This story is proudly presented by Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority – our partner in exploring the Queen City. Things might look a little different lately but there are still fun (and safe) ways to explore Charlotte and support local businesses. Get some inspiration here.
Meet your tour guide
Who: Liz Hilliard
Job title: Creator and owner of Hilliard Studio Method
Neighborhood: Myers Park
Ideal itinerary for: Active adults who love the arts
What she loves about Charlotte: “I really do believe Charlotte is the most beautiful city in the Southeast. The beauty of Charlotte isn’t just in the beauty of the landscape and the trees and the buildings, but in the diversity of the city.”
(Liz’s responses have been lightly edited for clarity. During the coronavirus pandemic, certain restaurants may have adjusted hours. Call ahead for the most up-to-date information.)
Here’s Liz Hilliard’s ideal weekend itinerary for visitors.
FRIDAY: Italian dinner in Myers Park
Italian for dinner: I’ve got my haunts in Myers Park, where I live. We’d head to Volo, which is a fairly new restaurant. Even during quarantine, they have outdoor seating. I’m not one to go into restaurants right now, but I’ve been sitting outside. I still get my incredible salmon and my fresh, fresh salad. And a really good dirty martini.
Cocktails: Then after we’d stop by The Crunkleton in Elizabeth for a drink there, too.
[Related Agenda guide: Best cocktails in Charlotte? Here’s the definitive list of Charlotte’s 11 best cocktail bars]
SATURDAY: Jam-packed day of exercise, the arts, and good food
Morning workout: Well, if someone is coming to visit me, they know I’m a fitness girl, right? Obviously they’re going to work out with me because I’m going to be teaching at Hilliard Studio Method.
Bike ride: I have a couple of bikes, so then I’d put them on a bike and we’d tour Uptown. I’d start with the parks. We’d roll through there and go to Marshall Park.
Museum stop: We’ve also got spectacular museums. The Bechtler. The Harvey B. Gantt Center. The Mint, of course. I love all of them. We’ve got a rich heritage and a rich cultural feel here in Charlotte. I would take them to the museum of their choice.
A snack with a view: Then, since we’re on bicycles, we’d be hungry and thirsty. We’d end up at the perfect place, Halcyon, which is steps from The Mint. They have the most incredible hummus there, so we’d get that, and maybe a glass of champagne and a charcuterie board.
Fancy dinner: I’m someone who goes to bed early normally, but we’re going to go to a really good dinner that night. We’d go to Barrington’s. It’s my go-to. I absolutely love it.
Musical: I’m someone who loves the arts, so if you’re my guest we’re going to something at the Blumenthal Performing Arts theaters. I’ve seen so many shows there. I saw Hamilton there and I had also seen it in New York, and I can promise you there’s no difference. I’m not a big concert-goer because I’m up so early in the morning, but I love going to musicals.
SUNDAY: Time to relax with a cup of coffee
Brunch home-style: For Sunday brunch, we’d sit on my screened-in porch, and I’d make delicious omelets. I’m not a great cook, but I’m good enough, and I can put together a breakfast.
Coffee run: I’d run out and get coffee from Not Just Coffee. Nobody does coffee like they do, and I love to support local. When I have people visit I like them to see the city, and then have some time to relax.