Visiting Charlotte means being immersed in warm Southern hospitality, Old World elegance, and centuries of history and culture.
Located in the city’s heart, iconic 19th and early 20th century homes have been lovingly restored and converted to hotels to offer comfortable and luxurious romantic getaways, preserving the city’s spirit while providing facilities such as conference rooms, spas, pools, libraries, and gourmet restaurants.
1. Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
2. The Ivey's Hotel
3. The Duke Mansion
4. The Dunhill Hotel
5. The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge
6. The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte
7. The Morehead Inn
8. Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection
9. Canopy By Hilton Charlotte Southpark
The 9 Best Romantic Weekend Getaways in Charlotte, NC & Fun things to do near me today:
- 1. Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
- 2. The Ivey's Hotel
- 3. The Duke Mansion
- 4. The Dunhill Hotel
- 5. The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge
- 6. The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte
- 7. The Morehead Inn
- 8. Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection
- 9. Canopy By Hilton Charlotte Southpark
Attraction Spotlight: Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary
The Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary was established by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson in 1927 and has been a unique part of Charlotte, North Carolina ever since. Enclosed on three sides by brick walls, the pristine gardens span almost three acres on Ridgewood Avenue in the heart of Charlotte and feature magnificent formal gardens, rolling woodlands, and spectacular views.
The Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary features two beautifully manicured gardens, namely the Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary and The Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden, which are managed by the Wing Haven Foundation and open to the public to enjoy. The original garden was created in 1927 by Elizabeth Clarkson around the new house that Edwin had surprised her with, which they lived in until 1988 and then donated to the Wing Haven Foundation.
The original Clarkson Garden is the only garden listed as a local historic landmark in the Charlotte area and is also certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Wildlife Habitat. The Gardens provide excellent cover and nesting sites, food and water for an array of birds and other wildlife and over 150 species of birds have been seen in the gardens and sanctuary over the past years.
The garden is designed in the shape of a Cross of Lorraine with a longer path crossed by two shorter perpendicular paths, with the house set between the two shorter tracks. The garden features several beautiful fountains and tranquil pools, as well as a wealth of native and ornamental trees, small shrubs, and flowers. There is also an authentic English sundial that dates back to 1705, plaques with poems, statues, terracotta pieces, and sculptures, including the patron saint of gardeners, Saint Fiacre.
The Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden was purchased in 2008 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a designated historical landmark and, according to Davyd Foard Hood, author of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Preservation Report “holds significance in the history of Charlotte, the state, and the nation.”
Wing Haven is home to several champion trees, including a magnificent 130-foot tall and 67-inch thick Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) which became a “Treasure Tree and Jewel of the Queen's Crown” and the nation's largest specimen of Pin Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus). The Elizabeth Lawrence Garden has the largest recorded Japanese Stewart (Stewart pseudo camellia) in Mecklenburg County, one of the original trees of the Treasure Tree Program.
The mission of the Wing Haven Gardens is to cultivate a sanctuary in nature, promote environmental stewardship and maintain the legacy Southern horticulture.
Wing Haven offers environmental education programs, events and lectures annually for children and adults and hosts a variety of activities throughout the year. Children's activities range from story times, fun-filled harvest, backyard bird counts, and birdhouse building contests, while adults educational programs for adults cover a variety of gardening topics from vegetable gardening, formal landscape design, and backyard birding, as well as photography, wellness and art classes. Programs include hands-on interactive workshops, lectures and symposiums and workshops.
Seasonal programs include a Fall Plant Sale, ‘From Charlotte to Charlottesville - A Shared Legacy Tour: Three of the South's Greatest Gardeners', ‘Arts in the Garden', ‘Harvest at the Haven', ‘Oyster Roast', ‘Holiday Festival: Arranging with Bloom', ‘Candlelight Holiday Party', and ‘Holiday Trees for Wildlife.' Other events include a Great Backyard Bird Count, a Birdhouse Building Contest, a Naturalist Egg Count, and Spring Time in the Garden.
