Something Uniquely Charlotte or western NC?

Old May 31st, 2021, 03:06 PM
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Something Uniquely Charlotte or western NC?

Hi,

It's good to be back in the States helping out my parents in northern Virginia. I had not seen them for 17 months, being on the other side of the border in Quebec. To celebrate being fully vaccinated, I am doing one of my favourite things, a train ride (to Charlotte)! My destination this time around is Asheville, North Carolina, in part to visit a friend, but in part to check out Asheville, a city that has long been on my radar. I don't know why, but I have tended to opt for places further afield and never got around to seeing this city that many people seem to love. This year, going there for the first time just made sense!

So, the train drops me off in Charlotte and I will be taking a bus/shuttle to and from Asheville. I'll have one full day and two half days in Charlotte, a place I've never visited before. I was planning on staying Uptown. I will not have a car but am happy to take public transit, bike, even do a pricier Uber if it means seeing something special.

I like history, culture, cuisine, nature, architecture, charming parks and neighbourhoods; I find most US cities I've been to have something unique to them. I've read up on Trip Advisor and have seen the Levine Museum of the New South, which seems like it could be interesting. Is there anything that strikes you as uniquely interesting in Charlotte? A park with a special energy? A street with some especially lovely historic homes? Some food unique to Charlotte (or Asheville) that you find is done particularly well in that city? A particularly special restaurant (I like all sorts of cuisine; holes in the wall no frills places can be great if they have good food)?

Anyway, if you have any thoughts, don't be shy to share them. I'd love to hear them, whatever they are!

Best wishes,

Daniel

Last edited by Daniel_Williams; May 31st, 2021 at 03:07 PM. Reason: syntax error
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 02:28 AM
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Staying uptown you can enjoy not only the Levine museum but also the Bechtler with a truly world class collection of modern art, the Mint Museum, the Harvey Gantt museum of Black History--AND the NASCAR Hall of Fame!! There is also Discovery Place, our science museum. All within an 8 block of walking.
For food you can go to the Chicken Coop for the best fried chicken in the South. But there is lots of other kind of dining some of which has survived the pandemic.
Being from quebec you should partake or our southern national dish (not poutine) which would be pork barbecue. For this I would Uber to Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd. It is an upscale "biker BBQ bar"--the quotation marks should really go around "upscale biker"..
I am not sure of the status of tour companies now but you might even just get on a city bus in the uptown transportation center and take a ride on one that goes down Queens Road West one of our many beautiful streets.
A restaurant that might have a real down south feel with lots of good food (not quite a hole in the wall) is Dish in the Plaza Midwood area not too far from uptown but an Uber ride.. A really good uptown seafood restaurant (has small plates also and good drinks and wonderful oysters) is Sea Level in the Truist Building.
Hope you enjoy your stay here. It's a really nice town.
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 04:27 AM
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Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, Gretchen. I’m really looking forward to checking out Charlotte! Maybe by late June with more of the population fully vaccinated, the tour buses will again be operating. Best wishes, Daniel
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 06:24 AM
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Hi Daniel! No help with Charlotte but here's my 2019 Asheville TR for ideas:

Arty Asheville NC

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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 10:57 AM
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Thanks tdudette for the link to your trip report!

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Asheville. One way I’m sort of weird when I do a trip is that I deliberately avoid looking at pictures of a place that I’m about to visit, as I love being seduced by never before seen visuals when seeing a new place; it adds to the magic for me. (My mother is the exact opposite; she wants as many pictures as possible of a new place she’s about to visit.). All of which to say, I read what you wrote but covered up the pictures as I read. What’s interesting with me is *after* I visit a place, particularly if I liked it, I’m ravenous for pictures, videos and other people’s perspectives of that place!

I am keeping your restaurant thoughts for reference and am pleased you liked Asheville.



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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 02:33 PM
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NASCAR
Asheville
Biltmore Estate
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 05:27 PM
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Saludos, Daniel. I don't have too much to offer compared to the others! I remember Frito Pie at the Woolworth soda fountain, lol. I think it's now more of an art gallery. Several craft beers at Foggy Mountain. Pub food; had a live New/Blue Grass band. Speaking of New Grass, we went to Henderson for an outdoor concert. About halfway through the set Steve Martin got on stage and played banjo. I recall either he or his wife has/had a home in the area. But that's been several years ago when we were there. We spent about a week there investigating Asheville as a retirement destination. You know where we ended up. Beautiful city. If we ever return NOB it'd be a consideration. ˇSuerte!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 05:21 AM
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Starrs—Thanks! Staying 4 nights in Asheville and my friend there has a season’s pass to the Biltmore, I’m really looking forward. NASCAR not really my thing but thinking maybe I should go to the Hall of Fame to learn a bit .

