Sightseeing in Charlotte isn’t always easy.
When you’re visiting friends in big cities, there’s a ton of touristy stuff to see, like the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. It’s unforgettable, a can’t-miss for visitors, and tied to the culture consciousness of the city.
Obviously we don’t have anything that matches the Hollywood sign on national or international notoriety.
But which of our landmarks should you absolutely drag your out of town friends to?
Which spots in the city are tied to our memories of what it means to be in Charlotte?
These six spots are undoubtedly contenders.
#1 Neighborhood Theater marquee
Location: Noda. 511 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205
What makes it cool: It sits in the heart of Noda announcing bands you’re not hip enough to know, former American Idol runner-ups and white reggae bands.
Make a memory: Pre-game with a beer at Salud, photograph your friends framed up with the marquee while you’re in line and then grab some shrimp tacos at Cabo and reminisce about how great Lee DeWyze was.
#2 The Penguin Drive-In sign
Location: Plaza Midwood. 1921 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
What makes it cool: This legendary Charlotte dive closed after neighbors revolted against the owner’s treatment of the managers. Civil unrest at its best.
Make a memory: Find out whatever opens in the space next, eat there once, complain about it on the Plaza Midwood Facebook group until it moves, repeat forever.
#3 The Center of the Known World
Location: The Green. 435 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
What makes it cool: It shows the distance to several famous cities from Charlotte’s least interesting attempt at a central park, The Green.
Make a memory: Pose in front of it pointing to the sign that leads to your hometown. Don’t see yours? Just pick one and follow it. Luckily, they all lead you out of The Green.
#4 South End rail signage
Location: South End (duh). 1930 Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203
What makes it cool: Framed between a train track, a water tower, and abandoned industrial spaces, this signage perfectly emulates the Instagrammable aesthetic you’d find in a boring small town without having to actually go all the way to Lincolnton.
Make a memory: Take the wife out to Pike’s Old Fashioned, check out this signage across the street, and recall a time when milkshakes were only a nickle.
Location: Uptown. 430 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
What makes it cool: It’s a giant metal chicken.
Make a memory: Windex it. Windex Firebird.
#6 Jerry Richardson Panthers Stadium sculpture
Location: Uptown. 800 S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28202
What makes it cool: You can always find out-of-towners photographing each other next to this testosterone packed sculpture outside of Bank of America Stadium of Panthers founder Jerry Richardson and two snarling panthers. Plus, each of the cats has comically huge testicles.
Make a memory: Throw on that Luke Kuechly jersey and post a pic in front of the sculpture with the #keeppounding hashtag. That’ll show all your friends you’re a true Panthers fan occasionally.