July 27, 2007 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Should I visit Charlotte, NC?

It would be a 3 night stopover. I can rent a car to get about, but would prefer to stay in a hotel in a walkable downtown historic type area (museums, galleries, eateries, etc.)

From on-line I get the sense that this might not be feasible - Charlotte is pretty much sprawl? No real historic walkable district?

If I am wrong, blame the interweb. Hotel recommendations also welcome.

Thank you
posted by A189Nut to Travel & Transportation around Charlotte, NC (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you need to spend those 3 nights in Charlotte? In my experience, the best thing about Charlotte is that it's only 2 hours from Asheville.
posted by JohnFredra at 4:36 PM on July 27, 2007 [3 favorites]

I spent a day or so in Charlotte with my uncle and aunt who live there, and there didn't seem to be a lot to do. The downtown was pretty much dead (deader than Dallas! Which is pretty dead!).
posted by MadamM at 4:37 PM on July 27, 2007

Response by poster: Deader than Dallas. That is dead. I guess I was under the impression Charlotte was more like the Southern Philadephia?
posted by A189Nut at 4:42 PM on July 27, 2007

Charlotte is a wonderful place to live but not really spectacular to visit. There's not much here that you can't see someplace else, unless you happen to be a NASCAR fan. If you do decide to stop by, here are some earlier threads with touristy suggestions. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions you want answered offline.

As John Freda said above, Asheville is lovely and a very manageable drive from CLT. If I had three days and a car, I'd head to the mountains (Asheville or Blowing Rock, 2 1/2 hours west) or the beach (Charleston 3 1/2 hours east) for sure.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:25 PM on July 27, 2007

Hello from Charlotte, NC.

Despite our city government's insistence, our city does tend to sprawl rather than have many similar things in one area. Which is interesting since our Uptown and Downtown are in exactly the same spot. There are few historic centers in the city anymore because the city has, in the past, torn down anything that got in the way of 'progress'. Fortunately it's not quite as bad anymore.

There's plenty to do uptown, though our major museum (The Mint Museum of Art) is not located there. It's not far away though.

Some things to do uptown of interest include The Mint Museum of Craft+Design and Discovery Place, our science museum. Discovery Place is currently hosting Body Worlds. And if you're a Harry Potter fan, they're showing OotP in IMAX.

You might also like to check out NODA, our Arts district. If you come on a Gallery Crawl weekend, NoDa is wonderful. Lots of interesting people & art.

Another place of interest might be the nearby Reed's Gold Mine which was the first gold mine in the US. We've also got a Aviation Museum, fitting since NC is where The Wright Brothers first flew.
posted by aristan at 5:41 PM on July 27, 2007

As someone who finally escaped living Charlotte (I was there for 15 years), believe me when I say it's not a wonderful place to live either. If you want to walk places, you're definitely going to be out of luck. The only interesting tourist-y thing to do is go to Discovery Place, and there is zero historical district. As mentioned above, Asheville and Charleston (I particularly love Charleston) are definitely better bets.
posted by version control at 6:32 PM on July 27, 2007

No. Charlotte blows. Unless you particularly enjoy outlet shopping.
posted by greta simone at 11:04 PM on July 27, 2007

Former Charlotte resident speaking. There isn't much to do there. Very little touristy stuff around. The state is wonderful and has a lot of historical sites (e.g. Civil War, President Polk birthplace, antebellum plantations, Original 13 Colonies-type stuff), but Charlotte isn't the place to see any of it.

Asheville is beautiful. Definitely drive there. Since you'll have a car, the Blue Ridge Parkway is not to be missed.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:19 PM on July 27, 2007

Charlotte resident here, generally agreeing with the above.
But, if you're on your way from one place to antoher and need to cross paths with urban sprawl, [instead of just desiring a kickin' trip], I believe you could construct a pretty good eating-your-way-to-a-coronary type of schedule. There is souhtern food to die for [perhaps too literally] in this town.
But beyond a trip to Price's Chicken Coop, the Penguin, and King's BBQ, you could skip the place althogether.
posted by rubberfish at 5:54 AM on July 28, 2007

I just moved away from Charlotte and miss it terribly. I think NoDa is worth researching if you like arts districts. Be sure to go when things are open, though. And don't miss eating at Mellow Mushroom.

Otherwise, the recommendations to go to Asheville are right on. There you will have a nice mix of scenery/nature, history and ecclectic shopping.
posted by bristolcat at 10:32 AM on July 28, 2007

Carolina resident. Charlotte bores me but Greensboro is great (about an hour and half away). Greensboro has a cute downtown and a lot of stuff to do. Personal preference.
posted by Ajit AP at 8:55 PM on July 28, 2007

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