South - Charlotte for 18 hours - need recommendations
Feb 7, 11, 4:46 am
I am arriving into Charlotte mid afternoon one day, leaving the following morning (thanks to the flight routing) and needed advice from fellow FTers for how to make the most of the time.
Some basic considerations:
I'd like to check into a comfortable hotel (4* would be great) and then have some good options for restaurants in the vicinity.
Are there any decent hotel options in the airport vicinity? Or should I head downtown?
Is there a "must do" restaurant for dinner?
If you suggest going downtown for the evening, what are your hotel recommendations? Ritz is sold out for the evening, Ballantyne seems too far out from town - the others are chain hotels that don't vary in description - so personal experiences are most appreciated.
My Father has been really happy at the Westin. It's downtown and you can walk to plenty of restaurants around there. Personally, I haven't found much worth doing in Downtown Charlotte beyond the usual dinner/Bobcats game.
There is really nothing downtown. A few decent restaurants, nothing overly special. I spent 8 months working in Charlotte every week. I was only home on weekends. For that time, find something by the airport with a shuttle. Save the cab far or car rental and relax. There is a Renaissance Suites which I think has airport transportation (or it used to - check the Marriott board or call the hotel directly).
Feb 9, 11, 12:26 pm
Airport hotel it is. Just as I started the thread, I got thinking that I'd better just wind down after my TATL flight and get some rest before another long flight the following morning! Thanks all for the advice - an airport hotel it is!!!
There's actually plenty to do. The cab ride into town is only 15-20min and you can have dinner at one of many great restaurants, personal favourties are Mimosa Grill, Sonoma, Chima or Kalu. Could even spend a bit of time in the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (which is a real gem), the new Mint Museum or even let off some steam at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (even if you're not a fan its great fun) and its all within walking distance of the Westin.
Mar 1, 11, 11:13 am
I've got to agree with plon, there's a lot of stuff to do in downtown Charlotte. I strongly second the recommendation of a visit to "The Bechtler." It's recognized as a world-class museum of modern art. In addition to the other places previously mentioned, I'd also recommend the "Levine Museum of the New South" (renowned as the only history museum in the US focusing on the people and places of the country's South from 1865 to today), and the "Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture." Also, there are carriage tours of downtown and the historic Fourth Ward neighborhood.
Lots of good restaurants serving regional specialities are available, and all of the above is within easy walking distance of the major hotels.
Unfortunately, I only check this forum about once a month so my timing was probably not helpful to the op. In that case, I hope gottaluvNW comes back to Charlotte and explores the city sometime soon.
Mar 2, 11, 11:07 am
there's a starwood property that just got demoted a category to either a 2 or a 1, i believe. i noticed you're gold, so maybe this will be a great use of 2-4k points for you?
Mar 7, 11, 9:51 am
Downtown have some nice things our you can stay at the Marriott Ren in southpark. Across from the mall..nice restaurants within walking distance.
Apr 6, 11, 8:06 am
While it is probably too late for the OP, unless you are looking to go out to the bars/clubs, then I would suggest staying in the South Park area for long layovers over Uptown. While there are a few non-restaurant/bar/club related things to do in Uptown Charlotte (Mint Museum, Museum of Modern Art, NASCAR Hall of Fame), they're still a bit sleepy and certainly not as exciting as equivalent counterparts found in other cities like NYC (well okay, NASCAR Hall of Fame is ONLY in Charlotte). In the South Park area, you have a ton of restaurant options (many upscale) along with the area's premiere shopping mall. Marriott dominates this area with a full service Marriott and Renaissance across the street from the mall and a Residence Inn a short walk away.
The area around the airport is, to put it lightly, ghetto. The only restaurants you are going to find in the immediate vicinity of the airport and most of the airport hotels are of the fast food variety, and I would not suggest walking to/from them. The Renaissance Suites does offer an airport shuttle, and is in a nicer part of Charlotte, however it is in an office park with nothing around. The Hyatt Place Charlotte Airport and Hyatt Place City Park are in a slightly nicer neighbourhood (office park) and offer a shuttle to/from the airport. The City Park location has a sports bar across the parking lot and the Charlotte Airport/Tyvola location has a Salsarita's (I believe) and Quiznos in an adjacent strip mall, but outside of that, nothing is walkable from either location. The Four Points by Sheraton Charlotte offers a shuttle to/from the airport and is located convenient to the Woodlawn station on LYNX. The neighbourhood isn't the greatest and the hotel is pretty dated, but LYNX provides easy access to Uptown along with some lower end restaurants (Chinese Buffet, Mexican, etc) around the hotel.