Blake Miller

Correspondent

  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Blake Miller is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent who lives in Charlotte. Before embarking on her freelance career, Miller was an editor at Philadelphia and Charlotte magazines, the latter of which she oversaw all travel coverage. During her time at Charlotte, she helped launch two award-winning ancillary publications, Charlotte Home + Garden and Charlotte Wedding. The self-described wannabe foodie and fitness freak has covered travel, interior design, and health and fitness for US Airways Magazine, Redbook, Self, ElleDecor.com, Four Seasons Magazine, Women’s Health, among other national and regional publications.

  • On June 14, 2013
    Blake Miller answered the question: Blake Miller

    What are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Charlotte?

    Charlotte is one of the most family-friendly cities in the South so it makes sense that restaurants often cater to the wee ones by offering kid-friendly menus and options. Here are three restaurants where tots, tweens, and ‘rents can all dine happily ever after.
    Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
    With three locations—one in Ballantyne, Dilworth, and Charlotte Douglas International Airport—parents can’t go wrong bringing the family here. In addition to the mouthwatering burgers made with a freshly ground custom beef blend made from hanger steak, chuck, and brisket, kids can gnosh on beef sliders, a trio of Bad Daddy’s delicious burgers topped with sautéed onions alongside an order or housemade sweet potato fries or tots. For the littlest members of the family, opt for the kids menu where choices include chicken tenders, kid sliders, a char grilled hot dog, or grilled cheese with a side of fries, tots, or fruit.
    Big View Diner
    This south Charlotte diner caters to families so much so that lines for breakfast on the weekends start forming just before 9 a.m. And with good reason—Big View’s dining room is large enough to accommodate large parties (consider requesting a private room for a rowdy crowd) and spacious enough to allow the little ones to roam without knocking into other tables and diners. Like a traditional diner, the menu is vast so there’s something that will please even the pickiest of eaters. Bonus: the kids love window shopping the pastry case at the front where housemade pies (try the banana cream; it’s to die for), cakes (an entire pecan pie dropped into a chocolate cake, oh my!), black and white cookies, and more are on display.
    Dish
    At this Plaza Midwood staple, kids and adults alike can dine on some of the city’s best soul food eats. Here, favorites such as the chicken and dumplings and meatloaf sliders are served alongside flaky, buttery biscuits, deviled eggs, and sweet iced tea, all of which are a huge hit for the kiddies (and their parents). Best of all are the dessert options—pies such as the bourbon sweet potato are housemade and popular with all ages.
  • On June 13, 2013
    Blake Miller answered the question: Blake Miller

    What is the best time to visit Charlotte?

    Though there isn't a bad time to visit the Queen City, the best times are spring and fall when the weather is mild and the heat isn't unbearable as it sometimes is during the peak of summer. Every May, travelers and residents alike flood the city to attend the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Country Club where, in the past, ProAm ticket holders have watched as Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan teed off alongside Tiger Woods. Also in May is the Coca-Cola 600, one of NASCAR's premier races held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In the fall, expect yet another NASCAR race with the Bank America 500 as well as the always popular Blues, Brews & BBQ festival, a delicious coupling of barbecue and beer.
  • On June 13, 2013
    Blake Miller answered the question: Blake Miller

    Should visitors rent a car in Charlotte?

    Absolutely. Charlotte is laid out much like its southern sister city, Atlanta, in that popular pockets of the city such as SouthPark, Dilworth, and Ballantyne are accessible only by car or bus transportation. That being said, there are other ways to navigate the city. For guests traveling by air, the city offers the hybrid electric Sprinter Bus, which runs a direct route from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Uptown, where you can access hotels such as aloft and the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte not to mention a slew of restaurants and nightlife options. Once in Uptown, you can hop aboard the LYNX Light Rail, which runs from Uptown to 485 making stops in between at destinations such as South End where the home décor scene is one not to miss. If the LYNX doesn’t get you where you need to be, consider hailing a cab or hopping aboard the (free!) Gold Rush Trolley, which makes stops along Tryon Street in Uptown and over to areas off of Morehead Street in Dilworth/South End. This latter area is a great place for walking as well as popping into stores such as Mrs. Howard and Max & Co., acclaimed designer Phoebe Howard's home store.
  • On June 13, 2013
    Blake Miller answered the question: Blake Miller

    Where is the best shopping in Charlotte?

    SouthPark is the shopping Mecca of Charlotte. Here you'll find everything from luxury showrooms (read: Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Hermes, Tiffany & Co.) to large retail chains (Macy's, Williams Sonoma, The Container Store, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, lululemon). SouthPark Mall itself is the anchor of the shopping scene here but plan to explore the outskirts of the mall where local boutiques and jewelers have also set up shop. Storefronts such as Capitol (where the decor by famed interior designer Barrie Benson is just as impressive as the couture designer apparel and accessories inside); Bedside Manor (where you'll find luxury bed and bath linens among other home decor); and Paper Twist (where you'll scoop up luxury paper goods by Crane & Co. and accesories by Jonathan Adler) are definitely worth visiting while in town.
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