A destination on the rise, Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, thanks to its friendly locals, gorgeous weather and unique experiences. From Olympic-level whitewater rafting and NASCAR Hall of Fame, to world class hotels, restaurants and bars. Here are five excellent reasons to plan a trip around Charlotte, North Carolina.
Do: White Water Rafting
The U.S. National Whitewater Centre opened in 2001 and has become the go-to for those looking to burn some energy outdoors. It offers 30 recreational activities, including zip-lining, climbing, mountain biking and ice skating, but the best thing to do here is whitewater rafting. There are family or adventure style trips available, where you’ll take on the world’s largest man-made whitewater river.
We recommend buying a day activity pass so you can fully enjoy all the fun the centre has to offer.
NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive entertainment attraction that honours the history and heritage of NASCAR. It includes artefacts, hands-on exhibits, a 278-person theatre, Hall of Honour, souvenir shop, NASCAR Productions-operated broadcast studio and an attached parking garage on Brevard Street.
Eat: NC Red
NC Red combines seafood dishes superstar Chef Bruce Moffett grew up eating in Rhode Island with Southern comfort classics. That is, fresh oysters next to hot chicken, fried green tomatoes served with New England clam chowder, and calamari on the same table as buttermilk biscuits – it’s a contrasting yet genius combination.
Going down the small plates route is best for those who want to taste a bit of everything. The stuffies (stuffed, baked Quahog clams), hot cauliflower, and house-made pimento cheese are full of flavour and balance out perfectly with a tray of oysters from the raw bar. Bruce Moffett also owns Barrington’s and Stagioni which we hear are equally as delectable.
Charlotte is a hotbed for high end brands, vintage gems, outlets and malls, so shoppers are really spoilt for choice. For womenswear, look out for Capitol in South Park, a boutique with runway looks, and for menswear, The Sporting Gent in Myers Park has high end casual gear. Alternatively get it all under one roof at the Southpark Mall, the oldest shopping centre in the city. Here lies brands from Louis Vuitton and Tiffany and Co., to American Girl and Crate and Barrel.
Stay: Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
This trendy boutique hotel shining over Romare Bearden Park and uptown is the jewel of Charlotte. There are 217 rooms and suites, all crafted to perfection. Expect floor-to-ceiling windows, striking pop art and luxurious Atelier Bloem bath products (which lather fabulously in your deep soaking tub or oversized marble shower). For those with a more cash to splash, check into the 1,300 sq ft Presidential Suite on the 18th floor. It has its own built-in wet bar and a majestic dining area.
Common areas include a fitness centre, outdoor yoga deck, event spaces, Angeline’s Italian and local favourite, the Merchant and Trade rooftop lounge on the 19th floor. This place is buzzing with energy, class and warm Southern charm. We highly recommend ending your trip up here with new friends, a house cocktail, and the twinkling lights of the city.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport usually sees more than 700 flights take off daily and offers more than 160 nonstop flights to international and domestic destinations.