Start your NASCAR engines for some Charlotte fun. Brace yourself for Queen City fun from cultural hot-rodding from ballet to rock to art in the city’s massive performing arts centers, galleries, and concert venues. Release your inner super-fan at a pro football or basketball game. With all the fun things to do here, your visit to this fine city will be a memorable one. From Uptown eateries to NoDa galleries. From major local attractions to intimate music venues so good the line goes around the building, there’s plenty to do, see, taste, and hear in this North Carolina gem. Here are a few Stay Alfred faves...
Throw down the roundball with the Charlotte Hornets. Find out if chameleons have a favorite color at Discovery Science, or catch the opera at the Blumenthal Performing Arts center! Charlotte’s major attractions await!
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Gentlepeople, start your Uber app, and catch a ride on over to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Located 13 miles from the center of Queen City but well worth the trip, NASCAR races at Charlotte Motor Speedway are the area’s biggest attraction, and fun to watch live at least once even if the vrooom-vrooom of motor sports isn’t your bag. The speedway hosts events such as the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, the NASCAR All-Star Race mid May, and the Bank of America Roval 400 late September, to name a few, and there’s plenty of NASCAR memorabilia and other fun stuff to check out even if you’re here on a non-race day.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Catch more NASCAR action right in Uptown Charlotte at Queen City’s NASCAR Hall of Fame, a highly-interactive racing museum that’s fun for those new to NASCAR and for longtime fans of the sport, too. Learn about stock-car driving greats past and present, and experience a bit of NASCAR race history in the hall theater with point-of-view footage lifelike enough to scare the bejeezus out of you without actually going into a spin at 180 mph.
Along with NASCAR fun and excitement, Charlotte is a great place to catch a pro football or basketball game, too. Gridiron fans can catch Carolina Panthers football home games at Bank of America Stadium starting in September with potential championship games as late as February. Hoops fans can watch the Charlotte Hornets throw it down in home games at Spectrum Center starting in late October with potential championship games into April.
Levine Museum of the New South
A great place to connect with the Charlotte community and a fun spot for history buff bliss, Levine Museum of the New South features interactive exhibits exploring the post-Civil War South and the people that fought for social change to make the region the great place it is today. The museum also houses over 1,000 artifacts illustrative of life in the region, and Levine in-house historians are not only incredibly informative, they’re just great folks to talk to, too!
Discovery Place Science
Got a budding gardener in your group? An armchair entomologist? Curious whether or not chameleons have a favorite color? Head on over to Charlotte’s Discovery Place Science center. Along with traveling exhibitions of ecosystems far and wide, Discovery Place lets you work on your green thumb in the garden exhibit, and offers a series of other hands-on learning opportunities in architecture, human anatomy, and more. You can also take a walk through the only indoor rainforest in Charlotte. Discovery Place is sure to entertain kids large and small!
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Your one-stop venue for local symphony, opera, dance, theater, and film, plus a photography museum to boot, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is another must-see when visiting Queen City. The Blumenthal complex houses the Belk Theater, Booth Playhouse, and Stage Door Theater, with Belk Theater seating over 2,000 and hosting events from grand opera to rock. Check the schedule and make a day of it!
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Art aficionados can peruse works by some of the most important and influential artists of the mid 20th century at Charlotte’s Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. You’ll get to see works by Miró, Giacometti, Picasso, Calder, Hepworth, Nicholson, Warhol, Tinguely, Ernst, Le Corbusier, Chillida and many others. And, even the building itself, an elegant affair with four stories filled with natural Charlotte light, is a delightful experience. Another Charlotte must-see for sure!
Entertainment & Nightlife
Whether you’re up for huge crowds at a big concert or a venue intimate enough for you and your date to interact with the performer, Queen City delivers a diverse array of performance and entertainment options certain to make for a special night out on the town.
AvidXchange Music Factory
One of Charlotte’s premier entertainment spots for music and dining, AvidXchange Music Factory has no shortage of exciting eateries and bars, plus two of Charlotte’s biggest and most popular concert venues. Easy to walk to from any Uptown Stay Alfred travel apartment, AvidXchange is also home to hip nightclubs and full-time comedy act venues where hilarity abounds. Got work to do? Grab your laptop and head on over to AvidXchange’s Explict Bistro & Lounge, a shared workspace for pros, then stay for a drink or great entertainment when you’re done!
From local Charlotte performers to acts from around the world, Evening Muse offers eclectic shows including acoustic folk, electronica, alternative, Americana, blues, country and whatever genre you can squeeze in between. Also offering a tasty lineup of brews, wines and spirits, plus walls filled with original art and an open floor plan in a small space, Muse is a great spot to mingle with locals (maybe starting in the line to get into this popular joint). Located in the NoDa Arts District in Historic North Charlotte, come early and enjoy heaps of great galleries, shops, and restaurants before the show!
If you haven’t gotten your ab workout in today, you’ll get it laughing your belly off on Charlotte’s Funny Bus. A comedy show on wheels, Funny Bus takes you on a 90-minute tour through Charlotte’s best neighborhoods as a comedian guide shares jokes regarding the history and architecture of the spots you pass. Best of all, the Funny Bus is BYOB, so it’s a great way to pre-function while you get to know the town a little better. What’s not to like?
A bustling live music venue hosting local and national performances, Charlotte’s Neighborhood Theatre is the perfect venue for catching an old band you used to love or for seeing a new band you’ll want to stream up back home in that Stay Alfred travel apartment living room. From rock to electronica to 90s tribute nights, hip hop and more, Neighborhood Theatre delivers the tunes you love.
Dining, Drinks, & Fun
Fast-growing Charlotte has come into its own over the past decade on the dining front, too. With destination eateries, chef-driven food trucks, and breweries with remarkably tasty victuals cropping up all over town, Queen City is a foodie’s paradise that can’t be ignored.
