View of Charlotte from Crowders Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This post is originally posted by Andi Fisher on 28/04/2017 on Misadventures with Andi.
The South is steeped in history that spans much more than Southern belles, debutante balls, or Sunday barbecues with smoked meats and crawfish boils. In the past decade, there’s been a revival of the Old South with a new spin, particularly when it comes to the food scene.
Many local chefs are going back to their roots and celebrating Southern cuisine with long forgotten ingredients and menu items. These chefs are also evolving the culinary history of the South by drawing on newer immigrant cultures. It’s this mixing of the Old South with the new that makes a weekend in Charlotte a must.
Charlotte is smaller than a lot of other Southern cities, so it’s easier to navigate and enjoy in just a few days. Plus, she’s definitely one of the prettiest belles at the ball. In fact, she’s the queen.
Since a weekend isn’t a whole lot of time, I’m focusing on Uptown in the central part of the city. But you can find lots to do, see, eat and drink all over Charlotte. There are no rules to say you can’t do more!
A Weekend in Charlotte near the City Center/Uptown
This section of Charlotte is densely packed with lots to do. I highly recommend doing as much walking as possible. Burn those calories while visiting a museum, doing a walking tour, or shopping. Then you won’t feel so guilty when you order dessert! Whether you decide to make your home base at a hotel near the city center or close to Discovery Place, you’ll find a plethora of possibilities.
North Carolina’s oldest art museum, the Mint Museum, is right at your doorstep. There are local and internationally renowned artists; Chihuly’s “Royal Blue Mint Chandelier,” and a focus on fine crafts such as glass, pottery, wood, and jewelry. Right next door, you’ll find the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. The museum’s architecture is stunning, and it’s home to works from major artists like Picasso and Warhol. Plus, if your weekend starts on the first Friday of the month, you can catch one of two jazz shows.
Got the kids with you for your weekend in Charlotte? Don’t miss taking them to Discovery Place, an interactive museum for kids focused on science and technology. The museum also has a really cool Genghis Khan exhibit that is not to be missed. The museum is actually a whole lot of fun without the kids, too!
To get a thorough understanding of Southern life and culture, visit the Levine Museum of the New South. Afterward, you can check out the local food scene by exploring the Seventh Street Public Market. Shopping and eating in this famous market helps support the food culture of the Carolinas and promotes local and regional farmers, food artisans, and entrepreneurs. Here, you’re not just eating; you’re contributing, too.
I always enjoy walking tours when I’m visiting a new city, especially if they’re food tours. If you’re also fascinated by local food culture, I highly recommend a tour from Tour de Food or Feast Food Tours, two companies hosting culinary escapades in Uptown. Not only will you learn a thing or two, but you won’t go hungry, either.
My picks for food in the Uptown area:
Breakfast and Brunch
Weekend Sports Trips
Charlotte is a big sports town. If you visit for a weekend to catch the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center, you’ll find plenty of hotels nearby and these great eats:
If you visit Charlotte for a Carolina Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium, stay at a hotel nearby and fill up on these pre-game treats:
Weekend in Charlotte for the Family
A great spot to take the kids on a family weekend is Discovery Place Nature, formerly known as the Charlotte Nature Museum. It’s an oasis for children and adults to learn more about local wildlife. There’s a butterfly garden, hands-on animal experiences, and a nature trail to Freedom Park, where you can enjoy a family picnic.
Here are some family-friendly spots for food:
Once everyone’s belly is full, make sure it’s only a short walk to the hotel to take a nap.
How’s that for options? The Queen City rules when it comes to an action-packed, food-filled weekend. How about you? Have you visited Charlotte? What would you add to my weekend plans?