North Carolina’s largest city is more than just NASCAR races and saucy barbecue—although there’s plenty of that, too! It’s also home to adorable boutiques, upscale wine bars, and scenic parks.


"I love Charlotte, especially the Uptown Neighborhood, which is actually downtown... but I'll let you figure that out!"—Rach

charlotte trolley
Credit: Photography by Getty Images

SOCO Galley

Along with artists' exhibitions (past spotlights include painters Jackie Gendel and Elliott Puckette), this art gallery and bookshop in Myers Park hosts talks with artists and book signings in a renovated 1920s bungalow. 

soco gallery
Credit: Courtesy of SOCO Gallery

Freedom Park

Got the kids in tow? Take them to this 98-acre park, nestled between Charlotte's Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods, and check out the NFL Play 60 KidZone, a state-of-the-art play space funded by the Carolina Panthers charity. There's an obstacle course, a 40-yard dash, a photo booth, and even a peptalk station featuring messages from Panthers players.

freedom park
Credit: Courtesy of Freedom Park

Foxcroft Wine Co.

Bottles are available to go at this wine bar and retail store, which has locations in Charlotte's Dilworth and SouthPark neighborhoods. With a wide vino selection, a charming atmosphere, and small plates like three-cheese flatbread and lamb sliders, you'll definitely want to stay.

Check out Boutiques like Capitol, Poole Shop, and Tabor

Each of these clothing boutiques from Charlotte native Laura Vinroot Poole has its own focus. Capitol (below) is devoted to luxury designers (Céline, Valentino); Poole Shop spotlights contemporary and emerging brands (Citizens of Humanity, Lemlem); and Tabor carries men's stuff.

capitol clothing
Credit: Courtesy of Capitol

Midwood Smokehouse 

This smokehouse chain offers real-deal Southern 'cue, from hickory-smoked pork to fatty beef brisket. Plus, it's got a presidential seal of approval: Barack Obama paid a visit in 2016.

bbq charlotte
Credit: Courtesy of Midwood Smokehouse

The Ivey's Hotel

When you're not luxuriating in the Italian linens at this boutique hotel in Uptown, you can take advantage of its proximity to the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Bank of America Stadium. From $249 per night

Credit: Courtesy of the Ivey's Hotel