Charlotte is known as the Queen City, and rightfully so. It is named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744-1818), the wife of King George III.
Queen Charlotte and the king were so respected by North Carolina's early settlers that they named the city for her in 1763. Loyalties to the Crown turned by May 1775, when colonists were massacred by British soldiers in the Battle of Concord and Lexington. Local patriots met and drafted the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which a young tavern owner named Capt. James Jack carried on horseback through British lines to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
Learn about these events and Queen City's role in the American Revolution by strolling along the Liberty Walk, then follow our guide below as a starting point to explore all this beautiful city as to offer.
Dine Like a Queen
For the royal treatment, Ballentyne Hotel and Lodge offers a lovely afternoon tea from 1-4 pm Saturdays, pouring a variety of blends that are served with traditional tea sandwiches.
But don't stop there. James Beard-nominated chefs like Joe Kindred and Bruce Moffett are serving up their own delectable dishes like Spring Onion Rigatoni at Kindred Restaurant and prosciutto-wrapped NC Trout Saltimbocca at Stagioni, respectively.
Dine on southern classics like fried chicken from Price's Chicken Coop, or enjoy dinner with a heart at The King's Kitchen and Bakery. The casual uptown, not-for-profit restaurant serves up locally-sourced southern staples like Old State Shrimp and Grits or Noble's Tomato Bisque with goat cheese crostini and gives 100 percent of the proceeds to local charities that feed the poor.
Shop Like a Queen
Charlotte offers plenty of shopping options to fit any budget. SouthPark Mall features luxury brands like Neiman Marcus, Tory Burch and Nordstrom. Princesses will likely enjoy a visit to the mall's American Girl for shopping, doll hairstyling and tea or milkshakes.
Freshen up the queen's wardrobe at Charlotte Premium Outlets. This outdoor shopping center features dozens of popular stores like Coach, Guess and Michael Kors, and many stores feature deep discounts.
Get Cultured Like a Queen
Walking through the Mint Museum Randolph's doors is history itself: It's in what was the original branch of the U.S. Mint, opening in 1936 in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood as the state’s first art museum. Collections not only feature American art through WWII and fashion, but also large sculptures worth seeking out around town.
Experience living history from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War at Historic Latta, Rosedale and Brattonsville plantations—each has a different story to tell. Or take a tour of the city by carriage, Segway or bus.
Fans of Billy Graham will want to visit the Billy Graham Library, which pays tribute to the evangelist's life and ministry. It includes his childhood home, personal library and a custom mural painted by Thomas Kinkaid.
Get Sporting Like a Queen
NFL fans may want to catch a Carolina Panthers game at the Bank of America Stadium—August visitors will be just in time for the Panther's Fan Fest. Michael Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets—catch their games at the Spectrum Center.