Uptown Charlotte, NC: What to See & Do + Where to Eat, Drink & Stay

Blending Southern charm and modern cosmopolitan flair, Uptown Charlotte, NC, is a vibrant and bustling urban hub known for banks, business, and a buzzing cultural scene. Also known as Charlotte Center City, Uptown is a lively, ever-evolving district where there’s always something on the go.

Often referred to as the ‘Wall Street of the South’ due to its concentration of major financial institutions, Uptown Charlotte is a thriving center for banking, finance, and corporate headquarters. But the neighborhood boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and performance venues. The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is a cultural hub, hosting Broadway shows, concerts, and more.

Home to the Bank of America Stadium (NFL’s Carolina Panthers) and the Spectrum Center (NBA’s Charlotte Hornets), Uptown is a sports lover’s paradise, too. Catching a game here is a quintessential Charlotte experience.

Uptown offers a surprising amount of greenery, including The Green and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, perfect for a stroll or bike ride. The Romare Bearden Park is a beautifully landscaped urban park offering green space, fountains, and a stage for concerts and events.

Ready to hit the streets of “Queen City” to explore? Check out this in-depth guide about what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay in Uptown Charlotte, NC!

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What to see & do in Charlotte Center City

NASCAR Hall of Fame

If you’re a racing nut, visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame is one of Charlotte’s must-see tourist destinations! Fondly referred to as the home of NASCAR, this iconic museum offers a deep dive into the world of stock car racing.

Located on East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame celebrates NASCAR’s history, heroes, and high-speed thrills. Wander through the Hall of Honor, where NASCAR’s most iconic figures are enshrined. Explore the stories and achievements of legendary drivers, crew chiefs, and team owners.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Venture down Glory Road and marvel at 18 historic race cars displayed on a banked ramp, each representing a different era in NASCAR history. Discover rotating exhibits, interactive displays, and a collection of artifacts, from vintage racing suits to trophies.

Experience the thrill of race day with a simulated race against your friends or family members in iRacing simulators. Watch breathtaking racing footage on the giant screen of the High-Octane Theater, where you’ll feel the engines’ rumble and the races’ excitement.

Get hands-on with the Pit Crew Experience, where you can practice tire-changing and gas-refueling skills like the professionals.

Romare Bearden Park

Take a break from exploring in the lush oasis of Romare Bearden Park. You’ll find the expansive park on Church Street, where you can enjoy various attractions and activities or simply unwind. Beautiful lawns provide ample space for picnics, gentle strolls, or simply relaxing amidst the natural beauty.

Named after the renowned African-American artist Romare Bearden, Romare Bearden Park is spread across 5.4 acres of lush greenery. Art installations inspired by Romare Bearden’s work are dotted about the park, paying tribute to the park’s namesake.

Romare Bearden Park

One of the highlights of Romare Bearden Park is the interactive waterfall feature. You can wade in the shallow pool at its base, making it a popular spot for cooling off during hot summer days. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love the colorful playground with its fun and imaginative play structures.

Join one of the fitness classes, yoga sessions, and boot camps held in the park, or catch an outdoor concert arena – check the park’s events schedule to see if there’s a performance or event during your visit.

Discovery Place Science

Ignite your imagination and marvel at the wonders of science at Discovery Place Science. This engaging museum is a fantastic destination for adults and kids that promises hours of educational fun!

Established in 1981, Discovery Place Science has been sparking curiosity and fostering a love for science ever since. One of the must-see Charlotte museums, the science center is located on N Tryon Street in the Fourth Ward and features various interactive exhibits covering topics like physics, chemistry, biology, and more.

Discovery Place Science

Get hands-on with experiments and demonstrations that make learning fun for visitors of all ages. Experience awe-inspiring documentaries and films on the giant IMAX Dome screen. Enjoy live science demonstrations and shows that explore various scientific concepts, from chemistry experiments to physics phenomena.

A dedicated area for young scientists, Thinker Space encourages creativity and problem-solving through STEM-based activities and challenges. Explore the underwater world with a visit to the aquarium and get acquainted with animals and insects at the Explore More Life Lab.

Mint Museum Uptown

Enjoy a cultural journey into the world of art and design at the Mint Museum Uptown. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply seeking an enriching experience, this popular Charlotte museum promises a one-of-a-kind experience.

