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Weekend City Guide to Charlotte, NC

As a former Charlotte resident, I have a number of favorite spots in the Queen City. From restaurants and fitness studios to walking trails and nightlife, this list is sure to get you around town like a local! As a growing city, new businesses and hot spots pop up in Charlotte every day. Because of that, I reached out to some of my friends that still live in the QC for their suggestions as well – and they did NOT disappoint!

Where To Eat In Charlotte

Cantina 1511

This is my all-time favorite Tex-Mex spot. Not just in Charlotte – anywhere. The food is BOMB and the ambiance of the restaurant is just full of energy. There are two things you absolutely MUST have when you go. One being the Five Cheese Queso Fundido. The. Best. Queso. Ever. I know that’s saying a lot but trust me. It’s thick and cheesy and has a surprise at the bottom – caramelized onions. I could go on and on but for the sake of your time I won’t. The next thing I highly recommend is a pitcher of margaritas. They are not stingy with the margaritas in this place! The pomegranate is my personal favorite but you really can’t go wrong with any of them!

Ru San’s

They have a sushi buffet for lunch! Are you kidding me? I used to hit this place up multiple times per week! When I was last there, the buffet was only $12 and it is LEGIT. Just ask anyone in Charlotte. Pro tip: Show up early or prepare to wait. They get super busy (for obvious reason) but it’s worth it!

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The Summit Room

This is the place to go if you’re looking for some tasty (and kinda fancy) Southern food and amazing cocktails! Oh, and that picture above? Yeah that’s an Elk rack? I mean, who does that? Yum!

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

This is a suggestion from Zachery T on Facebook.. He says OMB has “Great beers, great atmosphere and food,” and is a “fun place to spend with friends with outdoor patio and weekly events”!

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If you’re looking to get some amazing sushi around dinner time, check out O-ku. @missmess13 agrees that they have the best sushi in Charlotte! She also suggests you try the Yuzu Mule and the Potato roll!

Terrace Cafe

Red velvet waffles. Filet benedict. These are just a couple of my favorite dishes at Terrace Cafe! They even have fried green tomatoes (served with pimento cheese). If you’re looking for brunch hit this place up!!

Kid Cashew

This mediterranean spot is a favorite among locals. @missmess13 says they have “amazing salmon, and Greek inspired dishes … AND super cool Joanna Gaines looking decor. They don’t even have a fryer! Everything is fresh and woodfired! Great patio, too!”

Things To Do

Paddleboaring at the Whitewater Center

Did you know the U.S National Whitewater Center is located in the Charlotte area? Well it is and it’s awesome. If you love outdoor sports, this is the place to go! They have kayaking, paddle boarding, zip lining, whitewater rafting and more! They even have bike trails and hiking paths. If you’re feeling hungry, you can head over to their restaurant and grab some grub and a beer. Or, you can go shopping in their store! This place really has something for everyone!

Beer and Hotdogs at BB&T Ball Park

You don’t have to be a huge baseball fan to enjoy game at this stadium! If for no other reason than the cheap beer, hotdogs, and skyline views you should add this to your list of things to do while in Charlotte!

Take Pics with Murals in NODA

NoDa is Charlotte’s Art’s district and it’s full of character. There are tons of bars and restaurants, as well as couple of random shops. This is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a chill night out with friends. Just make sure you stop by Amelie’s on your way home – its a super cool coffee shop/bakery that’s open 24/7!

Charlotte is beautiful city full of great food and things to do! From kayaking at the Whitewater Center to watching a ballgame in city center, there are many reasons to visit the Queen City. This post by former local, Ginger Marie, points out some favorite spots that you probably wouldn't find as a tourist.
Photo shot by Instagrammer, @careymeawayy
Take a Hike at Crowder’s Mountain

If you’re the outdoorsy type, or just want a painfully beautiful hike, head to Crowder’s Mountain! It’s located right outside of Charlotte and is a local favorite for exercising near the city. You are basically walking uphill for about 30 minutes or so. It’s no easy feat but the view when you get to the top is breathtaking.

Watch the Planes at CLT Airport Overlook

Voted as one of the best overlook’s in the country, the CLT overlook should not be missed. There are picnic tables if you want to go for lunch, or you can just chill in your car and watch the planes take off.

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Take a Stroll on Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Take a bike ride or light walk along Little Sugar Creek Greenway, right outside of Uptown Charlotte. The greenway goes right along a streaming creek and ends in Freedom Park! Along one part of the greenway is a Target, restaurants, and shopping. On the other end is a quiet walkway where you’re sure to see some ducks, fish, and maaaaybe a slithering snake (I’ve only ever seen them in the water). Nonetheless, its the perfect place for a stroll!

Charlotte Barreled at The Lift

This speakeasy comes highly recommended by @iam_gavinb. He says when you walk in, the bartender asks what type of liquor, whats your favorite fruit, and then you choose two adjectives from a list (like sweet and tangy) and they create your drink! He even said, “…on any (given) night they will have a DJ battle…but the thing is, its aspiring DJs. Sunday its Guest Bartender night. You can be the bartender, you just have to invite 10 friends and you keep your tips for the nights lol Their Hookah selection is dope too!!” How crazy is that?!

Nightlife in Charlotte


This massive location has restaurants, clubs, bars, a dine-in movie theater and a few shops as well. You chill outside on the rooftop patio, or get fancy with your friends and hit up one of the clubs located at Epicenter. Looking for a girl’s night destination? Hit up one of the wine bars. Epicentre has something for everyone.

Music Factory

If you love good music, you have to check out The Music Factory in Charlotte. No matter if you’re looking for a concert, a swanky club, or a tiny country bar – this is the place to get your fix. There’s even a comedy club and a daiquiri bar! I’m telling you, this place is legit.

Crave Dessert Bar

Got a late night sweet tooth? Crave is one of my favorite places to go for sweets! Plus they have some tasty hookah flavors and specialty cocktails.

Other Things You May Find Useful

Freedom House Church

If you’re looking for a church to attend while you’re in town, Freedom House is my old stomping grounds! It’s lively, welcoming, and always a good message.

Barnyard Flea Market

This is a huge flea market right outside of Charlotte. They literally have everything you could possibly want at a bargain! Vendors set up in the three buildings (and outside) on Saturdays and Sundays.

Polished Nail Bar

I used to go to this place for manis, pedis, and eyebrows! It’s a modern nail bar close to Uptown. They take reservations but walk-ins are always accepted!

Did I leave anything off this list? Put your suggestions in the comments below!



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Charlotte is beautiful city full of great food and things to do! From kayaking at the Whitewater Center to watching a ballgame in city center, there are many reasons to visit the Queen City. This post by former local, Ginger Marie, points out some favorite spots that you probably wouldn't find as a tourist.