Charlotte, NC Meeting Planning Overview
Welcome to our Charlotte meeting planning guide – a Charlotte city guide for meeting planners. Small town appeal and big city amenities are apt to draw meetings and events of various size and type to Charlotte. The state-of-the-art facilities at the Charlotte Convention Center attract more than half a million visitors annually to its 280,000 square feet of exhibit space. A convenient location in downtown Charlotte places the center within walking distance to 4,100 hotel rooms, nearly 100 restaurants and several museums and attractions such as the Afro-American Cultural Center and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.
From historic plantations to modern museum complexes, unique Charlotte event venues are varied and numerous. Guests experience Southern hospitality at its finest at the legendary Duke Mansion, a 32,000-square-foot complex set on 4.5 acres, with space for 10 to 300 guests and professional chefs on staff. The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden offers 110 acres of beautiful, lush scenery, perfect for an evening dinner or cocktail reception at sunset for up to 300 guests. The larger-than-life IMAX Dome and aquarium-lined rooms of the interactive Discovery Place Museum make for an unforgettable meeting that attendees are sure to enjoy.
New attractions and event venues in Charlotte include the Bechtler Museum, Mint Museum of Art and the Afro-American Cultural Center. The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened its facility; attached to the convention center, it features 40,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 250-seat theater, as well as a museum and retail and dining space.
About Charlotte, NC / Additional Info
Charlotte, once known as a sleepy Southern textile manufacturing town, has experienced explosive growth in recent decades that has helped the city reinvent itself as a sophisticated Southern banking powerhouse and one of the nation's fastest-growing cities. Located on roughly 242 square miles of Carolina Piedmont, the city of Charlotte has nearly 620,000 residents, with 1.5 million people calling the greater metropolitan area home. The 5th largest city on the East Coast, it's also the 5th fastest-growing large city in the United States.
Charlotte traces its history, as well as its name, back to the late 1700s when the first settlers arrived and named the area after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of British King George III, in hopes of winning the King's favor. Though the city was the site of the nation's first gold rush, it was not until after the Civil War that Charlotte made a name for itself as a hub for cotton manufacturing and railroad transportation. After the closure of the last cotton mill in 1975, the city evolved into one of the nation's leading banking and financial centers, home to both Wachovia and Bank of America, whose 60-story gothic tower dominates the skyline.
Nearly 200 diverse neighborhoods are scattered throughout Charlotte, from the college town of University City at UNC Charlotte to suburban Highland Creek, a residential area less than five miles from popular attractions Lowe's Motor Speedway and Concord Mills Mall. A bustling hub for both work and play, Center City is one of the most popular areas in the city. This hot spot serves as home to many business complexes and several notable attractions such as the Levine Museum of the New South, Mint Museum of Craft + Design as well as the Charlotte Convention Center . Though residential high-rises and corporate skyscrapers dominate Center City's skyline, Center City also offers visitors the opportunity to experience Charlotte's rich and colorful history. Visit the Fourth Ward neighborhood and explore distinctive restored Victorian homes, shops and restaurants, including the McNinch House, an intimate dining experience found within one such home.
There is much more to Charlotte than what lies within the borders of Center City: take advantage of all the city of Charlotte has to offer. Stroll through the shops and cafes in the historic streetcar neighborhood of the Third Ward. Enjoy a Broadway play or Charlotte Symphony concert at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Trace the city's beginnings and evolution at the Charlotte Museum of History. Or enjoy modern-day racing entertainment, a favorite Charlottean pastime, at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where three NASCAR Nextel Cups race every season.