Guys. Having lived in North Carolina for two years, let's have a real talk: Thanks to the government, no one wants to go here. I know this. Even the NBA pulled the All-Star game from Charlotte in an immense "what were you thinking?" moment to Gov. McCrory. But the thing is — North Carolina's people still need your support. The business owners still need your dollars. Otherwise the economy grows wearier and, well, it's political turmoil from there.
And what's more, North Carolina is beautiful. From Asheville to Wilmington and back again, from the mountains to the Piedmont to the coast, every place is worth a stop, and everywhere is a little bit different. If you're on an NC road trip, here are five places to rest your head in four awesome cities — all courtesy of Hipmunk's expertise.
The outside of the Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville reminds me of some lodge Teddy Roosevelt would've stayed at in Yellowstone before it became Yellowstone. For $200 a night, this is quite the deal (and even cheaper in the off-season): every room comes with a living room and kitchenette, there's a saltwater lap pool, and even complimentary child care, just to get started. Rumor has it that the breakfast buffet is stellar, too. This one seems like a no-brainer, and so is the city of Asheville; it's completely gorgeous. Check out the Biltmore, the gold-plated McDonald's with a grand piano in the foyer, and the Spoon Lady, the most famous of the Asheville buskers. This is a city you won't soon forget.
Ah, the Research Triangle. More Ph.D.s per capita than anywhere in the U.S. Put your thinking caps on, and get over to the Hilton Durham — it's near Duke. Prices can get up to $200/night, but are $115 or so in the off-season. This is your standard Hilton, but it has a great location, well-rounded reviews, and is a sturdy choice where you know nothing will go wrong.
Need something more on a budget (college kids, I know)? Check out the Millennium Hotel Durham. It gets as low as $80/night, and yet it's still a beautiful hotel (the dining area reminds me of the Titanic). It's also in the heart of the Research Triangle, so if you're into education and pretty tapestries and fine wood paneling, this spot will be perfect.
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. The Dunhill Hotel in Charlotte is everything. It's legitimately historic — you'll be able to tell as soon as you see the marquee from the street. There's vintage furniture, complimentary European-style breakfast, and even milk and cookies in the evenings. Everything anyone could ever want. Everything about this hotel is absolutely gorgeous (just Google the photos), and it's a not-too-terrible $175/night. Pro tip? Charlotte's brewery scene is legit. After freshening up in your en-suite bathroom, hit up Sugar Creek. Or go straight to Abari, whichever.
The O. Henry Hotel is the most expensive option of the five, coming in at roughly $230/night, despite being in what I would consider the least exciting town on this list. What's that mean? It's gotta be good. This hotel has a very "B&B" feel, and even offers afternoon tea. It's a member of the Southern Living Hotel Collection, so if you want to experience true North Carolina (grits, biscuits, gravy and all), this is a good place to do it.
Welcome to North Carolina, y'all. There's sweet tea 'round the corner.
All this goes to show that Hipmunk is super useful when it comes to planning a vacation, and that's why we paired up with them to spread the word. We would never endorse something we don't love, and we obviously love that little chipmunk.