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What To Do During A Layover In Charlotte, NC


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Larissa Lavender


Best Places to Eat

Charlotte, North Carolina, is a culinary paradise offering a diverse range of dining options. Whether you're craving Southern comfort food, international cuisine, or innovative dishes, the Queen City has something to tantalize every palate.

  1. Midwood Smokehouse: Indulge in authentic Carolina barbecue at Midwood Smokehouse, a beloved local spot known for its mouthwatering brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly service make it a must-visit for barbecue enthusiasts.

  2. Amélie's French Bakery: For a delightful taste of France in the heart of Charlotte, head to Amélie's French Bakery. This charming café offers an array of delectable pastries, savory crepes, and artisanal coffee in a cozy, eclectic setting.

  3. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar: If you're in the mood for a unique dining experience, look no further than The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. This inventive eatery combines the best of both worlds with a fusion of gourmet burgers and creative sushi rolls, promising a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure.

  4. Soul Gastrolounge: Embark on a culinary journey at Soul Gastrolounge, where small plates and handcrafted cocktails take center stage. This trendy spot is renowned for its vibrant ambiance, innovative tapas-style dishes, and a diverse selection of libations.

  5. Price's Chicken Coop: Dive into a quintessential Southern dining experience at Price's Chicken Coop, a Charlotte institution famous for its crispy fried chicken and classic sides. This unassuming eatery has been serving up comfort food at its finest for over 50 years.

Charlotte's dining scene is as vibrant as it is diverse, with an array of eateries to satisfy every craving. Whether you're seeking traditional Southern fare, international flavors, or contemporary culinary delights, the Queen City invites you to embark on a memorable gastronomic journey.


Attractions to Visit

Charlotte, North Carolina, boasts a wealth of captivating attractions that cater to a variety of interests, promising an enriching and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

  1. Discovery Place Science: Immerse yourself in the wonders of science at Discovery Place, where interactive exhibits, engaging demonstrations, and hands-on activities await. From exploring the depths of the ocean to uncovering the mysteries of outer space, this renowned science museum offers a stimulating journey of discovery.

  2. Freedom Park: Embrace the beauty of nature at Freedom Park, a sprawling urban oasis that beckons with lush greenery, scenic walking trails, and serene lakes. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or a picturesque spot for outdoor recreation, this beloved park provides the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.

  3. NASCAR Hall of Fame: Delve into the thrilling world of motorsports at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where interactive exhibits, historic artifacts, and immersive experiences celebrate the adrenaline-pumping legacy of NASCAR. Racing enthusiasts and history buffs alike will find themselves captivated by the rich heritage showcased within these hallowed halls.

  4. Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: Enrich your cultural journey at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, home to a remarkable collection of 20th-century artworks by renowned masters such as Picasso, Warhol, and Giacometti. The museum’s striking architecture and thought-provoking exhibitions offer a captivating exploration of modern and contemporary art.

  5. Carowinds: Embark on a thrilling adventure at Carowinds, an exhilarating amusement park that promises fun for the whole family. From heart-pounding roller coasters to lively entertainment and refreshing water rides, this beloved attraction is a haven for adrenaline-seekers and amusement enthusiasts.

Charlotte’s vibrant tapestry of attractions invites visitors to embark on a captivating journey filled with discovery, excitement, and cultural enrichment. Whether you’re drawn to the wonders of science, the serenity of nature, the thrill of motorsports, or the beauty of art, the Queen City offers a myriad of experiences to ignite your sense of wonder.


Shopping Options

Charlotte, North Carolina, is a shopper’s paradise, boasting an array of retail destinations that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. From upscale malls and designer boutiques to eclectic markets and artisanal shops, the Queen City offers a wealth of shopping options to indulge your passion for fashion, art, and unique finds.

  1. SouthPark Mall: Immerse yourself in luxury and style at SouthPark Mall, a premier shopping destination featuring an impressive selection of high-end retailers, upscale boutiques, and renowned fashion brands. Whether you’re in search of designer apparel, exquisite jewelry, or exclusive home decor, this sophisticated mall invites you to indulge in a world of elegance and refinement.

  2. NoDa (North Davidson) Arts District: Discover the vibrant energy of the NoDa Arts District, a dynamic neighborhood renowned for its eclectic mix of art galleries, local boutiques, and unique craft shops. From handcrafted jewelry and original artwork to vintage treasures and artisanal goods, this bohemian enclave offers a captivating shopping experience infused with creativity and charm.

  3. Charlotte Premium Outlets: Unleash your passion for savings and style at the Charlotte Premium Outlets, where a diverse collection of designer and brand-name stores awaits. With an array of fashion-forward outlets offering impressive discounts on coveted labels, this shopper’s haven promises an exhilarating day of scoring fabulous deals on apparel, accessories, and more.

  4. 7th Street Public Market: Immerse yourself in the bustling ambiance of the 7th Street Public Market, a vibrant urban marketplace showcasing an enticing array of local vendors, artisanal purveyors, and gourmet food stalls. Whether you’re in search of farm-fresh produce, handcrafted gifts, or delectable culinary delights, this lively market invites you to savor a diverse shopping experience infused with local flavor and community spirit.

