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Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

Bedford, United...
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Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

Hi, I'm starting to plan a Deep South tour for next year and have been looking at flight options from the UK.

We want to start our tour heading towards Charleston & Savannah so I was wondering about landing at either Charlotte or Atlanta international airport. I will also ask in the Atlanta forum.

All the road trip itineraries I've been reading start/end in Atlanta - why would this be??

We aren't really big city people but do like to have a look at the place we land for a couple of days to recover so which city would be better for our start?

Sell me your city please!

Thanks

Charlotte, North...
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1. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

I was born in Atlanta and lived in Ga Until I was 9. Have relatives still living there. So I think I can speak with only a little prejudice.... CHARLOTTE!!! Atlanta's airport is HUGE. Difficult to get around and overwhelming.

Charlotte is a good size, easy to navigate and there's plenty to do here for a few days as you adjust to our time, etc. Plus, you can fly USA out of Heathrow and land in Charlotte in the late afternoon. You can be at your hotel before supper time. You can take a cab from the airport to an uptown (our central city/downtown) for a set fee of $25, or take the city bus "sprinter" for about $2.50 each. Or rent a car so that you can drive to various attractions.

There are several nice museums uptown- the Levine Museum of the New South (history), The NASCAR Hall of Fame (history of Nascar racing and interactive displays), The Mint Museum (art), The Betchler (modern art), the Gantt (African-American art), Discovery Place (science- interactive), and others. The Hilton garden Inn or the Hampton Inn uptown hotels have a free shuttle that will take you almost anywhere with in a 3 mile radius if that makes a difference in choosing your hotel. If you rent a car, you could go out to the National Whitewater Center (about a 15 min. drive from uptown) and canoe, kayak, zip line, or just picnic. In Belmont (about 20 min. from uptown), you can visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. You could drive up to Concord and visit the first gold mine in the USA - Reed's Gold mine (about a 30-45 min. drive). They give tours and let you pan for gold. Or drive out towards Lexington (about an hour, hour and a half) for NC BBQ and NC wineries. There are plenty of shopping malls within 10-30 min. of uptown also. If you want a day trip, you could drive up to the NC mountains. Ashville is lovely- lots of artists, beautiful scenery on the drive, and you could visit Biltmore House (the only 'palace/castle' in the US- and they have their own winery, and lovely gardens, too). There's also the Carowinds Amusement Park (about 20 south of uptown).

When you head towards Charleston/Savannah, you could stop near Columbia SC for the Riverbanks Zoo. It is a smaller, but very nice zoo. I'd also consider a stop or stay in Beaufort SC- lovely little town on the coast not far from Charleston.

PS- Welcome to the US. Hubby and I used to visit the UK twice a year. We haven't been able to do so for about 8 years due to family health issues. We really miss it!!! Glad to have you visit us.

Edited: 2:49 pm, May 26, 2014
NC
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2. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

Charlotte airport is much better than ATL!

Bedford, United...
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3. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

Thank you for all that information - I think Charlotte is winning at the moment - I guess one of the final things will be price but they are the same at the moment.

We are hoping to come for a month (big birthday treat) and cover Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana & Tennesse.

We prefer to only hire a car once we are leaving a big city and we aim to arrive back to the airport via Ashville and the mountains.

Thanks for your help - I'm sure I'll be back over the next 11 months in my planning.

Raleigh, North...
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4. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

If you intend to start in Charleston and finish in Asheville, Charlotte is the clear choice.

Atlanta
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5. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

I live in the Atlanta area, haven't been to Charlotte, but am going there soon and have been looking at things to do in Charlotte. Comparing the two cities, Atlanta is larger than Charlotte. There is more to do in Atlanta and more hotel options in which to stay. The Atlanta airport is the busiest airport in the country so there are more flight options available. The airport layout is not as bad as people are making it out to be. I'm sure it's larger than Charlotte airport but it has a tram that takes you the terminals and baggage claim. Savannah is approximately five hours away from the Atlanta airport. Not a lot to see between the two cities. A lot of people enjoy both Savannah and Charleston. They are both southern cities by the water. I don't know what time of year you are going, but they can both be hot and humid in the summer. Good luck!

London
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6. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

I'm from London and have lived in Atlanta for the last 4 years. My husband lived in Charlotte for 8 years and I've been multiple times including flying home to London from CLT and back.

I always find that the flights home are cheaper out of CLT. The airport is easy to navigate. I don't recall anything that knocked my socks off. ATL is a super busy airport but not overwhelming. Also, consider that they opened a brand new terminal specifically for international flights which makes getting in and out of the airport a breeze. They've really cut the fat off of that process.

Seems like people are making this a war of cities. I don't see the point. The Charlotte to me is small but has a lot to offer. Not sure where in the UK you are but to me even Atlanta is nowhere near as busy as London and still feels super quiet to me. BUT there is so much to do here. Traffic is horrendous if you are considering driving - especially in rush hours.

If you want something a little more laid back then Charlotte may be the choice. The possibility of a cheaper flight would sway me personally.

NC
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7. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

Not a war of cities - just observations on which airport is easier to navigate. Having been in both multiple times- Charlotte wins hands down for me. Both cities have great features....and negatives. ;) I'd probably go with price.

NC
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8. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

So funny how everyone has different opinions and experiences. We avoid CLT at all costs!! We absolutely despise that airport. Not to mention it always costs more for us to fly out of CLT than RDU. CLT needs a lot of improvements. We do not mind ATL at all. We fly out of RDU and always change planes in ATL. I agree with rporta in that ATL is not difficult to navigate through at all. It is bigger, but they have the tram to take you to the other terminals, if you need that.

However, cost is always what sways us. My hubby will only fly first class and CLT is always at least $800 more than RDU. Crazy, I know. You can make your pick based upon cost if that is an issue. If not, fly into whichever one tickles your feather. You will have a great trip in this part of our country! Lots of beautiful places to see!!

Edited: 5:52 pm, May 29, 2014
Gastonia, North...
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9. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

We live 20 minutes from CLT and prefer to drive to ATL. The airport is super easy to navigate and we can stay at the Springhill on hotel points, park in their lot cheaper than anywhere else and take the skytrain directly from the hotel to the terminal.

CLT fares are ridiculous. You can fly from Chicago to Nassau with a layover in CLT cheaper than if you bought your ticket from CLT to NAS direct. The fare just from CLT to NAS is $600 pp. I got a flight from ATL to NAS for half that. So even with gas and time, it's worth it for us not to be raked over the coals by US Air.

CHARLOTTE
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10. Re: Charlotte vrs Atlanta?

Something had to bring you to this point. CLT is a much better airport to get around than ATL. Furthermore why in hell would someone who lives so close to CLT go to ATL? I lived in ATL for 15 years and was so darn happy to get back to CLT.