North Carolina travel guides
North Carolina spotlight
Charlotte is a sprawling city, and it's easy to find accommodation of any kind. You might want to be in close range of the airport, or maybe you'd prefer to stay at a family-friendly hotel with breakfast. Whatever your lodging requirements, and how near to the Uptown action you want to be, there's a place for you to call home away from home in North Carolina's "Queen City."View full guide
North Carolina travel guides
Many visitors come to Asheville for respite from concrete surroundings and hectic schedules. To accommodate, the city and surrounding areas offer many inns, lodges, bed-and-breakfasts, and vacation rentals suited for an idyllic and tranquil mountain getaway. Or, for easy access to walkable downtown and lively nightlife, there are plenty of boutique and other hotel options. For a taste of trendy, local living, opt for a hotel in West Asheville.
Asheville’s city centre provides many quirky, independently owned shops selling handcrafted and carefully curated goods that reflect the city’s bohemian influence. Locally-made honeys, chocolates, and cheeses make great treats, and local bookstores thrive since downtown is virtually free of chain shops. Visitors to Asheville can take home functional art in the form of glassware, jewelry, and furniture, or an original piece of wall art.
Tucked between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains sits eclectic Asheville. The city attracts hikers, bicyclists, and paddlers, and keeps them amply refreshed and entertained at its 27 music venues and breweries. Over 30 art galleries and as many al fresco restaurants help create a European feel, earning Asheville the nickname "Paris of the South."
Visitor's Guide to Asheville - Mountains, Craft Beer, and Outdoor Fun in North Carolina’s Quirkiest City
Asheville offers a lively downtown filled with buskers, outdoor cafés, and more breweries per capita than any other US city. Many art galleries and music venues also line the hilly streets. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city offers plenty of outdoor recreational options. Visitors come year-round to enjoy the temperate climate along with music, food, beer, and art festivals.
Charlotte is one of the biggest cities in the southern US, so if shopping is your favorite pastime you'll have plenty to enjoy here. There are several large shopping centres and malls that range from modestly priced shops to upscale designer boutiques. But you'll also discover local shops and markets where you'll come across gems such as vintage clothing, handmade accessories, regional produce, and records.
A financial powerhouse, Charlotte traditionally shuttered its doors when the banks closed at night. But times change, and the city is now embracing a vibrant nightlife. Uptown is the epicentre of recent developments, offering new restaurants, nightclubs, and cultural centres. Historic Charlotte lives on in the city's venerable churches and stately manors, like those along the winding roads in the scenic neighbourhood of Myers Park.
Charlotte, in North Carolina, is nicknamed "Queen City" and offers Southern hospitality, a vibrant sports and cultural scene, and great food - all in generous portions. Thanks to a banking boom, Charlotte is the nation's second-largest financial centre. From St. Peter's Catholic Church, built in 1851, to NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the city's attractions run the gamut from old-time religion to contemporary thrills and spills.
On any weekend, 50 or more live performances can be enjoyed in and around Asheville. Many venues offer dinner or food trucks and plenty of local beer. Restaurants take on a bar vibe with tables spilling onto sidewalks, and rooftop bars serve up inventive cocktails with a side of mountain views. Every weeknight too you’ll find entertainment in this lively mountain city.
A top attraction for families visiting Asheville is the abundance of outdoor activities, and their setting in outstanding natural scenery. Go whitewater rafting for adventure, or tube lazily down the French Broad River, or hike up one of the many local mountain peaks. Biltmore Estate wows visitors of all ages, and families can make the most of the outdoors with fun activities at a number of nature and adventure centres.
With a mix of neoclassical, beaux arts, and art deco architecture, Asheville has long attracted artists of all mediums. With its inspiring backdrop of mountains and forests, as well as open-minded local attitudes, the town is a natural mecca for artists. Downtown, around 30 galleries and niche museums invite strolling and visiting. In the evenings, you can soak up Asheville's performing arts at several local theatres and colleges.
Uptown is the Queen City's nightlife centre, where a cluster of gleaming towers rises up from its historic core. Here, you’ll find most of the nocturnal offerings; from casual bars and live music venues, to high-energy dance clubs and chic cocktail lounges. But exploration further afield reveals neighbourhoods with unique craft beer scenes, down-home haunts, and time-honored watering holes.
Theme parks, outdoor adventures, and hands-on museums designed to educate and entertain make Charlotte a great place for a family getaway. You can splash about in massive water parks, fly above nature on zip lines, and get close to sharks at an aquarium. Playgrounds and parks with interactive installations also provide a fun break for the entire clan.
Uptown Charlotte is the city’s geographical and culture centre. It is home to renowned museums, sophisticated galleries, and regal theatres. You'll also encounter history that spans from pre-Columbian times to the Civil War, as well as NASCAR (Stock Car Auto Racing) culture. In surrounding neighbourhoods, the “Queen City” likes to celebrate with festivals, outdoor music concerts, and diverse displays of local art.
Downtown Asheville has over 120 full-service restaurants throughout its 5 square miles. This high restaurants-to-residents ratio means only the best eateries can thrive here, and limited space equals many indoor-outdoor spots. Chefs and owners must keep their menus and ingredients fresh to keep regulars satisfied and visitors enticed. Farm-to-table is a way of life in Asheville, and nearly every restaurant offers creative vegetarian and organic options for a health-conscious community.
Charlotte is an epicurean's delight, with a variety of dining options sure to please even the pickiest of palates. As a Southern city, Charlotte naturally offers traditional home-style cooking as well as upscale interpretations of barbecue and grits. But the city has eclectic tastes, and also enjoys South American, European, and Asian cuisines. Whether you're craving cornbread or croquettes, Charlotte's food scene has something for you to relish.
Surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has 4 distinct seasons that attract visitors year-round, and its temperate climate distinguishes the city from other southern destinations. The many sidewalk and rooftop dining and drinking establishments exemplify Asheville’s outdoorsy character and diverse cuisine options. Day trips, airport transfers, and some attractions require transportation, but downtown Asheville is very compact and pedestrian-friendly.
Although Charlotte's history dates the mid-1700s, visitors will find a thoroughly modern city that's seen rapid growth in recent decades. Home to NASCAR and steeped in barbecue tradition, the city's epicentre is Uptown, which has most of the hotels, restaurants, and cultural offerings. But outlying neighbourhoods offer art scenes, eclectic shops, and outdoor activities to tempt travellers.