  5. Phillips Place: Indulge in a sophisticated shopping excursion at Phillips Place, an upscale lifestyle center offering a curated selection of specialty shops, elegant boutiques, and upscale dining establishments. With its charming ambiance and exclusive offerings, this refined destination provides a captivating blend of upscale retail therapy and culinary delights.

Charlotte’s diverse shopping landscape invites enthusiasts to explore a myriad of retail experiences, from high-end luxury and eclectic artistry to bargain-hunting and culinary discoveries. Whether you’re seeking the latest fashion trends, unique artisanal treasures, or gourmet delights, the Queen City promises a rewarding shopping adventure that reflects its vibrant and diverse spirit.


Outdoor Activities

Charlotte, North Carolina, beckons outdoor enthusiasts with a wealth of captivating activities that celebrate the region’s natural beauty and offer boundless opportunities for adventure and recreation.

  1. U.S. National Whitewater Center: Embark on an exhilarating outdoor escapade at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where an array of thrilling activities awaits. From whitewater rafting and paddleboarding to zip-lining and mountain biking, this renowned outdoor recreation facility promises an adrenaline-pumping experience amidst stunning natural surroundings.

  2. Freedom Park: Embrace the serenity of nature at Freedom Park, a picturesque urban oasis that invites visitors to partake in leisurely strolls, peaceful picnics, and recreational pursuits. With its scenic walking trails, tranquil lakes, and verdant landscapes, this beloved park provides an idyllic setting for outdoor relaxation and enjoyment.

  3. McDowell Nature Center and Preserve: Immerse yourself in the wonders of the natural world at the McDowell Nature Center and Preserve, where captivating outdoor experiences abound. Explore the diverse ecosystems, hike scenic trails, and engage in wildlife observation, offering a rejuvenating retreat into the heart of North Carolina’s pristine wilderness.

  4. Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve: Discover the beauty of the great outdoors at Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve, a sprawling expanse of woodlands, meadows, and creeks. With its network of hiking and biking trails, tranquil picnic areas, and abundant wildlife, this scenic preserve beckons nature lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.

  5. Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve: Step back in time and connect with nature at the Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve, a historic estate nestled within a pristine natural landscape. Visitors can explore the plantation grounds, embark on guided nature walks, and immerse themselves in the rich history and biodiversity of this enchanting preserve.

Charlotte’s outdoor offerings invite visitors to immerse themselves in the region’s natural splendor, whether through thrilling recreational pursuits, serene nature escapes, or immersive wildlife encounters. Whether you’re seeking pulse-pounding adventure or tranquil communion with nature, the Queen City presents a diverse tapestry of outdoor activities to captivate and inspire outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.


Relaxation Options

Amidst the vibrant energy of Charlotte, North Carolina, a host of tranquil havens and rejuvenating experiences await those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you’re in search of serene retreats, wellness sanctuaries, or peaceful escapes, the Queen City offers a myriad of options to unwind and recharge.

  1. The Spa at Ballantyne: Indulge in luxurious pampering at The Spa at Ballantyne, a serene oasis of relaxation offering a comprehensive array of rejuvenating treatments, including massages, facials, and body therapies. Nestled within a stunning resort setting, this acclaimed spa provides a blissful retreat for those seeking to rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit.

  2. Freedom Park: Embrace the tranquility of Freedom Park, a verdant urban escape that invites visitors to unwind amidst lush greenery, scenic walking paths, and peaceful lakeside views. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll, a serene picnic, or a moment of quiet reflection, this beloved park offers a serene backdrop for relaxation and contemplation.

  3. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Charlotte: Immerse yourself in opulent relaxation at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Charlotte, where a world of indulgent treatments and luxurious amenities awaits. From soothing massages to invigorating facials, this sophisticated spa promises a rejuvenating experience infused with elegance and tranquility.

  4. Botanical Gardens at UNC Charlotte: Find solace in the breathtaking beauty of the Botanical Gardens at UNC Charlotte, a peaceful sanctuary showcasing a diverse collection of native and exotic plant species. Meander through enchanting gardens, tranquil pathways, and captivating exhibits, immersing yourself in the restorative power of nature’s splendor.

  5. Lake Norman: Unwind amidst the scenic splendor of Lake Norman, a picturesque retreat offering a tranquil respite from the bustle of city life. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely lakeside stroll, embarking on a serene boat ride, or simply basking in the natural beauty of the surroundings, this idyllic destination provides a peaceful escape for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Charlotte’s array of relaxation options invites visitors to immerse themselves in tranquil retreats, rejuvenating spa experiences, and serene natural settings. Whether you seek the soothing touch of a spa treatment, the serenity of a botanical oasis, or the peaceful embrace of nature’s beauty, the Queen City offers a diverse tapestry of relaxation options to soothe the soul and inspire a sense of well-being.