Explore Charlotte

Navigate Dynamic Charlotte Like a Pro

In the ever-changing, growing, exciting Queen City, you'll find something new to do and see on every visit.

Kate Collins, Lead Navigator, Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel, loves the Queen City's energy and dynamic growth. With so many stellar options—
from new restaurants and brewpubs to sports, outdoor activities and the arts—she believes visitors can't go wrong as they explore Charlotte's exceptional opportunities for fun. We asked her how she helps individuals and families navigate the city's many, many attractions.

What do you love most about Charlotte?

It is continuously growing and developing different experiences that attract young discoverers like myself. I feel like there is either a new brewery or a fun new restaurant being built weekly!

Crowders Mountain (Courtesy NC Division of Parks and Recreation)

What stops should be on every visitor’s “bucket list” when coming here?

First on your bucket list should be to hike Crowders Mountain. If you are willing to travel about an hour or so outside of Charlotte, the breathtaking views are worth it. Then go to either a Panthers NFL game or a Charlotte Hornets NBA game and lastly, the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (©J. Michael Jones)

Suggestions for best under-the-radar sites or off-the-beaten-track things to do?

I highly recommend, whether you’re a local or a first-timer in Charlotte, to go see a live performance at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Make it a date night or a night out with friends ... do something different!

Charlotte light rail (©Tony Tueni)

What’s your best tip for visiting the city like a local, whether it’s for first-timers or long-time visitors?

A really good tip for getting around the city is riding the light rail. This is the quickest and most affordable way to go from place to place.

What are some good spots to capture a great selfie?

Take your friends over to the Confetti Hearts Wall on Camden Road, just behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. This colorful wall art is my No. 1 recommendation for a great selfie opportunity.

Mac's Speed Shop barbecue (©Brad Overcash)

Favorite local restaurant for a special meal?

You don’t visit North Carolina without trying some local barbecue. Make sure to go to Mac’s Speed Shop to taste some delicious BBQ.