12 Ideas to Plan a Night Out on the Town
We’ve got a dozen Queen City nightlife options paired with some of our favorite nearby restaurants to help you plan your next night out in the Queen City.
Whether you’re interested in experiencing live entertainment at one of Charlotte’s world-class venues, treating your sweetheart to a romantic evening, or exploring the personalities of our historic neighborhoods, there’s an evening adventure for everyone.
Enjoy live music, arts and culture experiences, shopping and more at Camp North End, a 76-acre historic site, which is also one of the largest adaptive reuse projects in the country. The former industrial site is now one of the hottest spots to explore in Charlotte. Grab dinner at one of the Keswick Avenue food stalls or make reservations at Leah & Louise, led by James Beard-nominated chef Greg Collier. Stop by Free Range Brewing for a beer before or after dinner and then explore the rest of the campus.
Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center
From May through September, get outside and enjoy live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at River Jam, the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s weekly concert series. Before jamming out with your friends, snag a spot on the patio at River’s Edge Bar & Grill, which overlooks the man-made whitewater river and has a view of the stage. From light and healthy to fried and hearty, the menu features a variety of options for everyone in your party.
Knights Baseball Game and Fireworks
Catch a Charlotte Knights AAA baseball game at Truist Field. Before the game, head to Brevard Court for your choice of quick eats from French Quarter Restaurant, Valhalla Pub & Eatery or Ohana Poké. Or for a special snack experience, check out Day and Night Exotic Cereal Bar serving up nostalgia in a bowl, cereal bar, milkshakes and more. On Friday nights, stick around for fireworks after the game and take a stroll through Romare Bearden Park.
Sip and Shop at RH Charlotte at Phillips Place
Grab a glass of wine from RH Charlotte’s rooftop wine bar and plan your dream house set up as you work your way down through the gallery savoring the high-end designs and vino. Then head to Southern Pecan or The Palm for a romantic dinner for two (or more if you're with a group).
Bowling and Karaoke on Montford Drive
Before a night of bowling at 10 Park Lanes and karaoke at the legendary Jeff’s Bucket Shop, stop into Moosehead Grill for an order of Uncle Donnie’s blackened chicken wings, a local favorite, or share the Korean beef and other tasty tapas with friends at Good Food on Montford.
Evening Tours of the Queen City
What better way to discover Charlotte than under the city lights on a cool, breezy evening tour. Book an early evening escapade with Funny Bus City Comedy Tour for an intro to Charlotte along with a good dose of comedic relief while enjoying your BYOB. Or schedule an adventure at dusk with Charlotte NC Tours via Segway, scooter, hoverboard or foot. If spooky is more of your speed, opt for a Beyond the Grave Tour through Uptown Charlotte with Carolina History and Haunts. Grab dinner before or after from your choice of vendors at 7th Street Public Market (you can also get cans of local beer to bring along on the Funny Bus).
Dinner and a Show at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Take in a Broadway show, concert or comedian at a Blumenthal Performing Arts Center venue. For your pre-show meal, head to Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen for the beef short ribs or bbq chicken. For a lighter option, try the fresh oysters from Sea Level NC. After the curtain call, stop by 204 North Kitchen and Cocktails for a post-show drink.
Eat and Play in Plaza Midwood
Spend an evening exploring Plaza Midwood’s watering holes like Thomas Street Tavern, The Thirsty Beaver Saloon and Workman’s Friend. Start your evening with classic Carolina ‘cue and baconwrapped jalapeños at Midwood Smokehouse. After bar hopping, groove to the DJ’s beats at Soul Gastrolounge while sipping on a cool cocktail and sharing an order of pork belly tacos.
Brewery Crawl in South End
See the Stars at Spectrum Center
The Hive is always alive, whether it's Charlotte Hornets basketball games or sold-out concerts featuring national touring artists, you can catch star-studded events at the Spectrum Center. Before the event, grab drinks and small plates at Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo, a pasta dinner at Aria Tuscan Grill or get your Southern food fix with an order of soul rolls from Mert’s Heart and Soul, packed with fried chicken, black-eyed peas and collard greens wrapped up in an egg roll.
Horse-drawn Carriage Ride Through Uptown
Start a romantic date night by indulging in local flavors with Mimosa Grill’s pecan crusted North Carolina mountain trout or traditional steakhouse fare like the prime “60 second” NY strip steak at 5Church. After dinner cozy up on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Uptown with Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours.
After Hours Shenanigans in NoDa
Discover a new band or see one of your local favorites at the Neighborhood Theatre or The Evening Muse. Pregame at Growlers Pourhouse with a craft beer and fuel up across the street at Sabor with a heaping order of the carne asada fries. Still up for fun after the show? There’s always a party and plenty of games to play at The Blind Pig. If you’re craving a late-night dinner, the kitchen at Jack Beagles serves food until 11 p.m. every night.
Originally written in January 2018. Article updated by Kristen Moore in June 2021.