April 28, 2017

The Perfect Spring Family Outing:  Taste of the Carolinas at Carowinds

Job Well Done, Carowinds! You put on a very TASTEFUL presentation of the Carolinas!

CSP Carowinds Insta Story

Taste of the Carolinas is my favorite time to visit Carowinds. Let’s face it, anytime time of the year is my kiddos favorite time to visit. But for me, I love the springtime weather, the excitement of the park, the energy of the people and BEST OF ALL THE FOOD. Southern Food is my all-time favorite and Taste of the Carolinas puts on a mouthwatering display.

For those of you that are not familiar, Taste of the Carolinas showcases the BEST OF THE BEST from seven distinctly different regions of North and South Carolina.  There is a little bit for everybody to enjoy.  (For me, I enjoyed it ALL!) Click here for more menu information.
                                     
Asheville/Mountain Region
Smoked Egg and Pork Belly Salad (Gluten Free)
Mushroom Ravioli with Wild Herb Butter (Vegetarian)
Pecan Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Cream Cheese Icing (Vegetarian) YUM!

Taste of Carolinas CSP twins ribs

Outerbanks Region
Frog Legs
Fried Catfish with Calabash Hushpuppies
Seafood Potato Croquette

Lexington Region *SMARTY FAVORITE!
Beer Braised Pulled Pork Slider: Yummmmmmmmmy!
Barbecue Chicken Slider: Double Delish!
Barbecure Ribs: MMMMMM, good!
All items served with Lexington Dip Slaw: BEST. SLAW. EVER.

Upstate South Carolina Region *SMARTY FAVORITE
Sweet Potato Popover (Vegetarian): BIG fan!
Spring Onion Bread Pudding with Pickled Peaches (Vegetarian): What a combo of flavors!
Butterbean slider with Pimento Cheese and Arugula (Vegetarian): The flavors harmonized perfectly!

Taste of Carolinas Carowinds CSP twins BBQ

South Carolina Barbecue Region *SMARTY FAVORITE
Pulled Pork Spring Roll with Carolina Mustard Sauce (Gluten Free): Delicious!
Barbecue Roasted Corn (Gluten Free, Vegetarian): Oh Em Gee, GOOD!
Poached Peaches over Gelato (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)

Lowcountry Region
Tomato Pie (Gluten Free): Yummmmmmmy!
Peanut and Oyster Stew
Bourbon Chocolate Fritter (Vegetarian): Recipe, please! AHHHHH MAZING!

Charleston Region
Sweet Tea Glazed Chicken: I will be back to taste you!
Crispy Shrimp and Grits: Delish!
Lady Baltimore Cake: I will be back to taste you!

This is how it works.  You head over in the direction of Harmony Hall.  On the way, you will find a sales booth that sells TASTE TOKENS. You will need to purchase several to make your rounds tasting all of the A+MAZING food. The tokens are a super bargain.  Get 3 tokens for only $4.  Each region has their own individual menu. Prices ranging from 2-4 tokens.  In your head you are probably thinking, how big is a “taste” size…. well, let me tell you it is a pretty generous portion for a taste.  One that doesn’t leave you hungry. 
 
Note to Smarty:  MUST TRY THE BOURBON CHOCOLATE FRITTER!  

Carowinds didn’t leave out any details.  You also have a choice of local beverages: Benford Brewing, Biltmore Estate, Childress Winery, and RJ Rockers. 

After I was done tasting all the fabulous Southern treats and perusing all the local artisans displaying their craft, my family and I ventured into Planet Snoopy.  My twin boys are only 4 1/2 years old, this area of Carowinds is perfect for their size. 

Carowinds Planet Snoopy CSP twins

Top Ten Reasons why we love to visit Planet Snoopy with our little Smarties. 

#1: The rides.  My twins are on the smaller side for their age and there are plenty of rides to choose from.  

#2: Carowinds ride signage.  The signs are very user friendly.  They break down the ride according to level of intensity, height requirement, and if companion is needed if child does not meet height requirement.  You can clearly read them from a distance.  There is no confusion, or unnecessary waiting only to learn you are too small or ride is too fast. Details here.  

#3: Ride lines move pretty swiftly. This is key when you have two little movers and shakers. 

#4: We love Snoopy & Peanuts Gang. They are very relatable characters and are not scary.  They are kids, too. 

#5:  Lots of areas to sit and take a break if needed.  

#6: Snacks available in this area are age appropriate. Details here.

#7: Characters walk about and engage with the children. This brings everything to life for the little ones. “Snoopy’s here.  He loves Carowinds too, Mommy!” 

#8: Everything is well laid out.  You never feel crowded or overwhelmed.  This area of the park has a really nice flow. 

#9:  The employees are very polite, patient and kind.  ****** This should be #1 reason! ******  

#10:  There are plenty of bathroom stalls in the restrooms.  There is nothing worse than having to wait in a long line with your kids to use the restroom.

CSP twins Carowinds planet snoopy 

To say the twins’ love Carowinds is an understatement!  They are obsessed.  They have the entire area of Planet Snoopy memorized.  “Mommy, I want to go on this ride.  No Mommy, it is this way.  Mommy, come on!”  At home, they carry around the Park Map & Guide and discuss of their favorite rides (and most importantly where the ice-ee place is located).
 
Overall, we had an AWESOME day.  Everywhere you turned, there was something going on.  The day was filled with lots of fun, great food, local beer/wine, smiling faces and Carolina blue skies.  What more can you ask for? It was a perfect family outing. This face says it all:

Will we go back to visit the park? – YES!!!!!  Will we return for the Taste of the Carolinas? – YES, the food was great.  I loved the music, the cooking demonstrations, the North vs. South cooking challenge, the artisans…  Job Well Done, Carowinds!  You put on a very TASTEFUL presentation of the Carolinas. 
   
*This Smarty gives Carowinds Taste of the Carolinas the pink and green stamp of approval.*
Smarty REMINDER: Do not leave the park without trying the BOURBON CHOCOLATE FRITTER! 

In case you missed our Insta Story documenting our day here it is…

CSP Carowinds Insta Story

CSP Carowinds Insta Story 2

CSP Carowinds Insta Story 3

CSP Carowinds Insta Story 4

CSP Carowinds Insta Story 5

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CSP Carowinds Insta Story 9

The Perfect Spring Family Outing: Taste of the Carolinas at Carowinds
Taste of the Carolinas
Saturdays and Sundays
April 22 – May 14

One Response

  1. Aimee B says:

    Can’t wait to try that fritter!

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