When my family decided to check out the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, we started searching for hotel accommodations in Charlotte, N.C., which is approximately 25 minutes from the racetrack. I had stayed in uptown (what the locals call the downtown area) Charlotte several times over the last few years, so that’s where I started my search. However, thanks to the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, I learned about the Wingate by Wyndham in Concord just off Interstate 85, which, as it turns out, is just five minutes down the road from zMAX Dragway.
A smoke-free hotel, the Wingate by Wyndham in Concord offers four different types of guest rooms, so families are sure to find one that fits their needs. If you want two beds, try a guest room with either two double beds or two queen beds. If you only need one bed, check out the king bed room. If you need extra room and an extra bed, do like us and go with the king bed executive suite, which includes a king bed, a sofa bed, a dining table and kitchen area with coffee/tea maker, microwave, mini refrigerator and sink.
With two kids, ages 8 and 5, it really helps to have that extra room so we’re not tripping over one another. Plus it provides a little more room to store everyone’s stuff so we don’t feel crowded by suitcases and toys. Although there was just one bathroom, it was quite large, making it easy to share while brushing our teeth. My only complaint would be the lack of counter space. Given how large the bathroom actually is, the vanity is pretty small, so it would be helpful to have more shelving or counter space to hold our toiletries.
For visitors choosing the regular guest rooms, you’ll still enjoy all the same amenities – including free Wi-Fi – as those found in the suite, just in a smaller space. Plus, kids 17 and younger stay free with an adult.
As for hotel amenities, this property continues to deliver value for traveling families. The hotel offers free breakfast every day from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays and 6:30 to 10 a.m. on weekends. Breakfast items include eggs, breakfast meats, fruit, cold cereal, yogurt, an array of breads and pastries, oatmeal, and grits. The centerpiece of the breakfast offerings is the make-your-own Belgian waffle maker, which stayed in constant use every morning of our visit. Of course, there’s also a selection of coffee, hot teas and hot chocolate available.
In the evenings, families can take part in the complimentary Manager’s Reception, held every Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Menus change daily but include items such as pulled pork sliders and cole slaw, and chicken wings and veggies.
When the kids are ready to play, they can head to the hotel pool. While it’s not anything fancy, as anyone with kids knows, it really just needs water, and this pool has plenty of that. If you’re looking for family entertainment outside of the hotel, you’ll find it just minutes away. As mentioned, zMAX Dragway is just down the road, right across the street from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Across the highway from the hotel, Concord Mills is home to a large selection of retailers as well as an AMC movie theater, Dave and Buster’s game center, Sea Life Aquarium, and The Speedpark at Concord Mills. When dining out, there are plenty of cuisine choices that will fit in every family budget.
The Wingate by Wyndham in Concord, N.C., turned out to be the perfect hotel in the perfect location for my family’s trip to the NHRA Carolina Nationals. Although this was our first visit to this property, it definitely will not be our last.
Disclosure: Karon and her family stayed at the Wingate by Wyndham in Concord, N.C., as a guest of the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. All opinions expressed herein belong solely to the author.