Where To Stay

Couches – For an affordable option consider couch surfing. Check out available couches in our couches section of our discussion board or check out couchsurfing.com *Note: Tiny House Conference is not responsible for your experience using these services, you do so assuming all risks.

Camping – Camping spots are limited, the park that we are going to be holding the event at has around 50 camping/rv sites for reservations, it is first come, first served and often start filling up in January. Note that these are rented by the city, not Tiny House Conference.

McDowell Nature Preserve (Campground map PDF)
To reserve: 704-583-1284
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC 28278
Note: July 1st 2013 rates will go up about $3

Rent-a-Tent Sites (T1-7):
includes tent sleeps 5-6
$36 per day – County resident
$46 per day – Non-County resident
Primitive Sites (P1-10):
$12 per day – County resident
$15 per day – Non-County resident
Recreation Vehicle (RV) Sites (R1-13):
$21 per day – County resident
$26 per day – Non-County resident
Drive-To Sites (D1-26):
$15 per day – County resident
$22 per day – Non-County resident
Accessible Camp Sites
D14, D15 (Drive To)
T1, T4 (Rent-a-Tent)
Extra Fees:
Firewood: $4.00/bundle
Ice: $1.50/bag

Nearby Hotels

Most of the places are with 10 miles of the conference, but we are not affiliated with them.

Best Western Carowinds
3675 Foothills Way
Fort Mill, SC 29708
(803) 548-8400

Motel 6 Charlotte Carowinds
3541 Foothills Way
Fort Mill, SC 29708
(803) 548-9656

Comfort Inn at Carowinds
3725 Avenue of the Carolinas
Fort Mill, SC 29708
(803) 548-5200

Getting there

The conference will be held at McDowell Nature Preserve, but it is a really big place, 1100 acres to be exact, we will email you the exact directions a few weeks prior to the event. For planning purposes you can use the address: 15222 York Road Charlotte, NC 28278. Note that campsites are located in another part of the park, so you’ll need to drive to them as they are about 3 miles away by road.

Car and Carpooling – Car is going to be the most convenient method to get to the event, see Charlotte and get around as needed. We realize that some are coming from far away and are on a budget so we hope you will check out the carpooling section of our website to help others get around or to find a ride from wherever you are coming from. Check out our car pooling section here. Note that parking is free for the event, but if you are camping, they limit one car per site.

Airport – There are a few ways to get to the conference if you are coming by air, our event is 13 miles from the airport. Some hotels provide shuttle services, taxis will run you around $40 each way or rental car services are available at the airport. Consider trying to arrange a ride from the airport to the event/hotel with other attendees through the ride share section of our website.

Train – Our cities train station is located at 1914 North Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28206 but is about 20 miles from the event location. Consider our ride share section of this website.

Public Transportation – Charlotte’s public transportation center is not the greatest, currently the closest you can get to the conference is within 4 miles of the conference. You could try biking the final four miles, arrange to catch a ride, or take a taxi the last leg which will run you about $15 each way.

3rd/ Convention Center Station
501Train towards Outbound
Arrowood Station
56 Bus towards Outbound
CMC Steelecroft
Drive/Taxi to McDowell Nature Preserve

Great Bites

Charlotte has a ton of food options and great ones at that. The event is located on the outskirts of Charlotte so for lunch plan to stick close. We are currently trying to arrange for food trucks to come to the event so lunches will be simple. We also welcome outside food, so if you want to bring breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack go for it! Alcohol is not permitted at the event. For those camping your camp sites should come with grills and/or fire pits.

Luigi’s Pizza – Right near the event (5 mins)
13551 Steelecroft Pkwy #100, Charlotte, NC ‎ 1.6 mi E
(704) 587-6010 ‎ · luigis-pizza.com

City Tavern – 14142 Rivergate Pkwy, Charlotte, NC ‎ – 2.0 mi E
(704) 504-8888 ‎ · city-tavern.com

JimnNicks – 13840, Steele Creek Rd, NC  – ‎ 1.8 mi E
(704) 930-2290 ‎ · jimnnicks.com

ShoppeCharlotte – 13105 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC ‎ – 1.7 mi E
(704) 588-1130 ‎ · shoppecharlotte.com

Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina – 12807 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC ‎ – 1.9 mi E
(704) 587-7093 ‎ · salsaritas.com

