$160 - $340
Get a taste of that unmistakable southern charm that Charlotte has to offer. From historic streets to breathtaking architecture, Charlotte offers everything from pleasant weather to a range of fun activities. The best time to visit Charlotte is March through May or September through November. These seasons are less crowded, so hotel rates are more affordable too. While you might be tempted to book flights to Charlotte in the summer, you will encounter the busiest time of year from June to August. Local attractions offer extended hours to bring in tourists, and the temperatures are quite hot at this time of the year. By visiting in early fall, you get mild temperatures and affordable flights to Charlotte too. Winters are pleasant, with Charlotte rarely seeing snow. In fact, winter temperatures average 50 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you visit during the winter, you will avoid the crowds, and hotel rates are at their lowest.
There are numerous domestic flights available to fly to Charlotte, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Delta Airlines, Jet Blue, and Via Air. Other options outside of the leading states in the country include Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
Cheap flights to Charlotte are easier to find during non-peak travel months, especially in the winter. However, be cautious when booking what may seem to be more affordable tickets, because these could require multiple layovers and provide minimal amenities.
CATS Sprinter Enhanced Bus Service links with Charlotte Transportation Center and the airport. Take the Route 5-Airport, which leaves from Zone D by the baggage claim. It runs every 20 minutes from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm, and every 30 minutes from 7:00 pm until midnight. CAT is spaced out more on the weekends.
The Airport Connector runs from Charlotte Airport to the city using three routes. Route 5 Sprinter leaves from the Charlotte Transportation Center, starting at 5:00 am. Route 590 Airport Connector leaves from Northlake Mall Park, but a bus fare is required. Route 591 Airport Connector serves the LYNX Blue Line, Tyvola and Woodlawn Rail Stations, and requires a bus fare too.
Taxis are easily found outside baggage claim areas, and you can pre-arrange with a service before your flight. Also, there are four companies available for CLT Airport, including City Cab, Crown Cab, Yellow Cab, and Green Cab. A one-way trip from the airport is $25 USD. Sharing a cab could help you save money.
Car rental desks are located throughout arrival terminals, and you will find the car rental facility on the second level of the lobby for hourly parking. Thrifty gives their customers a shuttle ride to their parked cars. Don’t forget to explore momondo for attractive car rental deals.
While Charlotte transportation options are plentiful, the best way to get around is by renting a car. The city transit system is minimally connected, so you will spend more time waiting or walking than riding public transportation. Renting a car is the most cost-effective solution because you can stop and explore as you wish. Uptown is laid out in a grid, which makes navigation simple. I-485 and I-277 will be your most used interstates to get around.
Taxis are available from the city as well, and they are regulated by the city. There is a drop charge of $2.50 USD, and you are charged for every one-fifth of a mile at $0.50 during rush hours, and $0.50 USD per minute spent in traffic.
The LYNX Blue Line light rail commutes from Uptown to Mecklenburg County. It stops at all the main uptown destinations, and the trains run every 7 to 10 minutes on the weekdays and 20 – 30 minutes during weekends. Fares are $2.20 USD for one-way tickets and $6.60 USD for a day pass. Tickets are valid for 90 minutes and you can transfer to a CATS bus.
CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System) operates throughout Charlotte. Most leave the Uptown Transportation Center and head toward suburbs. They are not the most efficient means for travel, and cost $2.20 USD one-way, while $3 USD is for express buses and $0.90 USD for shuttles. A one-leg trip takes 45 minutes, while a two-leg trip can be as long as 2 hours.
Charlotte offers a plethora of attractions. During peak travel season, most attractions have extended hours.
Taste real southern cuisine by visiting local restaurants in Charlotte. A few good starting points include 300 East, Bentley’s on 27th, and Landmark Diner.
You absolutely must get a taste of history while in a city like Charlotte. Some museums to see include the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Nature Museum, the Schiele Museum of Natural History, and the Reed Goldmine State Historic Park. There is also the Mint Museum and Discovery Place that are ideal for families traveling with young kids.
The Carowinds is a 100-acre amusement park located just 15 miles out of Charlotte. There are dozens of rides and attractions and you could easily spend a day here without getting bored or covering everything!
Engage in Activities of Your Choice
Charlotte offers everything from boating on Lake Norman to fishing, auto racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and golf.
Stop in at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market, the International Collectibles and Antique Show, and Carolina Place Mall.
Visit Crave Dessert Bar for upscale sweet treats, Double Door Inn for music and brews, and Ri Ra for some Irish pub fun.
Beware of Road Names
Charlotte roads can be complicated. While Uptown is a grid, the rest of Charlotte will have names for streets. Most roads are one road, but the name changes several times. Therefore, beware that the path you are on may change names, but you may still go in the right direction.
Be Prepared for Traffic
During peak travel times, you will see plenty of traffic. Also, when there are motorsports events, parking and traffic near the Speedway become difficult.
Charlotte has numerous haunted houses, so if you are visiting close to Halloween, you can get a kick (or scream) out of the haunted house tours and events!
Charlotte is home to several breweries, but notable ones to visit include Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Sugar Creek Brewery, and Triple C Brewery.