One of my best friends from college moved to Charlotte shortly after graduated, and this year I FINALLY made it down to visit! Charlotte, NC is known as the “Queen City”, as it is named after the Queen of England at the time the city was founded, Queen Charlotte. The city is now thriving with a growing population of young professionals. Read on for a few tips on planning and enjoying a long weekend in Charlotte!
When To Go
I took my trip in September, right after Labor Day weekend. As a Minnesota girl I wanted to enjoy a little extra summer weather before flying back home to the beginning of fall. The temps were perfect, right around 80 degrees most days. There were a few rain showers, which brought on some humidity, but for the most part it was very pleasant. I’m told spring is also a beautiful time to visit, with average high temperatures in April and May falling between 76 – 80 degrees. Those months, however, do typically experience more rain. Average high temps from June – August fall between 86 – 90 degrees, and it can be quite humid. If you are wanting to do lots of walking around the city, keep in mind it will be hot! Winter’s average high’s are around 51 – 56 degrees, so if you are looking to get away from the snow but mix things up from the typical beach destination, Charlotte could be an option!
Where To Stay
My friend lives in what is known as the South End district of the city, an area I definitely recommend staying! We walked almost everywhere we wanted to go, including downtown, and always felt safe. We did also spend a day driving around (more on that later) so I was able to see the majority of other areas in the city. The South End offers loads of great restaurants, coffee shops, and spots to grab a drink. At any time, day or night you will see young people walking or jogging around (often with their adorable pets). It’s also not too spendy, and you can rent a modern airbnb for a decent price.
What To Do
Day 1: Get to your Airbnb in South End and explore the area! Grab a coffee at Not Just Coffee and walk through the colorful row of streetcars. You’ll see plenty of restaurants to take your pick from for your meals! At night head over to the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and enjoy a cold beverage.
Day 2: Walk into the city to get coffee and delicious pastries at Amelie’s, a French bakery and cafe with a funky vibe. Eat there, or take with you to enjoy a little picnic at Romare Bearden Park. Circle past Bank of America stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, and make your way back home to enjoy a much deserved afternoon at the pool! Walk over to Mac’s Speed Shop for some BBQ comfort food in the evening, and maybe stop at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for dessert.
Day 3: Charge up the camera and hit the road (either driving or rent a scooter) for some mural hunting! Charlotte has beautiful murals scattered throughout the city. Check out my guide for where to stop here! This will give you a chance to explore other areas of the city, and find some new places you might like to grab food. Save the South End stops for last, and transition from mural hunting to brewery hopping later in the day! Check out a detailed guide for brewery hopping stops here.
Day 4: Grab morning coffee and donuts at Pepperbox, to help you through your packing. After checkout grab lunch at Leroy Fox, for some delicious fried chicken and highly recommended side of macaroni and cheese. From there it’s only about a 20 minute drive to the airport.