Weekend Guide • Charlotte, NC
Left: The Green makes a wonderful urban picnic spot in the middle of the banking district.
A NOTE TO OUR READERS:
"Spring in The City" is from the April 2007 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.
Nature lovers should head to the sprawling Latta Plantation Nature Preserve northwest of town. Follow pretty paths through the woods around a quiet lake, or saddle up for a trail ride on a mellow steed. The Latta Plantation Equestrian Center hosts 45-minute guided rides for $23 per person and pony rides for the kids.
Sports fans can catch a baseball game (and maybe a fly ball) at the Charlotte Knights stadium. This AAA-affiliate for the Chicago White Sox is based just across the state line in South Carolina, but it's only about a 15-minute drive from the city.
Left: Take them out to the ball game to see the Charlotte Knights play.
Spend an afternoon shopping at Phillips Place, a chichi outdoor shopping street with high-end boutiques, fabulous restaurants, and upscale chain stores. Don't miss: Dean & Deluca, a Euro-style market with fresh-baked breads, international ingredients, and other gourmet culinary treats.
Nearby, nab a sidewalk table at Dean & Deluca's Wine Room, a hot spot for chilling out. Buy a bottle (no corkage fee), or choose from 70 fine wines sold by the glass.
Left: Spoil yourself a little with a purchase at Cottage Chic.
For an urban picnic, head to The Green, a small but hopping patch of park sandwiched between shiny skyscrapers. Grab a to-go order from Fuel Pizza Cafe, a local retro-style chain that dishes out custom tossed salads, steamy calzones, and oven-baked pizza by the slice. Have lunch on The Green, and then kick off those shoes and cool your feet in the giant fish fountain.
At 300 East, the beef fillet burgers ($10) are served on a garden patio in front of the bungalow-turned-bistro. Local fave: "The Usual"--chicken salad, asparagus, mushrooms, and Cheddar served hot on a hoagie ($8.25). Feeling festive? You can't go wrong with a "Matilda Wong." A combination of gin, rum, Triple Sec, brandy, and a secret blend of juices, it tastes like a SweeTART served in a pitcher. Limit: two.
Left: Want to have what she's having? That's a "Matilda Wong," the house cocktail at 300 East.
Left: The swanky Hampton Inn & Suites SouthPark at Phillips Place outshines your average chain hotel and lies in the heart of a great shopping and dining street.
- Hampton Inn & Suites SouthPark at Phillips Place: (704) 319-5700
- South 21 Curb Service: (704) 527-5530
- Fuel Pizza Cafe (at The Green): (704) 370-2755
- 300 East: (704) 332-6507
- Carowinds: www.carowinds.com or 1-800-888-4386
- Latta Plantation Equestrian Center: (704) 992-1550
- Charlotte Knights: www.charlotteknights.com or (704) 357-8071
- Cottage Chic: www.cottagechicstore.com or (704) 375-1888
- Phillips Place: www.phillipsplace.info
- Dean & Deluca: www.deandeluca.com or (704) 643-6868
Left: The Latta Plantation Equestrian Center offers trail rides starting at $23.