The other day I found myself at TK Café in the 525 North Tryon building (very good lunch) and realized there is a fantastic plaza there I didn’t know existed. It got me thinking about all the places uptown to enjoy this beautiful weather.
During lunch hours many of these places are filled with uptown workers/lunch-goers. On the weekends and after hours they can be a quiet place to relax and enjoy the big city sights and sounds.
Before we begin, I offer a caveat that there may be some missing from this list. Here are a few that stand out to me.
Starting north and making our way south…
(1) 525 North Tryon: This one started my whole thinking around this. A great little area with tree cover, sculptures and plenty of tables and chairs. Definitely a hidden gem.
(2) TransAmerica Plaza: Not a ton of tree cover here, but there is a really nice open grassy area and tables and chairs to eat.
(3) Discovery Place: I will be honest, I don’t know if this is open to the public but there are some nice tables and chairs and good tree cover.
(4) Hearst Tower: I think this is the most popular one in the city. The tables are almost always filled and you have the giant, and beautiful, Hearst Tower looming over you. Great selection of food and drink here too.
(5) Waterfall Plaza: The water hasn’t been running lately due to water conservation but this is a great little area in the Square.
(6) Charlotte Plaza: This place is also not running its fountain due to water conservation but there is a ton of seating around the fountain and a nice green space.
(7) One Wells Fargo Plaza: This area is shared with the Hilton and it is just great. Clock tower, fountains and plenty of seating. This one is also insanely popular along with its sister….
(8) Wells Fargo Center Plaza: Probably the second most popular in the city. It’s HUGE and has fantastic design elements like statues, fountains and even a giant gazebo. This one is my personal favorite.
(9) The Green: About as close to a full park as you can get. Tons of decorative pieces, open green space and seating line this great gem uptown.
(10) Museum Plaza: Tree cover aplenty here (acts as “private dining” for nearby Rico’s Acai) and definitely very popular on the south side of town.
(11) Romare Bearden Park: ‘nuff said.
(12) Gateway Breezeway: Out by its lonesome this area stands out by being expansive, covered and truly catering to a pedestrian atmosphere. With food and drink, there’s also seating, a stage, trees and tons of open space.