When looking for weekend getaways, Charlotte was never my first choice. I’m just not a big city girl in general. So a couple of months ago if you had asked me where to stay in Charlotte, NC, I would have been at a loss.
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But when Tyler told me that we were going to see a concert in Charlotte on a Friday night I thought I might as well take advantage of the opportunity.
We planned on exploring the city on Saturday then leaving to head home, but we loved it so much that we stayed Saturday night too!
Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and one of the largest in the USA. No surprise then that there is SO much to do there.
You’ll want to make sure that you find the best place to stay near all the activities you want to do while also not breaking the bank. Unless it’s a special occasion of course, then splurge all you want to.
Is downtown Charlotte, NC safe?
As with all cities (and anywhere really) there are always risks with visiting. I will say that Charlotte has a crime rate of 416.2 per 100,000 residents (U.S. News & World Report).
Of course, you can always take precautions to lessen the chance of something happening. For example – stay in well-lit areas at night, always be aware of your surroundings, don’t drink too much, etc.
Best Neighborhood to Stay in Charlotte
Charlotte has some really cool neighborhoods and each one has its own personality. Uptown is where you should stay if you want to be in the middle of all the action and in walking distance of popular attractions. NODA is one for the beer and art lovers. Stay near the University for college bars and cheap eats.
If you want to venture outside the city then try closer to Lake Norman, Davidson, or Matthews. Want a more outdoorsy experience? Go camping at Crowders Mountain State Park.
Hilton Charlotte Center City
If you’re looking for a hotel with good amenities, a great location, and a reasonable price, then this is it. The hotel is right across the street from the LYNX Light Rail stop and within walking distance of many attractions in Uptown like the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Epicentre, and Spectrum Center.
The rooms are spacious though the colors are a little strange (purple and green). There is a restaurant on the lobby level and a small store. If you’re a Hilton Honors Gold Member or above there is a lounge on one of the highest floors where you’ll get a continental breakfast and they serve hor d’oeurves in the evening.
The Ivey’s Hotel
This boutique hotel includes complimentary breakfast, snacks during the day, and an evening happy hour. Originally Ivey’s was a department store until it was made into a hotel and boutique shop. Each room and the shared areas are elegantly decorated in a French Art-Deco style.
This pet-friendly hotel also features a full-service bar, Sophia’s Lounge, and award-winning restaurant, 5Church. Be sure to check with the concierge about discounted tickets to some of the area’s best museums.
Grand Bohemian Hotel
This brand new hotel in the heart of Uptown is an absolute dream. With a full spa, rooftop bar, and the delicious Mico Restaurant, you won’t be disappointed if you choose to stay here.
This is also a pet-friendly choice if you want to bring along your furry friend. The hotel is decorated in a unique Argentinian style and provides the level of service and comfort that you would expect from a Marriott Hotel.
Residence Inn by Marriott Charlotte City Center
Another Marriott hotel, but more of a budget option and typically used for extended stays (though not required). Each suite has a kitchen and separates the living room and bedroom. If you’re really on a budget, then this is a game-changer so you can fix a couple of meals in your room.
A free continental breakfast is not as common as you would think in an Uptown Charlotte hotel, but this one provides that also. Something unique about Residence Inn – they have partnered with Under Armour to map out running routes that you can use during your stay. All you have to do is download an app.
The Dunhill Hotel
The Dunhill has been recognized as one of the top Charlotte Hotels by both US News & World Report and Conde Nast Traveler. Here you’ll enjoy beautifully decorated rooms and the traditional Southern Hospitality.
The building opened as a hotel & apartment building back in 1929 and originally had 100 rooms. Today this 60 room boutique hotel can provide you with a unique experience and luxurious stay. Don’t miss their restaurant on the lobby level – The Asbury.
Omni Charlotte Hotel
This Uptown hotel is at the heart of the action. A sky bridge connects the space to multiple different specialty shops and boutiques where you can easily spend an afternoon shopping. One main attraction is the rooftop pool and Coin Bar where you can purchase poolside drinks and small bites.
