Charlotte not only is a great place to bring the family on spring break – it’s also a good bargain, according to a pair of surveys released this week by national organizations.
Livability.com , which features America’s best places to live and visit, put Charlotte in the top 10 of “Spring Break Destinations for Families” on a quick getaway.
In another ranking, Hotwire.com listed Charlotte among the top 10 destinations in its Travel Value Index.
Livability put Charlotte in seventh place nationally as a destination for families on spring break. First place went to Santa Cruz, Calif. The only other city from the Southeast in the top 10 was Birmingham, Ala., which ranked sixth.
John Hood, a spokesman for Livability, said Charlotte “has a slew of kid-centric attractions,” along with museums, free parks and outdoor activities.
Hood also said visitors can use the city’s traditional and hybrid electric buses, light rail system, and free Gold Rusher system. Top attractions listed in the survey were Carowinds, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Carolinas Aviation Museum, the McDowell Nature Center, and the Charlotte Nature Museum.
Livability’s survey also praised Charlotte for its restaurants, ranging from food trucks and diners to sophisticated bistros. Hood said they are “all suitable for families.”
Editors at Livability.com gave cities credit for having plenty of parks, green spaces and outdoor recreational opportunities, including zoos, aquariums, amusement parks and museums. They also factored in travel amenities for families, such as hotels with pools, child-friendly restaurants and vacation deals.
“For this list, we looked beyond the typical beach destinations to focus on cities where families can have a quick, yet enjoyable and memorable, spring break vacation without breaking the bank,” Hood said.
Seconding that motion was Hotwire.com, which ranked Charlotte in a tie for seventh place with Houston in “best destinations for your vacation dollar.”
Repeating in first place in Hotwire’s annual survey was Orlando, which shared the top spot with Atlanta. Raleigh was sixth.
Charlotte was cited for its many discounts available to travelers, while Raleigh’s high ranking was due to its low prices, according to Hotwire’s editors.
Hotwire’s Travel Value Index is based on statistics that evaluate 50 U.S. leisure markets, ranking them in three categories – prices for airfare, hotel and rental cars; discounts for air, hotel and rental cars; and affordable entertainment.
Here are the top 10 cities in Livability’s survey:
1. Santa Cruz, Calif.; 2. Tucson, Ariz.; 3. Portland, Ore.; 4. Omaha, Neb.; 5. Indianapolis; 6. Birmingham, Ala.; 7. Charlotte; 8. Tulsa, Okla.; 9. Boise, Idaho; 10. Cincinnati.
Here are the top 10 cities in the Hotwire survey:
1. (tie) Orlando and Atlanta; 3. (tie) Tampa, Fla., and Dallas-Fort Worth; 5. Phoenix; 6. Raleigh; 7. (tie) Charlotte and Houston; 9. St. Louis; 10. Sacramento.
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