Stress fix: Sweet summer getaways
Sometimes the best way to relax and unwind from the stress of planning a wedding is to just get away for a few days. With long days and warm nights, what better time to jump in the car and take a mini road trip for the weekend? Whether you’re taking your girls or your man, here are a few of our favorite hot spots perfect for day trips or overnight vacations from Charlotte. Make the trip extra special by keeping wedding talk to a minimum.
Asheville – What’s not to love about this laid-back, artsy mountain retreat? With a thriving culinary and arts scene, not to mention the renowned Biltmore
Estate, it will take no time for you to fall in love with this quaint little city. Grab a filling breakfast at Biscuit Head to start your day before heading over to the Biltmore for a few hours. Even if you don’t tour the house, enjoy a lunch picnic in the lush gardens and take a long stroll around the grounds. By late afternoon, you’ll still have enough time to head into downtown and meander through the city’s endless boutiques and bookshops that feature local jewelers and craftsmen. Don’t miss Mountain Made, located in the Grove Arcade.
From Charlotte: 2 hours
Two Rings Photography
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens – Just a hop and a skip away from Charlotte lies a rural oasis, spanning over 350 acres of woodlands, rolling meadows and a pristine botanical garden that combines manicured landscaping with natural beauty. You’ll find all this and more at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens located in Belmont. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch on the property before visiting the Orchid Conservatory, where you’ll find an array of tropical plants. While you’re in Belmont, take some time to meander through her historic downtown and drop by the General Store for some hand-dipped ice cream. On Fridays, the town sponsors “Friday Night Live” where residents and guest alike pour out into the center of town with blankets and lawn chairs for live music.
From Charlotte: 40 minutes
Grandfather Mountain – Has this recent heat wave been draining your energy? Then pack your bags and head to Grandfather Mountain, which boasts the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountain range and temperatures about 15 degrees cooler than our fair city. Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views atop the mile-high swinging bridge (which has been there since 1952 but isn’t nearly as scary since they replaced the wooden bridge with a steel one). With 11 different hiking trails, a wildlife habitat and nature museum, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained for a full day, if not longer. On your way home, stop at Woodlands BBQ in Boone for dinner for the best pulled pork in the area.
From Charlotte: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Visit NC Photography
Greenville – Think Southern charm, natural beauty and a whole lot of personality and you’ve got Greenville, S.C. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeast and for good reason as Greenville has a thriving downtown, stunning lakes and rivers and countless cultural experiences from the Carolina Ballet Theatre to Dark Corner Distillery. The heart of Greenville is downtown, where you’ll find local shops, art galleries, museums and boutique hotels along with unique restaurants that mix contemporary cuisine with Southern flair perfect for foodies. Within a mile-and-a-half stretch of Main Street, Greenville boasts over 110 eateries, most of which are locally owned. Don’t miss the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese at Soby’s but save room for chocolate croissant at Le Grand Bakery.
Afterwards, walk it off on Greenville’s pedestrian Liberty Bridge.
From Charlotte: 1 Hour, 30 minutes