Whether it’s a mother-daughter getaway or a girls’ weekend with the important women in your life, grab your best gal pals and head to Charlotte for an unforgettable celebration. You’ll discover the rich history and heritage of the city named after a queen while exploring the many girlfriend-approved hotspots. Here’s a few ways to experience a royal treatment with your besties in the Queen City.
Day 1: Culture & Couture
Morning: Start your day at the city’s beloved Mint Museum Uptown filled with prominent American, European and Craft + Design collections as well as awe-inspiring traveling exhibitions. After exploring, stop in Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth for lunch right inside the museum. The farmhouse chic restaurant features a seasonal dining experience that celebrates artisanal farms, cheese makers and wineries from the Carolinas and beyond. And just next door, check out the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Be sure to take a group photo in front of the Firebird statue on your way out.
Afternoon: Spend the afternoon discovering Charlotte’s style by the mile. SouthPark Mall offers luxury fashion such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton to casual staples like J. Crew and Tommy Bahama. Concord Mills features options for the bargain hunter with more than 200 outlet stores. In between, local shops and boutiques can be found in neighborhoods like historic Myers Park adorned with tree-lined streets to South End, where you can peruse everything from North Carolina-made furniture to custom spice blends.
Evening: Head to the EpiCentre for dinner at Enso, BlackFinn Ameripub, or one of the many dining options available before heading to a Broadway show, an intimate concert, a ballet or another special performance at a Blumenthal Performing Arts venue, Bojangles’ Coliseum or Ovens Auditorium.
Day 2: Wine, Dine & Dance
Morning: Begin your day by engaging all of your senses on a Taste and Glide Segway Tour with Charlotte NC Tours. Each woman in your group will ride her own Segway and get an insider’s look at the beautiful architecture and fascinating history of the city while stopping to taste the town along the way.
Afternoon: After your high-tech adventure through the city, relax at a nearby winery to enjoy some girl talk. Explore The Vineyards of Swan Creek, a cluster of vineyards full of award-winning wines, magnificent mountain views and quiet country life all within five miles of each other in Yadkin Valley. Or stay in the city and enjoy some wine while you get a hands-on painting lesson from a local artist. Wine and Design, Pinot’s Palette, Painting with a Twist and The Wine Palette all have great painting options to choose from. And the best part—you get to take your painting home with you!
Evening: End the day with a bang! Put on your best attire and head to the swanky Bubble Champagne Bar or Crave Dessert Bar for appetizers and cocktails before a night on the town. For dinner, check out Osso at the NC Music Factory, the posh locale where Emily Maynard from season eight of “The Bachelorette” had a one-on-one date. After dinner, put on your dancing shoes and check out Charlotte’s nightlife scene at hotspots like 5Church, Label and Suite. Want to keep it more low key? Head to Blue Restaurant & Bar for late night Mediterranean fare and live jazz music Wednesday through Saturday night.
Day 3: A Sweet Retreat
Morning: After a night on the town, pamper yourself with an invigorating and luxurious spa treatment like the four elements massage or the sea water pearl facial at The Spa at Ballantyne or the honey detox massage at the spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. Both spas offer dozens of treatments, salon options and a fitness center. For an affordable indulgence, enjoy some girl time with mani-pedis at Polished Nail Bar.
Afternoon: Satisfy your chocolate craving on a private, customized Dessert Tour with Tour De Food. Explore the sweet side of Charlotte at several savory shops serving wine, coffee, chocolates and other decadent delights. Or make reservations for Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Bar Cocoa, a delectable dessert boutique that offers a daily tea featuring tea sandwiches, scones, petit fours, signature chocolates and more. With one of these options, you’ll definitely get your chocolate fix.
Evening: Relax during your last night in town with a movie night with the girls. There’ll be no guys to dictate the movie choice on this trip! Studio Movie Grill at the EpiCentre and Cinebarre at the Arboretum both offer in-theater dining so you can spoil yourself with dinner, drinks and other concessions without ever leaving your plush, oversized seat. After the movie, make a quick stop at the eclectic Amélie’s French Bakery in the historic NoDa Arts District. The sweets at this 24/7 bakery played a starring role of their own in “The Hunger Games,” when Haymitch, Effie, Peeta and Katniss dined lavishly in the train car scene en route to the Capitol. Be sure to try the salted-caramel brownie during your trip.