If you suffered through a "staycation" last summer because the economy was in the crapper, you deserve a break this year. Let's face it, zipping down a Slip 'n Slide in your own backyard doesn't give you that rested-and-relaxed feeling that getting out of Charlotte does.
Granted, we're all still kind of broke, but you don't have to spend a lot of money or travel incredibly far to have a great vacation. Even if you just get out of town for a day or two, there are loads of cool, relatively close destinations that feature treasures sure to make you feel as if you're thousands of miles away.
Creative Loafing talked with some city insiders -- artists, chefs, actors and the like -- from a few choice spots to get the straight dope on what's cool (and not so cool) about the towns they call home.