Where to Stay in Charlotte | 6 TOP Areas + 2024 Hotel Guide

Charlotte skyline with clear blue skies showcasing prominent skyscrapers and modern architecture

Named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III of England, this charming North Carolina city was the location of America’s first gold rush in 1799, and it hasn’t stopped attracting people ever since! 

Although people visit the city for different reasons today, it’s still quite popular, and one of the main things people want to know is where to stay in Charlotte. The city has many accommodations, so to make things easier for you, I compared all the areas and hotels and handpicked all the best options

My research showed that Uptown Charlotte is the best neighborhood for your stay, especially if you’re visiting for the first time. In this area, you’ll find many museums, event venues, and cool bars and restaurants. 

Whether you decide to stay in Uptown or in any of the other areas I recommend, make sure to book your hotel in advance – Charlotte is super popular, and you don’t want to miss out on the best deals!

Now, let’s see which Charlotte hotel suits you best!

If you are in a hurry

If you want to book now, here’s a short list of all the best hotels in Downtown Charlotte:

luxury hotel
Luxurious hotel bedroom with a plush white bed, a royal blue bench at the foot, and elegant decor
mid-range hotel
Modern minimalist living room with tan sofas, wooden bookshelf, and a large window with gray curtains
budget hotel
Indoor hotel pool with bright blue water, surrounded by blue and white walls and multiple chairs

HAMPTON INN

Best affordable accommodation in the center


Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:


Here’s a map of all the Charlotte areas I’m recommending in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Charlotte, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation
Uptown (Downtown)
for first-timers
South End & Dilworth
trendiest place
Pineville
for families
South Park
for shopping
Belmont
for tranquility
University Place
for budget

1. Uptown (Downtown) – where to stay for the first time

Street view of Uptown Charlotte with a sculpture in the foreground and high-rise buildings in the background

I know many will be confused by the name of this neighborhood since the Downtown/City Center of Charlotte is called Uptown. 

This goes all the way back to the 1700s when the locals would use the phrase ‘Up to the Town’ to describe the area. Eventually, it was shortened to Uptown, and the name stuck!

Now, let’s talk about all the cool and historic attractions that you’ll get to see in Uptown Charlotte. This neighborhood is the city’s central hub and is for sure one of the best places to stay if you’re traveling here for the first time. Plus, it’s not too far from Asheville, another cool town in North Carolina famous for its wide range of activities.

Uptown Charlotte is divided into 4 wards and it is super pedestrian-friendly! Most attractions are located within walking distance, so you can explore the city at your own leisure. However, if you’re wondering where to start, I have a few suggestions for you!

Most of the city’s museums are located in Uptown Charlotte – the first point on your museum itinerary should be the Discovery Place Science, an amazing science museum. Then, you should move on to the Mint Museum Uptown, North Carolina’s first art museum, and to the NASCAR Hall of Fame to learn more about the history of the sport. 

For some evening entertainment, you’ll want to check out the schedule at the Spectrum Center and The Fillmore Charlotte – these two event venues host a variety of cool shows. The Bojangles Coliseum also hosts quite a few events, but is also home to the Charlotte Checkers hockey team, so it’s the ultimate destination for sports enthusiasts. 

Sports fans will be happy to hear that they can also stop by the Bank of America Stadium and Truist Field just to check out the field or maybe even catch a game there (Panthers/Charlotte FC). If you want to spend some more time outdoors, stop by Romare Bearden Park (map), stroll around, and admire the rainbow fountains. 

NOTE: if you choose to stay here, you should definitely visit the NoDa area, which is 5 miles (3 km) away from the city center and easily reachable by public transport. NoDa is super artsy, and it’s filled with hip cafes, art galleries, and music venues. 

Because there aren’t any good hotels there, I chose not to recommend NoDa as a place to stay in Charlotte, but you should still make sure you check it out! During your stay here, I suggest you stop for a pastry at Amélie’s French Bakery & Café – you’ll thank me later!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Charlotte: a cozy living room with gray sofas and artistic wall frames, a classic room with a plush bed and a brick fireplace adorned with a myriad of mirrors, and a spacious bedroom with a modern aesthetic featuring a balcony overlooking a tree-lined street.

