The Basketball Fan’s Guide to Charlotte
Between the NBA All-Star Game, CIAA Tournament and thrilling Hornets games, basketball fans have been flocking to Charlotte this year. So what is there for a basketball fan to do in Charlotte? A lot.
by Corey Inscoe Mar 08, 2019
Between the NBA All-Star Game, CIAA Tournament and thrilling Hornets games, basketball fans have been flocking to Charlotte this year. And with the 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament coming to the Spectrum Center March 12-16, even more college hoops fans will be gathering in the Queen City.
So what is there for a basketball fan to do in Charlotte? A lot.
Where to Stay
First things first – you need a place to lay your head after an action-packed day. Uptown Charlotte has a plethora of hotel options, with more popping up seemingly every day.
The Charlotte Marriott City Center, just a few blocks away from the Spectrum Center, not only features stylish rooms and suites but is also home to one of the city’s hottest restaurants and bars, Stoke Charlotte, not to mention a cozy coffee house, Coco and the Director.
Hilton Charlotte Center City and The Westin also offer luxurious accommodations in the heart of Uptown, while you can enjoy breathtaking city views from the rooftop bars at Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, Le Meridien, and the AC Hotel and Residence Inn Charlotte City Center.
What to Do
You’re not going to spend all day in the arena, right? We have some ideas for how you can use the rest of your time. Take advantage of the Blue Line light rail and bounce around more Charlotte neighborhoods like NoDa, the city’s art district with its eclectic shops and innovative restaurants.
Or head the other direction to South End and raise a glass to Charlotte’s booming brewery scene with stops at Triple C Brewing, Sycamore Brewing or any of the many taphouses along the light rail line.
Where to Shop
Sneakerheads, listen up: Make sure to swing by Social Status. The upscale streetwear and sneaker boutique has been just outside of Uptown in Plaza Midwood since 2010 and regularly draws lines out of the door for unique sneaker releases.
Where to Eat
We can’t possibly fit all of Charlotte’s incredible restaurants in this list, but here are some options you should consider.
For a taste of the South: Queen City Q, just a block from Spectrum Center, has something for all barbecue lovers, from pulled pork to St. Louis-style pork ribs. (Also try Mert’s Heart and Soul for soul food at its best.)
For a quick bite: 7th Street Public Market is the perfect place to grab a quick meal during the day, with options ranging from Pure Pizza to Bonsai Fusion Sushi to Orrman’s Cheese Shop. Tank’s Tap and Not Just Coffee are also on hand in this indoor urban market for all your beverage needs.
For dessert: Feast your eyes on the pastry case Amélie’s French Bakery & Café, a local favorite known for its salted caramel brownies and macarons. And the Uptown location is open until midnight on the weekends for those late night cravings.
Where to Watch (if you don’t have tickets)
Don’t have tickets to the game? No problem. Head to Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse in Uptown and watch the action on one of their dozens of TVs while sipping a brew from their extensive beer list. Then you can mosey downstairs to enjoy craft cocktails in the Cellar at Duckworth’s, with its exposed brick walls and prohibition-era feel.
Or try Flight Beer Garden & Music Hall, which might be showing the big game on its massive projection screen.
Where to Play
The play doesn’t have to end when the games are over. Just across the street from the Spectrum Center you’ll find the Epicentre, with three floors packed with entertainment, from bars to nightclubs and even a bowling alley.
Or show off your basketball skills with a few games of NBA Jam or Hoop Fever at Lucky’s Bar & Arcade.
If you’d prefer to wind down with a cocktail, meander over to Sophia’s Lounge with its velvet sofas and European flair. You could also take the elevator up to the 15th floor of The Ritz-Carlton to experience The Punch Room, an intimate, 37-seat upscale speakeasy.
This list is just the beginning. Whether you’re here to see the Hornets or checking out a game at Johnson C. Smith University, Queens University of Charlotte or UNC Charlotte, there’s no shortage of ways to have an exciting, hoop-filled time in the Queen City.