/ Adventure Travel

Summer escape to National Whitewater Center

If you’re looking for a quick getaway this summer, the Charlotte Marriott SouthPark and Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark hotels are offering something a little different from your typical weekend at the spa.

As part of your stay, you’ll receive an unlimited AllSport Pass to the U.S. National Whitewater Center, an outdoor recreation facility set on the banks of the Catawba River in Charlotte, NC. The pass entitles you to a variety of activities, from whitewater rafting to climbing to eco-trekking.

USNWC, which doubles as an official Olympic training site, is set on nearly 400 acres of woodlands, with a man-made re-circulating river, outdoor climbing facility and 14 miles of biking, hiking and running trails. The trails are colour-coded to distinguish beginner, intermediate and advanced tracks. If you want to go for a spin on a mountain bike, the trails offer river views and challenging climbs, including steep single-track riding. And, if you’re a beginner (or, like me, manage to fall off your bike at any available opportunity), you can inquire about instruction when you check in.

Or, go whitewater rafting on the largest man-made re-circulating river in the world for non-stop class II-IV whitewater rapids. If that’s not your thing, you can opt instead for a more relaxing paddle in a canoe or kayak on the Catawba River.

USNWC’s climbing facility is made to look and feel like granite, with an open-air 46-foot spire and more than 40 roped climbs to accommodate different skill levels. Beginner to advanced professional climbing instruction is available to enhance skills in belaying, climbing, repelling and bouldering.

Eco-trekking is a sort of high-tech treasure hunt based on the concept of geo-caching, where you locate hidden containers using GPS receivers with programmed treasure-hunting destinations (in combination, of course, with a scenic hike in the woods). Keep in mind that activities have capacity limits and are subject to seasonal and other weather-related limitations, so not all activities are available at all times.

The promotional package, which includes overnight accommodations and one unlimited pass to the USNWC, is priced at US$199 per room per night, plus taxes. It’s valid Thursday to Saturday through July 13, 2010 (a Friday or Saturday night stay is required). Mention the promo code ARN when making a reservation.

Photo Credit: USNWC

1 places are mentioned in this post!
  1. The Omni Charlotte Hotel is approximately seven miles from the Charlotte
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