The Bloom Mural

Charlotte Weekend Trip: The Perfect 3-Day Itinerary & Things To Do 2024

Are you looking for an exciting Charlotte weekend trip? 

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Charlotte, North Carolina, otherwise known as Queen City, is the perfect destination! With a vibrant city life and plenty of outdoor activities, it has something to offer everyone. There is so much fun to be had on a Charlotte Weekend Trip!

Here’s a guide to creating the ideal 3-day itinerary so you can make the most of your trip.

Short on time? Book the best hotels in Charlotte, NC, here:

Outside the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Uptown Charlotte NC
Ritz Carlton in Uptown Charlotte NC

Charlotte Weekend Trip Itinerary

Spending a weekend in Charlotte NC, is the perfect way to explore all the city offers. Stay at one of the many diverse and cozy hotels downtown to easily access all the attractions. 

Let’s break down what you can do over your Charlotte Weekend Trip.

Day 1: Visit the South End

👉 Explore Atherton Mill & Market

Address: 2000-2140 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

Atherton was once a textile mill in Charlotte.  Today it’s been transformed into a perfect destination for shoppers and foodies! 

Enjoy local boutiques and galleries which feature artwork from local and regional artists, and you can also browse unique handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing. 

For food lovers, you’ll find restaurants offering delicious meals from around the world. The outdoor plaza also hosts fun events like live music, movies, and farmers’ markets (every Saturday).

Atherton Mill Sign

👉 Stop for Lunch at Hawkers Asian Street Food

Address: 1930 Camden Rd #260, Charlotte, NC 28203

This popular restaurant serves dishes inspired by the street markets of Southeast Asia.

Hawkers Street Food Bar

Enjoy classic favorites like curry laksa ramen, roast duck bao buns, and Malaysian roti canai. But Hawkers also has unique creations such as pan-fried noodles, Hong Kong crispy chicken wings, and yaki udon. 

Hawkers Street Food Soup Dumplings

The drinks menu features beers from around the world and creative mocktails like Thai iced tea and Vietnamese coffee. With its bustling atmosphere, Hawkers Asian Street Food is sure to be a hit for locals and visitors alike.

Outside of Hawkers Asian

👉 Want something different? Stop by Bang Bang Burgers

Address: 235 W Tremont Ave #101, Charlotte, NC 28203

Bang Bang Burgers is the perfect spot for a tasty and indulgent meal. The restaurant’s menu features local ingredients and homemade sauces, with an emphasis on all-natural and organic ingredients. 

Try the signature Bang Bang Burger or switch it up with something from the ‘Build Your Own’ section. With nearly 20 toppings to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes.

Other burger favorites on the menu include the Cowboy (made with cheddar, bacon, and BBQ sauce on the side) and the pimento burger (topped with pimento cheese and tempura fried pickles). 

Pair your burger with sides like hand-cut fries or mac & Brussels sprouts with cilantro mayo. Wash it all down with one of their craft beers on tap from local breweries such as OMB, Triple C, Birdsong, and Legion.

👉 Explore the Mint Museum Uptown

Address: 500 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202

The Mint Museum in Uptown Charlotte is an exciting attraction for art enthusiasts of all ages. This contemporary museum features artwork from many different cultures and eras, including contemporary, European, and American art. 

General admission is free on Wednesday evenings from 5 – 9 pm; no tickets are needed in advance. 

Outside Mint Museum

To visit The Mint Museum, purchase tickets online or at the door. 

👉 Enjoy dinner at The Cellar at Duckworths

Address: 330 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202

The Cellar Sign

The Cellar at Duckworth’s is located downstairs of the Duckworth’s restaurant in the heart of Uptown. This prohibition-style speakeasy serves up an impressive selection of draft beers, hand-crafted cocktails, and an extensive wine list featuring a variety of old-world and new-world wines.  

For craft cocktails, make sure to try their smoked buttered pecan old-fashioned.  If you don’t drink, they also make amazing mocktails! 

The Cellar at Duckworths entry, fantastic part of a Charlotte Weekend Trip

Foodies will love the bar menu, which features items such as candied jalapeno bacon, caramelized Brussels sprouts, truffle mac and cheese, truffle fries, tuna tartare, short rib gyoza dumplings, and charcuterie boards with artisanal cheeses. 

Incredible Brussels Sprouts at The Cellar

Day 2: Explore NoDa (North Davidson)

NoDa is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Charlotte, NC. With its rich arts and entertainment scene, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Mural of a bunch of people in NoDa

👉 Coffee and Pastries at Amélie’s French Bakery & Café

Address: 136 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205

Sign and entrance for Amelie's

This charming bakery and café offers an array of freshly baked pastries, coffee drinks, and desserts. Their selection includes traditional croissants, macarons, muffins, quiches, and more. A very popular item on their menu is the salted caramel brownies.

The café offers all-day breakfast options in addition to their lunch and dinner menu items prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

Enjoy their fun atmosphere with a unique personality! 

Selection of pastries at Amelie's French Bakery

👉 Explore all the Street Art & Shops

In NoDa, you will find many small shops and galleries.  One place you can add to your list is the Pura Vida Worldly Art.  

Mural in NoDa is something to add to your list for the Charlotte Weekend Trip

Next, if you love art, check out all the murals. You’ll find a collection of vibrant and creative murals adorning the walls and buildings throughout the neighborhood. Part of what makes this area so unique is these works of art, which add color and energy to the streetscape.

Colorful Mural in NoDa

These murals were created by local artists who showcase their talent with each piece they create. They range from abstract designs to depictions of historical events or figures, and you’ll find different themes such as nature, music, and social justice.

Fun Mural in NoDa, fantastic part of a Charlotte Weekend Trip

The murals in NoDa CLT have become landmarks of the neighborhood and draw in many visitors. You will even find art on the trash receptacles.  

Make sure to check out the ‘Bloom’ mural, painted by local artist Osiris Rain in 2017, it features bright colors and an abstract design. The mural has been updated due to a contractor mistakenly painting over the mural.  The lotus flower in the mural has several potential meanings.  

The Bloom Mural

If you want to explore outside of the NoDa area for art, check out the Lovers Art Trail in Charlotte, which features art in the South End, NoDa, Plaza-Midwood, and the EastSide.

👉 Explore the NoDa Craft Beer Trail

The NoDa Craft Beer Trail is a great way to explore the craft beer scene in Charlotte, NC. This self-guided tour takes you through 6 of the area’s top breweries in and around the NoDa neighborhood.

Beers upstairs at the Salud Cerveceria

The tour starts at Birdsong Brewery, which offers a variety of IPAs, stouts, and other seasonal releases. 

Then you’ll stop off at Optimist Hall, where you can enjoy both Fonta Flora brewery and many food options within Optimist Hall. Options include Boxcar Betty’s, Harriet’s Hamburgers, Papi Queso, Velvet Taco, The Dumpling Lady, and more!  It’s a great place to enjoy lunch for the day.

Optimist Hall

Next on the list is Free Range Brewing; they specialize in farmhouse ales, sours, and IPAs.  

outside Heist Brewery

From there you can experience the creative brews from many different locations such as Heist Brewery, Protagonist Clubhouse, Salud Beer Shop, The Chamber by Wooden Robot, NoDa Brewing Co, and Brawley’s Beverage Co. All of these breweries are located along the NoDa Craft Beer trail, and offer award-winning ales and lagers.

Outside the Salud Beer Shop

The NoDa Craft Beer Trail allows you to explore all that the local craft beer scene has to offer while learning more about each brewery’s unique history and craftsmanship. Whether you’re already a fan of craft beer or just looking for a fun way to experience something new, this trail is sure to have something for everyone!

NoDa Wooden Robot The Chamber Brewery

👉 Enjoy dinner at Cabo Fish Tacos

Address: 3201 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205

Cabo Fish Taco is a Baja Mexican-inspired restaurant; featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Cabo provides a vibrant atmosphere to enjoy delicious tacos, burritos, and other fresh Mexican fares. You’ll find their flagship store in NoDa.   

Cabo Fish Taco Outside

The menu includes shrimp tacos, mango BBQ mahi mahi fish tacos, honey-glazed salmon tacos, and burritos. 

Cabo Fish Tacos

Day 3: Outdoor Adventure

Enjoy all the great outdoor activities Charlotte has to offer!

👉 Enjoy The U.S. Whitewater Center

Address: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway Charlotte, NC 28214

The U.S Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, is an outdoor recreation and adventure facility that offers something for everyone! 

Located on the Catawba River, the center features a 6,300ft artificial whitewater river with artificial rapids along with several other outdoor activities such as mountain biking, zip-lining, and stand-up paddle boarding. 

Ropes Course at Whitewater Center

The center also provides educational programs, including certification courses for whitewater sports and classes about aquatic ecology. 

Choose from several activities, including mountain biking trails, ropes course, zip-lining, rock climbing, guided tour with whitewater rafting, stand-up paddle boarding, or kayaking on the Catawba River and Long Creek.  During the summer, they also have a live music series called River Jam.  

You can purchase a single activity pass or an all-access day pass.  

They also have several food and beverage options, including River’s Edge, The Trail Center, The Market, Pump House Biergarten, and Outfitters.  They have everything from full service to grab-and-go food options.  Plus, they have craft beer and wine.  

The U.S. Whitewater Center hosts many events and live music throughout the year.  

You could spend a whole day here.

Whitewater Center Climbing Wall

👉 Dinner from the Rooftop

Choose Dinner from Fahrenheit Charlotte or Aura Rooftop

✔️ Fahrenheit

Address: 222 S Caldwell St 21st Floor, Charlotte, NC 28202

Fahrenheit Charlotte is the city’s premier rooftop restaurant and bar in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, NC. It offers stunning views of the city skyline along with an upscale atmosphere that attracts locals and visitors alike. If you want to enjoy a beautiful sunset from Uptown, this is a perfect place to go.  

The menu features modern American cuisine, including small plates like short rib buns, lobster mac & cheese, ahi tuna, and signature cocktails and wines.

Fahrenheit Charlotte blends modern design, breathtaking views, excellent service, and delicious food for a delightful experience in Uptown Charlotte.

Make sure to make reservations in advance, and proper attire is required.  


Address: 124 E Brooklyn Vlg Ave, Charlotte, NC 28202

Aurora Rooftop is an exciting rooftop bar and lounge located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, NC. The vibrant space offers visitors breathtaking views of the city skyline and provides a unique atmosphere to hang out.

The menu at Aurora Rooftop features classic cocktails like the old-fashioned plus craft beers and wines.  Enjoy innovative bites such as brisket sliders, ahi tuna tacos, avocado hummus, chicken satay, pineapple salsa, and burnt-end lollipops. 

Enjoy these delicious offerings and weekly events like DJ sets, trivia nights, art shows, and more. 

Aurora Rooftop also has a full-service bar specializing in local craft beer and spirits for those seeking an exciting nightlife experience in Uptown Charlotte. Make sure to make reservations in advance. 

A Few Extra Unique Things To Do In Charlotte

Explore Uptown Charlotte on a Segway Tour: Experience the city’s vibrant atmosphere up close and personal with a guided Segway tour of Uptown.

✅ Visit the NASCAR Hall Of Fame: Fans of auto racing will love learning about one of America’s favorite pastimes at this popular attraction.

Outside NASCAR

✅ Enjoy a Charlotte’s Historical City Tour: Explore Charlotte aboard a 7-person golf cart on this small-group tour of the area. With a local guide at the wheel, visit popular landmarks in Uptown. 

Haunted Charlotte Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: Have fun on this walking tour and pub crawl through the historic district. Listen to your guide recount spooky stories of Charlotte’s ghosts while you explore the area. This tour stops at several bars, where you can purchase drinks and explore landmarks like the Dunhill Hotel and Old Settlers Cemetery.

✅ Have fun at Carowinds Amusement Park: Popular attractions include Fury 325, the world’s longest steel coaster, and Nighthawk, a flying coaster. Carowinds also has a water park, Carolina Harbor, the largest in the Carolinas. 

Carowinds during WinterFest
Carowinds during their WinterFest

✅ Check Out Discovery Place Science Museum: Learn about science, technology, engineering, and math with this museum’s interactive exhibits and educational shows.

Where To Stay in Charlotte For A Long Weekend

📍Best Budget Option: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charlotte Uptown
Located in Charlotte, a 5-minute walk from Spectrum Center, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charlotte Uptown provides accommodations with free bikes, private parking, a fitness center, and a restaurant. The property is a 10-minute walk from the NASCAR Hall of Fame

📍Best Mid-Range Option: Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
Set in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, this Kimpton hotel offers crafted cocktails and shareable bar snacks at Merchant & Trade, a Modern-style rooftop bar 19 levels above Romare Bearden Park. 

📍Best Luxury Option: The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, offers luxurious rooms. Facilities include an indoor pool and spa. 

Outside the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Uptown Charlotte NC

Visiting Charlotte: FAQ

All the things you need to know before visiting Charlotte NC

Is Charlotte, NC, worth visiting?

Yes, Charlotte, NC, is worth visiting! With its vibrant culture, diverse attractions, and exciting outdoor activities, Charlotte is a great place to explore

Whether you’re looking for entertainment, shopping, or educational opportunities, there’s something for everyone in the city. 

Plus, you can enjoy the delicious cuisine of local restaurants and take in the stunning views of the Carolina skyline.

Picture of buildings in Uptown Charlotte

What is the best month to visit Charlotte, NC?

The best month to visit Charlotte, NC, depends on what type of experience you’re looking for. If you want to take in the local culture, August and September are great times to visit because of the city’s exciting festivals and events. 

If you’re interested in outdoor activities like hiking or biking, April is the perfect time for sunny days and mild temperatures. And if mild winter weather is your thing, then December is the ideal time for a visit. 

No matter what time of year you decide to go, Charlotte has something fun to offer!

How do I get around in Charlotte?

Getting around Charlotte is easy, and you have plenty of options, including public buses, taxis, Uber, and Lyft.

Light Rail

A popular choice for the locals includes The LYNX Blue Line, a light rail transit that stops off in the NoDa at the 36th Street Station.  For the South End, the stop would be East/West Station for Atherton Mill.

Light Rail in NoDa 36th St Stop

You can also rent a car for short trips or the entire stay. Biking and walking are efficient ways to explore the city and take in the sights. 

If you want to experience Charlotte like a local, try out one of their scooter-sharing services, Bird or Lime!

Bird Scooter on the Sidewalk

What should I pack for a weekend in Charlotte?

If you’re planning a weekend trip to Charlotte, there are a few things you should consider bringing.  Be sure to pack clothes for any type of weather – rain or shine! Make sure you have comfortable shoes for walking and hiking. 

Depending on your activities, you may also choose to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Remember to pack extras like an umbrella, bug spray, water bottle, and snacks. 

Finally, don’t forget your camera so that you can capture all of Charlotte’s beauty!

The Wrap-Up: Charlotte Weekend Trip

Charlotte, NC is an excellent destination for a weekend trip. From the vibrant culture and music scene to the plethora of outdoor activities, Charlotte has something for everyone! 

With ample transportation options and plenty of things to do and see, visitors can quickly fill their weekend with fun experiences

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or peaceful relaxation, you cannot go wrong with a Charlotte Weekend Trip!

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