Wing Haven Gardens is made up of two gardens, namely the Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary located at 248 Ridgewood Avenue and The Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden which is situated at 348 Ridgewood Avenue. Parking is conveniently located between both the gardens and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the short walk to the Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden from the parking lot. Handicap parking is available in front of the building near the parking lot.
The gardens are well laid out and easy to manage by following the brick paths, white arrows, and matching numbers. Leave at least one hour to stroll through the entire garden and picnics can be enjoyed in the Children's Garden. There are also picnic facilities at the Little Sugar Creek Greenway or Freedom Park. There are activities available for children and wheelchair facilities throughout the park. Guided tours of the Gardens are offered for groups for a nominal fee.
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248 Ridgewood Ave, Charlotte, North Carolina 28209, Phone: 704-331-0664
Attraction Spotlight: Discovery Place
Discovery Place in Charlotte is a center of discovery, exploration, and learning for all ages. Designed to inspire visitors to discover the wonders of science, technology, and nature through groundbreaking exhibitions and innovative educational programs, Discovery Place brings the natural world to life. One of the top hands-on science centers in the United States, Discovery Place features a range of amazing exhibits, displays and presentations, a state-of-the-art IMAX theater, and an array of creative educational programs that inspire discovery and learning.
Located on Tryon Street in the heart of Charlotte, Discovery Place provides visitors with the opportunity to explore the fields of science, engineering technology, and mathematics in a fun, interactive and informal setting and gain a better understanding of these vital aspects of life. Discovery Place is also home to the Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place KIDS.
Discovery Place Nature is located next to Freedom Park in one of the community's finest residential areas and offers visitors the opportunity to get up close to nature and the creatures that inhabit it. Visitors can walk among free-flying butterflies, crawl around with insects, observe the movements of live animals, or just hang out in the natural world. The Museum offers a range of daily programs that include puppet shows and various interactive activities that promote structured learning through free play for children of all ages.
Discovery Place KIDS
Discovery Place KIDS provides an extraordinary experience that challenges and engages children's imagination and inspires creative thinking and learning. Designed to serve children and their caregivers, Discovery Place KIDS also offers off-site educational experiences to community groups and schools through its ScienceReach program.
Celebrate Earth's biodiversity with a visit to World Alive, which provides a fascinating insight into the organisms, creatures, species, and environments from around the world through dynamic displays of different ecosystems, including an aquarium, a rainforest, and several learning labs.
Think It Up is a contemporary ‘thought studio' which inspires visitors to channel their inner inspiration, imaginations, and innovations through a multi-sensory world of color, light, sound and creation. This extraordinary display is packed with activities designed to inspire creativity and innovative thought through collaboration, problem-solving, risk-taking and pushing boundaries.
Explore the development and creative thought processes behind some of the world's greatest architectural icons from pyramids to skyscrapers in Project Build. Visitors can design their own buildings, sketch their own designs and develop floor plans for them with state-of-the-art multimedia programs.
Cool Stuff offers a chance to learn about science through casual play, and the Discovery 3D Theater presents an eye-popping experience of 3D digital filmmaking and state-of-the-art sound. Enjoy family-friendly short films that promise to exhilarate.
KidScience offers children ages seven and younger the opportunity to explore science through touching, tinkering, and trying with a variety of educational maths and science-based displays and experiences, including wind tunnels, water tables, air tubes, gears and building blocks.
In addition to outstanding exhibitions, hands-on displays, and thought-provoking presentations, Discovery Place offers a variety of educational programs to inspire learning through creative thinking, exploration and discovery of the natural world, science, and technology.
Discovery Place offers a range of onsite classes and field trips that bring the world of science to life. Classes could include hands-on construction, observation of live animals, creative experiments, arts and crafts and more using the Museum's brand-new hands-on labs and focusing on interactive learning activities.
ScienceReach is Discovery Place's museum-on-wheels and takes science and technology into the outside world with action-packed assembly programs and interactive presentations for school classes and afterschool clubs.
