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Guide To A Long Weekend In Charlotte

June 21, 2014 8:00 AM

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(Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Charlotte offers visitors a real urban experience, with numerous attractions and amenities packed within its compact uptown. The city has something for every interest, whether you like professional sports, world-class art, Broadway shows or blow-the-budget shopping. Many of Charlotte’s top restaurants and a booming nightlife scene cluster around the Center City skyscrapers, flanked on either side by the historic districts of Fourth Ward and South End. Here you’ll find much of what is uniquely Charlotte, all within walking distance.

Getting There and Getting Around

Charlotte is conveniently located at the intersection of two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-77, and just south of I-40, giving travelers from every direction easy access. Charlotte Douglas International Airport offers direct service from more than 100 domestic and foreign cities, including non-stop flights from London, Rome, Paris, Montreal, Toronto and both Frankfurt and Munich, Germany. Within the city, many companies offer limousine and taxi service, while the LYNX light rail makes getting to the South End neighborhood a breeze. Visitors can also take advantage of the B-Cycle bike sharing program available at 24 convenient locations.Related: Best Bike Rentals In Charlotte

What To See And Do

Blumenthal Performing Arts
130 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 372-1000

With six venues strung along Tryon Street and hundreds of performances annually, the Blumenthal is sure to be offering a show during your visit. Catch a Broadway hit on tour, enjoy professional opera, theater and ballet, laugh out loud at nationally renowned comics, groove along with top music groups or choose a family-friendly performance – Blumenthal has something for every taste. The Broadway Lights series presents hits direct from the Great White Way, while local talent is in the spotlight at monthly poetry slams and open mic nights.

Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 337-2000

Occupying a stunning new building on South Tryon, the Mint is a can’t-miss destination for art lovers. In addition to top-quality traveling exhibitions, the Uptown Mint houses the internationally acclaimed Craft + Design collection with masterpieces of contemporary decorative art in glass, wood, clay, fiber, metal and other media, plus huge collections of American and contemporary world art. A special gallery is dedicated to works by Romare Bearden, an African American artist born in Charlotte and renowned for his collages and works in oil. The Mint Museum Uptown is part of the Levine Center for the Arts which includes two other museums, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, within a two-block area.

NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 654-4400

Some of the most iconic race cars in NASCAR history occupy the sloped banks of Glory Road, the immense gallery that circles the Hall of Fame’s Great Hall, but this museum is much more than a collection of old cars. Interactive exhibits fill the museum’s second floor where you can design a race car, change a tire, call the race or drive a full-sized simulated race car. The top floor houses a comprehensive museum of NASCAR artifacts, many donated by families with famous names such as Petty, Allison and Earnhardt. The heart of the huge facility is the oval Hall of Honor where special exhibits recount the careers of each year’s inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, often including items from private collections that have never before been on public display.

Related: Best Rainy Day Activities In Charlotte


The Dunhill Hotel
237 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 332-4141

Make the historic Dunhill your hotel of choice to put yourself in the heart of the Center City action. Numerous museums, nightspots, restaurants, sporting event venues and shops are just steps away. Charlotte’s oldest surviving hotel, the Dunhill is also one of the city’s most elegant, with many deluxe amenities, including free limo shuttle service to uptown destinations. A complimentary gourmet breakfast is served in the adjacent Asbury Restaurant, which also offers lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Related: Best Hotels With Restaurants In Charlotte


McNinch House Restaurant
511 N. Church St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 332-6159

For a memorable meal, make prior reservations at the famed McNinch House Restaurant, awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamonds for 15 consecutive years. Housed in a restored 1892 Queen Anne Victorian mansion in Charlotte’s historic Fourth Ward, McNinch offers prix-fixe meals of nine, seven or five courses made from the finest local seasonal ingredients, grass-fed, free-range meat, wild game, organic produce and line-caught seafood. Wine pairings are selected from an impressive cellar that received the Award of Distinction from Wine Enthusiast Magazine numerous times.

Nan and Byron’s
1714 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
(980) 224-7492

For a more casual meal, hop aboard the LYNX Blue Line for a quick trip to one of Charlotte’s favorite new restaurants. Nan and Byron’s offers reasonably priced dishes tinged with Southern flair designed by one of the city’s top chefs. Several dishes, including a crispy beet burger, cater to vegetarian guests. In addition to daily dinner and weekday lunches, Nan and Byron’s serves brunch with buffet and a la carte options on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant is located in the heart of Historic South End, a district of restaurants, food trucks, shops and galleries perfect for a leisurely stroll.

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at
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