The author Lea Rose Albaugh, looking at Uptown from South End in Charlotte, North Carolina

Where to Stay in Charlotte (Best Places & Areas in 2023)

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Charlotte, you’ve come to the right place! 

I lived in Charlotte for four years. In this guide, I’ll break down the best areas to stay, and give you straightforward hotel recommendations if you want to keep things simple. 

Whether you’re traveling as a family, with friends, or just want to be close to the best things to do in Charlotte, I’ll show you the best places to stay in Charlotte.

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Best Places to Stay in Charlotte

JW Marriott Charlotte hotel building from the outside
The JW Marriott has hotel rooms with floor to ceiling windows for great city views (photo: CLS Digital Arts / Shutterstock)

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Charlotte? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Charlotte: 

6 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Charlotte

The city of Charlotte has a circular layout. The main downtown area, known as “Uptown,” is in the center, and all the other neighborhoods are spread around it. NoDa and University City lie to the northeast. South End and SouthPark are, shockingly, to the south. 

Each area of the city caters to a different type of visitor, and the hotels in Charlotte really reflect this. You can find everything from a luxury hotel in Uptown, to one-of-a-kind bed & breakfasts just outside the city. 

Let’s break down the best neighborhoods to stay in Charlotte, depending on your travel style and type of trip.


View of the entrance to The Ivey’s Hotel building
The Ivey’s Hotel (photo: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock)
A statue displayed outside the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Bechtler Museum’s “The Firebird” statue (photo: meunierd / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Popular Attractions & Events | ✨ Best Uptown Hotels: JW Marriott CharlotteAC Hotel by Marriott Charlotte City CenterThe Ivey’s Hotel

“Uptown,” also referred to as “Center City,” is Charlotte’s main downtown area. Uptown is one of the best areas to stay for first-time visitors

I especially recommend Uptown to those visiting Charlotte for an event. Staying here puts you within walking distance to venues like Bank of America Stadium and Spectrum Center. It also makes it easy to reach tourist attractions like NASCAR Hall of Fame and art museums.

Many of the top Charlotte hotels are in Uptown, so there’s something for visitors of all ages and types. For a luxury hotel experience, JW Marriott has an outdoor pool, rooftop bar, and spa. Grand Bohemian also has a spa. For a boutique hotel, The Ivey’s Hotel is wonderful. Lastly, Charlotte Marriott City Center and AC Hotel by Marriott Charlotte City Center are highly rated hotels. 

Pros of Staying in Uptown Neighborhood:

  • Close to museums and attractions
  • Easy access to the Light Rail
  • Walkable 
  • Lots of great restaurants and bars
  • Lots of hotel options

Cons of Staying in Uptown Neighborhood:

  • More expensive
  • Limited rental vacation options 
  • Noisy 

📚 Uptown Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Popular Attractions & Events
Google Map


View of cars parked at the neighborhood in NoDa
“Downtown” NoDa—most vacation rentals are within walking distance of here (photo: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For First-Time Visitors | ✨ Best NoDa Vacation Rentals: Charlotte Home w/ Deck in NoDa DistrictNew Modern Farmhouse Loft in NoDaPlaza Midwood private getaway!

NoDa is Charlotte’s beloved arts district. This neighborhood is located just northeast of Uptown and is known for its artsy and playful atmosphere. If you’re not in town for any specific event or occasion, this is the best neighborhood to stay in. And if you’re traveling as a family, this neighborhood is a good choice since it’s quieter and more low-key.

NoDa has a walkable “downtown” and this area shows off a more local side of Charlotte. It’s reasonably small, but there’s something here for visitors of all ages. Uptown Charlotte and popular attractions are just a short drive away. NoDa is also close to Plaza Midwood, which is a similarly great neighborhood to stay in.

