5 of the best direct-flight destinations from CLT, starting at $125 roundtrip

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Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Vacations of any kind are lovely, but the best kind start off with a flight that doesn’t include a stopover at another airport — especially if you’re exhausted and much in need of a shower after the first leg.

Here are the best direct-flight destinations from Charlotte Douglas International Airport:

Philadelphia

Flight time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Price: $135/person with Frontier Airlines*

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Philadelphia

Things to do: Check out Old City’s historical treasures such as the Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, and Betsy Ross house. Explore Fishtown, the city’s trendiest neighborhood, and stop by the local La Colombe, a massive brewery/coffee house and proud seller of the first-ever draft latte. Yup, it’s latte on draft.

Place to eat: The team at V Street, a nationally recognized vegan street-food bar, will make you completely forget you’re only eating vegetables for dinner.

Place to drink: Get the spicy margarita at Mission Taqueria, a brightly colored bar dripping with hanging plants and neon. There’s even an open-sky fishbowl lounge area in the center of the space, perfect for lounging with friends in the fall weather.

New York City

Flight time: 2 hours
Price: $151/person with Delta Air Lines*

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Times Square in New York City

Things to do: Beyond Instagramming shots of Times Square and soaking up what is one of the world’s most energizing cityscapes, there’s plenty else to do in the Big Apple. Spend time out and about in Brooklyn, with its lovely boutiques and bars and parks. Catch a show or a game at Madison Square Garden.

Place to eat: New Yorkers love their brunch — so there are bunch spots galore. Be sure to grab eggs and mimosas out at Brooklyn’s Five Leaves, a rustic, bright cafe.

Place to drink: Nolita’s Epistrophy, a cozy, bricked-walled restaurant, offers fresh Italian-inspired cocktails (such as its Negroni Rosa with gin, aperol and lillet blanc).

Orlando

Flight time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Price: $115/person with Frontier Airlines*

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Orlando

Things to do: Orlando is famous for its theme parks, and you’re never too old for fun at Disney World, Universal and, of course, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But don’t forget to budget in time to relax on nearby idyllic beaches, too.

Place to eat: Highball & Harvest is located in the Ritz-Carlton, but the restaurant doesn’t show any of the stuffiness one might expect. It’s one of the sleekest places in the city, and Orlando’s American food is best done here.

Place to drink: Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar is the place to go if you’re looking for a lively crowd on a night out. The bar gets packed and the drinks are strong, so be sure to munch on a couple of tacos while you’re at it.

Savannah

Flight time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Price: $327/person with American Airlines*

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Savannah

Things to do: Walk along the riverbank on the cobblestone pathway and marvel at the shops and boutiques, bars and restaurants. Stroll through town and explore Savannah’s historic homes and the beautiful Forsyth Park, which features a water fountain and plenty of Spanish moss.

Place to eat: The Collins Quarter, an adorable cafe-style restaurant, serves delicious contemporary, home-style dishes, such as the hot chicken, branzino and shepard’s pie.

Place to drink: Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar serves kick-ass cocktails alongside fresh-shucked oysters and other delicious Southern bites.

St. Augustine, Florida

Flight time: 1 hour, 20 minutes (by way of Jacksonville International Airport)
Price: $327/person with American Airlines*

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Saint Augustine

Things to do: There’s plenty else to do in St. Augustine besides camping out for the day on the beaches with a book: Explore Castillo de San Marcos, the continental U.S.’s oldest masonry fort, and stroll through the downtown historic district, where you’ll find some of the oldest structures in the country and plenty of adorable shops, bars and restaurants to peek inside.

Place to eat: Prohibition Kitchen, an old-timey speakeasy-style restaurant, serves everything from poutine to perfect craft burgers to local oysters to handspun milkshakes.

Place to drink: Odd Birds Bar’s quaint patio, decorated like a hidden garden with plants and string lights, is the perfect after-dinner-cocktails spot.

*Flight information is subject to change.

9 COMMENTS

  1. What help is this list , really ?
    Other than Philadelphia and NYC , I can drive to these places from Charlotte without the hassle of going through TSA.
    And once you get there . ….unless you want to hang around the airport Nothing is cheap !

    • I would think the cheap flight is helpful in paying for the other things you want to do when you arrive. Better to pay $150 for a flight + $500 for a hotel, rather than $400 for a flight + $500 for a hotel. See how that math adds up differently?

        • @Chad are you walking there barefoot and fasting en route? There is a significant cost in each mode of transport – not just air travel. Driving a motor vehicle is going to run $0.20 – $0.54 per mile in wear and fuel costs. You also incur food and lodging costs en route. Lastly, you also pay for your time lost in enjoying the destination.

          With all that in mind, my calculations would have me flying to all the above destinations with the possible exception of Savannah.

  2. If you plan to explore the heart of the major cities (NYC, Boston, DC or Philly) its not worth driving because parking is limited and expensive. You can easily pay $50 a day just to park and not be near anything and dont forget about the tolls into Manhattan.

  3. These must be booked in advance — at least 7 to 10 days — to get the prices quoted here. If one books it in less than seven days, the price of a one-way fare is about the price of the R/T fare quoted here or more.
    And often times, for the cheaper fare with a long stopover, one needs to fly to JFK when heading south. You would think a direct nonstop from CLT to let’s say Miami would be cheaper.
    One thing that I do not get is why flying from CLT is so expensive. Charlotte is trying to be an exclusive city when the Charlotte itself has nothing to offer much to justify that exclusivity, unless you consider NASCAR exclusive.

    • I agree with you 100% !
      Flying out of CLT is very expensive and I don’t understand why .
      I fly to Vegas about every 90 days . It costs an average of $600 +
      nonstop on American.
      But you can fly out of ATL on Delta for around $400, give or take.
      (and no, I can’t drive to ATL to get the cheaper flight that just doesn’t work for me ).
      Explain the discrepancy……..

    • CLT is expensive for a simple primary reason – far more business than leisure travelers keep fares high because of inelastic demand of business travel. Secondary reason is AA controls the vast majority of gates and therefore drives the fares that the few competitors in place will/can charge.

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