To know: Charlotte sprouted out of the intersection of two Native American trading paths. Those paths became Trade and Tryon streets, and that intersection is the heart of Uptown. Not that long ago, Uptown became a virtual ghost town after 5 p.m. on a weekday. Things have changed, with trendy restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and innovative mixologists turning the area into a nightlife destination.
To eat: “Top Chef” fans should head toward 5Church for a taste of former contestant Chef Jamie Lynch’s signature dishes. Stoke in Marriott City Center, Evoke in Le Méridien and The Asbury in The Dunhill Hotel are out to prove hotel restaurants aren’t just for out-of-towners. For the best view in Uptown, dine 21 floors up on the rooftop patio at Fahrenheit. In historic Fourth Ward you’ll find Alexander Michael’s in a building that dates back to the 1800s. Order the What It Is. Trust us.
To drink: For the ultimate Charlotte cocktail experience head to The Punch Room, the intimate lounge on the 15th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, where celebrated mixologist Bob Peters turns drink making into a work of art. The folks at The Cellar at Duckworth’s and 204 North Kitchen & Cocktails are also making a splash on the drink scene, and Sophia’s Lounge offers an upscale experience in the brand new The Ivey’s Hotel.
To do: Wander past the shops and restaurants in Latta Arcade, one of the oldest buildings in Charlotte, and relax in one of Uptown’s parks, like Romare Bearden Park or The Green. Have a museum day with visits to Discovery Place, Levine Museum of the New South, The Mint Museum, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Ready to party? The aptly-named EpiCentre entertainment complex offers a wide array of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained late into the night.