Although Charlotte is a major business center, additional reasons people visit the city are for the great southern cuisine such as barbeque, historic neighborhoods and museums. Regional food to taste in Charlotte includes Carolina-style pulled pork, Brunswick stew and pimiento cheese, making it worthwhile to fly to Charlotte North Carolina for the food alone.
An artistic Charlotte neighborhood that is revered as a bohemian refuge is North Davidson, but most people just call it NoDa. This neighborhood has an assortment of live music, art, restaurants and boutiques. Another attraction in Charlotte is the Levine Museum of the New South, which hosts exhibits on post-Civil War southern history and culture.
When you fly to Charlotte North Carolina, you ll land at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). It is only 7 miles away from the city's center. Transportation options from the airport consist of taxi, bus (the Charlotte Area Transit System) and car rental. Don't be confused if you hear any locals talk about "Queen City" as that is Charlotte s local nickname. One of the major streets is Tryon St because it goes through the downtown area, which is referred to as Uptown by locals. Winters are cool in Charlotte, with temperatures ranging from 32 to 63 degrees. Summers on the other hand are warm, with temperatures averaging in the 80s.
Summers in Charlotte can be frustratingly hot, particularly if you’re not use to the South’s thick humidity. Beat the heat at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where a man-made re-circulating river offers Class III rafting just outside of downtown. The center also hosts River Jam, a summer-long concert series along the Catawba River. In town, pitch a picnic at Symphony Park during Charlotte Symphony’s Summer Pops series. And every Thursday, from May to September, head to Uptown’s Alive After Five at the EpiCentre, a block party–style concert series. In July, Restaurant Week is a good opportunity to sample Charlotte’s progressive dinner scene. Almost 100 restaurants participate in this weeklong celebration of food, with special three-course menus throughout downtown.
The heat begins to settle in September, when the city also hosts the BBQ and Blues Festival, the largest festival in the Southeast sanctioned by the Memphis Barbecue Network. Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council also sponsors the Cultural Free For All each September, featuring a series of free performances, exhibits, and hands-on workshops all month.
May is NASCAR season in Charlotte—which is, in fact, home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and 85 percent of NASCAR’s teams. In addition to the Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, both of which attract hundreds of thousands of motor-sports fans, there’s also the Speed Street 600 Festival. This multi-day celebration fills the streets of Uptown with memorabilia, driver appearances, racing simulators, and live bands.
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