Charlotte, North Carolina’s Queen City, offers a wealth of experiences for families, all in a compact, walkable setting. A city of neighborhoods, you may want to rent a car for your explorations, but, if you don’t, you’ll still find plenty to do, see and enjoy within Charlotte’s bustling Uptown neighborhood, with its plentiful hotels, restaurants and museums.
The Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel offers guests an upscale experience imbued with southern hospitality. Book a one-bedroom, park-view king suite for plenty of space for the entire family, including a sitting area, separate bedroom and spacious bathroom (with a deep soaking tub that makes bath time for small children a little easier). The views of the city from the floor-to-ceiling windows are just the icing on the cake. The pet-friendly hotel provides an array of handy amenities, including rentable bicycles, complimentary coffee and tea service, complimentary social hours with drinks, a large fitness center, yoga deck with complimentary classes and use of a house car.
There are quite a few museums in the Uptown neighborhood, each offering a different experience.
The Levine Museum of the New South is an interactive museum with educational materials for the entire family. Learn how the South changed dramatically after the Civil War, and how the region’s populations adjusted to a new way of life and plotted a successful path forward, into the future.
You can visit two art museums in the neighborhood. Mint Museum Uptown features American, contemporary and European art, while the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art boasts an impressive collection of works from the 20th century on.
Children will love the hands-on science experiments at Discovery Place Science — family-favorite attractions include an aquarium, rainforest and IMAX theater.
For a walking, cycling or Segway tour, check out the options from Charlotte NC Tours. The enthusiastic staff will show you the best of Charlotte, whether you’re interested in learning more about the town’s history, haunted side or anything in between. Customized tours are available, so anything is possible. It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours exploring, with a local at the helm of your adventures.
Dine at The King’s Kitchen for a delicious menu of casual southern fare benefiting a good cause. The non-profit restaurant invests in the local, impoverished population, providing not only food to the hungry, but also training and education to those in need of work.
If you visit the Levine Museum of the New South or Discovery Place Science, you’ll be within a few blocks of 7th Street Public Market, where you’ll find an array of eateries serving delicious food at all hours. Pick up a hearty breakfast at Uptown Yolk (the cheesy grits and eggs are to die for) and then an energizing cup of coffee for the adults at Not Just Coffee.
If all the travelers in your party are adults — or if the parents have a chance to slip away for some alone time — bardo is an excellent spot to dine in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood. The small eatery focuses on artfully arranged small plates, with a regularly changing menu meticulously created for an impeccable dining experience. Try to grab a table near the open kitchen to watch the masterful chefs at work, and don’t pass up on a handcrafted cocktail from the bar.
BOTANIUM SMART GROWERS Indoor gardening is a great way to grow your own food, improve air quality and add a touch of natural beauty to your living space. Botanium takes the hassle out of the process thanks to a smart hydroponic system that works without soil and is impossible to overwater, a great feature for those not blessed with green thumbs. You can even leave it alone for weeks while you travel, as it takes care of the plant for you. The growers work with a number of herbs and lettuce, vegetables such as tomatoes and chili peppers, and even orchids. Botanium also sells nutrient pipettes to give your indoor garden a health boost in order to grow more of your chosen produce. From $73. botanium.se
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