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Charlotte LGBTQ+ travel: Discover pride in North Carolina

Charlotte Skyline
Courtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Embark on an unforgettable getaway in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and inclusivity of this dynamic city.

This story is brought to you by our partners at Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Nestled in the heart of the American South, Charlotte, N.C., stands as a beacon of hospitality and LGBTQ+ inclusivity, inviting travelers from near and far to experience its vibrant culture and welcoming community. From culinary delights and cultural experiences to lively nightlife and luxurious accommodations, Charlotte offers a truly unforgettable getaway for LGBTQ+ travelers seeking adventure, acceptance, and celebration. Come discover the charm of the Queen City and let its warmth and vibrancy leave a lasting impression on your heart.

Read on to learn more about Charlotte’s LGBTQ-owned businesses and events in this travel guide for the ultimate pride-filled vacation.

300 East in Dilworth300 East in DilworthCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Begin your Charlotte journey with a caffeine fix at Detour Coffee Bar, where proprietor Mike Hargett crafts artisanal coffee drinks and delectable pastries sure to fuel your day of exploration. For lunch or brunch, indulge in locally sourced fare at 300 East in Dilworth, a beloved Charlotte institution boasting a diverse menu that caters to all tastes.

White Rabbit at Plaza MidwoodWhite Rabbit at Plaza MidwoodCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Venture into Plaza Midwood and discover White Rabbit, a top LGBTQ+ gift shop offering an array of pride-themed merchandise. Then, satisfy your furniture cravings at High Cotton Home Company in Montford, where modern design meets Southern charm. For fashion-forward finds, make a stop at House of LeMond in NoDa, where local designer LeMond Crayton-Hart showcases his latest creations.

Mint Museum UptownMint Museum UptownCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Art enthusiasts will delight in exploring NoDa, Charlotte’s artistic hub adorned with captivating murals and eclectic galleries. Meanwhile, Broadway fans and museum aficionados can immerse themselves in a show at Blumenthal Performing Arts and in world-class exhibitions at Uptown's Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum, and Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

After a day of exploration, unwind at one of Charlotte’s many eclectic establishments for a pre-dinner beverage. You can enjoy a spirited evening at Hattie’s Tap and Tavern, a neighborhood favorite offering local brews and themed events. Or, if a leisurely evening is more your speed, escape to The Wine Vault in the University area, where you can delight in a selection of rich reds and crisp whites in a cozy atmosphere perfect for unwinding.

NoDa Company StoreNoDa Company StoreCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

In NoDa, relax with a refreshing beverage at NoDa Company Store, where the inviting patio beckons you to soak in the ambiance. At Camp North End, venture to their alternative venue, NoDa Canteen, where tropical tiki drinks and expansive outdoor spaces await amidst the historic campus backdrop.

Optimist HallOptimist HallCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

When hunger strikes, seek out the tantalizing flavors of Tacos Rick-O taco truck, helmed by culinary maestro Ricky Ortiz, or get the group together and try one of Charlotte’s food halls like Optimist Hall and The Market at 7th Street, each offering an array of options that are perfect for big groups looking for an unforgettable night. For those looking to share a charcuterie board, look out for Orrman's Cheese Shop in The Market at 7th Street to experience a cheesemonger's curated selection of cheese and pairings.

Orrman's Cheese ShopOrrman's Cheese ShopCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

For a unique dining experience, indulge in the culinary delights of Counter-, where Chef Sam Hart curates immersive dining experiences that tantalize the senses. For those searching for a memorable dining experience without meat, savor the innovative vegan cuisine at Bean Vegan Cuisine on East Independence Boulevard. Owners Roy Parkhurst and Charlie Foesch curate a delectable menu featuring inventive dishes like jackfruit carnitas tacos, pimento "cheese" dip, and their renowned meatless chili.

Drag Show in CharlotteDrag Show in CharlotteCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Charlotte comes alive after dark with a diverse array of nightlife options catering to every taste. Dance the night away at spots like Chasers, an iconic nightclub renowned for its spectacular drag shows and high-energy atmosphere. Alternatively, shoot some pool at Sidelines Sports Bar and Billiards or groove to the beats at Bar Argon, where DJs keep the party going all night long.

