Forget simply catching the latest show or making a reservation for dinner. Charlotte is now offering a slew of ways to immerse oneself in the city through hands-on tours and encounters. From wonderful art happenings to wine tastings, the city’s visitor’s authority has found more than 30 local places serving full-immersion experiences. Here are our top three picks for getting an exclusive glimpse of Charlotte’s arts and fare.
Uptown’s Blumenthal Performing Arts Center frequently plays host to some of Broadway’s biggest shows like The Lion King and The Book of Mormon. And while snagging a seat offers plenty of exciting entertainment, for a real close up of the NYC exports, you’ll want to sign up for this post-show one-hour tour. In addition to meet-and-greets with cast and crew, there’s also the chance to customize your experience with workshops on topics from percussion drumming to makeup magic. And with hit musicals including Peter and The Starcatcher and We Will Rock You arriving in town soon, now’s the time to make reservations for your private peek at the productions. $15, in addition to theater ticket
Feast Food Tours
Savor an exclusive taste of Charlotte with this culinary-centric company offering various dining tours around town. You can opt for homegrown choices such as the Uptown Soul of the South tour featuring southern cuisine around the city with a North Carolina craft beer tasting, a glance at a late 1800s Southern home and more, or the Brew & Chew version with the chance to see what’s on tap at local breweries — food- and beer-wise — while riding around on a 14-passenger party bike. But the Uptown Chic Behind-the-Scenes Tour provides the ultimate upscale look at Charlotte dining. This three-hour, two-mile long walking trek includes kitchen tours, conversations with chefs and sommeliers, and, of course, a sample of the cuisine at swank spots such as the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte or the historical McNinch House. $47-67
Get your creative juices flowing at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture’s Canvas and Cocktails, a regularly offered chance to indulge in wine and cocktails as local artists provide instruction on your creative masterpiece. Take a sip of your drink and then take inspiration from museum pieces such as paintings, African masks or a Romare Bearden-inspired collage. Art supplies are included and the two-hour experience gets you up-close-and-personal with both art and artists as you recreate a featured work. $40
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