Homeschool programs provide homeschool families with a range of engaging and inspiring science classes in the Center's state-of-the-art labs and classrooms.
Discovery Place offers summer camps for children of all ages at locations throughout Charlotte and involves an array of adventures exploring color, chemistry, and other cool kid-friendly stuff.
Discovery Place presents a calendar of fun-filled, educational events throughout the year, including ‘Educator Saturdays,' where educators are invited to visit the museum to get ideas for teaching the sciences; ‘Solar Pyrography,' which explores the science of harnessing the sun; and an exciting ‘Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Tour.'
Discovery Place is located on North Tryon Street in Charlotte and is open from Monday through Sunday. The Center offers both onsite and offsite parking for visitors and can be hired for special functions and events on request.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Charlotte, NC, a href="https://vacationidea.com/destinations/best-things-to-do-in-north-carolina.html">Things to do in North Carolina
301 N Tryon St., Charlotte, North Carolina 28202, Phone: 704-372-6261
Attraction Spotlight: ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is a unique educational center for children of all ages from toddlers to teens. Located in the heart of in Charlotte's cultural arts district, this one-of-a-kind youth destination spans over 100,000 square feet and features two state-of-the-art theaters, a private library for children under the age of 11, a library dedicated to teenagers, a multimedia production studio, and four classrooms, and an interactive exhibit space. The Center, which is a collaborative effort between the Children's Theatre of Charlotte and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library is visited by more than 300,000 people annually.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is home to The Spangler Library for Children which offers an extensive range of books, media, and resources for children under the age of 11. The library is run by an expert team of professional librarians and caregivers with expertise in early literacy, child development, and children's and teen literature and are on hand to help with any information required. The Spangler Library includes a baby and toddler area for the young ones to explore, a vast collection of fiction and non-fiction books for elementary and middle school reading levels, and a range of bilingual children's books in a variety of languages including Spanish, Russian, French, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Chinese. The library also offers a variety of multimedia such as DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and other software for children, early literacy and computer stations, hands-on, engaging activities for all ages, and resources for homework from digital media to biographies.
The Loft at ImaginOn is a unique library space specifically designed for teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 years. The private library covers 3,900 square feet of space and provides a place for teens to study, use computers and access the Internet, get help with homework problems, play video games and hang out with friends. The library boasts 22 computers with Internet access and a vast array of books, magazines, audio books, CDs and graphic novels.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is also home to the Children's Theatre of Charlotte, an award-winning theater that presents artistic productions to more than 300,000 people each year. One of the top family theaters in the country, the Children's Theatre of Charlotte features a 570-seat McColl Family Theatre in which award-winning, professional adult productions are presented and the 250-seat Wells Fargo Playhouse where artistic productions and inspirational performances for all ages are put on. Educational programs at the Theater include Theatre Workshops, Creative Drama Classes, and Summer Camps run by professional instructors and theater artists.
Partner of ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is a renowned library that has been serving the community for over a century and offers an array of information services, including reading material, resources, research facilities, modern technology and more for free. Established in 1903, the library focuses on four key areas, namely providing community services, providing a place of solace and refuge, being a leader in literacy and information sharing and acting as a strategist for the community and to contribute towards the building of a better society as a whole.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center showcases several exhibits throughout the year, and the latest show at the Center is the “The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD.” Children can join the lovable character of Mr. Potatohead for a range of educational experiences from traveling the globe and enjoying trips to outer space to engaging underwater adventures.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is located on East Seventh Street in the heart of the cultural arts district of Charlotte and is open from Monday through Sunday. The Center offers both onsite and offsite parking for visitors on 6th Street and at the Seventh Street Station.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center can be hired for special functions and events and has several venues, meeting rooms and function spaces available for the community to use on request. Meeting rooms can be utilized by the community on four-hour rotations during the Center's opening hours, and spaces can be hired for after-hours functions by prior arrangement.
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300 East Seventh Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202, Phone: 704-416-4600