24 Hours in Charlotte, Flickr: Daniel X. O'Neil

A Mint Museum Exhibit

You've just arrived off a Charlotte flight and have one full day to pack as many things in as you can. So where do you start? You first start by renting a car if you don't have one already, as Charlotte doesn't have the same public transportation system as larger metros. As the largest city in North Carolina and one of the largest in the south, you'll have to pass on some of the activities that are on the outskirts of the city, such as Carowinds, in order to see more of Charlotte.

First things first, you'll get a taste of international travel at Amelie's French Bakery in the NoDa neighborhood. Amelie's is renowned for its French pastries and espressos that are true to European style as they are hand pulled. Enjoy a cream danish or tea cake to go along with your espresso. While you're in NoDa, this is a great chance to explore the creativity and diversity of Charlotte. Enjoy walking in and out of a number of the great art galleries that line NoDa. Some weekends feature evening gallery crawls. Afterward, enjoy a light lunch from some of the nearby eclectic restaurants, which include Cajun, southern, and southwestern cuisine.

After most of the day being centered around food, this is a good chance to walk off some of those sweets and rich foods. Freedom Park is the “Central Park” of Charlotte and a great green space to enjoy a warm afternoon. From here, head uptown to the newly opened Mint Museum. The Mint Museum features several floors that highlight the best in art, from glass to ceramics to clothing and much more. Not to mention it's located in one of the most unique buildings in Charlotte.

If you really like art, you may consider a visit to Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, a recently established art museum that features the best of modern art. The unique architecture of the museum is worth the visit alone. Afterward, enjoy a night on the town in Uptown Charlotte, which is the city center. Here you'll find nearly 200 different bars and restaurants to choose from. You'll find multiple dive bars and wine lounges, many of which that have live music, which make for a great nightcap to your visit to Charlotte.

 

Photo: Daniel X. O'Neil

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