My first road trip of 2024 was earlier this month to the Queen City. David and I went to attend the Queen City Outdoor Classic. While I am not really a huge hockey fan, experiencing this momentous first for the city sounded like a fun winter weekend opportunity! The hockey game was hosted at the Charlotte Knights baseball stadium in collaboration with the Charlotte Checkers and was the first professional outdoor hockey game ever hosted in Charlotte. Today, I am sharing a guide to help make the most out of a weekend trip to Charlotte, NC for the Queen City Outdoor Classic.
Weekend Trip to Charlotte for Queen City Outdoor Classic
The Queen City Classic was hosted at Truist Field, home of the Charlotte Knights, a Triple-A baseball team located in the heart of Charlotte. See more of my favorite baseball stadiums across North Carolina here. The game was a perfect reason to visit and gave us a great opportunity to explore the city as well as experience this historic event.
Things To Do In Charlotte NC for Queen City Outdoor Classic
Lunch and Shop at Camp North End
Nestled right outside Uptown Charlotte, Camp North End is a 76-acre mixed-use development featuring award-winning restaurants, retail shopping, and ample outdoor space for visitors to lounge year-round. Additionally, Camp North End houses the historic Ford Building, a former Ford factory that recently received a local historic landmark designation. Designed by Albert Kahn of Detroit Architecture fame, the Ford Building dates back to 1924 and was once a manufacturing plant for Model T and Model A cars. During WWII, the site was fully built out by the U.S. Army as a quartermaster depot that provisioned Army facilities across the eastern United States.
David and I ate at Bleu Barn and highly recommend the Daily Double Squish Burger, the chicken Philly, and their delicious fries! We also really loved popping into the shops at Camp North End. Especially the plant and gift shop, grow.
Explore the Rail Trail
Charlotte’s Rail Trail, which runs 3.5 miles along the LYNX Blue Line in South End, serves as a hub for food, entertainment, art, and shopping just a few minutes from Uptown. The paved, art-speckled trail provides a well-manicured stretch for an afternoon workout. Complete with healthy culinary stops for a post-sweat-session reward. Ready to kick-start a lasting fitness routine? Check out our tips for making the most of your Rail Trail workout.
The flat, even pavement speckled with art provides the ideal backdrop for a light jog, a purposeful run, or a walk with your furry friend. Prefer to cycle? Hop on a bike from B-Cycle. It’s one of the largest urban bike-sharing systems in the Southeast. New Bern Station, East/West Boulevard Station, and Bland Street Station host convenient hubs to borrow a bike. Which costs $8/day for unlimited two-hour rentals.
Whether you set out to exercise on the Rail Trail for health or for an Instagram-worthy photo, the trail offers options for both. Frame the perfect active shot with the city in the background at the Magic Carpet Murals by Jessie and Katey, a Baltimore-based artist duo. The South End carpets reside near New Bern Station and across the tracks from Atherton Market.
Or, become a part of the art itself on the “Before I Die” interactive art exhibit located near the East/West Boulevard Station.
You can also shop along the Rail Trail at the Market at 7th Street. Which has several food vendors, a great wine shop, and more! Antonio at Assorted Table wine shop is perhaps the kindest man I have ever met.
Use Explore CLT Pass for Participating Locations
Curate your Queen City experience with an attractions pass. The Attractions Pass makes planning and saving a cinch with all admission tickets delivered instantly to your mobile device or email with savings of up to 44 percent. Select from a list of alluring attractions and museums. And plan excursions to everything from botanical gardens and fine art to NASCAR and science experiments. Experience the Queen City at your own pace, with one or multiple-day passes for a personally crafted Charlotte itinerary.
We used our pass to visit the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and had an absolutely delightful experience.
Brunch at Dish
David and I popped by Dish to grab some snacks in between brunch and dinner while we were exploring the city and it is such a delicious southern comfort food spot. We got the funkied up version of the pimento cheese and the deviled eggs. We will definitely try it again for dinner on a return trip.
