Photo Recap of #CarowindsBBB #FamilyFun #Food #Beer #BBQ #LiveMusic in #CLT @Carowinds

Summer Days are for Beers and BBQ..throw in a live band and you have a fun foodie celebration! Beginning July 29, Carowinds fires up the grill for its Second Annual FOOD AND BEER FESTIVAL: BANDS, BREWS & BBQs !

It will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 29 through August 14 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and is included with park admission. On Sunday, SobeSavvy.com joined other foodies at this festival known for its good food, good beer, good music and good times! 

As soon as we arrived at Carowinds, we just followed the smell of barbecue to food booths near Harmony Hall. I was happy to see such a variety of smoked meats paired with Chow Chow to choose from ! Park goers got to sample everything from beef brisket (my personal favorite! So tender and flavorful) to turkey wings to duck, and top it off with one of many variations of sauces ranging from sweet to tangy to mustard and downright vinegar. We tried a blueberry chipotle that was amazing!

To purchase beer or food for Bands, Brews and BBQs, guests bought tokens from a token booth inside the park located near Harmony Hall. Guests 21 years of age or older were able to choose from an amazing selection of craft beers from several Carolina breweries. Nothing goes better with barbecue than a nice, cold brew! And for dessert? Some good ol’ homemade banana pudding!  We sat down and chowed down while listening to local bands play on the patio just outside of Harmony Hall.  And inside the air conditioned Harmony Hall , we got to see more entertainment: The Lunch with the Peanuts Gang! If you haven’t seen Snoopy and Charlie Brown get down, this is your chance.

“We’re so pleased to bring back Bands, Brews and BBQs for another year at the park,” says Kris Suita, Carowinds executive chef. “We’ve brought together three favorites under one roof- food, brew and music. Mix that with world-class rides and attractions, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for fun.”  

Where to Stay for Carowinds ” Bands, Brews and Bbq “   

If you are looking for comfortable accomodations that are suitable for families and conveniently close to Carowinds , I recommend Homewood Suites by Hilton Charlotte Ballantyne.  

It’s a full suite property just 10 miles from Carowinds ! My family of 3 stayed in a King One Bedroom Suite , which had a sleeper sofa couch in the living area with its own TV, a full kitchen as well as a great privacy factor between the living space and bedroom area. Read my prior full review of this hotel and why we love it so much here and be sure to follow this wonderful hotel on Facebook .

To find out more about Bands, Brews & BBQs, see a complete band line-up for the event, or to purchase Carowinds tickets, visit www.carowinds.com.Also check out social media to see what guests are sharing using hashtag #CarowindsBBB
Before the summer ends make sure to take your family or plan a visit with friends to Carowinds. This festival is one not to be missed and enjoyable for all. 

Here are some of my foodie pictures along with family fun moments made at Bands, Brews and BBQ!


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Look who we ran into.. fellow Lifestyle/Food/Mommy Blogger @BeingReese

#TravelTuesday Tips: #MyrtleBeach in May ~Where to Stay,Shop,Play @MyMyrtleBeach #FamilyVacation

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Myrtle Beach, SC. is well known as being Number One for Family Fun ! It is one of America’s favorite destinations to Stay, Shop and Play because of the variety of attractions all located in Myrtle Beach. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy and because of its popularity that is why the month of May seemed the ideal time to visit with my 4 yr old daughter and husband. TIP #1 : Go off season. Preferably in May. The weather is warm and it is prior to the very busy summer season.

STAY

We arrived on a Friday for a 2 night stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Oceanfront Resort.
The hotel has two large towers with amenities befitting a resort. Full service spa. A pool complex with various indoor/outdoor pools and two mini lazy river rides. Their famous breakfast buffet is presented every morning in the expansive breakfast lounge area. We had a room with two double beds and an awesome view of the Atlantic Ocean. Hi speed Wi Fi was excellent as I had some work to do when we arrived on Friday. TIP #2: If you are traveling with kids choose this hotel, it’s a short drive to all the action on Ocean Boulevard and the boardwalk, yet quiet enough for a good night’s sleep. It was the perfect base camp for our visit.
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SHOP

