If you’re looking too get away for a long weekend and you want to visit a city that is not too bustling, but not too quiet, not too artsy or action-packed, then try Charlotte, NC. It’s just right for a getaway weekend with the perfect combination of everything that makes ‘The Queen City’ a favorite travel spot for friends, couples and families up and down the East Coast.
Charlotte is the #2 banking capital outside of Wall Street and gives the city a certain metropolitan buzz that you’d expect in a downtown. One of the things I like most about Charlotte is how pedestrian-friendly it is. You can walk anywhere in the vicinity of Trade and Tryon (the two main streets) and encounter art, music, and great dining options. Downtown is also a great place to sit and people-watch. It was especially prime people watching when Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention last year.
And just outside the city are some fantastic, hip neighborhoods beckoning for you to explore them. SouthPark is full of wonderful shops and restaurants. For an inexpensive treat, park at South 21 Curb Service and experience the 1955 drive-in a modern twist. Indulge in thick chocolate milk shakes, hot hush puppies, and crispy onion rings…and a trout sandwich.
Charlotte’s artsy NoDa neighborhood features some of the finest art galleries around. Twice a month there is an art crawl, held on the 1st and 3rd Friday starting at 6pm, and let’s you peruse some of the city’s finest galleries. After you can chill at Dolce Vita, a low-key wine bar and neighborhood gathering spot.
And up the road in Concord, NC, you can get that small-town experience. Concord features three historical districts with many beautifully preserved homes worth driving around and the Memorial Gardens are a botanical delight in the spring and summer months. Union Street in Concord is a fun walk with local shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries.
Later this week, we’ll take a look at where to stay and more suggestions on what to do and areas to explore when visiting Charlotte.