Fun Fact: I was nominated to be a Charlotte Marathon Ambassador due to never running over the distance of a 10k. Doesn’t make much sense does it?!
However, that’s the beauty of all of the ambassadors- we come from different backgrounds and we are passionate in living a healthy lifestyle, all while “running around” the Queen City!
Born and raised in Texas, I moved to Charlotte in 2012 and fell in love with this city. Not only have I met some tremendous friends that I call family, but I’ve been given opportunities to blossom into the strong female that I am today.
I am so excited to cross my first half marathon off of my bucket list because Charlotte has allowed me to extend my bucket list in so many ways!
Some Bucket List Attractions:
You do not need to be a NASCAR aficionado to enjoy Charlotte’s top-to-do’s; the Queen City is much more than its reputation for high-octane racing may let on.
The Uptown (not downtown) district plays host to some of the city’s most popular museums, including Discovery Place and the Mint Museum Uptown, along with some of the area’s best restaurants in or around The Epicentre. When you’re ready to blow through some dough, follow fellow shoppers to the South Park Mall or take a spin through NoDa’s (North Davidson) art district for a fantastic early dinner at Cabo Fish Taco, Southwest and Baja Cuisine featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Sports fans have a crop of newly minted franchises to root for including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Partake in the southern tradition of Sunday Football on November 13 – the Carolina Panthers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs; kickoff is at 1:00 PM at Bank of America Stadium. Get your tickets here! The NBA’s Charlotte Hornets also call Charlotte home. Friday nights are for basketball in these parts; get your tickets for the Hornets and the Toronto Raptors at Time Warner Cable Arena to be renamed Spectrum Center on Friday, November 11, 2016. Tip off is at 7:00 PM! Unfortunately not everyone can be in town marathon weekend but you’ll need to plan another trip to Charlotte and catch an AHL’s Charlotte Checkers game at Bojangle’s Coliseum or a MiLB Charlotte Knights game at BB&T Ballpark!
If you’re like me, saving a penny any chance that I can get, but still experiencing the great CLT atmosphere, limiting expenses is a must and there are quite a few of attractions outdoors that do not cost a dime! The new and location of your after marathon festival, Romare Bearden Park, has a large field, gazebos, a waterfall that kids can play in and an interactive music zone. It is also right next to the BB&T Ballpark and Panther’s Stadium.
I highly recommend going to get some brunch, lunch or a mid day snack at my top favorites, Tupelo Honey Cafe, located in Dilworth/Southend, Living Kitchen located in Dilworth, Laurel Market located in Myers Park/Elizabeth neighborhood and/or Rico’s Acai Fruit Bowls at 7th Street Market before heading over to Freedom Park. The park is centered on a 7-acre lake which has paved trails, tennis/volleyball courts, sport/athletic fields and playground equipment. Free films and musical performances in the park pavilion are featured throughout the year. Adjacent to the park, is the Charlotte Nature Museum, a fun learning center for young children operated by Discovery Place.
To view this city’s great skyline, and breathtaking night cap, take a look from the top of Fahrenheit Restaurant (Uptown), The Peculiar Rabbit (Plaza Midwood), Bentley’s on 27 (Uptown) and Whiskey Warehouse (Plaza Midwood).
You’ll have to schedule a return visit to Charlotte after the marathon weekend! Sadly Carowinds, Carolina’s favorite local amusement park, will be closed during the marathon weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come back to visit! The U.S National Whitewater Center, world’s largest man-made whitewater river, will have you already planning your next visit to Charlotte! You’ll have your choice of kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, zip lining, hiking, rock wall climbing, biking and of course, whitewater rafting. They are still open year round – activities weather permitting.
I could go on and on, but you can’t go wrong with attractions, parks, restaurants, night life in this great North Carolina city. Good luck to all of you training for the race and I hope to see you around in these parts of our town!
Photos courtesy of:
The Mint Museum
The Discovery Place
The South Park Mall
Romeare Bearden Park
US National Whitewater Center