An exciting destination for the entire family, Carowinds Theme Park sits on the border of North and South Carolina. Originally inspired by the creator’s own trip to Disneyland, Carowinds has more of a Sixflags style with its big coasters and thrill rides, but versatile all-ages appeal. The summer brings lazy days at the water park, while Halloween’s SCarowinds event has grown in popularity. Any time is a good time to visit, and these are the closest, best hotels to stay at.
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Carowinds Camp Wilderness is a mere half-mile from the park, so you won’t have to worry about parking your car. A complimentary shuttle is also provided at no charge by the resort. Featuring cozy log cabins, Camp Wilderness is great for families who don’t want to be right on top of each other—some units have two bedrooms in addition to a separate living room. The four-bedroom lodge with fireplace and huge porch would be an ideal family reunion getaway. Everything has an “updated rustic” look and is quite cozy.
Best Western Carowinds is named so for a reason—it’s really close to the park. Just one mile away, there’s no parking issues. Being a reliable chain pick, the light breakfast is complimentary and the overall ratings are good. Rooms are basic but up to date, and the outdoor pool is a bonus. Among reviews, guests most commonly mention that the beds are super comfy and the price is budget-friendly.
Sleep Inn Fort Mill offers an affordable, standard place to lay your head after a long day riding coasters. An outdoor pool is available seasonally, and a breakfast buffet is also included. Streamline, airy and familiar, guests also like that rooms are large and that so many restaurants are nearby.
Comfort Inn at the Park has several touches that make the surroundings more modern, like stone accents and colorful linens. The outdoor pool operates seasonally and is quite pretty, with generous patio space. In just eight minutes one can walk to the park, but not before fueling up on free waffles and pancakes.
Quality Inn at The Park might seem a little dated, but as far as super close accommodations go, it’s a solid pick. Those driving an RV are in luck, as Quality has complimentary spots for bigger motorized vehicles. With a budget-friendly rate and a free breakfast on top, you have an affordable family vacation the kiddos won’t forget.
Spring Hill Suites by Marriott at Carowinds is less than a mile from the gates and has been designed with the tasteful contemporary elegance of newer hotels. A sidewalk connects the park to the entrance, for an easy-breezy path back and forth. Breakfast is hot, beds are snuggly, and you can almost smell the newness in the air.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte is five miles away and features the basic hotel vibe with a bit of Hilton magic sprinkled on top. An indoor pool veers from the typical with its curvy shape, multiple access points and complimenting hot tub. Breakfast isn’t just your average assortment of pastries, each dish is made to order. Hence the name, this establishment features all suites.
Tru by Hilton Charlotte Ayrsley is technically addressed as being in Charlotte, but is only five miles, about a ten-minute drive, from Carowinds. Sweeping wood patterns and pops of color make Tru feel pleasantly contemporary, but still clean cut. The amenities are pretty basic, including a free breakfast and work out room, but if you’re just interested in finding a place that feels new and fresh, then you’ve found it.
Now going the opposite way on highway 77 is Cambria Hotel Fort Mill, which exudes a recreated industrial loft aesthetic. Brick accent walls, wood-grain flooring and enormous in-room windows are a nice change from the average hotel. Simple, but still exuding tons of character, this newly built hotel is a steal. Make sure to get a drink from the bar, as guests note the bartenders really know their stuff.
Holiday Inn Express and Suites Fort Mill has the expected appeal of all Holiday Inns—crisp rooms, a modern aesthetic that carries through all the commons areas, and a free breakfast to kick off the day. Noted to be family-friendly, this hotel is great for kids. During the summer guests can enjoy the spacious outdoor pool when not exploring Carowinds, which is six miles away.
Hampton Inn and Suites Fort Mill rates with guests among the highest on our list, because of its classic appeal, cleanliness and ability to accommodate groups, couples, families and solo travelers. The outdoor pool is gigantic, and a stone grilling area with seating adds to the fresh air amenities. A seven-mile drive will take you to Carowinds.
Courtyard by Marriott Charlotte rates almost equally as high as the latter, featuring airy rooms with heavenly plush bedding. That would sound pretty good after a day full of walking an amusement park. A contemporary feel can be found inside and out, and also at the indoor pool. The lobby is sleek and welcoming, an onsite restaurant provides great drinks and meals, and even outside you’ll find a fire pit and places to lounge.