A Weekend in: Charlotte, NC

The good ol’ QC. Even though I left it several months ago, it’s still home to me, and I love to give recommendations to anyone traveling or moving to this lovely city. The summers can get pretty toasty, but otherwise it’s a pretty perfect place to be. Traffic isn’t as bad as some cities, people are extremely friendly, the food scene is strong, and there’s always something fun and exciting going on. Let me know some of your favorite Charlotte spots, too!

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Where to Stay

Bathrooms at the Ivey’s featuring clawfoot tubs.

Bathrooms at the Ivey’s featuring clawfoot tubs.

The Ivey’s Hotel is a new hotel in the heart of uptown that doesn’t skimp on quality. From luxurious bed linens to Nespresso coffee makers, you’ll feel like royalty without paying the high price of the Ritz located nearby. Plus, you’re walking distance to all sorts of fun spots!

Another chic new hotel is the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, which is in the heart of uptown but situated on the block next to Romare Bearden Park, so it’s quieter than most of uptown (unless it’s a Panthers’ game day). It’s got stunning interiors and a great rooftop bar! Kimpton hotels are pet friendly, too.

If you’re not feeling the city vibe, stay in the charming neighborhood of Myers Park in the historic Duke Mansion, which has 20 guest rooms and is set on a stunning property in a beautiful and walkable neighborhood perfect for house hunting!

A luxurious bed in a room at the Kimpton.

A luxurious bed in a room at the Kimpton.

Friday evening

The falafel at Good Food turned me into a falafel-fan.

The falafel at Good Food turned me into a falafel-fan.

Drinks: There are so many awesome breweries in Charlotte, so just pick one and go hang out for a while! Sycamore and Olde Mecklenberg are two of the city’s favorites. They’re always full of Charlotte locals and transplants, so you can meet a wide variety of people (and dogs, too!).

Dinner: After the breweries, you’ll want a lighter dinner, so I highly recommend Good Food on Montford. It’s a small-plate, sharing concept, which I usually don’t love, but this place gets it right. Every food item is outstanding and they bring you your food quickly, so if something gets gobbled up, you can order more in a heartbeat. They don’t take reservations, so get there early or be prepared to wait a little. If your timing is just right, you could probably put your name in, go bowl at Park Lanes for a few, and come back right when your name is called!

Saturday

The avocado toast at Holler and Dash is as beautiful as it is tasty.

The avocado toast at Holler and Dash is as beautiful as it is tasty.

Breakfast: A new breakfast spot that’s hit the road running in Charlotte is Holler and Dash, which offers everything from fried chicken biscuits and tater tots to healthy oatmeal and berries. It’s famous for its biscuits, but I can honestly say I’ve never had one of them and I still would say this is my favorite Charlotte breakfast place. With something for everyone, this place is certain to please the group. They even have more “brunchy” items like Brussels Sprouts Salad if breakfast isn’t really your thing. But trust me, Holler and Dash will be your thing.

Morning: After a big breakfast, you’ll want to get some steps in, so Saturday morning is a great time to check out the museums Charlotte has to offer! Uptown is the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Mint Museum Uptown, as well as the underrated NASCAR Hall of Fame, which I can honestly say was pretty fun. Skip the NASCAR races, just go to the HOF and you can say you “did” NASCAR.

Lunch: Another new spot that has recently hit Charlotte but has been wildly successful in other cities is Flower Child. I think this restaurant will see the same success as it really fills a gap in Charlotte for a healthy yet casual dining atmosphere. The interior is beautiful, the patio is dreamy, and the menu looks to die for. I’m so eager to get back to Charlotte soon so I can try this gem.

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Afternoon: There is no shortage of excellent shopping in Charlotte. Southpark Mall is nice, but I prefer to shop the boutique scene and get items I can’t find in any other city. To begin, hit the shops on Selwyn like Monkee’s, KK Bloom and Paper Twist. After that go over to Phillips Place where you can shop at Luna, Paper Source and more. Finally, the Shops at Morrison offer everything from casual and fair-priced like Luxe Angel to the fanciest clothes in Charlotte at Capitol. You should also stop by the design store B.D. Jeffries and try to sneak in a yoga class at Vibe5 while you’re in that neck of the woods.

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Drinks: At the top of the Kimpton Tryon Park is a rooftop bar called Merchant and Trade which has quickly become a Charlotte hotspot. Make a trip here right before sunset for some cocktails and watch over the city as the sun goes down.

Dinner: Kid Cashew is one of the most delicious farm-to-table restaurants Charlotte has to offer, and it’s got a great patio for nice evenings! My favorite is the salmon with quinoa, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the options at this charming spot! It’s very reasonably priced for the quality, and you don’t have to dress up to go!

Sunday

Zeppelin’s two varieties of French Toast looking like a snack.

Zeppelin’s two varieties of French Toast looking like a snack.

Brunch: Zeppelin’s is a new restaurant in the hot neighborhood of South End, and they’re open for brunch! It’s an innovative menu with cocktails that sound like they’d be the best part (Peanut Butter and Jealous, anyone?). I haven’t tried this place yet but it’s really popular and definitely on my list.

Activity: If you like the outdoors, it’s only a 30-minute drive to a fun hike up the one single mountain in Charlotte. Crowder’s Mountain is a small mountain that boasts stunning views at the top of the entire Charlotte area. There’s a short but steep route, and a longer and more gradual route.

Another great spot to stop by to make memories and souvenirs is the Candle Bar, where you can make your own custom candle for an unbeatable price. They’re so trendy and stylish, too! This has been on my bucket list since they opened.