Travel Tuesday: Cheers to Charlotte

by Analise Flatt on June 6, 2023 in Travels,

Charlotte is the quaint and cute city that has summer travel written all over it. Charlotte has been on my bucket list for awhile so I was stoked to check out the city when the opportunity presented itself. I loved the walkability, the greenery that lined the city streets, and all of the little parks dispersed throughout all of the big buildings. 


Slumbering in Charlotte 

A good friend of mine and I stayed at The JW Marriott Charlotte and had a great experience. A few of our favorite aspects of the hotel were the dining concepts, the hip rooftop pool setting, and the location. 

A few of the dining concepts include: 

The Counter at Deans is in the lobby of the hotel. They serve coffee & fresh pastries made daily with excellent service and immaculate vibes. I really enjoyed grabbing a coffee here and sitting at the counter. I felt like I was in a modern and hip version of a diner. 

If you are looking for something more than pastries and breakfast sandwiches, all you have to do is walk a little further past The Counter and you will be in Deans Italian Steakhouse. The brunch was incredibly enjoyable. It began with an aperol spritz and ended with their popular banana pudding. 

The beautiful pool area gives you the opportunity to hangout on the lounge chairs on the grassy area or the loungers in the pool. Photo courtesy Caroline Hosna.

The Aura Pool and rooftop bar is the perfect place to hangout on a sunny, Charlotte day. As soon as we arrived from the airport we threw our swimsuits on, grabbed a mojito from the bar and enjoyed the nice warm weather. 

Being located downtown was so convenient and helpful because we were able to walk to a lot of the places that we wanted to visit. The JW Marriott is also right across the street from the Charlotte Convention Center which is incredibly convenient for conference goers. 

Charlotte Shareables

I loved eating my way through Charlotte and enjoying the opportunity to try so many unique and cool places. 

Here are the places we enjoyed and the qualities that made them memorable: 

The warm atmosphere exudes good vibes and welcomes good conversation. Photo courtesy Cris Molina.

Angeline’s brings you traditional Italian meals with a Southern twist that encourages an environment of community. This restaurant celebrates the gift of being able to enjoy a good glass of Chianti, a bowl of bolognese pasta, and good conversation with the people around you. This is exactly what we did. 

The time and intentionality that goes into each beautifully made drink elevates the already fun atmosphere. Photo courtesy Peter Taylor.

After Angeline’s we walked over to their nextdoor neighbor, the rooftop bar Merchant and Trade. The atmosphere was very fun with cool lighting and music. We ordered the Hailey’s Comet and the Queen Bee cocktails, and not only did they come out beautiful but also delicious! 

The one of a kind PB&J Bacon plate. Photo courtesy Allie Papajohn.

Haberdish is a great place to enjoy the outdoor seating on a nice warm day with a chilled cocktail in hand. There’s many fun drinks to choose from. Our waiter encouraged us to try the PB&J bacon plate, (thick cut edward’s bacon, maple peanut butter, pepper jelly, cabbage-jalapeño slaw in a banana vinaigrette) which was out of my comfort zone but my friend, Jenna, being an adventurous eater encouraged us to try it and I’m very glad I did. 

The things that really stuck out to me about Little Mama’s was their Fresh Mozzarella bar, their speedy service making them a perfect spot for a hearty but quick lunch, and their fresh pasta. 

Midwood Smokehouse is an easy place to access with their five locations throughout the city. Their cornbread paired with honey was divine, and their Kentucky mules went great with their four meat plate, which is perfect for sharing. 

All you need to know about The Giddy Goat is their unique breakfast empanadas and stellar coffee are worth the trip. 

The focaccia bread and the selection of olive oils to choose from. Photo courtesy Kenty Chung.

Last, but certainly not least, is Ever Andalo. Situated on the same street as Haberdish, this is the restaurant that you should end your trip with (that’s what we did). They curate an authentic Italian experience, from their limoncello cocktails to their style of menu. Their menu is set up with primi and secondi selections, just like they do in Italy. It’s set up this way to have a meal with more courses that allow you to try the pasta as a precursor to the secondi that usually comes a little heartier with meat. 

Charlotte Shenanigans 

Riding the waves of the man-made rapids gives you an adrenaline rush. Photo courtesy The U.S. Whitewater Center.

The Whitewater Center is a non-negotiable when traveling to Charlotte. They create an all-encompassing experience around the outdoor lifestyle with 30 different recreational activities. You can easily spend all day out there. We got to go on Earth Day, which was very fitting, and enjoy the rope activities (zipline, ropes course, and high jump). Even though the whitewater rafting is manmade, the rapids are still intense at some points and the instructors are really good at making it a thrilling and fun experience (shoutout to Mama J)! 

After you have worked up an appetite, head over to Rivers Edge for a great view and a filling meal or snack after a long day of being active in the sun.  

The Explore CLT Pass is the way to go if you desire to check out some of the Charlotte attractions such as The Mint Museum and The Nascar Hall of Fame. You can purchase a one or two day pass. The one day is between $35-$45, while the two-day is $47-$60. 

After an adventure-filled weekend, it’s time to relax and rejuvenate at the Spa by JW. I experienced the 5 senses swedish massage. It was not only relaxing but my massage therapist did a great job with my shoulders, the place where I hold all of my tension and stress. 

Charlotte truly does have a lot and is awaiting your arrival for your upcoming vacation. 

Analise and her friend, Jenna, enjoying one of the beautiful parks dispersed throughout the city. Photo courtesy Analise Flatt.


Cover photo courtesy Cody Hughes 

A lover of all things travel, pretty running trails and good coffee, Analise Flatt is newly graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and is now pursuing a position as a FOCUS Missionary. Check out her Instagram to stay updated on her latest travel adventures.