Day Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina

Day Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

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Day Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina
day trip to charlotte north carolina
The Ever Growing Charlotte

Day Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina

Cazzie’s family is from Charlotte, and he grew up in the city so we make frequent trips there to visit. This time we didn’t have much time, so we made a day trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. Even though we’re more mountain people than city people we still love heading to Charlotte every now and then for a wonderful mix of southern charm, a trendy social scene, and a dose of city life. It’s said that on average 100 people are moving to Charlotte EVERY DAY, which makes for an interesting dynamic. With such an expanding population, there are a lot of great things to see and do that are popping up everywhere around the city.

Inner Peaks Climbing Center

Cazzie and I have been wanting to try rock climbing for a while now, and we started our day at Inner Peaks in South End.  This was a great half day activity, and we actually scored a Groupon for $30 for two people. This gave us free harness rentals for the day, a belaying lesson from one of the workers at the facility, and all day access to the gym. We brought two friends and a four year old with us and everyone had an awesome time, so this is a great activity for any and all ages.

day trip to charlotte north carolina
Cazzie Rockin the Rock Wall

I’m a huge fan of Groupon, and think that you can really score some great deals on a lot of different things to do, places to eat, and shopping items. It’s basically a giant website of coupons that you can purchase, and is a great way to save some money. If you’re not a member of Groupon yet, you can click the link HERE and sign up for some awesome deals.  

day trip to charlotte north carolina
Cazzie on the Belay

I thought my personal fitness level was pretty good, but rock climbing works muscles that you’re not quite used to working. My forearms and calves were extremely tired by the end of the day, and I knew we were getting a fantastic workout. Climbing and conquering the harder portions of wall was an amazingly satisfying feeling. There was one particular section of wall that was giving me some trouble, but I knew that I just had to overcome my mental block to get to the top. When I finally figured out my path, it was an awesome feeling of accomplishment. I think we have a new hobby to explore!

Plaza Midwood Neighborhood

After our rock gym session, we were starving and looking for something cold to drink. We went over to Plaza Midwood area, an up and coming section of Charlotte. There’s a lot of trendy breweries, bars, restaurants, and shops in the area. We lucked out with the weather while we were there, and we had a bright and sunny 75 degree day. All of the patio sections were open and full of people, and being outside is always better than being indoors! We ended up at Legion Brewing, an excellent option for any beer lovers in the area.

There’s a large indoor section, they have live music some days, and a giant patio that is wonderful during a nice day. Cazzie loved the Juicy Jay, an “East Coast IPA,” and I preferred the Hay Diddle Diddle, a great light and tasty saison. An interesting part of Legion is that they’ll add syrup to your beer if you ask. My personal favorite was the blackberry/sage combo, but they also had peach/mint and a couple others I can’t quite remember. Ask the friendly bartenders for the options!

You used to be able to bring dogs into breweries in Charlotte, but they recently changed their laws. Now they’re only allowed to be on the patio section. On a nice day though, the patio turns into a puppy party! We had a lot of fun watching (and petting!) all the dogs that came out. We only wished we had brought our Mocha with us to partake in the fun. 

Bier Garten, Another Place in Plaza Midwood to Hang Out

Dinner at Nikko’s Japanese and Sushi Bar

After Plaza Midwood, we went to a friend’s to get ready and make our plans for the night. We were pretty hungry at this point, so we decided to go to the popular Nikko’s Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar. This is a semi-club, semi-restaurant combo that is great if you’re looking for a fun Saturday night dinner option.

 

We ordered rolls of sushi to split, a couple too many bottles of sake, and sashimi pieces that were all excellent. The sushi was plated nicely and tasted very fresh. If sushi’s not your thing, they have other dishes available as well. The wait staff here was on point, and made for a very enjoyable experience. There’s a great mix of your typical sushi rolls with Nikko’s creations. I would definitely recommend calling ahead and making reservations, because this is an extremely trendy place that gets crowded. This is a “see and be seen” type of place, so dress to impress.

