Navigating the US: Getting Around in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is an historic American city, called “The Queen City” after Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III. Charlotte offers southern charm and captivating history wrapped into a modern and quickly-growing metropolitan city. Sit down for a meal at one of many popular restaurants, get a little wild at a late-night hotspot, or spend an afternoon lounging in a park – Charlotte offers a bit of everything.
Recommended Modes of Transportation
Uptown is an incredibly pedestrian-friendly area, with almost all of the area’s attractions within walking distance. However, if you’d like to visit districts outside of Uptown, we recommend renting a car. The city in its entirety can be easily discovered by car, but notoriously confusing roads with frequent name changes can make getting around Charlotte a bit frustrating. Make sure you have a map or GPS before heading out to explore.
Major Highways and Roadways to Know
The interstate highways through Charlotte include Interstates 85 (northeast-southwest), 77 (north-south), and N.C. 74, which is also a primary route into the city, linking with I-277.
I-485 is incomplete and still under construction, and the northwestern quadrant of I-485 is still missing, but is still useful for circling the perimeter of the city.
Alternative Ways of Seeing the City
If you’re looking for a unique was to see the South End through Uptown, take a ride on the Charlotte Trolley. The replica streetcar system operates on the LYNX light rail line, and offers beautiful views, and unique history.
Best Places to Park
Charlotte offers nearly 50,000 parking spaces in a number of parking lots, garages, and street parking, so finding a spot shouldn’t be difficult. Check out Charlottecentercity.org before heading out to get real-time parking information including rates, location, and availability.
Airports and Car Rentals
The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport serves the Charlotte area and is located on the west side of town near Billy Graham Parkway. Charlotte-Douglas is a major domestic and international hub for U.S. Airways, offering flights to more than 120 domestic locations and 35 international destinations including Rome, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Madrid, and Rio de Janiero, among many others.
Renting a car at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is convenient and easy. Upon arrival, you’ll find several major rental car companies located on the lower Baggage Claim level. We recommend making reservations in advance to ensure a rental that fits your needs is waiting for you!
Hotels and Attractions
TripAdvisor.com has a list of the area’s best-rated hotels and their reviews. Are you bringing the whole family to town? Check out the Homewood Suites Charlotte. Maybe you are on business and need a quiet hotel in a convenient location? Try Home2 Suites by Hilton. If you’re planning a romantic getaway, check out the classy Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge. Finally, if it’s a trendy hotel you’re looking for, look into the highly-rated Hyatt House Charlotte Center City.
There is no shortage of things to keep you busy during your stay in Charlotte! Here is our list of must-see attractions.