Charlotte at night is very special with a stunning skyline and warm breezes that make being outside a joy. Even the hottest day comes alive at night, especially when you seek out a special spot to savor the evening.
Here are a few of Charlotte's best spots to keep cool on a hot summer night or enjoy the city's legendary lingering afterglow. They all bring something a little extra to the patio experience.
Best patios with a view
Far above the busy nightlife scene in Plaza-Midwood, patrons of the Whiskey Warehouse's Top Shelf Roof Top Bar enjoy superb views of the uptown skyline, lit up in all its glory, as well as $4 Jack Daniels all the time. It's our nominee for best patio in Charlotte.
Several other patios in Plaza-Midwood enjoy similar downtown views, if not from quite so high, including the popular balcony at Soul Gastrolounge and the roof-top deck at Midtown Smokehouse. Still to come, the roof-top patio at the new Peculiar Rabbit/ Volume Lounge. Months in the making, this huge club at the corner of Commonwealth and Pecan has yet to open, but looks close to completion.
For a fine view of the Center City skyline without a steep climb, visit the patio plaza at the Metropolitan in Midtown. Connected by stairways to the new Sugar Creek Greenway, the plaza is lined with patios belonging to Vivace, Dressler's, Hickory Tavern and La Paz, giving diners a variety of menu options. Free concerts are held at an outdoor bandshell some evenings.
Like to kick back and watch the world rush by? Score a table and a dog on the roof of the new JJ's Red Hots for a primo view down East Boulevard.
Two great spots for patio dining in the Center City include the deck at Halcyon set high above the sidewalk in the new Mint Museum. The view is as great as the food with the Westin and the Gantt Center framed by the balcony.
For people watching uptown, it doesn't get any better than the patio at Vida Cantina, set at the apex of the EpiCentre, commanding a view of the corner of Trade and College.
You can keep an eye on the pub-crawling crowds on Montford Drive while you sip a little moonshine on the spacious new deck at Ten Park Lanes.
Enjoy an entirely different kind of view on the patio at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where you can catch the action on the nearby artificial rapids while sipping a microbrew under a shady umbrella.
Renee Wright is the author of the Explorer’s Guide to Myrtle Beach and South Carolina’s Grand Strand, published in 2012 by Countryman Press.
Contact Renee by email at restaurantexaminer (at) gmail.com
For more info on events and attractions in Charlotte and the Carolinas, visit www.CarolinasBest.com