This New South city has a work-hard, play-hard vibe, but there’s much more to Charlotte than banking and sports teams. One lesser-known perk of visiting the leafy Queen City? Charlotte gets about 218 days of sunshine every year. Whether you go for a run, pack a picnic, or walk with Fido, exploring a park is the best way to enjoy those Carolina blue skies. One of Charlotte’s parks even inspired the name of our new hotel!
Here are our four favorite urban parks in uptown Charlotte within walking distance of Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel.
1.) Romare Bearden Park (Church & 3rd)
Named for Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden, this park’s whimsical design was inspired by his collages and paintings. Stroll through the two formal gardens or make some music by tapping through the interactive chimes. With a large grass field, a formal courtyard, and a stunning waterfall, the 5.4-acre park is the best place to relax on the grass before crossing the street to catch a Knights game at BB&T Ballpark. Plus, from summer through early fall, the park regularly hosts live concerts—from mellow workday lunch jams to evening jazz—almost every day of the week.
2.) The Green (Levine Avenue of the Arts between S. Tryon St. & College)
This 1-acre interactive pocket park borders Levine Center for the Arts, the cultural hub that’s home to the Mint Museum, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Knight Theater, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture. A green oasis in the middle of Second Ward, The Green has a literary theme, with quotes from famous writers and signs pointing to locations named for authors (think Edgar, WI, Allan, Saskatchewan, and Poe, Alberta). Restaurants and shops line both sides of the narrow, shaded park, but it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of a busy city while you admire the fountains and sculptures and listen to motion-activated sounds of water falling and bees buzzing.
3.) First Ward Park (7th Street & Brevard)
First Ward Park is the newest park on this list—it was completed in 2015. The 4-acre park sits across from the city’s quirky children’s library, ImaginOn, and 7th Street Public Market, Charlotte’s thriving indoor market. (Pro tip: Don’t miss a chance to order a cup of pour-over from Not Just Coffee.) At the far side, an amphitheater and fountain anchor the park—both are especially popular on Friday evenings during the summer, when the city hosts free concerts here, plus lawn games, food trucks and local breweries. It’s also a great jumping off point for light rail stops southbound.
4.) Frazier Park (1201 W. 4th Street Ext.)
Visit Frazier Park when you’re ready to do some exploring. The pretty, shaded 16.5-acre space includes creekside greenway trails, a playground, and plenty of the huge old trees Charlotte is known for. When Fido is traveling with you, this is your go-to destination. You can both get in a quick workout on the greenway, then head to the 1.3-acre dog park for some canine social action.
Where to stay during your Charlotte visit: Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
– Aleigh Acerni