"b1bob does Charlotte in a big way" Top 5 Page for this destination Charlotte by b1bob

Charlotte Travel Guide: 570 reviews and 653 photos

b1bob does Charlotte the first time...

"An agreeable village but in a bloody rebellious country," recorded General Cornwallis when, before the unpleasantness at Yorktown, he visited Charlotte, North Carolina: "A veritable nest of hornets." This city, settled by Scots-Irishmen who came down the Blue Ridge Road from Pennsylvania, has now become one of the biggest metro areas between Washington D.C. and Atlanta. It has no particular geographic reason for being and it has never been showered with political favour since it got the Navy Yard for the blockaded Confederacy. Before the California gold rush, Charlotte was the gold mining capital of the country. Now, it is the headquarters of two of the nation's biggest banks: Bank of America, formed from the merger of Nation's Bank and Bank America, and First Union. Charlotte is the second-largest financial centre of the nation, behind only New York. It is the centre of the nation's biggest textile manufacturing region and an airline hub for U.S. Airways.

Before 21 March 2003, the last time I stopped in Charlotte was August, 1973 when I visited some distant relatives. Back then, I can only remember going to Carowinds amusement park. I passed through it once in 1980 when we took what I knew at that time was a circuitous route: I-85 to I-75 to I-4. I hadn't given much thought to returning until after October, 2002, after "acemj" visited me.

Originally, I thought President's Day weekend in February was good, but that was when he found a good deal to go to Portugal. Next, I thought his birthday weekend would be good and he liked that too. However, something came up caused me to have to switch the dates to go one week earlier, 21-24 March 2003.

That was a fun trip. I arrived there on the Friday night a bit frazzled after riding from Raleigh to Kannapolis with a (train) carload of 9-year olds coming back from a field trip to Raleigh. Mark took me to a Spanish restaurant in town. Had I known how expensive it would be, I would have suggested a locally-owned diner instead. Mark and I weren't in Charlotte much the following day as we spent the lion's share of it in Asheville. We spent much of that Sunday touring Uptown.

Sometimes, things work out for the best. I alluded above to having to move my trip to Charlotte up a week. It turned out the weather was as perfect (and stable) as it could be for late March. Had I gone when originally planned, it would have been 82 degrees (28 degrees C) on the Saturday and we would have seen snow flurries the following day. I got a bunch of good tips on that trip, but I went a second time.

...and likes it so much he goes back for more

Almost exactly a year later, I revisited acemj in Charlotte. Our plan was to visit Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday, 27 March, but to really do Charlotte on the following day, because I didn't get to go quite all the way the first time out. Charlotte didn't disappoint me. Her northern territory was more appealing to me than her south. I was especially fond of NoDa and its funky atmosphere. I'm willing to have a third go of Charlotte if she's willing...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Charlotte is unbelievably international for a city of the South outside Atlanta.
  • Cons:There is very little sense of history or a local flavour all its own.
  • In a nutshell:Charlotte is a large, surprisingly diverse city in search of its identity.
  • Last visit to Charlotte: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (83)

Comments (57)

  • Oct 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    and don't forget about belmont abbey just to the west of the charlotte. one of the oldest on the east coast and still a functioning abbey and college.

  • Aug 8, 2009 at 10:43 PM

    hi b1bob: Berryman Green married Nancy Terry. Nathaniel Greene married Catherine Littlefield. I don't know if Berryman Greene was kin to Nat Greene or not.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    I lived here 7 years when me and Hugh McColl ran the bank-he in the ground and I revived foreclosed properties to resell.

  • Jan 25, 2008 at 3:23 AM

    i love your pictures here!

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    Nat -- you are right... much more to this great city than I could see in one night! Thanks, Joe

  • DPando's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2006 at 2:42 PM

    thanks for all your kindness!!!

  • condorito's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2006 at 8:13 AM

    Very good tips. Thanks

  • eslim_81's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2006 at 9:38 AM

    I have to compliment you again for all your detailed and helpful tips. Your descriptives makes me feel like I am on the trip with you and see all those things with my own eyes. Well done. Charlotte is a wonderful place indeed.

  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2005 at 7:19 AM

    Wow!!! I think I just have another hot spot to visit in the US!! Fond Regards Your Friend Michael

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2005 at 9:36 PM

    Charlotte has everything to be one of the most important culture centre in the USA in my humble opinion!


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