Charlotte is your perfect destination for a three-day trip filled with craft beer, sports and nightlife. Start by booking accommodations at one of several hotels in Uptown Charlotte, such as Aloft or The Westin on the light rail line, and you'll be in the center of the action.
Not only does North Carolina have the most craft breweries in the South, Charlotte’s beer scene is quickly becoming one of the leaders. There are more than 40 craft breweries around the city, with many of them located in the South End and NoDa neighborhoods. In Lower South End, veteran Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (OMB) features a large taproom offering a full food menu and an 8-acre biergarten. Many other brew-inspired venues are within walking distance of OMB: Sugar Creek Brewing Co., Brewers at 4001 Yancey, Protagonist and Lower Left Brewing Co.; plus Queen Park Social, a grownup funhouse across the street. You'll need to pace yourselves (drink responsibly) as you hop through this district.
Between all the good times you’re having, you must make time to eat, and North Carolina’s largest city doesn’t disappoint. You can’t come here and not try the barbecue, right? Seek out Mac’s Speed Shop, Noble Smoke and Midwood Smokehouse, to name a few. If you’re looking for a metropolitan vibe to help set the tone for the night, try Soul Gastrolounge in the popular Plaza Midwood neighborhood, where small plates and cocktails pair well with the music from the DJ who plays nightly beginning at 9 p.m. And Cloud Bar promises incomparable views of the skyline, along with drinks and appetizers from celebrity chef David Burke.
Take in a pro sports game no matter what time of year you’re visiting. The Carolina Panthers of the NFL, Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, Charlotte Knights of MiLB and Charlotte FC of MLS all play Uptown. Plus, in addition to being the Panthers' and Charlotte FC's home, Bank of America Stadium is often the site of other major sporting events such as the Duke's Mayo Classic, the ACC Football Championship Game, the Duke's Mayo Bowl and international soccer matches. If golf is more your speed, the Wells Fargo Championship is held at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte each year in early May, and the course will even host the 2022 Presidents Cup in September when the elite tournament makes its first trip to the Southeastern United States.
When your crew wants to be more than spectators, plan an outing at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, with activities such as rafting, rock climbing, zip lining, biking trails and more.
Choosing where to party will probably require several rounds of rock-paper-scissors due to the great number of options near Uptown alone. On the outskirts of Uptown, the AvidXchange Music Factory features live music, comedy venues and nightclubs. If you want to check out another trendy neighborhood, head to Montford Drive in south Charlotte, where both sides of the street are lined with hot spots frequented by locals.