By Lauren Levine
Dusting off that passport and planning a trip overseas probably sits somewhere near the top of your bucket list. But if your funds and PTO are more limited than you’d like, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in other cultures right here in the Queen City. Here are some of the best ways to satisfy your wanderlust—no jet lag required.
Charlotte’s diverse cultural calendar invites visitors and locals to travel the world, one festival at a time. This month, experience Latin America at the Ritmo & Sabor @Bearden Music Series on June 11, featuring authentic Latin music, cuisine and family fun. Or, on June 18-21, admire African art and customs at the Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas. Be sure to clear your fall schedule; a different cultural festival takes the stage each weekend. The lineup includes: the Turkish Festival, the Festival of India, the Beaujolais (French) Festival, the Yiasou Greek Festival, the Bon Odori (Japanese) Festival and the Festa Italiana Charlotte—just to name a few.
Taste International Flavors
Eat your way around the world without leaving the Queen City. Charlotte’s culinary scene is filled with unique eateries serving up delicious ethnic cuisine. Try Bosnian sausages at Euro Grill & Café; Israeli lamb shank at La Shish Kabob; Ethiopian meat stew at Queen Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant; French duck confit at Aix en Provence; and Italian gnocchi at OGGI Ristorante Italiano. Or pick up your own groceries from Grand Asia Market to make barbecue pork and Chinese vegetables. Then satisfy your sweet tooth over fruit-infused Mexican ice cream at La Michoacana.
Find Global Inspiration
Make visitors think your passport is full of stamps when you fill your living space and closet with authentic pieces from around the world. Start your global retail tour at Pura Vida Worldly Art in NoDa. The unique shop has everything from Tibetan singing bowls to hand-carved Mexican pottery. Then pop over to nearby House of Africa in Plaza Midwood for handcrafted African jewelry, ceremonial accessories and home accents that convey traditional artwork and craftsmanship. Visit the gift shop at Levine Museum of the New South to pick up Sandra Gutierrez’s Latin cookbook, “The New Southern-Latino Table,” and fill your home with the aroma of South American fare.
Three to See
This article ran in the June 2016 issue of Charlotte Happenings.
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