In Charlotte, the downtown area is not called downtown. It is called uptown! And my hotel is smack dab in the center of southern Uptown, serving as the perfect location to explore the city by foot.
My hotel the Westin Charlotte is located right next to the convention center, and I spent much of my free time exploring the surrounding areas. Uptown is actually a really pretty downtown area, with lots of fountains and statues.
I started by walking up College street to The Green, a lovely literary park in between College and Tyron street. It has signs of cities around the US to create names of famous writers, with a central set of signs pointing to all the different Charlotte’s around the US.
I continued by Tyron street and over on 3rd street to check out Romare Breden Park, at the end of which you’ll run into the local ballpark. Then I continued north until I reached the Johnson and Wales campus. My sister attends Johnson and Wales Denver so I thought it would be fun to explore their Charlotte campus.
I returned back to the central uptown area by taking 5th street, where you will pass a bunch of restaurants. On the corner of College St and 5th St is the epicentre (sometimes called the Hub) which is a outdoor mall and shopping area. It is full of shops, restaurants, a bowling alley and movie theatre. It is a great community space for people to congregate, but it was a little bit too commercial/chain-filled for me.
On the east side of the Hub, you’ll find a station for the light rail. I love trains and this one is fancy! It runs from the center of the city all the way south, providing a super easy (and cheap) way to explore Charlotte.
I walked north from the Hub until I reached the 7th Street Market. Full of local food shops and grocery stores, this place reminds me of the Public Market in Milwaukee or Seattle. All indoors, its a great place to spend a few hours getting some reprieve from the summer heat. I stopped at Not Just Coffee to get a delicious ginger chai latte, a highlight of my food stops in the market.
I ended my walk at the Hyatt Charlotte, which has a swanky rooftop bar where you can get a beautiful view of the skyline at eye level. Take the elevator all the way up to the top, and get out at Fahrenheit. It is a ritsy place and you’ll find some stylish southern belles all around you, but it’s worth a stop to grab a drink and take in the views. It was a little cloudy when I was there, so it wasn’t a great sunset, but I can imagine how beautiful it would be on a clear day!