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, the Mint Museum has two locations in Charlotte – one in Uptown and the other in Randolph. Both locations boast an extensive and eclectic collection that spans centuries and cultures.

Mint Museum

Mint Museum Uptown focuses on contemporary art and design, featuring thought-provoking exhibitions that challenge perspectives and engage visitors with modern artistic expressions. Discover various art forms, from American paintings and decorative arts to African, Asian, and European works.

Explore the world of craft and design at Mint Museum Uptown, with displays of innovative and functional creations that highlight the intersection of art and everyday life.

While the namesake may suggest a place to find culinary delights, the Mint Museum is all about art. You won’t find dining options within the museum, but many restaurants and cafés are nearby in Uptown Charlotte.

First Ward Park

First Ward Park is another lovely park in Uptown to spend some downtime on your Charlotte itinerary. With its scenic beauty and family-friendly atmosphere, this park offers a relaxing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Located on East 7th Street, First Ward Park spans 4.6 acres and features beautifully landscaped areas, walking paths, and open lawns. It’s ideal for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply basking in the natural surroundings.

First Ward Park

Cool off during the warmer months at the interactive fountains with jets of water that shoot up from the ground. Explore the various art installations scattered throughout the park. The sculptures and artistic features add an aesthetic dimension to your visit.

Bring along a picnic and enjoy a meal in the designated areas within the park. It’s a great way to soak in the scenery and relax. First Ward Park is pet-friendly, so bring your furry friends for a walk.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

Explore African Americans’ rich history, art, and culture at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Named after Charlotte’s first African-American mayor, Harvey B. Gantt, this vibrant cultural institution offers a compelling exploration of African-American heritage and creativity.

Delve into diverse exhibitions that explore various aspects of African-American art, culture, and history. You can expect to see thought-provoking visual art, multimedia displays, and immersive installations.

The Gantt Center offers a variety of educational programs, workshops, and lectures that provide insights into African-American history and culture. Check the center’s schedule for live performances, including music, dance, and theater, that showcase the talent and creativity of African-American artists.

Don’t forget to stop by the museum shop to find unique gifts, art prints, books, and jewelry that celebrate African-American culture.

Truist Field

Catch a baseball game at Truist Field, the home of the Charlotte Knights, the city’s Minor League Baseball team. Whether you’re a baseball fan or simply looking for a fun outing, Truist Field offers a great experience.

Originally known as BB&T Ballpark, Truist Field opened its gates in 2014. The ballpark has become a beloved destination for baseball fans and visitors seeking a fun-filled day.

Truist Field

Of course, watching the Charlotte Knights in action is the main attraction at Truist Field. Enjoy the excitement of Minor League Baseball with affordable tickets and the chance to see tomorrow’s Major League stars today.

If you’re a baseball enthusiast, bring along a baseball for autographs. Players often sign items before or after games near the dugouts or along the foul lines. Truist Field offers a kid-friendly zone with activities like a playground and games to keep young fans entertained during the game.

Take a stroll around the ballpark’s perimeter on the BB&T Ballpark Walk. This path showcases the history of Charlotte baseball with informative plaques and displays.

Levine Museum of the New South

Explore the history, people, and experiences that have shaped the American South in the post-Civil War era at the Levine Museum of the New South. This captivating cultural institution is a window into the evolving tapestry of the American South, shedding light on the challenges, triumphs, and ongoing transformations that shaped the region.

Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC

You’ll encounter thought-provoking exhibitions that chronicle the American South’s social, economic, and cultural transformation post-Civil War. Enjoy interactive and hands-on experiences that make history come alive on topics from civil rights struggles to the region’s industrial evolution.

A guided tour of the museum led by knowledgeable guides offers valuable insights into the South’s complex history. The Levine Museum of the New South is family-friendly and offers educational activities for children. It’s a great place to introduce young minds to history and culture in an engaging way.

Where to eat & drink

Foodies will delight in Uptown Charlotte’s vibrant culinary scene. From trendy eateries to upscale restaurants and cozy cafés, the neighborhood won’t disappoint when it comes to wining and dining.

Step into Alexander Michael’s, and you’ll find yourself in a cozy, historic neighborhood tavern. It’s the kind of place where the staff knows your name, and the food feels like a comforting hug. Expect classic American comfort food, with favorites like burgers and Southern-inspired dishes. Don’t miss their renowned fried chicken; if you’re lucky, you might catch one of their daily specials. Locals adore this spot for its friendly ambiance.

Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen – Uptown offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it perfect for a casual dinner or a business lunch. Wood-fired cooking takes center stage here, adding a special touch to the menu. Expect wood-grilled meats, fresh seafood, and a menu inspired by Southern and American cuisine. Their wood-roasted chicken is a must-try, and if you plan to visit during peak hours, making a reservation is a good idea.

Sea Level NC brings a coastal vibe to Uptown Charlotte. This popular restaurant is the go-to spot for seafood lovers, offering a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. The menu shines with the freshest catches, including oysters, crab, shrimp, and fish dishes. Happy hour is a hit here, with discounted oysters and drink specials. Seafood towers are a highlight, making this a seafood paradise.

For a stylish and contemporary dining experience with a focus on seafood, bring your appetite to Fin & Fino. This sleek restaurant is an excellent choice for special occasions or a romantic date night. The menu features a raw bar, creative small plates, and entrees with global influences. Craft cocktails are a specialty here, and making a reservation is advisable, especially on busy weekends.

Restaurant in Uptown

Valhalla Pub & Eatery offers a unique Viking-themed experience right in Uptown Charlotte. It’s a lively and fun spot for those seeking a vibrant atmosphere and hearty pub-style food. The menu includes classic favorites like burgers, sandwiches, and various appetizers. Be sure to try the Viking Feast platter, a sampling of their popular appetizers, and explore their craft beer selection.

If you’re a burger enthusiast, Cowbell Burger & Whiskey Bar is your paradise. This casual and energetic spot boasts a vast selection of creative burgers and an impressive whiskey list. Be adventurous with your burger choice as they offer unique combinations, and don’t forget to explore their whiskey flights.

Housed in a historic building, The Cellar at Duckworth’s offers a cozy gastropub experience in Charlotte Center City. It’s perfect for beer lovers and elevated pub fare fans. You’ll find gastropub classics like burgers and charcuterie boards on the menu. Dive into their diverse beer selection, including rare and vintage finds, with the help of their knowledgeable staff.

For breathtaking views and a chic atmosphere, Aura Rooftop is your destination. Perched atop Uptown Charlotte, it’s the place to be during sunset for stunning skyline vistas. Their menu features modern American cuisine, small plates, and craft cocktails. To secure prime seating, consider making a reservation and elevate your dining experience with a view.

Where to stay

As the heart of Queen City, Uptown is the top choice neighborhood to stay in Charlotte, NC. The accommodations selection here is vast, with everything from boutique hotels to long-term stay residences.

Hyatt House

Hyatt House Charlotte Center City

Hyatt House Charlotte Center City offers spacious and well-appointed suites with fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, and modern amenities. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast, a 24/7 fitness center, and a rooftop pool. The hotel also features a H Market for snacks and essentials. Ideal for extended stays, it offers a ‘home away from home’ experience.

Residence Inn by Marriott

Residence Inn by Marriott Charlotte City Center

Expect spacious studio and one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and comfortable living areas at the Residence Inn by Marriott Charlotte City Center. The hotel features a rooftop bar, Firewater Lounge, where you can unwind and enjoy city skyline views. Take advantage of the grocery delivery service to stock up your suite’s kitchen.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charlotte City Center

SpringHill Suites is conveniently located to explore Uptown Charlotte’s attractions, including the EpiCentre entertainment complex. Unwind in spacious suites with separate living and sleeping areas and a pantry area equipped with a microwave and mini fridge. The hotel has a rooftop bar, HUB at SpringHill Suites, where you can relax with a drink while taking in city views.

Grand Bohemian Hotel

Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection

Grand Bohemian Hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites with elegant decor and modern amenities. Book a suite for spectacular city views. Enjoy a fitness center, spa services, an art gallery, and an on-site restaurant, Mico. The hotel’s BUHO rooftop bar is a fantastic spot for sunset cocktails with panoramic views.

The Ivey's Hotel

The Ivey’s Hotel

The Ivey’s Hotel is a boutique retreat with historic architecture, stylish interiors, and an intimate atmosphere. Relax in elegant and individually designed rooms and suites, blending modern amenities with historic charm at the Ivey’s Hotel. Sophia’s Lounge is a hidden gem known for its craft cocktails and cozy ambiance, making it an excellent choice for a nightcap.


Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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