Charlotte, NC, is on the rise. It’s something you can see—simply look up at new skyscrapers like the 40-story steel-and-glass tower of the Bank of America Plaza. And it’s something you can feel—just imagine the rumble of the crowd at the kickoff of a Carolina Panthers game.
Clearly, the stereotype of the quaint, down-home South is only a small fraction of Charlotte’s story. And at Kimpton, we’re excited to be part of its next chapter. Our luxury high rise, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, is located in the heart of uptown Charlotte. It joins our other luxury boutique hotels in the region: The Brice in Savannah, The Cardinal in Winston-Salem and the Kimpton Hotel Arras in downtown Asheville.
Here’s a peek at the Charlotte attractions that are causing the buzz and putting it on the international map.
Racing & Pro Sports
Charlotte’s racing history is alive and well—in fact, almost 90% of racing teams are based in the region. Get a piece of the action at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where seven decades of autos are on view and interactive exhibits let you get hands-on with engines. Charlotte Motor Speedway offers tours, as well as races. Feeling the need for speed? Try the NASCAR Racing Experience, where you’ll zoom off at 160 mph in race cars that have been driven by the likes of Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon.
Pro sports are hot in Charlotte. Nab a ticket to a Carolina Panthers football game and you’ll have a lot of bragging rights (they’re the NFC Champions, after all). And don’t forget the other ways to show your team spirit: The Charlotte Hornets bring excitement to the basketball courts, and the Charlotte Hounds have made lacrosse legendary.
With a mild climate, you’ll want to find plenty of time to spend outdoors. The most adventurous of travelers should hit the US National Whitewater Center, an open-air recreation center and training facility for whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, biking and hiking. (Fun fact: Its artificial whitewater river is an Olympic Training Center for whitewater slalom racing.)
If you’d rather stroll than ride the waves, head to any of Charlotte’s best urban parks. Freedom Park, located between the historic Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods, is known as Charlotte’s “Central Park” and features paved trails, film screenings and music performances, and even a steam engine that you can climb aboard. For an even more tranquil slice of paradise, there’s Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, known for its tropical plant conservatory and picture-perfect fountains. And if you’re looking for a bit of whimsy in uptown, head to Romare Bearden Park, a 5.4 acre ideal for relaxing before catching a game at BB&T Ballpark.
Arts & Entertainment
Whether you love the art scene or live music, Charlotte’s got it covered. In the heart of Center City in a building designed by Mario Botta, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art houses 20th-century art by masters like Miró, Calder and Picasso. Also a must for art buffs: The Light Factory, one of only four museums for photography and film in the U.S.
For world-class performance, Blumenthal Performing Arts is where the Charlotte Symphony and the Charlotte Ballet take residence, as well as touring Broadway shows. For music with billboard buzz, check out AvidXchange Music Factory where hot recording artists like the Alabama Shakes and Ellie Goulding bring the house down.
Cap off your evening with expertly crafted cocktails at Merchant & Trade, our rooftop bar offering a vibrant oasis with views of Charlotte’s twinkling lights.
There’s so much to do in Charlotte. And so much on the move. You could even say that this city “down South” is where everything keeps going up, up, up. Hope you’ll join us in uptown at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel.
Ready to plan your Charlotte getaway?
This post was originally published on March 29, 2016 and has been updated