Instead of taking the rapidly expanding Charlotte, North Carolina head-on, it’s better to tackle “Crown Town'' in bite-sized pieces, one neighborhood at a time. Not only is it a more manageable way to get a feel for the city, but you’ll likely mix with local residents who can offer a true insider’s scoop on what all there is to see and do. 

Each community, and there are about 200 of them, comes with its own aesthetic.

These seven neighborhoods will give you the confidence to get started on your search and find out which area is best suited to your needs.

People having brunch at a restaurant
Get your brunch fix in Charlotte's North Davidson neighborhood © / Shutterstock

North Davidson (NoDa) is the best neighborhood for art enthusiasts 

North Davidson, known locally as NoDa, is the arts district. Brightly painted businesses welcome visitors and intricately designed murals etched on brick buildings throughout the neighborhood. 

Meandering through its numerous galleries and studios (check out the Charlotte Art League Gallery) is the perfect way to discover new art/artists.

NoDa is one of the stops on the LYNX, Charlotte's light rail line, which means easy access via public transport. The neighborhood is about 10 minutes from downtown Charlotte, meaning ample accommodations options. 

During your stay, grab Sunday brunch at Amelie’s French Bakery and Café, stroll the Little Sugar Creek Greenway or catch the annual NoDa Film Festival. 

Gucci fashion brand storefront
Charlotte's Southpark neighborhood provides plenty of options for luxury shopping © Greg Elms / Lonely Planet

Southpark is the best neighborhood for luxury shopping

Burberry. Gucci. Tiffany & Co. If those brands get your heart racing and shopping is the first thing that comes to mind when you land in a new town, then Southpark just might be your happy place. 

This neighborhood (which also has a massive shopping center of the same name) is a major destination for upscale retail therapy and fine dining. When it comes to accommodations, the best 4-star hotels like Hilton and Hyatt are within walking distance to the stores. If a boutique experience is what you’re after, The Ivey’s Hotel is a short drive away. 

Top things to do in Charlotte 

Camp North End is the best neighborhood for creatives

A mere five years old and Camp North End is already making a name for itself. This area was repurposed from a former industrial depot and is still being developed, but its got that electric energy that funky, creative places exude.

Camp North End is still figuring out what it is, which is part of the allure for young professionals and creative types looking to express themselves. So, toss your plans out the window and let your whims take you where they will. 

Maybe it’s designing your own popsicle at Popbar, embracing your inner vegan at Plant Joy, or attending a figure drawing class at the Event Space. Booking a hotel in Uptown or NoDa is your best option and an easy connection via bus, ride-share or car.

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A man sitting on the stone bridge at Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC looks down at a woman who appears to be drawing. There is a body of water under the bridge and a blooming tree on the right side of the image.
Freedom Park is a popular destination on a visit to Charlotte's Dilworth neighborhood © Bruce VanLoon / Shutterstock

Dilworth is the best neighborhood to enjoy nature  

Dilworth is for those who crave space and natural beauty but don’t want to give up urban living entirely. 

It’s close enough to the city center to keep the skyscrapers in view but surrounded by Victorian architecture, craftsman bungalows and mature landscaping. Latta and Freedom Parks are both in its vicinity as well as a segment of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway.

There’s a touch of international flair with restaurants like Kid Cashew, Fiamma Ristorante or the yearly Yiasou Greek Festival. In keeping with the homey feel, consider staying at a B&B like The Morehead Inn or touring around by bicycle.

Wesley Heights is the best neighborhood for families 

Wesley Heights’ location makes this one a hot spot for commuters and working professionals just starting out. It’s super close to major highways and minutes from professional sporting events at Bank of America Stadium.

It’s also pedestrian-friendly with wide sidewalks and trails like the WH Greenway. Grab a coffee from Rhino Market & Deli or take the dog to run at Frazier Park.

 Or go all out with Pinky’s Pimp’n fries (topped with pimento cheese) or a brisket sandwich from Noble Smoke.

A silver and gold sparkly sculpture outside the Bechtler Museum in North Carolina
Charlotte's uptown neighborhood has a number of "must-see" attractions, including the exhibits at Bechtler Museum © Meunierd / Shutterstock

Uptown is the best neighborhood for everyone 

First-time visitors who want to dive right into Charlotte’s “must-see” attractions should head straight to Uptown. Whether it's a family outing, a romantic weekend, business trip or solo vacation, Uptown has the most options for every kind of traveler. 

Public transport is plentiful and easy to navigate, including a direct bus from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. To avoid burnout, get strategic and divide your day into something like breakfast at the RedEye Diner, the afternoon at the Levine Museum of the New South and cocktails at Merchant and Trade after dark. 

Belmont is the best neighborhood for low-key travelers 

Technically a quiet suburb and not a neighborhood, per se, but Belmont is worth mentioning. It’s such an easy drive from Charlotte that theaters, restaurants, bars, and museums are still within reach for a night out. 

When the weather’s nice, the Catawba River makes for an easy paddle or head to the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail. For a small town, Belmont has a busy social calendar. Community events like BooFest, Juneteenth and Shop Small Saturday offer up a nice opportunity to meet the neighbors.

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