Charlotte Bed & Breakfasts
The Duke Mansion
You’ll think you’re royalty at this luxurious Bed & Breakfast. The rooms are outfitted with the best quality linens, robes, and toiletries and you can roam the mansion and gardens to get a feel for this 105 year old home (as of 2020).
The house is located just 2 miles outside downtown Charlotte but feels like it’s worlds away. The 4.5 acre gardens can be enjoyed by the public, but wouldn’t it be nice to wake up and take a sunrise walk through the property?
The Morehead Inn
This immaculate home was built in 1917 and offers many great amenities. Located in the neighborhood of Dilworth, it’s just a short drive into town. The Inn does everything they can to be eco-friendly including conserving water, power, and limiting single-use plastics.
A stay here includes a gourmet breakfast plus coffee and tea service in the afternoon. Each room is uniquely decorated and most have a bed and sitting area.
Ms. Elsie’s Caribbean Bed & Breakfast
At Ms. Elsie’s you’re sure to receive personal pampering and attention. With only two rooms at this intimate B&B, you won’t run into too many other guests! The breakfasts are Caribbean inspired and look absolutely incredible while the rooms have all the amenities and more of a luxury hotel.
Elsie’s was named after the Innkeeper’s grandmother and honors the bond between them. The Inn opened in 2000 and has received many awards since then.
Matthews Manor Bed & Breakfast
Located in the quiet suburb of Matthews, you’ll just be 12 minutes from downtown Charlotte. Across the street from this Bed & Breakfast, there is a beautiful 98-acre wildlife area that you can enjoy on foot or on a bike. There is also a lake for anyone who loves to fish.
On arrival, you’ll enjoy complimentary soft drinks or tea and breakfast is included each morning. This house has a few special amenities including a pool, game room, and guest kitchen.
Great Wolf Lodge
Who doesn’t want to stay at a resort with an indoor water park? This resort will be best for couples with kids as they have tons of activities for the younger crowd. They even have themed rooms where the rooms look like cabins, camps, or wolf dens.
They offer many scheduled activities throughout the day plus shopping and dining options so you wouldn’t have to leave the resort once you get there. Attractions other than the water park include a bowling alley, mini-golf, an arcade, and a ropes course.
The Ballantyne Hotel & The Lodge at Ballantyne
The hotel is part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection and the Lodge is modeled after typical mountain-style hunting lodges. Just with much better amenities. There is an on-site spa, golf course, and dining at the Gallery Restaurant.
This is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway, especially anniversary celebrations. After a stay at the Ballantyne, you’re sure to return to real-life rested and relaxed.
Drury Inn & Suites Charlotte University Place
This may seem like a strange one for the list, but you absolutely can’t beat the value. When you stay at Drury Inn you get a free hot breakfast AND dinner. Yes, dinner is included in the room rate.
While it is a fixed menu, for those traveling on a budget you can’t really beat it. Plus the rooms are clean and it’s in a great location right next to UNC Charlotte.
Related: How to Find Cheap Places to Stay
Long Cove Resort
A little way south west of Charlotte on the shore of Lake Wylie you’ll find a group of 33 tiny homes. They have a picnic patio, private beach, hilltop terrace with sunset views, and a pool with lots of shaded seats.
These cabins are perfect for outdoor lovers and truly offer a place to relax and enjoy yourself. I recommend booking one of the cabins with a private deck and view of the lake.
Where to Stay in Charlotte, NC Recap
Charlotte is one of the biggest cities in the US and the biggest by far in North Carolina. It has so many fun options for places to stay, but there are also basic accommodations for those on a budget.
When you visit, don’t miss the museums downtown, microbreweries, delicious restaurants and head out to Crowders Mountain State Park if you have time. A weekend won’t be enough to explore this city and you’ll likely want to come back for more.