Visiting Charlotte, North Carolina? Here’s Some of the City’s Must-Do Hotspots! 

Charlotte may not be North Carolina’s capital, but it’s certainly the largest and most visited city in the state. Often named one of the fastest growing metropolises in the United States, the “Queen City” has seen an influx of ambitious transplants and small business owners flock within its limits to make this Southern destination their new home.  

With a vibrant and nationally recognized food scene, visitors can’t help but make their way to the area to see if it truly lives up to the hype. And, well, we’ll be the first to say it certainly does. From James Beard-nominated chefs to expansive pedestrian districts filled with unique experiences, Charlotte is definitely worth the visit.  

If you’ve been thinking about checking out the QC, EBONY has curated this list of some of the top hotspots that only insiders know about. Add these to your itinerary if you want a true local encounter. 

Camp North End 

Davita Galloway, co-founder of Dupp & Swat. Image: courtesy of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

What was once an old Ford Motor Company factory has transformed over the last century (literally) to become one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Camp North End is a family-friendly and mostly pedestrian-only district that houses an array of locally-owned eateries, small and Black-owned businesses, cultural festivals, and wellness events throughout the year. 

Broken into smaller zones, the Boileryard is home to Dupp & Swat, a brother-and-sister-owned boutique that features local vendors, unique artwork and community events.  

If you are in town on a Tuesday, check out the ever-growing Mad Miles Run Club. This inclusive wellness community hosts weekly runs for people of all experience levels. After the run, there’s the “after party,” featuring a live DJ and emcee. During this time, runners can network with one another, sing along to their favorite songs as the DJ plays, and learn some of social media’s top dances with the rest of the crowd.   

Durag Fest. Image: Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Other things to check out include Fitteds CLT, a Black-owned hat boutique in the Keswick District featuring a range of sports teams and cities; the annual Durag Festival, which will take place June 21 and 22, 2024; and Kicks & Fros, a fun Black woman-owned sneaker business housed in a customized airstream. 

Archive CLT 

archive clt
Image: courtesy of Archive Charlotte.

Owner Cheryse Terry has always had an affinity for ephemera—items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed. She grew to love and understand the importance of preserving culture and history through said memorabilia and started her own collection of EBONY magazines.  

Rather than keeping these valuable works to herself, she made them the focal point of her coffee shop, Archive CLT. Located in the historic Washington Heights neighborhood, one of Charlotte’s predominantly Black areas, Terry pours back into the community while building a legacy. 

“It wasn’t like I was looking all over town for a brick-and-mortar space,” she previously told EBONY. “Being in this community near historically Black West Charlotte High School and being a Black businesswoman, I have the ability to change the trajectory. I just want to be impactful in any way that I can.” 

The cozy coffee and bookshop features a menu of hot and cold drinks, weekly community-led events like spoken word or book signings, and retail space where guests can purchase hard-to-find pieces of ephemera for their collections. 

Mint Museum Uptown 

Mint Museum
Mint Museum. Image: Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Art lovers, you’ll certainly get your fix at the Mint Museum Uptown, one of the city’s many state-of-the-art museums with rotating exhibitions that appeal to all interests. Centrally located and accessible by public transportation, you can check out a range of works across all mediums from artists worldwide. 

Some exhibits to plan your visit around this year include Whitfield Lovell: Passages, which will be on display beginning June 29, 2024. This is the first time Lovell’s two major installations, Deep River (2013) and Visitation: The Richmond Project (2001) will come together publicly. There will also be a selection of freestanding assemblages and works on paper from his acclaimed Kin series (2008–2011) and Spell Suite (2019–2020), as well as the premiere presentation of Card Pieces II.  

Once you’ve perused the galleries, grab a seat at Mariposa, the museum’s adjoining restaurant. The menu offers various entrées, cocktails and more. There’s even a weekend jazz brunch too.  

Middle C Jazz 

Jazz at Middle C.
Audience members engage with soulful performances over libations at Middle C Jazz. Image: Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Deemed Charlotte’s “new home for cool,” Middle C Jazz is where all the cool kids hang out. Whether you pop in for a weekend show or after work, you can guarantee you’ll be treated to the soothing sounds of some of the best live performers in the region. 

If you need an idea of some of the notable acts that have graced the stage in the past, think in the realm of Noel Freidline and Maria Howell, the Ziad Jazz Quartet, Gerald Albright, Norman Brown, Veronica Swift, Samara Joy, Eric Darius, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler and more. Yes, it’s a true musical powerhouse roster. 

Jazz at Middle C
Jazz sets the tone and the mood at Middle C Jazz. Image: Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

The multipurpose space is perfect for catching live tunes, date nights or a night out with friends. It’s also a great place to grab a refreshing craft cocktail before a night out on the town. And if you’re looking to grab a bite, they’ve got you covered. Our favorite menu items include braised short ribs, crab cakes and Jamaican curry chicken.  

Updated: April 15, 2024 — 12:02 pm