Fall Trip to Charlotte

For many people, this week marks the end of the travel season as many schools around the U.S. are now back in session. Vacation season is over right? Wrong! Now that the tourists and summer vacationers are settling back into their routines, it’s never been a better time to travel. There are many great places in the Carolinas to travel during the fall, including the Asheville area for the mountains and anywhere along the North and South Carolina coast, but to really take advantage of shoulder season, consider a visit to the Queen City in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The largest city between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Charlotte often gets overlooked for the Carolina mountains and beaches. Late September and October, however, are great times to visit Charlotte. First of all, it’s one of the most pleasant seasons to visit. Temperatures are very comfortable and are especially a welcome break for Northerners who are prepping for Winter or already need a break from crisp temperatures. A short drive from the mountains, late September and October are great for watching the leaves change colors. Best of all, while everyone is trying to get their last visit to the mountains and beaches, Charlotte consists of small crowds, making it convenient and easy to get into the city’s popular attractions, restaurants and nightlife. Plan your visit on a weekend, and it might be a weekend the NFL’s Carolina Panthers are taking the field on a Sunday afternoon.

The great thing about Charlotte compared to most of the other metros in the Carolinas, is that it offers the full-package. You still have that southern charm, but with the attractions of a large metropolis. One thing you’ll find here that you won’t find in any other city in the Carolinas is professional sports, with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers playing during the fall and the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats in the late fall and early winter.

Charlotte’s most distinguishing characteristic has to be their dining and nightlife. Many residents of both North and South Carolina often make the drive to Charlotte for its dining and nightlife alone. Although for years the Uptown district of Charlotte has been the main dining and nightlife scene in Charlotte, the North Davidson Neighborhood (NoDa) is quickly becoming known for its eclectic scene that is popular among young crowds. Even during the fall though, it’s recommended to make reservations at Uptown Charlotte and NoDa restaurants if you don’t want to wait an hour to be seated. Nightlife in both of these areas range from Irish pubs, to small music venues, to your basic watering hole to a number of wine bars.

As the largest city in the Carolinas, Charlotte offers every kind of accommodations you can think of. The only true resort is the Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte, which is located a little bit of a drive from downtown, but is inclusive, offering golf, tennis, shopping, dining and nightlife. Closer to Charlotte there are a few bed and breakfasts, that were previously historic mansions that have been renovated. However, most people like staying in Uptown, which features Charlotte’s best accommodations. Here, you’ll find first-class hotels such as the Westin, Ritz Carlton, Hilton, Marriott and several others. Most of these are within walking distance of many Charlotte restaurants and attractions.

Of course one of the best things about a fall getaway to Charlotte is that it won’t put a crimp in your budget. Even many of the downtown Charlotte hotels offer special rates after the summer months and there is plenty of cheap and free things to do around the Queen City.