One of the great things about living in Charlotte is that you are within a reasonable driving distance to both wonderful beaches and scenic mountains. There is a lot to do around town here, but if you are ever feeling stir crazy it is simple and inexpensive to get out of town to a beautiful location. Whether you’re in search of a weekend getaway with that special someone or just a great place to unwind and reconnect with friends and/or family it’s all within your reach. Here are some of my favorite local day or weekend trips from the Queen City.
The charm of Asheville lies in its culture. From excellent cuisine to rowdy live music this mountain town can make for a great weekend escape. Maybe you want to spend some time in the art district, where you can tour galleries or even watch the artists at work. Or you could spend the day on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, where you can see the luxurious home built by the Vanderbilts or tour the gardens or go wine tasting at the vineyard. There is enough to occupy your whole weekend without even leaving the grounds if you choose. Accessibility in Asheville on the whole is pretty good considering it’s a mountain town. There are some smaller restaurants and shops that can be difficult and parking is a challenge for everybody, but the city has done a pretty good job of providing adequate accommodations. The art district could use some improvements to the sidewalks. The last time I was there some areas were so poorly maintained we had to take the wheelchair into the road. A number of the galleries are accessible but some aren’t. The Biltmore Estate is very accessible. Transportation is provided on the grounds between the attractions and several of the buses have wheelchair lifts. The majority of the house itself is accessible by wheelchair, and the gardens are fully accessible
If you’re a beach lover I don’t think it gets much better than Charleston. With a number of beach communities within a few minutes’ drive of this historic city you’re sure to find one that fits your style. The city itself is full of great places to eat and shop and lots of fun things to do and see. It’s a great place for families or a group of friends. Kids love Patriot’s Point with the aircraft carrier and submarines, the grandparents like the history and visiting the old houses and everyone likes the market and the great food. Accessibility in Charleston is not bad considering how old the city is. Most of the places you want to go in town are either accessible or have been retrofitted to make them as accessible as possible. Even the aircraft carrier has access for wheelchairs to the most interesting decks. There are many close beaches. Our favorite is Isle of Palms. There is an accessible beach walkway not too far from the strip mall as you are headed to Wild Dunes. There is some parking but not a lot. We like to stay at Wild Dunes Resort. The Boardwalk Inn has accessible accommodations but it’s a challenge to get to the beach. Just few changes would make all the difference. If you want to rent a house for a family gathering plan ahead if you need accessibility. Most of the houses are built up one story but you can find some for rent that have an elevator that take you from the ground level. You can also rent beach wheelchairs and they will deliver and pick up from wherever you’re staying. It isn’t cheap, though, so plan accordingly. Also due to the variability in the tides pushing the chair across the dry sand can be challenging. I would recommend the chair which has the big wheels that a reviewed a few weeks ago. There’s something for everyone in Charleston.