Those who know you best have said you prefer the “royal treatment.” You must admit, you crave the finer things in life—from gem-like dewdrops in quiet gardens to decadent courses in formal dining rooms. You collect memories like crown jewels and pass along your stories like treasured heirlooms. When the time comes for your next getaway, indulge your inner noble in Charlotte, North Carolina’s own “Queen City.” Floating lazily on Lake Norman and catching a glimpse of glinting currency at the Mint Museum Uptown, will show you just how much this city deserves every letter of its regal moniker. And once you’ve sampled the tangy gourmet barbecue and basked in one of the exquisite hotel rooms in Charlotte, you’ll feel a bit like a monarch yourself. You'll need a few days if you hope to even see half of what the city offers, so peruse the best places to stay in Charlotte, because sometimes the royal we are amused.
Things to Do in Charlotte
In Charlotte, like much of the south, football is king. Although painting your face with the team colors and shouting “Go, Panthers!” may seem unrefined, it’s all part and parcel of honoring a legacy…and it’s fun. Brush up on your knowledge of the offside rule for a game at the Bank of America Stadium, and book one of our downtown Charlotte hotels for a little postgame beauty rest.
When you’re feeling like a rogue royal, participate in the sport once banned by James II: Golf. Find some quiet time on the driving range—just you and the rolling green—or convene for a round of 18 holes with local ladies and gentleman. Be sure to book one of the hotels near the Catawba Creek Golf Course and arrive early and fresh-faced for a morning tee time. Who knew you could join a revolution just by staying under par?
Once your competitive side is satiated, soar through the past and peek into the future at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Over on the Outer Banks, a couple of brothers launched North Carolina into the skies and into the history books, and the museum’s exhibitions will make you feel like taking off on even more adventures. When the desire strikes, peruse our list of things to do in Charlotte, starting with drag racing—when in Charlotte…
Eating and Drinking
As you would expect from a Southern cultural hub, Charlotte is brimming with delightful delicacies and comfort food that will put a smile on your face with the first bite. It’s up to you to strike a balance among the state’s signature Krispy Kreme creations, colorful crawfish stew, and fried green tomatoes. Cleanse your pallet with a bottle of fizzy Cheerwine or sip a spicy merlot from the nearby Yadkin Valley. But fine wines are not the only libations that prove time in Charlotte is time well spent; local brewing companies host events all year long, and you'll enjoy some of the best craft beer in the country.
With your “must-savor” list in hand, embark on a foodie foray through the tastiest neighborhoods in “The QC.” For creative cuisine that takes your taste buds on a world tour with a fusion of international flavors and Southern comforts, graze your way through North Davidson, known affectionately as NoDa. If you’re a brunch-lover and still wondering where to stay in Charlotte, have no doubt that NoDa will spoil you with bistro eats and tavern treats all day long. It’s not the only district that will appeal to your discerning tastes, but it’s a fine place to start looking for one of the many luxury hotels in Charlotte
The Queen’s Gardens
You don’t have to look long to find green spaces that recall the sights and scents of your last visit to Kensington Gardens, albeit on a smaller scale. Between high-rises downtown, Fourth Ward Park is the perfect place to stroll by Victorian manor houses and catch your breath in the heart of the city. Nearby, you’ll find some of the most picturesque hotels in Charlotte.
Farther afield, the McDowell Nature Center and Preserve is home to hundreds of species, including spotted salamanders and the endangered Schweinitz's sunflower. You can easily spend a day wandering the walking trails and engaging soft-shelled turtles in conversation. And what will you talk about? Any ideas that float by on Lake Wylie.
Speaking of floating, Lake Norman State Park glimmers just 40 miles north of downtown. Pack a snack and picnic on the sand, or cast a line from a secluded dock. Charter a motorboat to reach the center and look across the cool blue water. What do you see out there?
Regal Road Trips from Charlotte
It doesn’t seem right to visit NASCAR’s hometown without hitting the open road for a day trip or two, especially because the area is sprinkled with small-town charm and lovely landscapes. For a jaunt into another one of North Carolina’s finest cities, drive just 165 miles east to Raleigh. On your way to the “City of Oaks,” pass by lush farmland and a few outlying vineyards on the fringe of Swan Creek. Once you’ve reached the city, saunter through Historic Oakwood, a vintage neighborhood with a fanciful side.
You could turn back now, with visions of Victorian manors in your daydreams, but you’ve already come this far, and the sky’s the limit. Leave Raleigh in your rearview mirror as you chase the sunrise to Kitty Hawk, the birthplace of modern aviation and beautiful waterfront sunrises. We concede; Kitty Hawk may not have invented these watercolor wonders, but it has perfected them with persistent daily practice.
You don’t need to be in line for the throne to indulge your whimsy and have adventure at your command. Travelocity can help you find cheap hotels in Charlotte near the loftiest landmarks. To save even more for the journey, bundle flights and accommodations in one of our Charlotte vacation packages and you’ll be one step closer to feeling like Southern royalty.