20 Tips to Travel CheapFeb 2, 2018
Packing Mistakes to AvoidFeb 8, 2018
CIAA is the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. It is the first African American athletic conference that holds annual Men’s and Women’s Basketball tournaments. These tournaments are held every year in Charlotte, NC with over 150,000 fans from all over the country in attendance. The week consists, not only of basketball tournaments, but also a CRAZY amount of parties all over the city!!! Which is of course what we came for!
If you want to be right in the center of everything your best bet is to stay at the Aloft Hotel connected to the Epicenter. This hotel is literally an elevator ride away from some of the biggest parties and a few steps from great diners and food. In the heart of Uptown (Charlotte’s Downtown) it is close to everywhere you need to be. Booking months in advance is advised as I am sure it will book up super quick!
The city is literally PACKED with parties everywhere. Venues like Ruth Chris even turn their establishment into a nightclub because everywhere else is already to capacity! BE SURE TO PREPARE YOURSELF MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY TO PARTY ALL DAY LONG! Day parties go from 1 pm – 7 pm and night parties from 10 pm – 3 am, maybe even later if you can make it!
Tickets NEED to be bought in advance unless you’re a baller lol because they can be pricey. One to two months in advance would be ideal to start catching the early bird specials. You can check Eventbrite by typing in Charlotte CIAA and searching through the parties listed. You can also try tourneyparties.com to find additional venues as well. If you are a baller and decide to “just wing it” and not purchase any tickets in advance, then note that entry will be exceptionally higher. This isn’t your $20 at the door event. You will spend in the hundreds of dollars for entry if you decide to go to the larger parties. If you are having a hard time deciding where to go, then check out anything in the Epicenter or the Music Factory. There is a guaranteed crowd!
Surprisingly enough, parking was reasonable. At the Epicenter you will pay $30 for all day parking. So if your party is in the Epicenter or near it, that’s not bad for day and night partying. At the Music Factory, we paid $20 to park. Again, for such a large event, that rate wasn’t too bad. Just try to stay in the same area for your day and night party so you don’t have to pay for parking twice.
Last but not least, CIAA takes place late February – early March every year so the weather can range significantly. This year it was in the high 50’s low 60’s and a jacket was necessary, but literally a few days before we arrived, Charlotte had weather in the high 70’s. So check the weather before you pack and dress accordingly!