Atlanta to Outer Banks via Charlotte and Greensboro - where would you sleep, eat, play?
August 24, 2010 8:22 AM   Subscribe

ATL to Outer Banks (by way of Charlotte and Greensboro) with 2 adults & 3 small kids. Help me find places to stay, eat and get the wiggles out! I'm a writer, so bonus points if these are places I could write about, but really I just want to survive the trip.

We're traveling to the Outer Banks with our 3 kids (4.5, 2.5, 1). We'd like to spend the night in Greensboro in a decent safe place with a pool and eats nearby that aren't all fast food. I can't afford O'Henry's in Greensboro both ways, but thought I'd stay there on the way back, since I can write about it and get a tax deduction.

...And if anyone has Outer Banks recommendations for restaurants and kid fun besides just the beach, that would be wonderful as well. The kids are pretty well-behaved and eat everything. It's also our anniversary that week, so we anticipate one night just on our own for a nice dinner, guilting the rest of the family into babysitting. :-)
posted by mdiskin to Travel & Transportation around Spooner, WI (10 answers total)
Greensboro eats: Mellow Mushroom (pizza), Natty Greene's (it's a brewpub, but kid-friendly), Sticks & Stones (fancier pizza), dessert at Maxie B's (delish!)
posted by dino might at 8:42 AM on August 24, 2010

Our family stays in Duck and sometimes Corolla.

Interesting things:
Kill Devil Hills/Jockey Ridge in Kitty Hawk, where the Wright brothers first flew.
The tour of wild horses in Corolla
The light houses are nice for adults, but a little boring for kids

Have fun!
posted by Argyle at 8:55 AM on August 24, 2010

The YMCA in Nags Head has weekly access. My (older) kids used it for the adjacent skatepark but they have lots of stuff going on for little kids.

There is a nondescript little Thai place called the Thai Room in a nondescript little strip of shops on the beach road near the Wright Bros. memorial. It's kitschy enough to be fun, the food is quite good, and the service is even better.

In Greensboro (again with kitsch) there is a diner on Battleground Ave with a VW sticking out of the wall. Regular diner food but fun, and on the main drag out of town.
posted by headnsouth at 8:57 AM on August 24, 2010

Response by poster: Any places to sleep? Not camping, but hotel/motel. (Many thanks so far for eats and things to do.)
posted by mdiskin at 9:07 AM on August 24, 2010

Response by poster: I should mention we will be staying in Duck.
posted by mdiskin at 9:10 AM on August 24, 2010

In Duck is a small bar/restaurant called Fishbones that my wife and I liked a lot when we got away from the kids.

Also, you must shop at Wee Winks for your morning newspaper...
posted by Argyle at 9:51 AM on August 24, 2010

Also in Greensboro, The Green Bean is a fantastic little coffee shop downtown (on Elm Street; great coffee, fun trivia, free wifi), and right up the street from there is one of my favorite bakeries, Simple Kneads (it's in the cute little alley, so you can't see the sign from the street). For a weird but interesting get-the-wiggles out stop, the folks at Elsewhere (an artist collective/experimental museum/old boarding house full of repurposed junk) are really nice to kids, and have all kinds of old toys and other random stuff - including a huge collection of musical instruments set up so that kids (and adults!) can throw dozens and dozens of those rubber bouncy balls into. My brother said when he worked there, the staff was constantly having to explain to parents that no, it's ok, their kids can touch whatever they want... so definitely kid-friendly. It's a cool stop - with the caveat that if you're allergic to dust, that place will set off your allergies, big time.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:55 AM on August 24, 2010

That should be "a huge collection of musical instruments set up against a wall" - you toss the rubber balls at it, and get all kinds of crazy sounds. If I were four and a half, the concept would be mind-blowing.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:58 AM on August 24, 2010

My hometown of Salisbury NC is about midway between Charlotte & Greensboro. Nice small town with a very strong historic preservation ethic. The downtown area and surrounding historic neighborhoods are easily accessible from I85 and they've served as inspiration for setting in some of John Hart's recent novels. Chain food and hotels near I85 and with more local fare in downtown (Salty Caper's pizza & beer is good as are Italian choices at Cartucci's). As for the beach, Outer Banks Brewing Co is usually a good choice & Weeping Radish in Manteo also comes to mind.
posted by pappy at 2:21 PM on August 24, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks again for the recommendations, everyone! We'll stay in downtown Greensboro and I think we can hit some of the local stuff there, including the Children's Museum.
posted by mdiskin at 7:52 AM on August 25, 2010

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