Charlotte, North Carolina. Home to beautiful sights, great food, and fun things to do. However, there’s more to the city than just that. Here are some fun facts about Charlotte that you might not have known.
1 | It was named after a queen
Charlotte, also known as the “Queen City,” was named after Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who was the consort of King George III of England. There is a gorgeous statue of Queen Charlotte in Uptown Charlotte, and the city boasts street names like Queens Road to honor her legacy.
2 | Central business district
While most central business districts are called “downtown,” Charlotte sets itself apart by calling it “Uptown.” This stems from the fact that the vibrant hub is elevated on a gentle rise in the natural terrain, along with its gorgeous skyscrapers.
3 | Beautiful outdoors
This may come as no surprise, but Charlotte has some truly stunning outdoor venues and locations. Parks include McDowell Nature Center and Preserve, which is mostly undeveloped but has a nature center, campground, trails, and play areas. There’s also a lake. Another park to visit would be Wing Haven, which is technically a garden. It’s located in the heart of Charlotte and provides a natural oasis for reflection and study. There’s the Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden, the Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary, and the SEED Wildlife & Children’s Garden. Admission is $10 for ages 11 and older; children 10 and younger enter free.
4 | It’s home to the oldest museum in North Carolina
If going to museums is your thing, then look no further than Mint Museum, which is the oldest museum in North Carolina. Current exhibits, as of the date of publishing, include: The Vault; Flavors of Justice; Feeding the Stone; Ten Ten Ten; and Patterns of History. They also have an events calendar, which is accessible online, so you can easily see if there’s a particular event you want to join them for. Please note that there are two locations—Mint Museum Uptown, and Mint Museum Randolph. Admission for Mint Museum Uptown is $15 for adults, $10 for college students and seniors (65+), $5 for children 5-17, and children 4 and under enter free. Admission fees for Mint Museum Randolph follow the same fee structure.
5 | Diverse food culture
There is a wide variety of food available in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here are a few favorites.
The King’s Kitchen
This is a not-for-profit eatery serving updated Southern cuisine, with an adjoining bakery and breakfast cafe. They’ve got 4.4 stars on Google, with 1,601 reviews. They’re sitting at a solid $$ in terms of price tag. Menu items for lunch include starters like pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, and fried oysters; salads like leaf lettuce and local greens; sandwiches like BBQ chicken sandwich, shrimp po boy, and roasted pork sandwich; and sides like pan seared green beans, summer squash, and mac and cheese. Dinner menu items include starters along the same lines as lunch, the same salads, but meats get fancy, including fried catfish, grilled boneless pork chops, Aunt Beaut’s fried chicken, and grilled tri tip steak.
If you’re looking for more Southern-style food with a touch of elevation in craft cocktails, look no further than Haberdish, a restaurant with 4.5 stars on Google (and 2,444 reviews) and sitting at $$ on the price tag scale. Menu items include fried chicken, shrimp and grit cakes, house pickles, sweet potato dumplings, and desserts like banana pudding, sweet tea honey cakes, and brown butter pound cake.
Got a hankering for Italian? Mama Ricotta’s has got your back. With 4.5 stars on Google, and a total of 2,363 reviews, this Italian eatery has traditional Italian cooking with New Haven-style pizza, hosted in a warm, roomy setting and a covered patio for those that want to eat outdoors. It sits on a $$ at the price scale. Menu items include dinner, which has appetizers like Pei mussels, mozzarella and tomatoes, and baked Wagyu-pork meatballs. Pasta dishes on the dinner menu include pasta primavera, Italian sausage ravioli, and spaghetti with meatballs. Lunch menu includes options like Amma’s cheese ravioli, penne, broccoli, chicken pasta, and pollo carciofi.