10175 Weddington Rd., Concord
There is nothing romantic or relaxing about Great Wolf Lodge, but if you’re looking for a great option for family lodging, this is it. Opened in 2009, it is the only theme hotel in the area and has the largest indoor water park in the county.
The hotel itself has 402 rooms ($189–469 d). The family suites sleep up to six, but it’s the themed suites that set the hotel apart. There are three different themed designs, including the Wolf Den Suite, which was designed to look like a cave, and the KidKamp Suite, which mimics an indoor camping experience. All of the suites come equipped with bunk beds and video-game consoles.
Six on-site restaurants were also designed with little diners in mind. The bar and grill at Camp Critter serves up casual fare at tables set under faux maple and oak trees; Loose Moose Cottage is a lunch and dinner buffet that helps exhausted adults (and the kids) fuel up for the water park.
The water park is definitely the main attraction at the hotel. It’s reserved for guests and has all of the water park staples like a lazy river, wave pool, raft rides on the rapids, a four-story tree house equipped with super-soakers, and the first indoor competitive mat waterslide in the country.
There is even an ice cream–themed spa for the under-12 set (and one for adults, too, should the over-the-top kitsch and squealing young ’uns create an immediate need for an escape).