This luxurious, pet-friendly hotel is located in the heart of Uptown and is one of the most luxurious boutique hotels in Charlotte, with a beautiful, elegant design! Enjoy the city views from your room’s lounge area or the terrace, and eat their delicious breakfast before heading to see all the attractions! The accommodation also has a fitness center and free Wi-Fi.

Other accommodation options in Uptown

Mid-Range
Exterior of the AC Hotel by Marriott against a clear blue sky, with modern architecture and surrounding buildings

Conveniently located in the center, this hotel offers free bikes, Wi-Fi access, and a 24-hour front desk

Budget
Spacious indoor swimming pool with clear blue water, surrounded by tables and chairs with a handicap-accessible pool lift

Guests at the hotel benefit from the daily continental breakfast, free laundry services, and the use of an indoor pool

Airbnb
Bedroom with a dark wood queen bed with gray and white bedding, flanked by matching nightstands and lamps

The apartment has a contactless check-in, 1 bedroom, a bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen

Things to do in Uptown

2. South End & Dilworth – the trendiest place in Charlotte

Panoramic view of Charlotte's cityscape with a clear blue sky and fluffy clouds overhead, featuring the light rail tracks in the foreground

Located 2 miles (3 km) away from the Uptown area, the vibrant neighborhoods of South End and Dilworth offer plenty of attractions, tons of restaurants, boutique shops, breweries, and some great opportunities for outdoor time. Both areas are hip and trendy, and if you want to get a real feel of the neighborhoods, I advise you to explore them on foot!

But the vibes are not the only thing that makes Charlotte trendy! In the last few years, movies like The Hunger Games, Days of Thunder, and TV series like Homeland and The Bachelorette have put the city on the map again!

If you want to plan a night out in the South End, your first stop should be Puttery, an adults-only, immersive mini golf course that serves delicious craft cocktails. And if you’re looking for a place to grab a bite, I highly recommend Hawkers Asian Street Food, a Pan-Asian restaurant in the heart of the South End. 

Of course, you can’t miss walking on the famous Rail Trail, a 4-mile (6 km) public trail that connects the neighborhoods in the city. Everyone comes here to relax, cycle, or admire the beautiful murals. 

Put a note in your calendar if you’re spending a weekend here to attend the famous Small Business Saturday and Front Porch Sunday markets. Who doesn’t love a good market and some local food!?

Dillworth, on the other hand, has a slightly more laid-back feel to it than the South End. At the very center of the neighborhood, you’ll find Latta Park (map), the ultimate place to unwind in nature. For an even more immersive nature experience, you can venture to Freedom Park (map), situated on the edge of the Dilworth area. 

And if you’re into hiking, you can’t miss out on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway hiking trail (map), an easy 5.1-mile (8.2 km) route that will take you along eastern Charlotte. But if you want to spend some time in a lively urban environment, head to the Park Road Shopping Center, where you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and fun activities.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Charlotte: an opulent bedroom with draping curtains and a classic design, a white columned porch overlooking lush gardens, and a grand white mansion set against manicured lawns and gardens.

This is an upscale bed and breakfast situated in a historic mansion, boasting classically decorated guest rooms. Each of the rooms has Wi-Fi access, a flat-screen TV, and an iPod docking station, as well as a private bathroom with free toiletries. Guests can use an on-site fitness center and a library and enjoy a hot breakfast every morning.

Other options in South End & Dilworth

Mid-Range
Cozy hotel lounge with modern furniture, a blue electric fireplace, and contemporary art on the walls

A modern hotel that has spacious rooms, a fitness center on-site, and offers breakfast

Budget
Outdoor hotel pool area with lounge chairs, adjacent to a stone-clad building with covered seating areas

An air-conditioned apartment offering free parking, free Wi-Fi, and access to a balcony with an amazing pool view

Airbnb
Spacious bedroom in a 1BR suite with a large window, a comfortable queen bed, and clean, modern decor

This 2-story duplex has a large back porch, a kitchen, and 2 bedrooms and can accommodate up to 4 people

Things to do in South End & Dilworth

3. Pineville – best place to stay in Charlotte for families

Sunny day view of a bustling street in Pineville, North Carolina, with outdoor seating at a restaurant, a variety of storefronts, and a directional sign pointing to local attractions such as The Hut Meeting Facility, Lake Park, Belle Johnston Community Center, and Jack D. Hughes Park

This lovely suburb is located outside Charlotte, right at the city’s border, just 14 miles (22 km) south of the city center. The place got its name after the many pine trees growing in the area, which gives the place a magical feel and makes it the perfect choice for a family stay. 

