Planning a visit to Charlotte? Find the best tree-lined drive, explore the city's art, and get in on the booming craft-brew craze. These are five things you need to do on a trip to the Queen City:
#1: Hit Up the Original Mint Museum
Not only is it the oldest art museum in North Carolina, located in an original U.S. Mint building, but also impressive European and American art, as well as a quality fashion collection, make this museum worth the trip. A beautiful outdoor complex includes art installations and a sprawling park tucked in one of Charlotte’s most beautiful neighborhoods. You'll find it at 2730 Randolph Rd. 704.337.2000.
#2: Tunnel Through the Trees Along Queens Road West
Charlotteans pride themselves on the city’s lush tree canopy, one that holds a top 10 in the nation ranking by a tree inventory by American Forests and covers nearly 50 percent of the city. Arguably the best tree-lined drive to take it all in can be found along Queens Road West in historic Myers Park. Willow oaks form a striking cathedral canopy—and the historic homes aren’t bad either.
#3: Make a Toast at The Old Mecklenburg Brewery
Charlotte is on a craft-brew craze and the surrounding areas in the county boast nearly 10 relatively new craft breweries. Hit up The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, the city’s oldest, for a beer. 4150 Yancey Rd., 704.525.5644.
#4: Pose with the Disco Chicken
Niki de Saint Phalle’s Firebird, a sparkly avian statue standing 17-feet 5-inches tall in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art uptown, has become a staple of Charlotte’s art scene. Because of its joyful, disco-ball exterior (it’s comprised of tiny mirrors), locals lovingly call it the “Disco Chicken,” and under its arch is a favorite spot to pose for a pictures. While there, duck into the Bechtler and check out the collection, which includes works by Picasso, Warhol and more. The chicken can be found at 420 S. Tryon St.
#5: Visit the President James K. Polk State Historic Site
Located in nearby Pineville, the land owned by James K. Polk’s parents, is a family destination, complete with replica historic structures and information about the 11th President, his accomplishments and challenges. Craving more history? Check out the Liberty Walk uptown, which follows a line of Charlotte’s Revolutionary War history. President Polk's historic site is located at 12031 Lancaster Hwy., Pineville. 704.889.7145.