You can shop til you drop in Myrtle Beach! There are outlets as well as many other shopping options. My favorite area is this urban shopping, dining, entertainment village known as The Market Common. Barnes and Noble , a favorite bookstore of ours , is there along with the movies and more than 30 of the nation’s most popular stores and restaurants. TIP #3: Wear your athletic shoes, pack a ball or frisbee and head to the Grand Park (across the bridge, connected to The Market Common) where there are open fields, swinging chairs to watch ducks/turtles, and playgrounds.
The Market Common ‘s motto is “Where Fashion Meets Fun” and I could not agree more!
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PLAY

The following are some of the activities, sports, entertainment and attractions we enjoyed during our stay.
BROADWAY AT THE BEACH is one of those one stop shop places that offers a wide range of activities. Here are a few we enjoyed while there:

*The Palace Theatre
located at 1420 Celebrity Circle at Broadway at the Beach. We saw the thrilling “Cirque Extreme” show. Its a spectacle filled show that the whole family can enjoy!
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*RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM of Myrtle Beach located at Broadway at the Beach offers alot of interactive,hands on exhibits that my kid loved. We touched a real jellyfish in their newest expansion exhibit called Planet Jellies! There is also a cove where you can touch a stingray. Our favorite was the shark tunnel, where we could view big sharks, rays, sea turtles, fish and more in a reef all while riding a moving conveyor belt.

Ripley’s have several attractions thru out Myrtle Beach. We also checked out Ripley’s Moving Theater located on the boardwalk. This attraction was too intense for my 4 yr old but we could still enjoy the 5D inaging, surround sound and special effects from non-moving seats.

*Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center gave us an opportunity to play dress-up with some of our favorite stars! They have props available to use and pose in the spotlight alongside your fave celeb. We had a ball here! TIP #4 : This attraction is open 365 days a year and closed at 10pm. We prefer to go late as it allowed us to get more camera time and gave the feeling of having our favorite star all to ourselves!

MINI-GOLF
If you like mini-golf, there are alot of options. We went to Captain Hook’s because my little one loves Tinkerbell. This golf course really stayed true to theme and even had facts along the course about Captain Hook, the Lost Boys and Tinkerbell. TIP #5 Grab a coupon book. They are almost everywhere..inside of hotels and restaurants. They are filled with discounts for attractions, especially mini golf!
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BAREFOOT LANDING is on the waterway offered two unique attractions in one!
*Alligator Adventure was voted the best outdoor adventure by The Travel Channel and I couldn’t agree more. Not only are there literally dozens and dozens of gators in various habitat settings, but one crocodile in particular stood out. His name is Utan. Born in Thailand in 1964, he weighs in at over 2000 LBS and over 18 feet long. He is the largest crocodile in the United States. We witnessed an afternoon feeding of the gators having their raw chicken lunch and we also enjoyed the Lemur house and snake wildlife show in the outdoor theatre. It has much more than just gators. My little one loved seeing the pink flamingos and various tropical birds and HUGE Euroasian Owls. Great place and a lot of fun!
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TIP #6 At the back of Alligator Adventure you will receive a bracelet for free wine tastings to the adjacent Duplin Winery complex.
*Duplin Winery is the world’s largest Muscadine winery. The main winery and vineyards are in Rose Hill, NC but the Myrtle Beach location also does some hand bottling. They produce over 4.6 million bottles of wine a year. We enjoyed a deluxe tasting of various popular and special reserve wines. Our bartender, Bruce was both affable and informative. He advised at this tasting we will learn the PDR wine tasting method~ Pour,Drink, Repeat! The building is bright and airy with a delightful outdoor patio which has live music throughout the summer. Duplin wines can be found locally stores in 13 states but some wines can only be purchased at the winery. Took home two bottles to enjoy later and reflect upon how special this place is.

Medieval Times is the ultimate ‘knight’ time attraction because it includes dinner and a show or shall I say tournament! Once you walk thru the drawbridge into the castle, you are transported to a place and time where lords, ladies, princesses, kings come together to feast and enjoy the pageantry and thrills of an authentic medieval tournament!
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We ended our vacation at the 35th Annual World Famous Blue Crab Festival: A Little River, SC tradition featuring over 300 vendors, entertainment and a children’s area. Located just 20 miles north of Myrtle Beach, we thought it would be nice to stop thru on the way back home. Since children under 12 are free, I was able to giveaway a pair of tickets as a surprise to some festival goers. Here are some pictures from our “Sunday Funday” :
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I look forward to making future memories in Myrtle Beach! For current event info, dining, entertainment options, maps and more, go to visitmyrtlebeach.com and plan your family vacation TODAY!