FUN FACT: The most famous former resident of Pineville was President James K. Polk, America’s 11th president! Today, tourists can visit the President James K. Polk State Historic Site, built on land that originally belonged to the president’s family!

There are several reasons Pineville is a great place to stay for families. Firstly, you’re not that far from the Uptown area, and you can use public transport or rent a car to get there and visit all the attractions. Secondly, this area has some of the safest hotels in Charlotte, NC, and lastly, there are quite a few parks and cool spots where you can take the kids for a fun day out! 

The first spot I recommend for a family hangout is Pineville Lake Park (map), right in the center of Pineville. The green surfaces and the lovely lake in the park are great reasons why you should have a picnic by the water. However, if you’re traveling with kids, a picnic in the park may not be enough to keep them interested, but I have the perfect solution. 

The Sky Zone Trampoline Park is one of the best places to spend an entire day with the kids – there are a variety of activities offered at this amusement park. 

Last but not least, the area is super close to the Carowinds amusement park, where you can take the Fury 325 roller coaster – the tallest and fastest giga coaster in North America! 

PRO TIP: during your stay in Pineville, you should definitely visit the neighboring Ballantyne area. This is an upscale residential neighborhood with a lot of nice restaurants and relaxing parks, and also quite a lot of good hotels, some of which I recommend below.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Charlotte: a spacious lobby with high ceilings and comfortable seating areas, a stylish bedroom with a sleek design and city view, and an outdoor pool area with ample loungers and a gazebo.

Relax in the spa-style pools and enjoy the stunning views at the Ballantyne luxury hotel with super spacious family rooms and a bar. Order room service or head to the restaurant on-site for coffee and breakfast with a great selection of meals. The accommodation also offers free parking space.

Other accommodation options in Pineville

Mid-Range
Front entrance of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, featuring a brick exterior and covered driveway portico

At this accommodation, guests can choose between guest rooms and suites, relax in the garden, or swim in the pool

Budget
Outdoor hotel pool area with lounge chairs

Enjoy a delicious hot breakfast, a free manager’s reception, or just relax in the comfort of the spacious suites

Airbnb
Bright bedroom with a queen-sized bed, light hardwood floors, and a blue accent wall with decorative quotes

A 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhouse, with an office space and an outdoor backyard great for outdoor dining


NOTE: traveling with family can be quite costly, so if you’re looking for something that’s extra budget-friendly, you can check out the Extended Stay America Suites. These suites by Extended Stay America are slightly lower rated than my usual recommendations, but they’re extremely affordable, so they can be a good choice for traveling on a budget. 

Things to do in Pineville

4. South Park – best place to stay in Charlotte for shopping

Charlotte's cityscape reflected in a tranquil lake surrounded by trees with autumn foliage

Located 6 miles (9 km) south of Uptown Charlotte, NC, Southpark is the kind of neighborhood where any shopaholic will gravitate to during their Charlotte stay! Southpark is super modern, and the buildings create that cool urban atmosphere that we all want to experience when we’re in a city.

Famous for the SouthPark shopping mall, which hosts many high-end stores, restaurants, and bars, meaning this friendly area is perfect for those who want to splurge during their holiday. You can easily spend the whole day here and leave with a large shopping haul at the end of the day. 

However, the shopping opportunities don’t stop there! After you’re done exploring the SouthPark mall, you can move on to Phillips Palace, a village-themed outdoor mall. Here, you’ll also find upscale stores, classy restaurants, and a movie theater. And if you still have the will to shop more, roam around the neighborhood and explore the smaller boutique shops in the area. 

Besides shopping, the South Park neighborhood has many amazing dining opportunities. And because there are so many restaurants, it can sometimes be difficult to decide where to eat. But don’t worry, I have 2 great recommendations: The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is a superb fusion restaurant, while the Bulla Gastrobar serves small Spanish and Catalan plates. 

Suppose you want to escape all the city noise; in that case, you can go to Symphony Park (map), a beautiful green space where the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra holds its summer concerts. If you’re in Charlotte during that time, don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to listen to some great music in such a special spot.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Charlotte: a modern lounge with eclectic furnishings and a cityscape backdrop, a bedroom with a minimalist design and abstract art, and a view of the hotel's contemporary exterior with a blue sky backdrop.

Guests at the Hyatt Centric will enjoy air-conditioned rooms, each with a private bathroom stocked with toiletries. A fitness center, a bar, and a concierge service are just some of the other amenities you can enjoy during your stay at this 4-star hotel.

Other accommodation options in South Park

Mid-Range
Elegant hotel lobby with a large artistic wall decoration, comfortable teal armchairs, a cream sofa, and a luxurious chandelier

Enjoy your stay in Charlotte city in this local hotel that offers a complimentary breakfast and has a pool

Budget
Outdoor hotel pool area with clear blue water, surrounded by lounge chairs and a modern building in the background

A nice and cheap hotel for guests traveling on a budget that has a pool, a restaurant, and family rooms

Airbnb
Contemporary bedroom with a king-size bed with a dark headboard, gray bedding, and white walls with minimalist decor

This quiet apartment has 1 bedroom with a king bed, a dedicated workspace, a living area, a kitchen, and a balcony

Things to do in South Park

5. Belmont – where to stay in Charlotte for tranquility

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, featuring its distinctive terracotta exterior

This area is actually a suburb of Charlotte City, and it’s located 14 miles (22 km) west of the Uptown neighborhood (not to be confused with the small area named Belmont just east of the city center). If some of you are looking for a quiet place to stay during your holiday, then you’ve come to the right place!

I sometimes prefer these tranquil neighborhoods, especially when the city is super packed. Plus, there is always public transport, taxis or car rental that will take you to the heart of Uptown (just 6 min by car!).

Located between Lake Wylie and the Catawba River and surrounded by the North Carolina mountains, Belmont is a historic neighborhood that offers visitors a chance to admire some unique old houses that make up the Belmont Historic District. 

Belmont has a lot of lovely parks where you can relax and unwind. The Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park (map) is the best spot for a riverside walk, a must for couples looking for romantic spots. Stowe Park (map) is more centrally located in downtown Belmont, and is more situated for families – there are kids’ playgrounds and hosts various events during the summer months. 

Although I’m sure you’ll be busy walking around and exploring the parks in Belmont, there are a few other attractions here, too. The Belmont Abbey (map) is a historic building that warrants a quick stop, and the Catawba River Antique Mall is an antique shopping mall that houses 200+ vendors – the ultimate spot to get your souvenirs. 

Although this suburb has kept its old-town charm, don’t worry; you’ll find tons of amazing and modern restaurants and bars in Belmont. 

As you know, I only like recommending the best of the best when it comes to hotels. In this part of the city, there aren’t any great luxury places to stay, but here are 3 options for the other price categories that have amazing reviews and tons of amenities.

Other accommodation options in Belmont & NoDa

Mid-Range
Modern hotel room with a white bed, wood-paneled headboard, textured wall, and a warm-toned bedside lamp

Swim in the outdoor pool, order room service, and turn to the 24-desk for anything else you may need

Budget
Sunset view of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott with a clear sky, showcasing its colorful facade and welcoming front entrance.

A 3-star hotel with family rooms, a fitness center, free private parking, and Wi-Fi access free of charge

Airbnb
Rustic living room with wood-paneled ceiling, gray stone fireplace, leather couch, and red accent chairs

Couples will love this romantic cottage that has a cozy room, a kitchen, and a lovely secluded backyard

Things to do in Belmont & NoDa

6. University Place – where to stay in Charlotte on a budget

Entrance sign of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with brick pillars and lush greenery

Located 11 miles (17 km) north of Uptown Charlotte, this neighborhood is, as you might’ve guessed, the home of The University of North Carolina, which means only one thing for us: super affordable accommodations near the city center!

Naturally, as this is a student predominantly, all the lounge bars and restaurants will be super affordable, so if you’re traveling to Charlotte on a budget, this is just the right place for you. University Place has that super fun college atmosphere, and I love it! There’s always something to do – a pub to check out and tons of shopping stores to see!

Let’s say you’re a sports fan; if so, you can stop by the Jerry Richardson Stadium, and you may even see the Charlotte 49ers play live. But if you’re more of a wine-and-dine type of person, I recommend you head to the University Boardwalk. Stop for some barbecue and beer at Boardwalk Billy’s Raw Bar and Ribs, then treat yourself to some dessert at Ninety’s Dessert Bar!

