charlotte north carolina skyline

You probably wouldn’t know that Charlotte, North Carolina is a discrete power in the financing world (the city houses the headquarters of Bank of America and Wells Fargo, amongst others). It’s not a fact that would entice a potential visitor to this beautiful southern city, but a new creative class made of deflectors from the corporate world have turned their attention to the more important things in life – namely, food, beer and a little bit of art, making Charlotte a very interesting place to live. Time in Charlotte is best spent in up-and-coming neighbourhoods like Dilworth, NoDa and Plaza Midwood. Here’s what you should do with your 24 hours in Queen City.

Nearly any day in Charlotte should start with a visit to Luna’s Living Kitchen. Go for the Volcano juice or Incan Warrior smoothie if you’re looking for a powerful start, or an iced chai if you’d rather ease into things. Take advantage of the largest bike-sharing program in the southeast and grab a bike at one of the city’s 24+ Charlotte B-cycle stations. Bikes are just $8 for 24 hours, which means you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city and fit in a ride along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway.

We’re assuming you’ll be hungry after your bike ride, so consider a stop at the 7th Street Public Market (owned by several local food and beverage businesses) where you can refuel and even pick up a few things – the market offers a variety of groceries from local vendors. Take a stroll around the NoDa arts district (about a mile north of Uptown Charlotte), where you’ll find an abundance of breweries and plenty of opportunities for shopping. If time allows, head to either the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art or the Mint Museum Uptown – both are part of the Levine Center for the Arts, and both are a must-see.

The only issue you’ll have dining in Charlotte is narrowing down the options. 5Church is a popular first pick, but if you’re looking for something more casual then head for Pure Pizza which offers a killer farm-to-fork experience. (Don’t forget to try the pimento cheese and house-made bread.)

Rest your weary head at The Dunhill Hotel and enjoy the 1920s vibe of this historic hotel, which is recognised by the National Trust.

As you nod off, try to forget that you ever thought of Charlotte as just a banking town. Somehow, we don’t think that’ll be too difficult.

Words by Robin Reetz

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