Whether you’ve moved to the Queen City recently and are still trying to get your bearings (and your friend group) situated, or you just need alone time to recharge after a long work week, Charlotte has plenty of activities that are perfect for flying solo. Get out, get active and get involved without feeling weird about being by yourself with these picks!
Charlotte is teeming with opportunities to meet new people, regardless of whether you’re in the market for friends, professional connections or a mixture of both. Heading to a brewery on your own is usually something that feels slightly tragic or awkward, but the #instabeerupCLT networking event has made it totally acceptable. Even if you don’t know anyone as you walk in, the vibe inside is so welcoming that you’ll head home with a handful of new connections. Come regularly and you’ll see familiar faces each time, which also helps to take any discomfort out of the thought of networking. #InstabeerupCLT happens on the last Thursday of the month at various breweries around town. Search the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for location details.
CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series that serves the creative community with a short, themed talk by an awesome community member. It'll provide a surge of inspiration that carries you through the day. Meet other Charlotte thinkers and dreamers as you listen to a perspective-shifting talk. The event is buzzing with energetic people excited to connect with others, so you’ll never feel weird showing up solo. The event is always the first Friday of the month, but it rotates location—check out the CreativeMornings site and sign up for the newsletter so you’re in the loop on future events.
Charlotte has combined the art of drinking and exercising with a bevvy of classes held at breweries around the city. Get your downward dog on, then cool off with your favorite beverage. There’s the ever popular Yoga on Tap at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, but NC Yoga Bar hosts pop-up classes in breweries (Sycamore Brewing and Wooden Robot Brewery) as well as atypical spaces like the McGill Rose Garden, Advent Coworking, Living Kitchen and others (check their site for a schedule of dates and times). It doesn’t matter whether your practice is refined or frighteningly amateur, it’s a great way to get a workout in while meeting new people. Plus, the novelty of yoga and beer together never gets old.
Just because Chemistry 101 feels like three lifetimes ago, doesn’t mean you have to stop learning new things. SkillPop offers affordable ways to expand your knowledge base. No matter what has your attention (Meditation? Breadmaking? Public speaking?) for between $20-$45 you do a deeper dive into the subject, without having to commit to weeks of classes at a community college. Plus, the sessions are conducive to meeting people with similar interests.
The Mint Museum (with locations on both Randolph Road and in Uptown Charlotte) is an accessible way to get your dose of fine art. Browse the rotating exhibits and permanent collections on your own, or make it a point to stop by for events like Yoga at the Mint or Wine on Wednesdays. If you want to connect with other art enthusiasts, join the Young Affiliates of the Mint, a group of young professionals dedicated to promoting and supporting the museum through fundraising and other activities.
There’s definitely something addictive about using Amazon Prime and getting a book delivered to your door the next day (or right to your Kindle within seconds). But clicking around just doesn’t replicate the experience of browsing at a neighborhood bookstore and then holding the perfect novel in your hands as you curl up on the couch. Park Road Books is the ideal spot to breathe that book-y smell and wander the aisles in search of your next favorite novel. It’s a cozy, local shop with staff members who are more than happy to offer suggestions based on your taste.
Tucked in the North Davidson neighborhood, the McGill Rose Garden is a peaceful retreat perfect for a mind-clearing stroll. The garden was created in the 1950s and features 1,000 roses, including 230 different types of blooms. Admission is free!
As the humidity finally starts to break, being outside for more than five minutes at a time actually seems bearable. This makes it the perfect time to grab a blanket and head to Freedom Park to read and soak up some Vitamin D. Just hanging out, daydreaming, or walking or biking along the Greenway works too!
Packed with treasures, Sleepy Poet Antique Mall has 55,000 feet of hidden gems for you to pore over. The South Boulevard store has everything from to vintage jewelry to kitschy clothes and unique pieces for your home. Their slogan “no rhyme or reason, just cool stuff” makes perfect sense once you take a look around. Spend the afternoon there and you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one or two pieces that you weren’t even sure you needed before you walked through the doors, but now simply can’t live without.
Skip the lines at your grocery store and get your produce in a unique, local way when you shop at the Charlotte Farmers Market. It’s a community-focused shopping experience, so you’re connecting with your area as you fill your cart. Instead of having to scour Pinterest for recipes, you can talk with the people who grew the ingredients to get their expert take on how the food can be turned into a culinary masterpiece. You’ll find fresh produce, cheese, pastries, jams, flowers and other goodies that are perfect for stocking your kitchen. The market runs Tuesday through Saturday from 8-5p from October through April. May through September it’s Tuesday-Saturday 8a-6p and Sundays noon-6p.
It’s hard to get a sense of what Charlotte is about when you only see it as a blur behind your windshield. Rent a B-Cycle to change up your perspective. With stations all over the city, you can pick up a bike, pedal to your heart’s content, then drop it back off. Passes are inexpensive and there’s no need to try to wrestle with a bike rack or deal with maintenance.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center is an easy drive from Charlotte and features tons of opportunities for adrenaline junkies to challenge themselves. Beyond whitewater rafting, you can also do ropes courses, try paddle boarding, go hiking or mountain biking or just stroll around the grounds and take it all in. The Whitewater Center also regularly puts on events, like yoga classes, festivals and concerts. Leashed dogs are welcome, so if you want to roll solo without being totally solo, bring your four-legged friend.