Charlotte–Take a Walk Down Main Street

The Carolinas' largest city provides an easy, entertaining stroll.
Nick Patterson and Gary Clark

One of the things we like most about Charlotte is its walkability. You can walk anywhere in the vicinity of Trade and Tryon (the two main streets). While walking down the street, you'll encounter art, music, and many attractive sites. It's also a great place to sit and people-watch.

I took advantage of the opportunity to walk down the street from my hotel to Starbucks. I ate there often, and the food was great. I even had the same waiter a couple of times.

There are many choices of things to see and do in Charlotte at any time of day.

  • On a Thursday night in summer months, try "Alive After Five," produced by Wachovia and held in Wachovia Plaza (301 South Tryon Street). If you want to get close to the band, you can pay. If you don't, you can sit across the street and listen for free.
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  • One of my favorite places to eat in Charlotte is one of the easiest to find: the Rock Bottom Brewery (401 North Tryon Street; 704-334-2739). This microbrewery offers six to eight handcrafted beers, great American cuisine, a pleasant atmosphere, and a nice view of the street.
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  • A few blocks away, Mert's Heart and Soul (214 North College Street; 704-342-422) serves up Lowcountry favorites and soul food. Every second Saturday Mert's hosts Uptown Saturday Night, a poetry slam. It's the perfect place to get some good grub and rhythmical rhymes right downtown.
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  • View the vast collection of public art downtown at many corporate buildings. Don't miss the frescoes and paintings by Ben Long in the Bank of America building lobby (100 North Tryon Street).
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  • Take a walk through The Green, reading the literary signs and dodging the water fountains, or sit in the grass and have lunch. Or for a fun inexpensive evening, try Wachovia Movies on The Green. On June 4, July 9, August 6, and September 17, free movies will be projected on an inflatable screen in the park. The films roll at 8:45 p.m.
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  • Don't miss a long sidewalk cafe lunch at The Monticello Restaurant in The Dunhill Hotel (237 North Tryon Street; 704-342-1193).
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  • If a summer shower pops up, don't worry. You can eat, drink, and shop without getting wet by using the maze of overhead pedestrian walkways that connect the downtown buildings.

For more on Charlotte, check out these sites.