Uptown Charlotte Highlights
Image by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library under Creative Commons License.

Uptown Charlotte Highlights, Charlotte, North Carolina (A)

Downtown Charlotte has seen an explosion of growth in recent years. Formerly known primarily for its prominence in the financial industry, the Queen city has begun to develop a keen sense of artistic identity. For a taste of uptown's culture, get ready to visit the museums, theatre and themed restaurant in the following guide.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Walk Route

Guide Name: Uptown Charlotte Highlights
Guide Location: USA » Charlotte
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Author: Rebecca Grace
Author Bio: Rebecca Grace has been a financial writer since 2002. Her creative freelance work has appeared in several local publications as well as online on WritersWeekly, WOW! Women On Writing and Music for the Love of it. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in English from Winthrop University.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • ImaginOn
  • Spirit Square
  • Discovery Place
  • Ri Ra's Irish Pub
  • Blumenthal Performing Arts
  • The Green
  • Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
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ImaginOn

1) ImaginOn

Looking for a place where your kids can learn through entertainment? Then ImaginOn is the place for you. Sponsored by the Children's Theatre of Charlotte and the Charlotte Mecklenberg Library, ImaginOn caters to kids from birth all the way to 18 years old. Their mission is to "bring stories to life through extraordinary experiences that challenge, inspire and excite young minds." Opened in 2005, the facility houses hands-on activities along with a variety of books and other media for young children. They also offer access to an assortment of technology for teens, including the ability to make music videos. Parents too can participate in the activities available to involve the whole family. Best of all, touring the building is free though you will need to purchase tickets for any shows you may wish to see.
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Spirit Square

2) Spirit Square

Spirit Square is the location of the Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film. As one of only four museums in the country promoting photography and film as an art form, the Light Factory displays the works of local and regional artists along with independent filmmakers from all over the world. In addition to walking tours available for each of the various galleries, darkroom demonstrations are also offered with a chance for hands on experience. Explore the museum that hosts competitions for artists across the country and around the world, artists seeking to demonstrate, among other perceptions, their search for self discovery, display their concern for environmental awareness and show the effects of war through their artistic photographic and film displays.
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Discovery Place

3) Discovery Place

Discovery Place provides both children and adults with the chance to explore the world around us. With a wide variety of displays to investigate you won't be at a loss for things to do. Come eye to eye with and pet a python if you dare, watch the on-site physicist experiment with dry ice and build your own skyscrapers with the wooden blocks provided. Visit Discovery Place's 3D theatre for a short 15 to 20 minute flick and complete your tour with a visit to the IMAX Dome where you can watch giant sea creatures swim, waves crash or aircraft zoom overhead in the dome-shaped screen above you.
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Ri Ra's Irish Pub

4) Ri Ra's Irish Pub

For a taste of Ireland, drop into Ri Ra's Irish Pub. From hummus wraps to steak and chips, this authentic Irish establishment whisks its patrons into the Irish world from the moment you step inside and hear Irish music playing. You may even be fortunate enough to be greeted by one of the staff members originally from Ireland. Pictures fill the paneled walls and dark oak bars give a cozy look to the ground floor while bar stools sit beneath chandeliers lining the upstairs floor. On a nice day, request to be seated outdoors where you can sit under umbrella-covered tables and feel the cool breeze as you look over the Charlotte uptown area below you.
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Blumenthal Performing Arts

5) Blumenthal Performing Arts

From plays seen on Broadway to orchestral performances and operas, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center offers entertainment to appeal to most any taste. For those with children, the center also offers comedy and family friendly events. Dinner Packages are available for patrons and free backstage tours are offered monthly every second and fourth Monday to allow visitors access to areas usually closed to the public. When ordering tickets, be sure to check where the event will be held as some of the center's events are located at areas outside of downtown Charlotte.
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The Green

6) The Green

Across the street from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and located next to St. Peter's Catholic Church is a quiet haven called The Green. A popular area for weddings and concerts, when not in use, visitors to this quaint park can rest and relax on the benches and stone-lined walls scattered throughout this peaceful nook located in the heart of downtown Charlotte. Large stone fishes spout water in one corner of the park while wooden signs sprinkled all over the area post distances from Charlotte to destinations ranging from as close as next door neighbor South Carolina all the way to Australia. After resting, stroll through the shops and cafes lining the outside of this calm sanctuary.
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Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

7) Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

A huge array of 20th century pieces awaits you at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Standing guard at the museum's entrance is an enormous silver and gold metal sculpture titled 'Firebird.' Inside, you can explore the previously privately owned collection of artwork available only to the Bechtler family. After deciding to make Charlotte his permanent home, Andreas Bechtler decided to open this collection of European, French, British and American artwork to the public with many of the pieces crafted by artists the Bechtler family is on intimate terms with. Visitors can tour the facility using free audio guides and gallery brochures or take advantage of public tours offered weekdays at noon and on weekends at 3 p.m. For those with children, the museum offers family tours specifically designed for adults with kids.

Walking Tours in Charlotte, North Carolina

Create Your Own Walk in Charlotte

Create Your Own Walk in Charlotte

Creating your own self-guided walk in Charlotte is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

Charlotte is home to a variety of religious buildings, representing a range of religious denominations. Some of the buildings date back to 19th century and are quite beautiful. Take this self-guided tour to see some of Charlotte's most historical places of worship!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Charlotte Introduction Walking Tour

Charlotte Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Charlotte was settled by Europeans from Northern Ireland around 1755. Its namesake was Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III and Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. It was from this name that Charlotte earned its nickname "The Queen City."

Another nickname of Charlotte is "The Hornet's Nest," which originated during the American...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Charlotte's Historical Buildings Tour

Charlotte's Historical Buildings Tour

Downtown Charlotte or Uptown (as it is usually called by locals) is home to a number of historic structures that remind people what the city once looked like. Among its highlights are the Liddell-McNinch House, Newcomb-Berryhill House, and Overcarsh House. Check out the most noteworthy historic buildings in Charlotte’s Uptown on this self-guided walking tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles