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Two bicycles in a green park in Charlotte, NC

A VISITOR’S GUIDE TO SEEING CHARLOTTE BY BICYCLE

Article and Photography by Jessica Swannie 05.06.2017

Radiant glass towers, urban parks, diverse culinary selections, and historic neighborhoods characterize the burgeoning city of Charlotte. In the center of this urbane destination lies The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, making the city’s most picture-worthy locations only a short ride away -- by bicycle, that is.

The LEED-Certified Gold hotel offers complimentary trek bikes to encourage eco- and health-conscious alternatives to exploring one of the fastest-growing cities. Lace up your shoes; we’ve arranged a big day full of Queen City #RCMemories, all accessible on two wheels.

9 AM: BREAKFAST AT BAR COCOA

Grapefruit macaroons on a plate at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

Rise and shine – the city beckons, and the alluring smell of pastries wafts into the lobby. Bar Cocoa, the dessert boutique, houses a sea of mesmerizing, colorful macarons and sweets that can only be likened to edible art. In the background, the low hum of the Nespresso machine prepares a cup of gourmet coffee – a sustaining dose of caffeine to fuel a day of exploring. Breakfast temptation is embodied in each warm, fresh-from-the-oven pastry encased beside the cashier. Calories don’t count on vacation, right?

10 AM: GO GREEN

A pair of bicycles outside The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

Outside, the hotel’s Ladies and Gentlemen arrange the ride for the day – a pair of complimentary bicycles to lead the way on a tour of the Queen City.

Two bikes parked on the Greenway in Charlotte, NC

Lush grass and city views welcome a water break on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway.

The adventure begins at Little Sugar Creek Greenway, less than 2 miles from the hotel. Glistening fountains, a charming stream, and picturesque views of the Charlotte skyline speckle the trail. Bronze sculptures representing influential figures in Charlotte’s foundation artfully mingle with the surrounding nature.

12 PM: PICNIC IN THE PARK

Charlotte’s culinary scene personifies a melting pot of flavors, cultures, and dishes from around the globe. While upscale restaurants prove popular destinations for tourists, there’s a charming nature to dining like a local with a park picnic.

Two bikes parked on The Green in Charlotte, NC

Locals and tourists alike settle into a spot at The Green to enjoy an outdoor lunch. 

Literary accents artfully decorate The Green, a small park in the midst of an urbane landscape. Ladies and Gentlemen from The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte suggest grabbing a bite from Bernadin’s, Sandwich Club, or Matt’s Chicago Dog on the outskirts of the park. Unique nooks ornament the park – picnickers have the option of enjoying their meal in the shadows of colossal bronze book statues, on a manicured stone ledge decorated with golden poetry pages, or in a shaded area adorned with mosaic tile and whimsical fish fountains.

Charlotte signs artwork in a local park

Before you go, be sure to take a photo of the iconic Charlotte signs artwork.

Up the street, Romare Bearden Park offers a vast stretch of land with picturesque views of the Charlotte skyline. Nearby lunch favorites include small restaurants in the Historic Brevard Court (locally known as the French Quarter) and the attached Latta Arcade. Selections will satisfy any palate, with options including burgers, classic American chicken dishes, BBQ, Greek, and Japanese. Fun fact: the sky-lit Latta Arcade is one of Charlotte’s oldest treasures on the National Register of Historic Places. It makes for a fantastic vacation memory – snap a picture! 

Bar Cocoa macaroons from The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

Skyline views with tints of blue encourage an artful foodie photo with a Bar Cocoa treat.

2 PM: AFTERNOON ART BREAK

Post-lunch, the Levine Center for the Arts is an ideal destination for an afternoon stroll through the city’s flourishing art plaza. Characterized by spectacular architecture and artistic pieces, this cultural center houses some of the city’s finest works and hosts enlightening community happenings at the Mint Museum, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, Bechtler Museum, and Knight Theater.

Firebird on the Arch, a sculpture outside the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Just outside the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art lives the “Firebird on the Arch,” an iconic sculpture by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

Wall art outside the Carolina Theatre

A quick detour to the Carolina Theatre promises spectacular murals – a recent renovation to a historic property.

4 PM: SHOPPING AND A SNACK 

Farmers Market table with apples and pears inside the lobby at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

The Farmers Market Table in the lobby of the hotel offers fresh, seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the hotel’s rooftop garden and local farms.

Before returning to the hotel, discover locally and regionally produced gifts, beauty products, wines, cheeses, and Charlotte gear at the 7th Street Public Market. Much like The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, the market celebrates the food and culture of the Carolinas through support for regional farms and local businesses.

6 PM: LET’S DO DINNER

BLT Steak restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

Contemporary style, impeccable service, and outstanding food combine at BLT Steak to provide a unique dining experience in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.

Upon returning to the hotel, BLT Steak is a relaxing and inviting spot to enjoy a hearty, well-deserved meal. The cozy French bistro-style steakhouse serves prime cuts of beef, fresh seafood, and tempting sides in a modern setting. The hotel’s Ladies and Gentlemen recommend coupling your entrée with the unique jalapeno mashed potatoes and finishing the evening with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse dressed in not one, but two scoops of banana ice cream.

Whether embarking on the full tour or just enjoying a few stops, the Queen City has so much to offer. Ladies and Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte look forward to providing the means for a memorable trip – personalized itineraries and maps are available upon request. Adventure awaits just outside of our doors!

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Plan Your Stay in Charlotte


  • Charlotte

    Location Charlotte, North Carolina

    Experience Enjoy urban sophistication in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.

    • Enjoy delectable desserts at Bar Cocoa
    • Sip a craft cocktail at The Punch Room
    • Relax and recharge in our luxury Spa