ITINERARY: Plan Your Summer Adventures in Uptown
In Partnership with Charlotte Center City Partners
ANYONE WHO’S BEEN there recently agrees: Uptown is buzzing with energy again. And over the past couple years, even more eating and entertainment options have opened. This summer, when you and your kiddos are itching for accessible adventure, you might want to consider making a day of it inside Charlotte’s central district. Below, we’ve assembled an itinerary that’ll ensure fun for adults and kids of any age range, with a couple options for each category—one newly opened option and another that’s already a Charlotte summer classic. All deserve a visit during the season ahead:
Geno D’s Pizza at The Market at 7th Street (224 E. 7th St.)
No food satisfies the entire family like pizza. Geno D’s originally operated in New Jersey from 1985 through 2018, and in 2021, it re-emerged as a tenant at The Market at 7th Street. The “Jersey Shore-style” pizza joint comes from father-and-daughter team Geno and Gena DiPaolo, and it serves pizza options that include a highly popular Grandma-style pie. Bonus: You can take it across the street to First Ward Park (301 E. 7th St.) to make it a picnic.
Green’s Lunch (309 W. 4th St.)
Ninety-six years ago, the Greens bought an uptown lunch counter that’s become the city’s oldest restaurant. Your younger companions might like it plain, but be sure to order a hot dog with Mary Green’s secret homemade chili. Also: If you want another picnic option, Romare Bearden Park (300 S Church St.) is right next door. The park often has live music during lunchtime throughout the summer.
A Mural Tour
You might notice some new paint adorning the buildings across uptown. Art Walks CLT, which expanded over the past couple years with new live walks and resources, continues to catalog those new pieces. You can either join in on one of their excursions this summer or go at your own pace using Art Walks’ maps. Just a couple of the newer murals to check out: Sydney Duarte’s “Where the Magic Happens” behind Knight Theater (430 S. Tryon St.) and the gorgeous portrait by Sam Guzzie, Owl, and Kalin Renée Devone next to the Charlotte Convention Center (501 S. College St.).
Mint Museum Uptown (500 S. Tryon St.)
The museum’s summer exhibitions include Lydia Thompson’s Travelers, Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things, and the juried exhibition Coined in the South: 2022, of which this magazine is a media partner. The Mint hosts family-friendly programming throughout the summer, too, including the Lewis Family Gallery, which the venue describes as “a creative environment for creating art, engaging in building and puzzle challenges, posing for pictures, creating a giant doodle, and stepping into a Romare Bearden collage.”
MOA Korean BBQ & Bar (128 S. Tryon St.)
Continue the adventure with the a visit to a grill-at-your-table experience that’s quickly become an uptown favorite. The impressive menu is fall of shareables, giving your family a chance to discover new dishes together. Charlotte magazine lifestyle editor Taylor Bowler says the seafood Korean pancake, in particular, “will be your new favorite comfort food.”
Mert’s Heart & Soul (214 N. College St.)
This soul food spot opened 24 years ago, and its “down home, low country cookin’” has created fans out of Guy Fieri, Shaquille O’Neal, and hometown artist Anthony Hamilton. While its fried chicken is among the city’s best, the cornbread and the salmon cakes endure as its most popular items. Just remember to save room for one of its famous cake slices for dessert.
Charlotte FC Games (Bank of America Stadium, 800 S. Mint St.)
Lifelong Panthers and Hornets fans will agree that there’s something special about being there for a major league team’s first season. Our soccer team’s inaugural run continues to break records, and they play throughout the entire summer at Bank of America Stadium. Don’t know much about the sport? Thankfully, it’s also one known for welcoming new fans, thus creating more bombastic members of its growing and very, very vocal fanbase.
Charlotte Knights Games (Truist Field, 324 S. Mint St.)
Truist Field regularly receives recognition as one of the best minor-league ballparks in the nation. You’ll immediately understand why when you take your seat, whether it’s along the baseline or above the action on Home Run Porch. The ballpark inflates a bounce house and hosts other activities near the field—which helps to expel some of that excess energy during the seventh-inning stretch.