The Getaway: Carowinds



If you've had enough of the beach for a while, cool off in a different kind of way at Carowinds in Charlotte, N.C.

The 122-acre theme park straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina line and offers more than a dozen coasters sure to provide a thrilling breeze.

The newest is the Intimidator. Inspired by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, the coaster features open air, sideless cars and seven drops in excess of 75 mph.

Or experience the thrill of moonshining aboard Thunder Road, a 3,819-foot twin roller coaster that gets its name from a 1958 Robert Mitchum movie.

The whole family can spend quality time together on The Scrambler, Bumper Cars or the Carolina Skytower, where you can see the lay of the land from a bird's-eye view.

If that doesn't cool you off enough, try a water ride. Rip Roarin' Rapids will give you a few good splashes as you float down a river course on a six-person raft, and Whitewater Falls will soak you as you splash to the bottom of a 45-foot waterfall.

If you crave more water, hang out in Boomerang Bay where the Awesome Aussie Twisters will get you out of the sun as you barrel through dark tunnels, encounter twists and changes in elevation and speed into a splash pond. Rent a tube float at Bondi Beach and ride the waves or drift leisurely on the Crocodile Run.

Catch a show at one of Carowinds' two theaters. Marty's Party features wacky inventions and outrageous outfits, and the Peanuts gang keep it cool in Snoopy Rocks! On Ice.

If you need a place to stay, check out the park's Camp Wilderness, a 55-acre campground with rental for tents and RVs, and cabins and lodge rentals.

-- Lisa Kaylor, staff writer


The Intimidator is a new ride this year at Carowinds.

WHERE: Charlotte, N.C.

ADMISSION: Online, $39.99 one-day pass, $54.99 regular admission two-day pass

GETTING THERE: Take Interstate 20 east to Columbia, then I-77 north to Charlotte. Take Exit 90 onto Carowinds Boulevard