Besides its main occupant, the campus university, this neighborhood is home to a few big companies, making the area look super modern and giving it that urban vibe. But if you want to escape the city heat, the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, which are located on the university campus, offer lovely scenery perfect for those holiday pics. But my favorite has to be the Mallard Creek Greenway, a hiking area where you might be able to spot some cute beavers and hawks!

If you’re visiting with kids, then you absolutely have to make a stop at the DEFY Charlotte amusement park, which offers a wide variety of exciting activities. And if you’re on the hunt for more fun stuff to do, you’ll be happy to learn about the Exit Strategy escape rooms.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Charlotte: a two-story suite with a full kitchen and contemporary furnishings, a cozy hotel room with a city view, and an aerial view of a resort complex with distinct red rooftops and a central lake.

I love the floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms of this hotel and the outdoor pool. You can chill in front of the fireplace after a long day of sightseeing or head to the bar for a glass of wine! You can commission the hotel’s shuttle service to take you sightseeing anywhere within a 5-mile (8 km) radius.

Other accommodation options in University Place

Mid-Range
Modern hotel room with a king-sized bed, large window overlooking greenery, and a green chair at a work desk.

Warm up by the fire pit and enjoy a cozy night at this Marriott hotel that offers daily buffet breakfast

Budget
Indoor swimming pool with large windows, blue water, and a seating area on the pool deck

Enjoy a swim in the indoor pool of this hotel, that offers spacious rooms and nightly hot food and beverages

Airbnb
Spacious living room with vaulted ceilings, skylights, leather sofas, and an open-plan kitchen in the background

A super modern house in the city that has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, and offers free parking spots

Things to do in University Place

👑 Luxury price:US$300
🏨 Mid-range:US$180
🛏️ Budget:US$120
📍Best area:Uptown Charlotte
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:The Ivey’s Hotel
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:AC Hotel by Marriott
👛 Best budget hotel:Hampton Inn

FAQs about where to stay in Charlotte

Aerial view of Charlotte's cityscape at dusk, with the baseball stadium in the foreground and skyscrapers lit up

🤔 Where should I stay in Charlotte?

Uptown (Downtown) Charlotte is one of the best places to stay in the city; this is where you’ll find all the attractions, cool rooftop bars, and unique accommodations like The Ivey’s Hotel

🛑 What are the bad areas of Charlotte, NC?

Pinecrest, Lincoln Heights, and Tryon Hills are 3 neighborhoods that you should definitely avoid in Charlotte, NC. 

🌃 Is Downtown Charlotte safe at night?

The central part of the city is usually safe at night. However, for your own safety, make sure you avoid walking alone in secluded and poorly lit areas. 

💞 What are some unique places to stay in Charlotte?

The Ivey’s Hotel and The Duke Mansion are two unique hotels in Charlotte that offer comfortable accommodations and a wide range of services.

🏨 Which are the best luxury hotels in Charlotte?

The Ballantyne, Hyatt Centric Charlotte, and The Ivey’s Hotel are the best luxury hotels in Charlotte, NC. All of these hotels have amazing reviews and are conveniently located near top attractions.

👪 What are some different parts of Charlotte, NC that are family-friendly?

Family-friendly areas in Charlotte, NC, include Ballantyne, Dilworth, and SouthPark. Each of these areas has parks, playgrounds, and numerous family-friendly activities. 

⚖️ Is Raleigh better than Charlotte?

Raleigh is the smaller city of the two and is better for a more relaxed vacation, and Charlotte is the better option for sightseeing and nightlife.

🚶🏾 Is it safe to walk in downtown Charlotte at night?

Yes, it’s completely safe to walk in downtown Charlotte at night. The streets are well-lit, there are frequent patrols, and plenty of people around at all times of the night. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to be cautious and don’t linger outside for too long.

Conclusion

Nighttime view of a park in Charlotte with illuminated water fountains, walking paths, and the city skyline in the background

Charlotte is a wonderful city – there are so many amazing things to see here! I really hope this post helped you decide where to stay in Charlotte and which hotel to book! 

There are many great places to stay in the city, but here are my 2 favorite ones, both located in Uptown (Downtown) Charlotte:

Whether you stay in Charlotte for a day or a week, you need to book your accommodation well in advance. Good hotels are quick to sell out, so you need to act quickly – pick one and make your reservation!

Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts and questions about Charlotte – I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Safe travels,

Victoria


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