Day Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.