Let North Carolina be in the depth of your heart and soul.
Driving into the south in the U.S. can be a culture shock for some while others will simply fall in love with the charm and southern hospitality that it is so famous for. Charlotte, NC is a unique combination of old southern charm accompanied together with a modern growing city full of transplants. When you first visit Charlotte you may be overwhelmed with a long list of must-see’s but here are few offbeat things that a local insists you must do.
Sing karaoke at Jeff’s Bucket Shop
Jeff’s Bucket Shop takes the term dive bar to new limits. Walking down the outdoor staircase to the entrance you feel more like you are entering a hidden sweatshop than a bar. Having no windows and decorated in original 1970’s décor you assume the only reason the fire marshal has not closed the place is that he can’t find the nearly invisible entrance. All of this only adds to the electric atmosphere when the weekends roll around and the karaoke machine is cranked to full volume for a standing room only audience. Jeff’s Bucket Shop is located on Montford St. near Park Road Shopping Centre. Just look for the sketchiest looking place there.
Eat fried pickles
The south may not be known for its healthy cuisine but it certainly is known for its delicious cuisine. A favourite delicatessen of mine and everyone who has ever visited is the fried pickles. This simple recipe of sliced pickles battered and then deep fried comes in many varieties and is almost always served with ranch dressing to dip in. My favourite place is Alexander Michael’s on 9th street in Centre City.
If you don’t know anything about Nascar don’t worry you will before you leave town. Charlotte is home to the Nascar Hall of Fame and Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It is nearly impossible to visit Charlotte within having Nascar leave an impression of some sort on you. If your opinion of Nascar is drunken debauchery from the less desirable demographic of humanity you are 100% correct. It sure does make for some interesting people watching though. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in town during a race weekend absolutely go. You will never forget the experience.
Walk the Dilworth neighbourhood
Being a Real Estate guy I may be biased but seeing a city’s unique architecture is one of my favourite activities. In Charlotte, you really get a feel for the “old money” when walking through Dilworth. The houses are immaculately kept and through the middle of the neighbourhood, you will find Freedom Park which is an attraction within itself.
There are two kinds of BBQ in the Carolinas, eastern and western. The difference is the sauce where one is a tomato based and the other is vinegar based. With Charlotte located in the middle of the state, we tend to get a sampling of both. I personally prefer vinegar based sauce but be careful people have very strong opinions on both sides.
Visiting Charlotte is a must for anybody who finds themselves in the South. A quick tip when in Charlotte is if you ever find yourself in a bad situation just mention how much you hate Duke and you will find instant friends.