Visitors looking for a reprieve from the political action have plenty of high-energy or low-key options
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 28, 2012) – There’s no shortage of Charlotte events September 3 – 6 surrounding the 2012 Democratic National Convention. After the delegate parties disperse and key speeches are made, there may just be enough time to squeeze in some local flavor. Visitors can de-stress with help from these Charlotte favorites.
− More than a dozen restaurants, nightlife and retailers make up the EpiCentre located in the heart of Center City. The mixed-use, open-air venue will be home to MSNBC during the DNC. Saddle up to the belt buckle-trimmed bar at Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Whisky River, savor a pint at Mortimer’s, or bowl out some frustrations at Strike City. Fine dining includes Enso Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar, Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, Mez and Flemings Prime Steakhouse.
− Charlotte is no stranger to the art of crafting a fine cocktail. Savor the masterpieces of mixologists at these venues. Mahogany paneled walls and leather couches are complemented by Cutters Cigar Bar’s hand-crafted cocktails like “Charlotte’s Manhattan” with cinnamon and vanilla infused Maker’s Mark. At Halcyon, “Some Pig” features Smoky Maker’s 46 steeped with bacon, orange bitters and maple syrup. And at e2 Emeril’s Eatery, a brainchild of Chef Emeril Lagasse, don’t miss the “Prickly Moon” made with moonshine, prickly pear juice and hibiscus syrup.
− The NC Music Factory will be the site of the media party for 15,000 attendees September 1. As one of the first official DNC bashes on the books, the refurbished mill buildings with more than a dozen dining and nightlife venues will be a media playground. Posh destinations include Butter NC (a spin-off of the famed NYC hotspot) and Osso, both designed by famed club designer Francois Fossard. For a low-key option, sample local brews over a game of cornhole at beer garden VBGB.
− North Carolina is home to more than 100 wineries and is a top-five destination for wine enthusiasts. Dozens of wineries are within an hour drive, but visitors looking to sample the fruits of local winemaker’s labors close to the convention can find options like Childress Vineyards at Urban Sip on the 15th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte and at Biltmore Estate Winery at Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen.
− September may still be a bit steamy weather-wise, but those Indian summer evenings will be perfect for alfresco patios. One of the best views available belongs to the Metropolitan, just on the outskirts of Center City. Grab a spot outside at Dressler’s Metropolitan or Vivace for a picture-perfect view of the skyline framed in back of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, which touts19 miles of interconnected trails and paths that flow through Charlotte.
− Between Charlotte’s residential Myers Park and South Park neighborhoods lies a street that locals flock to; Montford Drive. If DNC visitors need an escape beyond the convention area, they may find plenty of Charlotteans here as well. Among casual watering holes and critically acclaimed eateries like Good Food on Montford, there’s a new addition. Retro-inspired 10 Park Lanes offers 12 flavors of moonshine, smoked and spiced pulled pork and throwback bowling lanes where the good times roll.
− More than 80 breweries are found in North Carolina and Charlotte is home to seven of these with even more on tap. The artistic NoDa neighborhood is home to the highest concentration with NoDa Brewing Company, Birdsong Brewing and Heist Brewery. More favorites include Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and Triple-C Brewing.
− What’s a visit to a new city without souvenirs? For a dose of retail therapy, outlet deals at Concord Mills, coveted designer labels in South Park and boutiques full of character in Dilworth are best bets. For official DNC merchandise and Charlotte-themed gifts like stone-ground grits, crown-stamped pottery and local cookbooks, head to the Visitor Info Center at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and South Tryon Street.
Looking to learn more? Log on to www.charlottesgotalot.com for more visitor ideas on ways to explore Charlotte beyond the DNC’s events.
About the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) works to ensure the visitors and events that choose Charlotte have a positive experience. Our responsibilities include destination marketing through Visit Charlotte and management of Charlotte’s public assembly facilities, which include the Charlotte Convention Center, Time Warner Cable Arena, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. CRVA’s mission seeks to leverage its hospitality marketing and management expertise to maximize the impact of the Charlotte region’s economy, creating opportunities and jobs for the community.