Beer, Sports and Nightlife: A Guys' Weekend in Charlotte

EpiCentreBeer, Sports and Nightlife: A Guys' Weekend in Charlotte

The EpiCentre in Uptown Charlotte is filled with restaurants, bars and nightclubs

Why should ladies have all the fun with their girls’ trips (to Winston-Salem, for example)? The guys sometimes need to get together, too, for an exciting weekend away. And Charlotte is your destination.

Prepare for a three-day trip filled with beer, sports and nightlife. Start by booking accommodations at one of several hotels in Uptown Charlotte, such as Aloft at the EpiCentre and The Westin on the light rail line, and you all will be in the center of the action.

Pour Up
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 now more than 20 craft breweries around the city, with more than half of them located in the South End and NoDa neighborhoods. In South End, veteran Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (OMB) moved to a spacious location a few years ago, complete with a large taproom offering a full food menu, and a biergarten that attracts crowds several days a week. Since then, many other brew-inspired venues have opened within walking distance of OMB: Sugar Creek Brewing Co., Good Road Ciderworks, two distilleries – Great Wagon Road and Doc Porter’s – and Queen Park Social, a grownup funhouse across the street. You'll need to pace yourselves (drink responsibly) as you hop through this district.

Birdsong Brewing patio crowd

Make Birdsong Brewing the first stop during your brewery hop through the NoDa neighborhood

Eat Up
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, Queen City Q 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, where small plates and cocktails pair well with the music from the DJ who plays nightly beginning at 9 p.m. While City Lights Rooftop promises just what its name implies, along with drinks and appetizers that complement the incomparable views of the skyline.

Play Up
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 and Charlotte Knights of MiLB all play in Uptown, and their game schedules combine to run fall through summer. Plus, in addition to being the Panthers' home, Bank of America Stadium is often the site of other major sporting events such as the Belk College Kickoff during Labor Day weekend, the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in early December, and international soccer matches. But 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.

U.S. National Whitewater Center activities

The whitewater center offers outdoor adventures you might not expect to find in an urban city

Party Up
Choosing where to party will probably require several rounds of rock-paper-scissors, due to the great number of options that are near your Uptown hotel alone. Notice the bright lights of the EpiCentre entertainment complex, which is home to more than a dozen bars and nightclubs (such as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Whisky River and Bubble lounge). On the outskirts of Uptown, the AvidXchange Music Factory features live music and comedy venues and nightclubs. If you guys 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.

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