Traveling for work sounds like fun, until it becomes a part of your regular work routine. Slowly, work trips to Los Angeles or Chicago can become a mundane part of the daily grind instead of a fun opportunity to see a different part of the country.
To combat work travel fatigue, many people are now tacking on vacation days to the front or back end of a business trip – a trend that’s become known as the “bleisure” trip.
Whether it’s enjoying some nightlife, taking in a NASCAR race or hiking on the Greenway, Charlotte is one city that is set-up particularly well for a bleisure trip. Here are a few suggestions on how to bleisure right in this Carolina metropolis.
Choose Your Own Nightlife Adventure
Charlotte’s many different neighborhoods all have their own unique vibe, and for visitors that means a wide range of nightlife options.
If you’re into all-American food, the latest radio hits and dancing all night long, the EpiCenter complex in downtown should be your destination. If you’re looking for live music that’s a little more on the alternative side, the North Davidson area, also known as NoDa, is where to be. Plaza Midwood is an artsy, quiet and contemplative area that also has some of Charlotte’s most exciting, cutting edge food and craft cocktails.
Get Your NASCAR On
Photo: Courtesy of Zach Catanzareti Photo
If you don't know Dale Earnhardt from Dick Trickle, Charlotte is known for NASCAR and it’s the penultimate city to get more acquainted with this all-American sport.
During racing season, you can take in a NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The energy is particularly infectious in the infield, where the policy is BYOB and you can hear the roar of the massive engines whizzing around the track.
If it isn’t racing season or your just want to do a deep dive into NASCAR history, there’s the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The hall includes many interactive exhibits and chances to compete with other museum visitors, including video racing and mock pit stops.
Hike the Greenways
The Greenways system around Charlotte is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most impressive and expansive in the country. With bike-pedestrian paths stretching for dozens of miles through natural vegetation, the trails serve both as a source of recreation and transportation around the city. Also, the skyline views from the trails, particularly during sunrise and sunset, are among the most beautiful you’ll see on your trip.
The regional government is currently looking to expand the network of trails by building a 26-mile Cross Charlotte Trail that will tie together multiple trails.
Chill at Party in the Park
Happening from late May through the end of August in Charlotte’s Romare Bearden Park, Party in the Park is a weekly music series that features some of the region’s best talent. The 2017 roster of bands is a mix of classic rock, blues and country – a great soundtrack for relaxing and taking in the park’s natural beauty. Bring along a picnic basket filled with goodies and blanket to complete the free night of leisurely relaxing.
Get on a Boat
Photo: Jeffrey S. Otto
If you’re a landlubber, you’re seriously limiting your Charlotte bleisure options. For a relaxed experience, Queen's Landing offers lunch, dinner, sightseeing and moonlight cruises around nearby Lake Norman.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a more extreme waterway experience, the US National Whitewater Center has kayaking, whitewater rafting and stand-up paddle boarding. The center also offer land-based adventures in the form of zip lines, rock climbing, ropes courses and mountain biking.