the Charlotte, the Ballantyne recently underwent a massive renovation — and it’s still sparkling from the efforts. The public spaces are grand and gorgeous, while the spacious guest rooms are equipped with plush linens, a garden bath, and fluffy robes. There’s a large outdoor pool as well as one indoors, a spa, and a golf course. Sample sweets and savories at Afternoon Tea in the lobby (it was Alice in Wonderland-themed on a recent visit), or visit the bar for an impressive whiskey selection. Warning: There’s so much to do on-site, you and your family may find yourselves struggling to leave its grounds. And that’s OK. You can make reservations for the Ballantyne here.