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The Perfect Weekend

Charlotte takes its name from Charlotte Sophia, the wife of England’s King George III, and is often referred to as “the Queen City.” The regal nickname is particularly appropriate considering Charlotte is not only chic and charming, but also America’s third-largest banking sector. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the many amenities of this attractive, prosperous city, particularly in the walkable Uptown city center. Follow this guide to see it all in a weekend.

Day

1

Morning
  • Visit a Gourmet Market.

    A short stroll from The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte you’ll find the 7th Street Public Market, a gourmet urban foodie destination peddling everything from cheese to chocolate. Start with a cup of pour-over artisan coffee at Not Just Coffee and end at Local Loaf for made-to-order omelets, pancakes, waffles and French toast, plus melt-in-your mouth pastries.

MIDDAY
  • Go Museum Hopping.

    Take advantage of Uptown’s high concentration of top-rated museums with the $20 Levine Center for Arts Pass, offering access to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and the Mint Museum Uptown. You’ll also want to hit Levine Museum of the New South, a mile down the road.

  • Taste the Freshest Seafood in Charlotte.

    Inside the base of the Hearst Tower, you’ll find Sea Level NC, serving up fresh seafood and Southern favorites, most notably farm-to-fork oysters from North Carolina.  

AFTERNOON
  • Stroll the Best Boutiques.

    Charlotte is known for its abundant outlet mall shopping, but for more of a local vibe, hit the boutiques of East Boulevard in the Dilworth neighborhood. The pedestrian-friendly enclave was Charlotte’s first streetcar suburb, built circa 1890, and remains a picturesque haven of Queen Anne, colonial revival and Victorian homes. Don’t miss the eclectic jewelry at 32 Flavors Boutique.

  • Take a Sweet Break.

    Relax at Bar Cocoa, the gourmet dessert bar in the swanky lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. Indulge in cupcakes, chocolates, slices of cake, house-made pastries, French macarons or gelato. Or, sample a sorbet push pop from the mobile Bar Cocoa Gelato cart while exploring the streets of Uptown.

EVENING
  • Dine Like a Charlottean.

    For a true taste of Charlotte, try Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, a local establishment now with three locations. The eatery focuses on seasonal, made-from-scratch classics, like Carolina barbecue pork shoulder with slab toast, frites and slaw, made with ingredients from local farmers.

  • Revel in the Nightlife.

    Charlotte’s nightlife is even hotter with the debut of Epicentre, a three-floor entertainment complex in Uptown. Experience modern bowling at Strike City, sip a martini at sophisticated Suite, listen to live music at Tin Roof and toast with a view at Rooftop 210.

Day

2

MORNING
  • Find Serenity.

    Just south of Uptown is Myer’s Park, a historic residential neighborhood of winding roads and elegant homes. Step inside the red brick walls of Wing Haven, a 3-acre bird sanctuary and garden that’s rich in Southern horticulture and tranquility.

MIDDAY
  • Charlotte’s Top Brunch.

    Back in Uptown waits Charlotte’s arguably best brunch at BLT Steak, where diners can choose from dishes ranging from Hanger Steak and Frites to Brioche French Toast.

  • Catch the Race Car Spirit.

    Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame to learn more about the high-octane sport of stock car auto racing and its superstars, and view stock cars and historic artifacts. Be sure to test your mettle inside a racing simulator.

AFTERNOON
  • A Barbecue to Remember.

    The buzzy Midwood Smokehouse, now with four locations, is Charlotte’s go-to BBQ joint for good reason. Pitmasters slow-cook pork, beef, chicken and even salmon over North Carolina hickory in a state-of-the-art computer-controlled smoker, then dress it in one of four succulent sauces: South Carolina Mustard, Eastern NC Vinegar, Midwood Signature or Spicy Habanero. Complement the entrée with Southern-style sides like hushpuppies or creamed corn.

  • Feel the Thrill of the Speedway.

    NASCAR’s home track is Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 2,000-acre complex that hosts some of the most prestigious races of the season. Even if it’s not race day, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the cutting-edge facility — including the racetrack, garage and pit — by taking one of the regularly scheduled tours.

EVENING
  • Try a Hot New Restaurant.

    From The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, walk 1.5 blocks to the Marriott City Center, where you’ll find Stoke, a sleek and spacious restaurant with an open kitchen that’s one of Charlotte’s hottest new dining venues. Wood-fired meat and seafood dishes are the specialty, and the strong selection of local craft-brews and ciders complete the experience.

  • Finish with a Nightcap.

    Riding the coattails of Charlotte’s craft beer scene is its craft cocktail scene, which started exploding in recent years. At The Punch Room, an intimate speakeasy on the 15th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, local mixologist Bob Peters combines small-batch spirits with local fruits, herbs and vegetables for one-of-a-kind concoctions.