Baldone—Gracias por tu ‘Suerte’! Glad to hear you liked Asheville; I am quite curious to see the small city. This said, SMDeA was beautiful and seemed like a lot of fun from my day trip there in 2015 and nearby Qro where I lived for a month is one of favourite places anywhere, so I like your choices. I look forward to heading back to that part of the world someday!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel_Williams View Post
Starrs— not really my thing but thinking maybe I should go to the Hall of Fame to learn a bit .

!
Same here.

But it's uniquely "mountains", including NC.

Started as running 'shine (moonshine) and getting away from law enforcement.

https://prohibition.themobmuseum.org...0and%20Georgia.

That's about the sum total of what I know. Never been to a race or a museum - although the previous owner of my mountain place left a Mason jar full of 'shine under the kitchen sink for me. Also a plastic tub of cracked corn to feed the wild turkey that guarded the corner of the mountain road.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 07:40 AM
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The NASCAR hall can be pretty interesting I am told by son who took his son--not fans either but cars are a guy thing. I'd put it on a list and prioritize--you don't have much time!! But it IS one of a kind!!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 04:38 PM
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Oh, there is so much to see and do! I will leave the Charlotte stuff to others. Curate is a great , and my favorite , restaurant in Asheville. I also love Fig restaurant in Biltmore square. I would suggest going to Grove Park Inn if for nothing else then a drink at the big bar and a walk around reading about all the history! Biltmore is stunning as well. There is so much to see and the Parkway is a short drive away! I hope you have a wonderful time!
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 01:54 AM
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There's a biscuit restaurant in Asheville that my kids just LOVE. Don't know the name but I'm sure it is "findable".
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 05:22 AM
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Gretchen—Thanks again for the biscuit & restaurant suggestion, and the bit of NASCAR and moonshine history. I may yet go to the Hall of the Fame; I’m always pretty useless in the car racing category for the trivia nights I go to and maybe this will help.

willowjane—Thanks for the restaurant recommendations. I have used Fodor recommendations elsewhere in the past. Looking forward to Asheville!
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
There's a biscuit restaurant in Asheville that my kids just LOVE. Don't know the name but I'm sure it is "findable".
There are a couple of Flying Biscuits in Charlotte.
https://flyingbiscuit.com/
I loved the original near Candler Park in Atlanta. One of the Indigo Girls' friend funded the first restaurant.
The Love Cakes (not a cake) are great. Everything is good.
https://flyingbiscuit.com/img/menus/...e-rea-menu.pdf

One of the first vegetarian/ vegan restaurant options in Atlanta many moons ago.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 12:22 PM
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NOT NOT NOT Flying Biscuit. Their biscuits are absolutely TERRIBLE!!!

It is Biscuit Head they like in Asheville.

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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 01:00 PM
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Starrs and Gretchen—Thanks for the suggestions and opinions on where to go for biscuits! Looks like I’ll have plenty to keep me busy for my short visit.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Their biscuits are absolutely TERRIBLE!!!
The original one had FABULOUS biscuits. So light they would fly!

I've not eaten at a Flying Biscuit for many years. Sorry to hear they are doing something wrong with their biscuits.
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Old Jun 5th, 2021, 02:52 AM
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Oh, it is PAINFUL!! We ate there soon after it opened and were shocked. They aren't just a little bit bad!! Our kids who love Biscuit Head have commented the same.
As much as we love Chick Fil-A, their biscuits are terrible also--if we get a morning chicken sandwich we always get it on a soft bun.
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Old Jun 5th, 2021, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
As much as we love Chick Fil-A, their biscuits are terrible also--if we get a morning chicken sandwich we always get it on a soft bun.
Well, I pretty much avoid CFA for other reasons, but never really thought about CFA as a biscuit place.

The "winner" for breakfast biscuits is Bojangles apparently -
https://www.southernkitchen.com/arti...s-in-the-south
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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 03:31 AM
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I pretty much agree with you about CFA unfortunately. This was before we "knew".

Actually I prefre McDonald's although I knew about the "poll". I like Bojangles too.
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