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Why our family continues to return to Mooresville, NC

Why our family continues to return to Mooresville, NC

Nestled just 30 miles from the bustling city of Charlotte, sits the town of Mooresville, North Carolina. Each year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my family makes the 7 hour drive.

The reason we return year after year to the area is because of the Eastbay South Cross Country race. Our family had made 2 trips to the area before we discovered Mooresville.

Traveling as a family to sporting events proves to be an interesting balancing act, because we often, but not always have our younger child in tow and we try very hard to weave fun activities into the trip for him as well.

What does all of this have to do with Mooresville, North Carolina you ask? A lot actually.

When we make plans for a trip that involves a race for my older son, my husband and I choose where we are staying very carefully. If we stay where the rest team is staying, then the time away from home becomes even more of an experience shaped just for my oldest. And if we are being honest, isn’t particularly restful for mom and dad either.

While the purpose behind our trip to Mooresville stays the same each year, we try to weave new experiences in to each visit. Although, we do keep remarking as a family that we’d like to come in the warmer months.

One stop will always remain the same.

Dinner in Mooresville


From the first time we visited the cozy Italian restaurant, we knew we’d return each time we visited. My athlete is a touch superstitious so when the host sat us in the exact same spot as the first visit, he was thrilled.

We started with the Sushi Novanta, which was the Italian take on sushi. Prosciutto, arugula, spinach and roasted red pepper all wrapped in house made mozzarella.

My youngest had his usual favorite of buttered noodles, but he loves the way Novanta offers choices like red pepper flakes and parm, while my oldest stuck with his cheese pizza.

I opted for the lasagna while my husband got the lasagna calzone, both of those choices were new for us.

Dessert was another memorable experience for us. I got the affogato (espresso poured over vanilla gelato) it was seriously dreamy and just what I needed after a long road trip. My husband had the deconstructed cannoli, which he loved. He’s a cannoli lover so he loved this twist.

Both the boys had the chocolate gelato, yes the gelato that we still talked about 2 years later.

Several times during the meal, we all commented that it would be very dangerous if we lived closer to the restaurant, as in we’d be on a first name basis.

Breakfast in Mooresville

The Patisserie Cafe is an unassuming cafe in a location that you wouldn’t think would have the most delicious breakfast, pastries and I am assuming lunch, but we weren’t there for lunchtime.

Once inside we were greeted by pastry cases that were filled to the brim with beautiful cakes, macaroons, cookies and more. We immediately started plotting what we were going to take back to the hotel to have after the day at the cross country course.

Our breakfast was also, nothing short of absolutely delicious.

I chose a breakfast sandwich that came on a freshly baked crossant with eggs, sausage and cheese and a very different take on breakfast potatoes.

My husband had the western omelette, omelettes are his go to for breakfast a lot of the time.

My youngest had a Nutella crepe which he enjoyed but as we expected, he was pretty hungry at the race just a little while after we arrived there.

The runner, opted for French toast and fruit.

Where we stayed in Mooresville, North Carolina

Just like our first visit to the area we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn. It is in a quiet part of town, which is what we always prefer especially if we are visiting a town for a race.

After having dinner at Novanta we headed to the hotel to get a good nights sleep, but since we were on the heels of my youngest having to have the realization about Mr. Claus, it was extra sweet for my boys to write letters to Santa and put them in the mailbox to Santa that the Hilton Garden Inn had. My teenager got bonus points for indulging his momma.

We didn’t opt for breakfast at the hotel this stay, but we’ve indulged before and had a great experience.

However, after a very long day at the race and a pizza party with the team my husband and I were starving so I scooted downstairs to the bar to take something back up for us to eat.

While I don’t remember much if anything about the food we ate, beyond the fact that it worked for what we were looking for, I do remember the service. I sat and chatted with the wonderful woman who was working the bar/food service area. We talked for quite a while about our collective experience as sports moms, she has a daughter that is older than my son, and they traveled for a lot of the same reasons. It was so nice to sit and chat with someone who ‘got’ it. Sometimes you find yourself questioning your sanity when you drive 7 hours for your child to (hopefully) run for less than 10 minutes.

Our family loves the hospitality that we experience each time that we visit the area and it has become a place that we feel like is a second home to us.

And maybe, just maybe one of these days we will find an excuse to make a return trip to the area in the summer to enjoy all that Lake Norman has to offer.

Want to know more about Mooresville?

Things to do and eat in Mooresville