Sunday Morning Owen’s Bagels

Waking up on Sunday morning after *maybe* a little too much Sake at Nikko’s, we went over to Owen’s Bagels. This place is fantastic. There was a lengthy line to order, but Cazzie assured me it would all be worth it…and it 100% was. The menu is separated into different meats, but there’s a great veggie section as well for any vegetarians. Cazzie’s menu choice was the special of the day, and it looked fantastic. It had sausage, jalapeno, oozing cheese, egg, and hot sauce all smushed between a steamed asiago bagel. I can’t tell you how it tasted, because my hummus-avocado-provolone-sprout-tomato everything bagel was so good that I couldn’t even try his. Not only were the bagels excellent, they had Pure Intentions Cold Brew Coffee on tap.  A much needed addition to my morning!

YUM!

We always have a great time on our visits to Charlotte. We’re here rather frequently, but there always seems to be something new to explore and do. As soon as the weather warms up, I can’t wait to head to the National Whitewater Center. I can’t wait to try as many of the activities there as possible. The mountains and the beaches are close, the nightlight and restaurant scene is exciting, and it’s easy to see why this southern city is expanding so rapidly.

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9 Comments
  • mommermom says:

    Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for the tips. If we get back to Charlotte I’ll keep this in mind.

  • I will have to make my husband read this. He would relate to it though I do not think he has gone to Inner Peaks. But that is a good list for when we head there. Syrup in beer, hmm. I am curious 🙂

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Inner Peaks was a lot of fun, and cheap if you sign up for the Groupon! We were first timers, so it really is great for any and all levels. I was curious about the syrup too..and it turned out really tasty! It wasn’t too sweet, but added a good fruity flavor into the beers. An interesting experience at a brewery.

  • What a great time away you two had. We always enjoy our treks through North Carolina and its always fun seeing it through others adventures there. Thanks for taking us along. What have been some memorable rock climbing moments you two have encountered?

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      North Carolina is a great state! We were first time rock climbers this weekend, but we really enjoyed it so I would say we’ll be attempting more climbs in the future. Linville Gorge in North Carolina area has some amazing climbing destinations. We just need to be a little more advanced before we tackle something like that.

  • Awesome. It is great fun. You’ll get there. I’m finding however we don’t bounce like we use too, lol.

  • That’s pretty and full pack day trip. It seems its an every minutes count while both of you were there.

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  • We were in full leaf chasing mode this weekend, and I had all my spots planned where I wanted to go. I was pretty bummed because a road closure on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday forced us to head to lower elevations where the leaves weren't as vibrant. We found an awesome campsite though, completely secluded in the woods by ourselves. We spent the day slack lining, laying in the hammock, and trying and surprisingly succeeding to light a fire with damp wood. As we packed up in the morning aiming to head back up to my original planned spots...we realized we would run out of gas 😑😑😑 Long story short, we had to head back from where we came from and to be honest, I was really upset. We came around the curve though and were greeted with these blankets of clouds over the mountains, and I instantly forgot I was ever upset at all. Sometimes, things really do turn out just fine. .
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  • Cazzie always used to brag about North Carolina...always telling me it was the best state with beaches, mountains, and everything in between. I never really believed him. When I thought of North Carolina, I didn't know about the parkway, or Appalachia, or horses running wild near the ocean...I didn't know about pimento cheese, or grits, or North Carolina BBQ sauce. Now I do though. And I can't say it's the best state because I haven't been to all 50, but I can say it's pretty up there. Especially in the changing season. @visitnc .
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This last weekend we spent our time in the picturesque high country town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. We chose to hike Grandfather Mountain on Saturday, only to find the further we hiked, the more foggy and ominous the weather became. About a 1/2 mile from the top, we realized that we had hiked smack dab into the middle of a cloud. But even with the dampness, we wouldn't have spent our day any other way. .
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