Pros of Staying in NoDa Neighborhood:

  • Fun and friendly atmosphere
  • Walkable 
  • Easy access to the Light Rail
  • Lots of great restaurants and bars
  • Variety of vacation rental options
  • Local vibe

Cons of Staying in NoDa Neighborhood:

  • Less hotel options
  • Limited parking

📚 NoDa Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for First-Time Visitors
Google Map

South End & Dilworth

A group of friends wandering at the Hawkers Asian Street Food
Lots of tasty, trendy restaurants in this area (photo: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Foodies | ✨ Best South End Hotels: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Charlotte – South End, an IHG HotelKasa Edison House CharlotteThe Westin Charlotte

The South End & Dilworth area is a vibrant and trendy part of Charlotte. It’s located just southwest of Uptown. The South End & Dilworth area is the neighborhood for foodies. Some of Charlotte’s best dining options can be found here, with cuisines being offered from around the globe. There are also a ton of bars, pubs, and surprisingly—ice cream shops here.

There isn’t a central downtown hub in South End & Dilworth, but it does have shopping and dining areas that are walkable. Hotels are more sparse, but there are plenty of vacation rentals available.

Pros of Staying in South End & Dilworth Neighborhood:

  • Easy access to the Light Rail
  • Decent walkability
  • Family-friendly 
  • A top notch foodie scene
  • Lots of bars and pubs
  • Few, but solid hotel options
  • Lots of vacation rental options

Cons of Staying in South End & Dilworth Neighborhood:

  • More expensive
  • You’ll need a car to get around

📚 South End & Dilworth Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Foodies
Google Map


Clear blue sky over the Hampton Inn & Suites Charlotte
Hampton Inn & Suites – South Park at Phillips Place (photo: CLS Digital Arts / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Shopping | ✨ Best South Park Hotels: Hyatt Centric Charlotte SouthParkHampton Inn & Suites-South Park at Phillips PlaceCanopy By Hilton Charlotte SouthPark

SouthPark is perfect if you want a luxurious place to stay in Charlotte. This Charlotte neighborhood is all about luxury — from the high end restaurants and boutiques, to the luxury shopping at SouthPark Mall. SouthPark is suitable for visitors of all ages, and it’s where you’ll want to stay if shopping is your priority. 

The Charlotte hotels in SouthPark are decked out with all the amenities you need to jumpstart and recover from long days at the mall. This includes in-room coffee makers, complimentary breakfast, and some hotels even have an on-site coffee shop. 

Pros of Staying in South Park Neighborhood:

  • Great shopping 
  • Luxury atmosphere
  • Lots of hotel and vacation rental options
  • Lots of great restaurants 

Cons of Staying in South Park Neighborhood:

  • More expensive than other areas in Charlotte
  • Less local vibe
  • Not very walkable 
  • You’ll need a car to get around

📚 South Park Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Shopping
Google Map

University City

View of people at the University Place in Charlotte
University Place—a small plaza with shops and restaurants

👉 Best Area For Affordability | ✨ Best University City Hotels: Hyatt Place Charlotte UniversityFairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Charlotte University Research ParkDrury Inn & Suites Charlotte University Place

University City (also referred to as University Place) is your best bet if you’re looking for where to stay in Charlotte on a budget. This neighborhood is northeast of Uptown Charlotte. It surrounds the local university, UNC Charlotte. 

Accommodations here are more limited, but you can find a mix. For example, a modern hotel like Hyatt Place Charlotte University. A mid-range budget hotel option is Drury Inn & Suites Charlotte University Place. The vacation rentals are more affordable here as well. 

Aside from affordability, University City has some other perks. You can conveniently hop on the Light Rail from here, and you can easily grab food at a shopping center like University Place. It’s also worth noting that this neighborhood does have a younger, more college-student vibe, 

Pros of Staying in University City Neighborhood:

  • Easy access to the Light Rail
  • Affordable 
  • Mix of hotel and vacation rental options 

Cons of Staying in University City Neighborhood:

  • You’ll need a car to get around
  • No “downtown” area 
  • More limited restaurant and bar options 

📚 University City Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Affordability
Google Map


View from the Main Street Pineville in North Carolina
Main Street Pineville (photo: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Families | ✨ Best Pineville Hotels: The Ballantyne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, CharlotteFairfield Inn & Suites Charlotte PinevilleSpringHill Suites Charlotte at Carowinds

Pineville is a suburb of Charlotte, located about half an hour south of Uptown. This is a great area to stay for families because it’s close to kid-friendly attractions while still being close enough to reach the city. Pineville even has a downtown Main Street. This offers that comfortable, small-town feel that’s especially ideal for families. 

