Fun Stops for an 8-Year-Old Boy Along Route 77 Between Cleveland and Charlotte?
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.

Next week, I'm going to be making a round-trip drive with Anthony on US-77, roughly between Cleveland OH and Charlotte NC. I'd like to stretch the trip out with stops of interest to an 8-year-old boy... any suggestions for things along the way that are not too far from our route along US-77?

All 10 comments so far, oldest first...

Carrowinds outside of Charlotte. Kids love the place.

What is a “Carrowinds”? —Jeffrey

— comment by David on August 1st, 2011 at 3:39am JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Oh boy, I remember making drives like these with my father when I was young. I can appreciate them now, but I hated them back then. Being stuck in a car for more than an hour was torture. Good on you for trying to think of things to make it easier on Anthony!

If he’s into food, there are some restaurants that are unique to interstate highways (like the Iron Skillet). It’s sort of neat to see a truck stop, too… but maybe at his age it would still be boring.

I don’t recall driving along 77, but there should be some nice scenery for photography! The only other bit of advice I can give (which you’re probably aware of, but I recently discovered and think is really neat) is that Google Maps now lets you search for specific things and businesses at certain locations (and maybe along routes?). I wouldn’t be surprised if you can turn up some attractions along the way through it.

— comment by David K. on August 1st, 2011 at 4:45am JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Not too sure how much American history Anthony has been exposed to but I think a stop at Monticello would be interesting. It is probably about 3 hour north of the intersection of Route 77 and Route 81 in Virginia.

— comment by John on August 1st, 2011 at 8:16am JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Carrowinds is an amusement park.

— comment by Hal on August 1st, 2011 at 9:25am JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I have not been down that route in decades but I remember it as beautiful with lots of places to stop for impromptu adventures. So this comment isn’t so much to be helpful but to say that I cannot wait to see the photographs that I sure hope there will be tons of. Susan

Actually, I didn’t bring my camera on this trip from Japan. I do have a Panasonic TS3 point-n-shoot, but it feels pretty empty compared to what I’m used to. So probably not much post-wise this whole summer, ‘cept stuff from the archives (of which there’s plenty if I can find the energy to dip in). —Jeffrey

— comment by Susan on August 1st, 2011 at 9:51am JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Not sure about your route, but the BMW factory is in Spartanburg, SC – about 1.25 hours from Charlotte on I-85. Sadly, you need to be 12 or older for the tour, but they do have a museum that would still be fun.

— comment by FM on August 1st, 2011 at 12:14pm JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

It’s been 25 years since I was around that way (though going east, through Kentucky to D.C.). I was only a few years older than Anthony at the time and to be honest there’s only one thing I remember about that trip (besides being LONG) was the Appalachian Mountains. But then I grew up in Northern Wisconsin so that was something well outside my box!

Pity you didn’t bring your Nikon, there’s certain to be some excellent landscape opportunities. That said, I’m interested to see what you make of your Panasonic. When I made my way from the UK to your (now former) side of the world I realized way too late that I left my GPS tracker on the dash of the car 🙁 While in Heathrow Airport I considered getting the Canon Powershot with built-in GPS to make up for it but passed. On my way through Wisconsin I picked up a Garmin eTrex based on your review and I love it. I’m wondering just how accurate your camera’s GPS is and how much of a battery drain you get. Report back!

— comment by JasonP on August 1st, 2011 at 8:26pm JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

A side trip down Highway 52 in North Carolina would be fun. Stop at Mount Airy, the birth place of Andy Griffith. I sure that there would be a lot of “Mayberry” stuff to see and do. Down the road is Chimney Rock State Park. You can’t miss it. You can see the Rock while you are still in Virigina. The main attraction is a hugh rock (I’d call it a mountain). You can drive up it and then walk to the top. My eight year old grandson liked it a lot. I’m sure Anthony would like it and you would too. Check out the websites for both places. The side trip would cost you about 35 extra miles.

— comment by Dale on August 1st, 2011 at 9:54pm JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Good luck on that trip. Try this website: I think they show interesting attractions based on your trip map.

When you get to N.C. get some fireworks. I know they are legal in Japan but I think N.C. may have some of the more good stuff. Also, as others have said you definitely should try to get some regional local cuisine. That’s alway a treat when in Japan and I have found that it goes over really well with people from Japan in the U.S. (NJ blue berries, Maine Lobster, NC Barbeque, NY pizza, and the more authentic the better.) It was also fun SEARCHING for those items. In one of the small hamlets you stop in… ask the locals “Where can I find authentic… [fill in the blank]” That can always be a fun little side adventure.. Good luck.

— comment by Ron Evans on August 2nd, 2011 at 12:52am JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink – You might find something here. I was searching for some odd/interesting/funny things to see… no luck.

Shane – Southern Utah

— comment by Shane on August 2nd, 2011 at 12:59am JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

IMPORTANT:I'm mostly retired, so I don't check comments often anymore, sorry.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting