Omni Charlotte Hotel
132 E. Trade Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

Weekend in Charlotte Itinerary

North Carolina’s largest city is known for its impeccable Southern charm, making it one of the most inviting cities on the East Coast. Historically, its focus has been on business, with major banking corporations like Bank of America and Wells Fargo operating out of the booming city. But it’s now flourishing in other ways as well, offering guests an inviting atmosphere, an array of museums and performing art centers, picturesque neighborhoods and the ever-popular Taste of Charlotte festival in the summertime. Whether it’s the city’s culture or hospitality that enchants you, you’ll likely find it hard to leave the Queen City.

Make your stay at Omni Charlotte Hotel even better by exploring this Southern city’s dining and cultural options with this two-day itinerary.

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Day One

Morning

Start your trip off right with one of the best breakfast buffets in the city—the best part is you don’t even have to leave the hotel. Located within Omni Charlotte Hotel, you’ll find Trade Restaurant & Bar serving up fresh baked breads and pastries and made-to-order omelets and more. Standouts on the regular breakfast menu also include things like a barbecue pork Benedict and cinnamon roll French toast.

If you’d prefer to venture outside the property, the eclectic Hazelnuts Creperie is only a couple blocks away. Serving up crepes ranging from the sweet S’mores a la Mode to the savory chipotle chicken crepe, options abound. They even have a special section of the menu dedicated to vegetarians as well.

A few blocks in the opposite direction, you’ll find Discovery Place Science, a museum created for those of all ages that showcases the intersection of science, technology and nature. Spend the morning exploring exhibits like World Alive, which details the world’s biodiversity and features the only urban rainforest in the Charlotte area. Other exhibits will keep you busy as well: Being Me reveals the uniqueness of the human body and Cool Stuff offers up strange and interesting phenomena.

After you finish at the science museum, motor over to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where you’ll find endless interactive experiences that showcase the heritage and history of the sport. From the Hall of Honor, featuring inducted racers, to racing simulators that capture the feel of race day, there is much to explore. Make sure to try your hand at the Pit Stop Challenge, too.

Photo courtesy of CharlottesGotaLot.com

Afternoon

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head northeast to the indoor 7th Street Public Market. This spot is perfect for those who can’t decide on one type of cuisine, as the food hall atmosphere lends itself to trying different things. With everything from sushi to baked goods to pizza, the market helps celebrate the food culture of Charlotte, incorporating ingredients from regional farmers and culinary artisans. For a more laidback option that still has a great variety, try nearby Dandelion Market. The trendy eatery was inspired by an Irish market in Dublin, and now serves fare from all over the world.

Another option is to skip lunch entirely and, instead, head out on a FEAST Food Tour. These walking tours are a great introduction to the culinary scene in Charlotte, connecting visitors with local restaurants, chefs and farmers. There are different tours in different neighborhoods, including Chef-Driven Dining in Uptown and Unwind & Dishes & Delights of Dilworth.

Depending on the weather, Charlotte is also a great place to take in a game: There are two sports teams that play less than a mile from the hotel. Just up the street, you’ll find BB&T Ballpark, home of the Charlotte Knights, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Chicago White Sox. A little further away, but still within walking distance, the state’s professional football team, the Carolina Panthers, play at the Bank of America Stadium.

Evening

A variety of the top national chains of gourmet steakhouses call Charlotte home, including the popular Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. The shared appetizer menu includes seared wagyu beef carpaccio, jumbo crab cakes with a Cajun lobster cream sauce and thick-cut bacon while the steakhouse’s entrée list features hand-cut filet mignon, bone-in prime rib eye and dry aged prime strip steak.

Nearby the Omni Charlotte Hotel is Sea Level, where seafood and Southern classics are paired. The eatery’s oyster bar is the perfect spot for farm-to-fork oysters while the sleek communal tables and cozy booths are great for enjoying fresh catch seafood, corn fritters, shrimp tempura, fish tacos, clam chowder, lobster rolls and more.

After dinner, enjoy a live performance at a local spot. The Blumenthal Performing Arts Theater is nearby and typically presents Broadway musicals, theatrical dramas, dance showcases, live concerts and orchestral performances.

For a different vibe, head over to the Epicentre. This nightlife hub is filled with high-energy nightclubs, like Suite and Kandy Bar, as well as the gritty Tin Roof and the sophisticated Champagne bar, Bubble. For some fabulous views, visit 210 Rooftop, a rooftop bar, or enjoy a few rounds of bowling at Strike City before heading back for the night.

Photo courtesy of CharlottesGotaLot.com

Day Two

Morning

There’s no way around it: When you visit the South, you have to have a Southern breakfast. Mert’s Heart and Soul offers the best comfort food around, and is only a couple blocks away. Start out with some fried green tomatoes before enjoying a breakfast of buttermilk pancakes, eggs served with catfish, country ham, organic yellow grits or a shrimp creole omelet. Or, sleep in and grab brunch at 204 North Kitchen & Cocktails, a rustic eatery offering dishes like biscuits and gravy, deviled eggs, a salmon brunch burger, chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits.

After dining on such a hearty meal, head to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway for a walk or leisurely run to work off some of the calories. The linear park is situated along a creek, offering pretty views of the greenery and miles of trails to explore.

Continuing the fitness trend, head back to the hotel for the rest of the morning and take advantage of the Charlotte Athletic Club. This connected fitness center features a state-of-the-art gym for guests to enjoy as well as classes on everything from cycling and yoga to high-intensity interval training and boxing.

Charlotte Athletic Club

Afternoon

While in town, be sure to stop by Cowbell Burger & Whiskey Bar for a burger you won’t find anywhere else. They also offer things like chicken sandwiches, tacos and wraps, but if you enjoy innovation, the more than 20 signature burgers can’t be beat, such as the Bruiser, created with a beef patty cooked with red wine as well as shiitake mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Another lunch option is Tupelo Honey Cafe, whose menu is filled with creative takes on classic Southern food using fresh ingredients. With craft cocktails mixed with house-made syrups and dishes like honey chipotle chicken wings, Carolina steak and eggs, fried chicken with biscuits and slow-roasted pork grilled cheese, it’s sure to be a hit amongst diners.

Spend the rest of the afternoon viewing others’ artwork at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, whose collection contains more than 1,400 pieces. Mostly mid-20th century modern art, the museum is home to pieces by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and more.

Photo courtesy of Tupelo Honey

Evening

Venture back to the hotel to change for a night out then head out to dinner. A visit to Loft & Cellar, one of Charlotte’s newest culinary gems, offers a few different experiences rolled into one. Start with a drink on the rooftop loft, which offers 360-degree views and prohibition-era cocktails, before heading downstairs to dine on modern global dishes like lamb shank with carrot chimichurri, pan-fried sea bass with wasabi aioli, curried goat and Southern pad Thai. Another choice, Aria Tuscan Grill, lies just across the street from the hotel. Aria presents an upscale dining experience with modern Italian fare dotting the menu. Consider sharing bruschetta or some grilled meatballs before enjoying crispy chicken Parmesan, wild mushroom pizza, gnocchi with rabbit ragout or butternut squash ravioli.

After dinner, if the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, owned by Michael Jordan, are in town, head over to The Hive for a great sports experience.

End your evening at Sydney’s Martini and Wine Bar. This uptown Charlotte favorite features more than 30 hand-crafted martinis, a large selection of international wines, and delicious small plates for sharing. Enjoy live jazz on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Photo courtesy of Loft and Cellar

If you have more time...

Stick close to town and visit the impressive U.S. National Whitewater Center. Though it’s less than 15 miles away from the center of town, you’ll feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of nowhere as you kayak, raft or canoe along the Catawba River.

For a historical experience, head about an hour southwest into South Carolina. There, you’ll find Brattonsville, a quaint Revolutionary War site that educates guests learn about the defeat of the British troops there in 1780. It features more than 30 historical buildings from the 1760s through the late 1800s.

The Omni Charlotte Hotel concierge team contributed to this article.

Photo courtesy of CharlottesGotaLot.com

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