Charlotte, N.C., Big City Appeal with Small Town Charm

1.State Blazer 11Served by the Crescent and the Carolinian/Piedmont, Charlotte, N.C. gives visitors a nice mix of sports, shopping and family-friendly fun. We thought we knew a lot about Queen City, but after chatting with local blogger, Tamara of Blitz and Glam we found out this charming southern city has a lot to offer Amtrak riders ready for an adventure.

Amtrak: How long have you lived in Charlotte and why do you love living there?
Tamara: I’ve lived in Charlotte for four and a half years.  The great thing about Charlotte is that you have the big city appeal with the small town charm.  There are many different neighborhoods with their own personalities. And sports! Charlotte has plenty to offer the sports enthusiast with the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Knights, Charlotte Checkers and the NASCAR Hall of Fame all located in Uptown. Plus college tournaments, Charlotte hosts tournaments like the Belk Bowl, ACC football championship, and CIAA tournament.

Wow! Charlotte really does have tons going-on on the sports front. Where do you like to go to watch the game?
One of the best areas of town to watch sports is Uptown especially if there is a football or basketball game being played in Charlotte. Watching the game in Uptown puts you right in the mix.  After the game, particularly if the Panthers or Hornets have won, Uptown is alive and there is a fun buzz (get it, Hornets Buzz?) in the air.  BlackFinn at the EpiCentre is also a good restaurant to grab food and watch the game.  They have plenty of TV screens plus each booth has its own TV.  Carolina Ale House across the street is another good option.  Honestly though, in Charlotte you can find a good place to watch sports just about anywhere.  This is the south after all, we love our sports.

Your blog is a unique mix of sports and shopping, what makes Charlotte such a great shopping city?
No matter where you live in the city, you’re not too far from a mall or shopping center. If high-end shopping is your thing, Charlotte has many of the stores and boutiques that you would find in larger cities. Plus, there are two popular outlet malls in the Charlotte area – Concord Mills and Charlotte Premium Outlets.  No matter your budget, Charlotte has a great mix.

Charlotte, NCWhat are some must-visit bargain boutiques in Charlotte?
One of my favorite Charlotte boutiques is Petal in Dilworth. They have the perfect mix of trendy and classic pieces, as well as a good range of prices to meet everyone’s needs. Some other local favorites are Ivy & Leo, JT Posh and Sweet Repeats.

After a long day of shopping everyone gets hungry. What are some of your top spots for a bite to eat?
If you’re out shopping with the family and want something that everyone might like, head to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar for burgers of all kinds.  After you spend a day of shopping with your girlfriends, you might want a social atmosphere where you can grab drinks with dinner.  If that’s what you’re looking for, check out Bakersfield in Dilworth.

Back to sports for a minute, what’s the best thing about attending a Charlotte home game?
I am a huge football fan and I have been to many games at Bank of America Stadium.  I can say that the fan experience is a lot of fun.  They do many things during each game to get the crowd involved, from pre-recorded messages from players instructing the crowd on what to do during certain downs to showing photos taken in the stadium during the game on the scoreboards. And the Panther growl that they play after the Panthers score is a nice touch. Now that the Hornets team has gotten the old name back, the atmosphere at Time Warner Cable Arena will be electric! The residents and Hornets fans are so excited about the name coming back I expect every game will be sold out this season.


Now that you’re excited to travel to Charlotte, make sure to book early so you save big on your Amtrak adventure. Have we taken you to Queen City before? What’s your favorite thing to do when you visit Charlotte?  Let us know in the comment section below!