Charlotte, North Carolina is not likely to be a place I would go on holiday if I didn’t have family there, but there is something to be said for going somewhere that isn’t a big tourist destination. The city centre is very new, clean and shiny, with public artworks (many related to reading, which obviously I like) and plenty of trees (which again has an obvious appeal to me). There’s also a light rail system that is excellent – as long as you’re trying to go somewhere in that one straight line.
There are things for tourists to do in Charlotte, though. As well as the art galleries I mentioned last weekend we also visited the Charlotte Art League, a studio space showcasing local artists. And of course we went to the US National Whitewater Center, which hosts all sorts of events, including while we were there a concert and fireworks display for Memorial Day weekend. Plus there are some great bars, such as the Common Market, and the baseball and football stadia are right in the centre. And if you can get out of the city, there are some nice mountainous state parks and Lake Wylie nearby.
Of course, we go there to see my sister and her family. But it is fun to seek out hidden gems, and to know that we will be back every few years, and that in time it’s a place we will know really well.