Destination: Charlotte, North Carolina

Destination: Charlotte, North Carolina

by Michael Satterfield - 04/29/2022

North Carolina is home to some of the best driving roads and roadside attractions in the country, from the Biltmore Estate in Ashville to the classic Shell Gas Station in Winston-Salem but no trip to North Carolina would be complete without a stop in Charlotte and Mooresville to see some NASCAR history. With the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and all of the NASCAR teams within just minutes of each other, it is a great way to spend a few days. 

Destination: Charlotte, North Carolina

But for this trip, we are driving the Lincoln Corsair plug-in hybrid, a handsome ride with all the luxury you could ask for on a road trip. My wife, Jennifer, is joining me on this trip, so it won't be all NASCAR this time, our itinerary includes wineries, restaurants, and historic bed & breakfasts. I hope you enjoy this guide when planning your own trip to the Charlotte area. 

Things to Do:

Destination: Charlotte, North Carolina

Wine Tasting at Childress Vineyards:

Something that most people don't realize is that there are nearly 200 wineries across North Carolina, and the state has eight official wine trials for those who enjoy exploring the different varieties of wine. For this trip, we will be experiencing a winery that is on the Southern Gateway Wine Trail, this winery has a NASCAR connection since it is owned by race team owned Richard Childress and the vineyard is less than five miles from his Richard Childress Racing operations. 

Positioned at the gateway to the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area, the state's first federally designated region for grape growing, the 70-acre estate is home to 15 varieties of grapes that thrive in the red clay soil and give wines from this region a distinctive palate. Jennifer ordered a flight and a charcuterie board, and I ordered a Coke, which still paired nicely with the cheese and meat selection. The property is on par with many wineries in California and New York, and the drive up from Charlotte isn't bad, but be sure to take some backroads for a more enjoyable drive. 

Childress Vineyards
1000 Childress Vineyards Rd.
Lexington, NC 27295

NASCAR Hall of Fame:

Located in downtown Charlotte the NASCAR Hall of Fame is an easy place to spend hours in, with general admission being $25 per person and it is a good value if you plan on making a day of it check out some of their packages the $49 package gives you admission, lunch, some goodies, and NASCAR simulator rides. 

NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 E M.L.K. Jr Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28202

JR Motorsports Shop Tour:

Get a look behind the scenes of the three-time Xfinity Championship racing team, led by NASCAR legend Dale Eanhardt Jr., see the cars, shop, and even get a peak in Jr.'s podcast studio. The shop tour is Free of Charge, but it does require advanced booking due to the number of fans that visit the shop.

Jr. Motorsports
349 Cayuga Drive
Mooresville, NC 28117

Go to Whiskey Prison:

Just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, the small town of Mt. Pleasant, home to about 1,600 people, The Avett Brothers, and a State Prison that closed down in 2011. But Leanna Powell saw potential and moved Southern Grace Distillery making it an instant destination. Learn the history of the prison, the art of distilling whiskey, and enjoy a tasting in what was once the solitary confinement wing. Tours range from $14-$45 per person and they recommend advanced reservations. 

130 Dutch Road 
Mount Pleasant, NC 28124

Where To Stay:

Destination: Charlotte, North Carolina

The Duke Mansion:

A beautiful property in the heart of Charlotte's historic district, despite the staff being a bit rude, the Duke is a place you need to stay at least once. The scale and grandeur of this amazing home are unlike any other bed and breakfast we have stayed at and presented several great photo opportunities. Rooms start at around $240 a night. 

400 Hermitage Road
Charlotte, NC 28207

Grand Bohemian Hotel:

If you are looking for a sophisticated and luxurious stay downtown you can do no better than the Grand Bohemian. Just blocks from major attractions and the on-site restaurant is worth a visit even if you aren't a guest. As part of the Mariott Autograph Collection, you can also use Mariott Bonvoy points. Rooms start at around $350 a night during peak season, but sometimes deals can be found on hotel apps like Priceline. 

201 W Trade St 
Charlotte, NC 28202

Where To Eat:


Amélie's French Bakery & Café: 

With four locations Amélie's is the perfect place to start your morning or grab lunch. Amazing food and great customer service. The Signature Chicken Salad Croissant is by far my favorite lunch item. Most food items are under $10 making this a great place for an inexpensive but excellent meal.

NODA, Carmel Commons, Park Road, Rock Hill

Midwood Smokehouse:

You can't travel to a city in the South and not sample some amazing BBQ and Midwood Smokehouse is one of the best places BBQ joints in town. With three locations in Charlotte, you'll have one nearby and their staff makes the dining experience even better. The Brisket Queso is amazing and you have to try the Carolina Pork. Entrees range better $11-$23.

Plaza Midwood, Ballantyne, Park Rd.


With a rustic farm-to-table menu cooked using a wood-fired oven, Stoke offers a unique twist on classic Southern cooking and is a great place for dinner, the menu changes seasonally, but you can generally find classics like Shrimp & Grits and Mac & Cheese. Entrée range from $25-$45.

100 W Trade St
Charlotte, NC 28202