Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Charlotte

by  Darren Murph | Nov 20, 2012
Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, NC / Kruck20/iStock

North Carolina's Queen City has both a distinct uptown and downtown, and regardless of whether you're coming in for a financial powwow or one of the many events held at the Charlotte Convention Center, there's plenty to enjoy.  In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Carolina, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

Despite being home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte is an undeniably cosmopolitan city. The good news, however, is that you can't shake the south out of Charlotte, at least when it comes to grub and greetings. For those looking to set up a pricey, albeit unforgettable meal just a few blocks from the convention hall, there's Mimosa Grill. Yes, half of the bill can be attributed to the view, but the food is pretty endearing. It's described as "global cuisine with a southern twist," and it's that southern twist that really shines.

For a more casual bite, and perhaps a more interesting journey for the tongue, head a few blocks over to Halcyon Flavors From the Earth. It's probably the most unusually named eatery in the entire south, but it's a unique place that deserves praise. Most of the offerings here, from cheeses to wines and everything in between, are sourced locally. Furthermore, the menu is always seasonal, so semi-frequent visitors to Charlotte can count on something new each time.

If you find yourself with a couple of hours to spare, it's just a short walk through "The Green" (a garden area) to the Mint Museum. Admission is around $10, and inside you'll find a drop-dead gorgeous building design, sprinkled with permanent exhibits, private collections, and all sorts of artwork that even the most hardened soul could appreciate.

If you're able to find a more time in your schedule, Bank of America Stadium is a quick cab ride away, playing host to Carolina Panthers football games as well as a number of concerts throughout the year. For thrill seekers, an alternative would be Carowinds. It's a theme park that sits in both North and South Carolina, and it's a pretty excellent way to release any of that pent-up convention stress.

Speaking of which, those looking to relax over a glass of wine before departing can take a few short steps to Aquavina. You'll find more options than anyone could handle on a single evening, and it doubles as a lovely place for lunch should you end up there with an appetite.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

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