La Belle Helene
A complete shot in the dark for sure, but if you’re at all a fan of to-die-for roasted chicken with rosemary and garlic Yukon gold potatoes, say, cooked on a rotisserie custom-made in France, and served in a breathtakingly elegant venue, then this little French brasserie in Uptown is your spot. Other great lunch, brunch, and dinner options include anything from gourmet avocado toast to steak to dreamlike desserts. And, along with the tasty eats and great wine and beer selection, you get a friendly atmosphere you won’t want to leave.
As if your upscale digs at Stay Alfred aren’t regal enough, you’ll be treated like a traveling dignitary at Charlotte’s King's Kitchen, too. And, with this non-profit eatery getting its ingredients from local farmers with some proceeds going to local charities, you’re eating tasty Southern cuisine in style and feeling good about it while you chow down. We love the Copain Country Panini with pimento, toms and arugula, but we won’t “arugula” with you if you go for the Oyster Po’ Boy!
Charlotte skyline views and tasty victuals abound at Queen City’s Soul Gastrolounge. Get here early because Soul does not take reservations, though the food’s well worth a wait. We’re talking Lamb lollipops with rosemary, pork belly tacos with watermelon salsa, fresh sushi, fried Brussels sprouts, and more – plenty of options from Soul’s enticing menu. Plus you get to kick back with a yummy local brew or some vino and enjoy the view!
FEAST Food Tours
Too many dining options to decide? How about this walking tour of a whole slew of them throughout several Charlotte neighborhoods? With FEAST Food Tours, you’ll burn calories going from restaurant to restaurant; enjoying a taste of local culture as expert guides fill you in on the eats as you sample them. Check out the schedule and enjoy!
Up for a brew or two, or three, or, yeah...we know how that goes, Charlotte is loaded with breweries sure to please. From Olde Mecklenburg Brewery to Sycamore Brewing, to Resident Culture Brewing Company and Divine Barrel Brewing, we can’t choose which you should hit first, so try ‘em all..and tap Uber.
Green Space & Outdoor Fun
Charlotte has plenty of green spaces and outdoor options for getting your own steps in or for burning built up kid energy. Whether you’re out for a solid session of cardio or just want to get some vitamin D, here are some of Queen City’s best spots to commune with Mother Nature.
Featuring roller coasters, live music, funnel cakes and more, Carowinds is a great spot to wear out little legs that’ve spent too much time on the road or in the air. With fourteen world-class roller coasters, Carowinds is the real deal when it comes to theme parks, and is sure to thrill even the rowdiest riders. It’s also adjacent Carolina Harbor, and an all-inclusive waterpark that’s great for beating the late-summer Charlotte heat. So check those out, too!
McGill Rose Garden
If you’re staying in NoDa, nothing beats a stroll to The McGill Rose Garden as an early morning wake-up. This charming outdoor space is home to a grove of shade trees protecting several rose gardens you’ll love to stop and smell. If you’re here in the evening, there are plenty of cool bars and galleries in NoDa to check out, too!
Park Road Park
OK ballers, Park Road Park is a huge sports complex near SouthPark shopping complex, offering 122 acres of green space fun, including eight basketball courts, two horseshoe pits, six baseball fields, plus volleyball and tennis courts with plenty of space for any takers. Bring a picnic basket and dine in any of five picnic shelters, let the kids run wild on the playground, or enjoy a stroll around the lake!
Festivals & Events
From craft beer festivals to local culture events, music extravaganzas and more, Charlotte offers fun events year-round that are truly great ways to experience Queen City. Here are just a few.
Moo and Brew Fest, April
The largest craft beer and burger festival in North Carolina, Moo and Brew Fest is held each April and always includes a great lineup of national musical acts.
Taste of Charlotte, June
A three-day festival boasting food samples from area restaurants, plus live entertainment and children's activities, a Taste of Charlotte on Queen City’s Tryon Street is a great way to get out and get to know the city. A quick walk from your cozy Stay Alfred, the event spans six city blocks from Stonewall to 5th Street!
Charlotte Pride, August
Drawing nearly 150,000 revelers and spectators from around the country each year, Charlotte Pride is the largest LGBTQ event in North Carolina, and a great way to bond with Carolinans from all corners of the state and walks of life.
Yiasou Greek Festival, September
One of Charlotte’s biggest cultural events, the award-winning Yiasou Greek Festival features Hellenic cultural exhibits, authentic Greek cuisine, great entertainment including live music and dancing, plus wine tastings, art exhibits, shopping booths and more!
Breakaway Music Festival, Early October
One of Avid Music Factory’s biggest annual events, Breakaway Music Festival features cutting-edge hip hop and electronic music artists and DJs. Very walkable from your Uptown Stay Alfred, this is a can’t-miss Charlotte event if you’re planning an October visit.
Carolina Renaissance Festival, Weekends, October and November
On the off chance you haven’t gotten in your jousting session today, here’s the event for you. The Carolina Renaissance Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays October and November and is one of the largest renaissance fests in the country. The event boasts 11 stages of outdoor variety entertainment, a 22-acre village marketplace, plus an interactive circus, an arts and crafts fair, the aforementioned jousting tournament, and a massive feast.
Make Stay Alfred your place in Charlotte
As you can see, there’s plenty to do in Charlotte, and booking a Stay Alfred travel apartment puts it all just steps away. With Stay Alfred, you get all the conveniences you miss when you book a hotel room, including great amenities, a full kitchen, a comfy living room, and more. And, because we’re professionally managed, you won’t find the surprises that come with typical Charlotte vacation rentals. So make Stay Alfred your place in Charlotte by booking today. Oh, and you’ll find Stay Alfred travel apartments in plenty of other cities, too! Happy travels!