For a taste of Latin flavor, head to Azucar Latino Charlotte, where sultry rhythms and lively dance floors await. And for those seeking a more intimate setting, Petra’s Bar in Plaza Midwood offers a cozy ambiance perfect for enjoying live music and creative cocktails. Alternatively, embrace the unique atmosphere of The Woodshed, Charlotte's premier gay bar catering specifically to the leather community, for an unforgettable evening of camaraderie and karaoke.

Kimpton Tyron Park Hotel\u2019s Merchant & TradeKimpton Tyron Park Hotel’s Merchant & TradeCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

After a night of revelry, retreat to one of Charlotte’s luxurious hotels for a restful night’s sleep. From the chic design of The Ivey’s Hotel to the rooftop party vibes of Kimpton Tyron Park Hotel’s Merchant & Trade, Charlotte’s accommodations offer the perfect blend of comfort and style. And for the ultimate rooftop experience, don’t miss Coin Bar at Omni Charlotte Hotel, where you can unwind by the pool and enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline.

Coin Bar at Omni Charlotte HotelCoin Bar at Omni Charlotte HotelCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

For travelers looking to add a little Pride to their adventure, Charlotte’s LGBTQ+ community thrives year-round with a plethora of events and activities. Volunteer your time at Transcend Charlotte, Campus Pride, or Time Out Youth, organizations dedicated to advancing LGBTQ+ rights and support. Experience the vibrant drag scene with shows at iconic spots like The Vanity House and Artisan’s Palate, where each performance doubles as a fundraiser for local charities like Carolina Breast Friends, Charlotte Street Art Collaborative, Time Out Youth and STEAMrising.

Charlotte PrideCharlotte PrideCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Additionally, don’t miss Charlotte’s annual Pride Festival & Parade August 17-18, 2024. Each year, Charlotte throws on a jubilant celebration of love and diversity that fills the streets with dazzling performances and vibrant colors. And for cinephiles, immerse yourself in queer cinema at Reel Out Charlotte May 15-19, the city’s premier LGBTQ+ film festival showcasing independent films that celebrate queer lives and experiences.

Charlotte PrideCharlotte PrideCourtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

As the long day of excitement comes to an end, you can see how Charlotte, N.C., is a city that radiates Southern charm and hospitality. Charlotte’s embrace of diversity and inclusivity makes it the most welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travelers seeking an unforgettable adventure. From vibrant neighborhoods to bustling nightlife and delectable dining options, Charlotte offers something for every traveler to enjoy.

To start planning your trip to Charlotte, please visit charlottesgotalot.com to learn more.


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Nic Austin

Branded Content Editor

Nic Austin is passionate about providing a platform in media for the LGBTQ+ community. He strives to tell stories about his community through the leading LGBTQ+ publications in the country. His mission is to amplify marginalized LGBTQ+ voices through partnerships with prominent brands and leaders in our community.


A graduate from NYU Tisch, Nic Austin has always connected with the written word and its ability to change minds. He has applied this love for writing to analyzing LGBTQ+ media and how the LGBTQ+ community has been represented on screen. Before working as an Editor at equalpride, Nic Austin was the Editor-in-chief of The Queer Queue and the co-host of both The Queer Queue Podcast and The Queerly News. In his spare time, Nic Austin writes film criticism while enjoying the mountain views of Denver, Colorado.

Nic Austin is passionate about providing a platform in media for the LGBTQ+ community. He strives to tell stories about his community through the leading LGBTQ+ publications in the country. His mission is to amplify marginalized LGBTQ+ voices through partnerships with prominent brands and leaders in our community.


A graduate from NYU Tisch, Nic Austin has always connected with the written word and its ability to change minds. He has applied this love for writing to analyzing LGBTQ+ media and how the LGBTQ+ community has been represented on screen. Before working as an Editor at equalpride, Nic Austin was the Editor-in-chief of The Queer Queue and the co-host of both The Queer Queue Podcast and The Queerly News. In his spare time, Nic Austin writes film criticism while enjoying the mountain views of Denver, Colorado.