Additionally, Pineville is a great area to stay if you plan on visiting Carowinds. It’s about 5 miles from the park. Attractions like Sky Zone Trampoline Park and the President James K. Polk State Historic Site are also nearby.

Lastly, the luxury hotel—The Ballantyne, is located near Pineville. This is one of the top hotels in Charlotte for its amenities. Aside from it being a beautiful property, it has an indoor pool, outdoor pool, full spa, onsite activities, and more. 

Pros of Staying in Pineville Neighborhood:

  • Family-friendly
  • Close to kid-friendly attractions
  • Close to Carowinds
  • Walkable downtown 
  • Quiet
  • Can be more affordable than other areas

Cons of Staying in Pineville Neighborhood:

  • Farther from Uptown Charlotte and main attractions
  • You’ll need a car to get around

📚 Pineville Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Families
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Charlotte

Charlotte is a Gateway to Other North Carolina Destinations

Scenic view at the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway during summer season
Top of the Blue Ridge Parkway in summer

Charlotte is a fantastic city on its own. But if you’re looking to explore other places in North Carolina, Charlotte makes a great base or starting point. Within 2-4 hours by car, you can reach the Blue Ridge Mountains or Outer Banks.

Charlotte Has Bed & Breakfasts

Charlotte’s a Southern city, so there are a couple of bed & breakfasts if you’re interested. The Duke Mansion is a luxury B&B with beautiful gardens. The Morehead Inn is a more traditional B&B. Neither are in the main neighborhoods listed above, but they’re still worth looking into. 

Save Money with an Explore CLT Pass

View from the balcony of the Mint Museum
The balcony of the Mint Museum, overlooking the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

If you’re interested in visiting attractions like art museums and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, consider getting an Explore CLT Pass. For a rate of $35-$60, you’ll get access to five Charlotte attractions for either one or two days.

Charlotte Has a Train System

The LYNX “Light Rail” is Charlotte’s main train system. It’s not the most comprehensive public transportation system on earth, but it does connect the city better. It goes from University City in northeast Charlotte, through Uptown, and reaches down to South End.

Weather in Charlotte Can Be Unpredictable

View of buildings and the street in Uptown Charlotte in North Carolina during a rainy day
Uptown on a rainy day (photo: photo-denver / Shutterstock)

North Carolina weather is notoriously unpredictable. It can be 80 degrees and sunny one day, and 60 degrees and cloudy the next. The summer is also known for its mid-day rainstorms. Prepare yourself by making sure your North Carolina packing list includes lots of layers!

Be Aware of Construction

Over the last 5-10 years, Charlotte has undergone massive growth, and it’s not done. Construction around Charlotte (especially on the roads and highways) is common. 

👉 Read Next: Where to Stay in Asheville

FAQs About Where to Stay in Charlotte

What are the best luxury hotels to stay in Charlotte?

The best luxury hotels to stay at in Charlotte are the Grand Bohemian Hotel, Ballantyne Hotel, and The Ivey’s Hotel. Amenities at these hotels range from in room spa services, to a cocktail lounge, to a decked out fitness center.

What part of Charlotte is best to stay in?

Uptown Charlotte and NoDa are the best parts of Charlotte to stay in, especially for first-timers.

What is the difference between Uptown and downtown Charlotte?

The difference between Uptown Charlotte and downtown Charlotte is just the name. They are the same place. Locals just refer to the downtown area as “Uptown.”


I hope you enjoyed my guide on where to stay in Charlotte, and that I’ve helped you find the best places to stay in Charlotte for your trip. Next up, check out my guide to the best things to do and see in North Carolina.

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