Five Guys Burgers and Fries – 12820 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC ‎ – 1.8 mi E
(704) 587-9204 ‎ · fiveguys.com

Just Fresh Kitchen Cafe – 14136 Rivergate Pkwy #400, Charlotte, NC – ‎ 2.0 mi E
(704) 583-8323 ‎ · justfresh.com

TGIFridays – 12811 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC ‎ – 1.9 mi E
(704) 587-9242 ‎ · tgifridays.com

McDonald’s – 14110 Rivergate Pkwy, Charlotte, NC ‎ – 2.0 mi E
(704) 504-2199 ‎ · mcdonalds.com

Local favorites (15 mins)

Great but cheap eats:

  • Amelie’s French Bakery (light sandwiches, coffee and pasteries)
  • Dish (southern home cooking)
  • Zada Janes (some vegetarian options)
  • Krazy Fish (good vegetarian and meat tacos)
  • Brixx Pizza

Mid Range

  • Kings Kitchen (non profit restaurant that serves great southern food right downtown)
  • Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar (best burger in Charlotte)
  • Cantina 1511 (pricier but good Mexican)
  • Sir Edmund Halley’s great pub food with a good variety of vegetarian options to boot
  • Loco Lime (new twist on some tex mex favorites)
  • Rock Bottom Brewery (good food right down town)

Local independent Coffee shops

  • Smelly Cat
  • Jackson’s Java
  • Mugs coffee
  • Amelie’s
  • Nova’s Bakery

5 ways to attend and save money:

  1. If you are not able to afford a ticket, try applying for one of our 15 “pay what you can” tickets and volunteer in lieu of payment
  2. Bring a tiny house! Have a tiny house? You can get a free ticket if you’re house is accepted, details here
  3. Hitch a ride, make new friends. Our car pooling section will help you find people to share the ride with and save on gas money
  4. Camp or couch surf instead of staying in a hotel, don’t forget that camp sites allow for 5 people per site, so if you have a group you can save big. But note one car per site
  5. Bring your own food. There is a grocery store not too far from the event, grab your food at a grocery store or bring it with you.

The Fine Print

Be nice – Above all else please be respectful, courteous and patient with others at the event and the organizers. We are doing the best to provide you with a great event, meet some amazing people, and see some tiny houses! If there is a concern please let us know in a way that is productive so we can resolve it quickly.

Participate – We can get amazing speakers, great tiny houses and the perfect event, but you all bring the most important part: participation. In the sessions feel free to ask questions, listen to others and connect with the people you meet. Be sure to let other’s get their questions answered, their views heard and keep it fun.

Weather – The event will happen rain or shine, while we have large tents and shelters for the presentations, they are still exposed. We’ll keep a fire going all day, but be prepared for what mother nature throws at us.

Parking – We have a good number of spaces but we encourage you to carpool. Parking is free at the event and for those camping, there is only one car allowed per site.

Pets – Because of the number of people we are expecting we are unable to allow any pets into the event. The only exception to this is active service animals with proper documentation, service animals in training will not be permitted. Pet owners are not allowed to keep their animals at their campsites, in the car, or tied up during the day outside the event.

Accessibility – We will make all attempts to ensure those who need special accommodations are accommodated. There are some unique challenges that come with tiny houses, please contact us directly well in advance to see what we can do.  email us at ryan@thetinylife.com

Age of attendees – We will allow children as young as 15 if accompanied by an adult, each will have to purchase a ticket and we do not offer children ticket rates. For those with younger children or infants we are unable to have them in attendance because it could impact the experience of our other attendees. We understand this is an imposition, but we want to ensure a great experience for all.

Consent to use photographic Images and Recordings – By purchasing your tickets you give us full permission to take photos and videos for use as we see fit without compensation.

Ticket Sales – We are only able to process tickets online at this point, thus we are unable to accept cash or check. We will not be selling tickets the day of the event. Registration closes 3 days prior to event. See our refund policy here

Alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc – We do not permit drinking or drug use on the premises at any time per the park’s rules. People caught drinking or using drugs will be escorted from the event and no refunds will be issued. Cigarette smoking is only allowed in designated areas and must be at least 50 feet from any structure or tents. Please be sure to dispose of your butts in the proper manner, not on the ground.