Check Out Plaza Midwood Neighborhood
Plaza Midwood is a neighborhood with the motto “where community and culture are always welcome.” Feel free to explore at your leisure. Dish is in this neighborhood. Think of this former streetcar suburb as the intersection where eclectic creativity meets traditional Southern values. On one block, you’ll find historic homes and office spaces beneath a canopy of century-old trees; on the next, graffiti-covered consignment shops selling second-hand goods. From breweries to bookshops to BBQ joints and beyond, it’s safe to say that Plaza Midwood has a little something for everyone.
Dinner at SupperClub South End
This is so much more than just a place for dinner. Come in and grab a table, or don’t! At SupperClub, it’s all about the experience. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing dinner or games and cocktails, SupperClub has got you covered. Enjoy dinner by the wood-fired grill followed by drinks in the bar and late night in the lounge! David and I spent some time enjoying small plates and then bowled a couple of friendly games.
We ordered the pimento cheese, Cheerwine pork belly, and the house-made gnocchi and then split the fried okra while bowling.
Monarch Market for Lunch
Experience a culinary destination enriched by diverse food and culture located within walking distance of all of Uptown’s attractions. Monarch Market by Crescent Communities is a highly anticipated culinary collective in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. The 18,000-square-foot food & beverage destination on the ground level of the completely renovated One Independence Center offers a curated selection of options from locally owned and nationally acclaimed concepts.
David grabbed a burrito from Rolled AF and I grabbed housemade chips and a lobster roll from Dock Local. It was delicious and a great spot close by The Dunhill Hotel.
Breakfast at the Asbury
Come to The Asbury for a uniquely Carolinian experience: Southern dishes with a modern spin, made with ingredients from small family farms throughout our local region. I made the Build Your Own Breakfast Sandwich and got the jalapeno and smoked guoda potato cake. David got the chicken biscuits and it was also delicious!
Places To Stay In Charlotte NC for Queen City Outdoor Classic
Discover sophisticated accommodations enhanced by gracious Southern hospitality, a historic setting, and an ideal location in the heart of Charlotte’s Uptown. An oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle of the city, The Dunhill Hotel is steeped in history and surrounded by modern significance. Its Uptown Charlotte location puts guests within walking distance of area art galleries, museums, corporate headquarters, nightlife, shopping, and much more. This iconic boutique hotel is Charlotte’s premier venue for upscale events—including elegant weddings, fun-filled family reunions, corporate meetings, and executive retreats.
The Dunhill Hotel, located in Uptown Charlotte, is the city’s only historic and boutique hotel. The location was perfect for walking to Truist Field for the game, walking to various restaurants and museums, and offers a delicious restaurant and bar on the first floor. The rooms are beautifully appointed and the toiletries are Beekman, which is a long-time favorite brand of mine.
Put each place in subheading FOUR followed by more info. Then talk about each place, where they are located, what activities you can do nearby, how to get there from Truist Field, what amenities they offer, how safe and comfortable they are, etc.
Nestled in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, The Ivey’s Hotel redefines luxury travel, offering the finest accommodations and impeccable service. High design, modern comfort, and timeless art mingle within the walls of the historic Ivey’s building, creating the ultimate boutique experience. Unwind in our elegant guestrooms, steps from Charlotte’s most esteemed cultural venues and dining establishments with convenient access to Charlotte’s energetic business and sports districts. Whether for business or pleasure, step inside and discover Charlotte’s best luxury hotel and the city’s only Five-Star boutique experience.
On a previous trip for a football game, David and I stayed at the gorgeous Le Méridien Hotel in uptown Charlotte. The location was great for being able to get to the stadium on Sunday, and also to meet up with friends at various locations on Saturday night. The mix of European and Southern design elements creates such an interesting and unique experience, unlike anything I have experienced in a hotel! They also have a great rooftop with beautiful sweeping views of the Queen City skyline.
One of the reasons that David and I went to Charlotte for the Queen City Classic was for David to cheer on the Rochester Americans. He is originally from Buffalo and the Rochester Americans are an affiliate of the Sabres. We had standing-room-only seats, which were, much to my surprise, great tickets. I thought the standing-room-only section had some of the best views of the ice. Though I would recommend getting there early to get those spots.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Charlotte? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
Thank you to Alana Stillitano of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority for helping coordinate and plan our trip to Charlotte. As always, all opinions are my own.