The most popular time to visit Charlotte is late spring and summer. Due to families visiting for summer holidays, this season draws the biggest crowds, resulting in increased rates for hotels. The peak season is the perfect time to explore Charlotte and the great outdoors, such as, the 98-acre Freedom Park, but keep in mind that July and August can become stiflingly hot, reaching close to 38 degrees Celsius some days. Make sure you book accommodation and flights to Charlotte in advance during this period so you get the best deal.
Although winter can be a great time to book flights to Charlotte if you’re looking for a festive break, it is undoubtedly the off peak season as the city isn’t as lively as in the summer months and some attractions may be closed. While fewer visitors are drawn to the city during this time of year, it’s the perfect opportunity to nab cheap flights and hotel deals in Charlotte.
Autumn and early spring make up Charlotte’s shoulder seasons, although they can still be busy times of the year, especially during students’ spring and autumn breaks. October can be a lovely time to visit and experience the foliage around the city changing colour. Travellers may be able to find deals on flights to Charlotte and accommodation during these seasons, compared with summer, so it’s a great time to look for a bargain.
The largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte, is also the second-largest banking centre in the country. It’s also one of the fastest growing cities in the US, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The top attraction in Charlotte is Discovery Place, a hands-on science and technology museum that features permanent exhibits such as a tropical rain forest, an aquarium, dinosaurs with robotic models that roar and move, and an IMAX Dome theatre. The child-oriented Charlotte Nature Museum exhibits the animals and plants of the area including a Butterfly Garden.
To step back in time, take a historic walking tour through Uptown. Charlotte dates from Revolutionary War times (it is named after King George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte) and its Uptown area includes the Fourth Ward neighbourhoods, Charlotte’s “old city.” The architecture and sensibility of this neighbourhood provide a glimpse of life in a less hectic time.
Although primarily a business town, complete with futuristic high-rises and elevated walkways, travellers take flights to Charlotte to visit its museums and restaurants, and explore its fascinating history.
If you’re staying in Charlotte, you can walk around the Uptown area or take the Gold Rush shuttle, which provides free service throughout Uptown. There’s trolley service from Historic South End to Centre City Charlotte, and the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) provides public transportation throughout the city.
To tour the outlying areas you’ll need a car. As with most major cities, traffic can be difficult during the rush hour.
When driving around Charlotte, pay attention to street names. Several major streets have a name change after an intersection. Also, several roads have the same name; they may all connect in some way, but it can be confusing for a driver who’s not paying attention.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is located 8 miles (13 km) west of Charlotte. You can get to the city centre via bus, limousine/shuttle, taxi, or car hire. All ground transportation is located within the airport. Hotels and motels that have courtesy vehicles can be contacted through the Traveller Information Centres. See the Ground Transportation page of the airport web site for more information.