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I will be driving on a 4 day trip through North Carolina, a bit of SC and Atlanta and am looking for tips and suggestions.

I will only get to spend an extremely limited time in each place (24 hours in Atlanta, about 8-10 hours in Charlotte, 4-5 hours in Asheville, perhaps 3-4 in greensboro/winston salem, so please do not suggest anything really time consuming!!

I visited most of the major city neighborhoods in Atlanta in 1998. Has a lot changed since then?

I'd like to visit the northern suburbs of Atlanta (yep, i know, probably sprawslville), is there any places of interest in cobb, fulton and gwinett counties other perhaps malls and buford hwy??
how are the following communities different? Marietta, Buford, Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Duluth, Sandy Springs?
Is there anything of interest on the south, west and east sides other than decatur/stone mountain? Any interesting ethnic communities in Atlanta other than the buford hwy corridor?

This is my first time to Charlotte, Asheville and the Triad, so i'd like to see the general neighborhoods in town and NO i probably won't have time to see the biltmore!

Recommendations for nightlife, neighborhoods, attractions and restaurants for Charlotte, Asheville and the Triad would be greatly appreciated. I'm especially looking forward to seeing one of the most discussed cities on this board (Charlotte), so a good rundown of places, neighborhoods and hotspots would be greatly appreciated.


In addition, i was wondering if anyone could recommend any nice small towns or historic areas to visit in NC. I'll also be passing thorugh greenville and spartanburg, sc, hickory,nc, kannapolis, nc and the triangle (which i have visited before), what are these towns like? Anything of interest?


Thanks for your help!
 

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for charlotte - i'll let someone else cover it. i usually give these wierd and odd things to do that only i like. so screw that.

24 hours in atlanta. i know what that's like. i need at least a month and unlimited photos. :D
 

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Obviously you'll want to spend a fair amount of time in Uptown Charlotte, so you'll probably only make it to one or two of the residential neighborhoods. Given that scenario, I'd say to start in the south/central neighborhood of Myers Park, especially Queens Road, and head into Uptown from there. There's a link at the bottom of this post to a very good walking tour agenda. While you're in the business district, be sure to pop over to Fourth Ward (along the north side of either Pine or Poplar St.) and check out the historic houses. Once you've got a good neckache from the towers, drive up North Davidson Street. You'll pass through a pretty rough-looking area; don't worry, it's not particularly threatening as long as you're using ordinary common sense. Once you get up into the 36th Street area you'll arrive in NoDa, which is a funky little neighborhood that's usually good for artsy nightlife stuff. Again, there's a link at the bottom of the page so you can check out the specifics for yourself. You might want to think about visiting South End if you get a chance, but that's a bit more "new Charlotte" and less impressive in my opinion.

I assume you'll eat at least one meal in Charlotte. Personally, I would recommend either South 21 on Hwy 74 (across from the unmissable dome of Cricket Arena) or The Penguin at the corner of Thomas St. and Commonwealth. Both are relatively cheap diners that recently celebrated their 50th birthdays, and are regularly on "best of" lists.

Walking tour of Uptown:
http://he.net/~brumley/tour/history/walkingtour.htm

NoDa: http://www.noda.org

The Penguin: http://www.coldfury.com/Penguin/

South 21: http://www.cmhpf.org/ww2south21.htm
 

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How exactly will you be driving to each? (What roads or highways, etc.)

For Atlanta, no matter what else you do, be sure to stop and get us some new pictures of Symphony Tower. :yes:

For everything else, are you looking for tourist attractions, or photo opportunities, or what?
 
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