Don't Call it a Comeback: 21 Ways to Explore Uptown (Like You Never Left)

Uptown is the heart of the city, and you are its heartbeat. Let’s come together to re-energize and rediscover why we love Uptown.

There’s a special feeling you get when you walk through Uptown. Maybe it’s the glimmering buildings as the sun shines down through the Carolina blue skies overhead or the lush green canopy that provides just the right amount of shade. Or maybe it’s the sounds of a bustling urban core that still manage to give you a sense of calm or the smells of local fare beckoning you to have a taste. Maybe it’s the people—a diverse mix of business owners, residents, workers and visitors—offering a warm and welcoming smile (or wave when wearing a mask) Rich in history (yes, some is hidden, but it’s there) and culture and brimming with eclectic eats and events, Uptown is the heart of the city, and you are its heartbeat. Let’s come together to re-energize and rediscover why we love Uptown. Here’s 21 ideas of how to show up for Uptown in 2021. How many can you mark off the list?

  1. Rediscover the stories of Uptown on a self-guided tour through the city, or book a guided tour with local experts from Charlotte NC Tours, C-Charlotte Tours, Queen City Rides or Funny Bus City Comedy Tour.

Photo: @funnybus

  1. Enjoy outdoor dining with a city view at one of Uptown’s top restaurant patios and rooftops, or eat in the open air at one of the Uptown Street Eats events or at the limited-time pop-up outdoor seating that's part of the Streetery Program on the Levine Avenue of the Arts.

Photo: @fahrenheitclt

  1. Plan a Friday night hangout with friends at Victoria Yards at the corner of North Tryon and Seventh streets. You’ll find themed events (think live music, outdoor movies and creative performances), food trucks and local beer from Resident Culture Brewing Company.

 

  1. Have a picnic in the park. Get lunch from 7th Street Public Market and set up on the lawn at nearby First Ward Park, or get food from Rhino Market & Deli and eat at Romare Bearden Park right just across the street. Then explore Uptown’s other parks and greenways.

Photo: @7thpublicmarket

  1. Discover Uptown’s artsy side on an Uptown ArtWalk, which feature the stories behind the district’s well-known and under-the-radar public art pieces and murals.

 

  1. Get your brunch on at one of Uptown’s favorite A.M. eateries, like Haymaker, Tupelo Honey, Famous Toastery, Fahrenheit, 204 North Kitchen & Cocktails and Sports One

Photo: @204north

  1. Spend 48 hours experiencing the museums at the Levine Center for the Arts. The special Access Ticket includes admission to the Mint Museum (both the Uptown and Randolph locations), the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.

Photo: @themintmuseum

  1. Savor the flavors of the world right in Uptown Charlotte: eat Japanese hibachi at Red Ginger, Greek gyros at Little Village Grill, authentic Thai cuisine at Basil Thai, French fare at La Belle Helene, mouthwatering Brazilian meat at Brazz Carvery & Steakhouse, authentic Italian at Luce, Mexican favorites at Que Onda, and Latin-influenced street food from Sabor Latin Street Grill.

Photo: @axioscharlotte

  1. Cheer on the home teams! Uptown is home to three professional sports teams, including the Carolina Panthers who play at Bank of America Stadium, the Charlotte Hornets who play at the Spectrum Center (aka The Hive) and the Charlotte Knights who play at Truist Field

Photo:@panthers

  1. Eat a hot dog topped with secret homemade chili at Green’s Lunch, Uptown’s oldest restaurant serving Charlotte since 1926.

Photo:@greenslunch

  1. Immerse yourself in the creative arts at McColl Center for Art + Innovation, where you can see artists-in-residence working in their studios, and Studio 229 on Brevard, where visual and musical arts come to life at various events. 

Photo: @mccollcenter

  1. From Broadway and ballet to symphony, opera and jazz performances, celebrate the performing arts in Charlotte at a show at a Blumenthal Performing Arts venue.

Photo: @blumenthalarts

  1. Gather the whole family and map out a kid-friendly adventure with stops at Discovery Place Science, ImaginOn, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and The Green

Photo: @nascarhall

  1. Get your grub on while also giving back to the community at nonprofit restaurants Community Matters Cafe and The King’s Kitchen

Photo: @communitymatterscafe

  1. Work off all that delicious food you’ve been eating in Uptown at an exercise class at Aerial CLT, Hustle House and Charlotte Athletic Club, or join in on outdoor class with the RUN CLUB with Taproom Social or a pop-up Uptown Sweats at Victoria Yards.

Photo: @hustlehouseclt

  1. It’s five o’clock somewhere! Grab your coworker friends and enjoy after-work drinks at popular craft cocktail bars in Uptown, like Merchant & Trade, Sophia’s Lounge, Cloud Bar by David Burke, The Cotton Room, The Cellar at Duckworth’s, Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo and Búho Bar.

Photo: @merchantandtrade

  1. Support local farms and artisans while stocking your fridge with fresh produce, meats, cheese and more at the weekly Uptown Farmers Market.

  1. But first, coffee! Take a coffee break at one of Uptown’s local coffee shops, like Waterbean (the only drive-thru coffee shop in Uptown), Coco & The Director, Queen City Grounds or one of the Not Just Coffee locations.

Photo: @queencitygrounds

  1. Be sure to save room for a delicious dessert from one of Uptown’s sweetest places, like Crave Dessert Bar, Potts Chocolate, Tiff’s Treats and Insomnia Cookies.

Photo: @cravedessertbar

  1. Share your love of all things Charlotte with a local gift for your loved ones from an Uptown gift shop such as CLTFind, The Beehive and WelcomeCLT at the Charlotte Visitor Info Center.

Photo: @cltfind

  1. Save the date for Charlotte SHOUT! Sept. 17 through Oct. 3 for a celebration of art, music, food and ideas, featuring internationally and locally acclaimed artists, chefs and thought leaders and serving up soulful music, tantalizing food, mind-blowing images, playful installations, inspiring performances and bold ideas.

Bonus: Find at least five of Uptown’s secret spots. Shhh, we can’t tell you what they are, but you can unlock them here

There are still plenty of ways to get down in Uptown. Get out and show your support for the businesses and people that make Uptown the special place that it is. Share your Uptown adventures with us on on social media using the hashtags #UptownCLT and #ShowUpforUptown.