Cheap (But Not Skimpy) Date Spots

 

Whether you’re looking for an easy, low pressure date spot for meeting someone for the first time or you just want to go on a date that won’t break the bank after you pay the babysitter and get yourself a drink, Charlotte has a wide variety of free to low-cost cultural offerings. Don’t miss the last one on this list—it’s a bonus for Saturday nights with the kids to get you through the aftermath of a fun night out.  

 

The Charlotte Folk Society  

926 Elizabeth Ave 

Charlotte, NC 28204 

 Celebrating almost thirty years of folk music, this organization has more than just string-bands. They offer monthly events on the second Friday of every month. The events include food trucks, bluegrass, and acoustic music and the main event – a concert in the sanctuary – at 7:30 p.m.  

 

Free but a $10 per person donation is suggested. 

 

McColl Center for Art & Innovation 

721 N Tryon St  

Charlotte, NC 28202 

(Located at W 10th St and N Church St)  

Located in a historic, neo-Gothic church in Uptown Charlotte, the Center houses nine artist studios and over 5,000 square feet of gallery space. Admission is always free, but donations are accepted. Even Parking is free! 

 

Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  

Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

 

The Light Factory 

1817 Central Ave 

Charlotte, NC 28205 

If photography is what interests you, let Charlotte’s only space dedicated to the photographic arts into your life. The art on these walls is always changing, cycling through signature events like their Annual, and curated exhibitions guaranteeing there is never a dull visit.  

 

There no admission for the gallery.  

Wednesday through Saturdays from 12 noon to 6 p.m. 

 

Charlotte Lit 

1817 Central Ave 

Charlotte, NC 28205 

The Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts is in the SAME building as The Light Factory, but caters to the written word rather than photography.  

 

There is a fee for the wide variety of workshops, but the quarterly poetry and art poster series is free and the community conversations are just one of the many engaging formats this organization offers. Check it out!  

 

South End Gallery Crawl  

South End is home to the largest concentration of art galleries in Charlotte and this twist on a Pub crawl offers you the chance to tour the following:  

 

Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy 

118 E Kingston Ave 

Suite 16 

Charlotte, NC 28203 

 

Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art 

1520 S Tryon St  

Charlotte, NC 28203 

 

Hidell Brooks Gallery 

1910 South Blvd 

Suite 130  

Charlotte, NC 28203 

The first Friday of each month 

Admission is free. 

 

Mint Museum 

500 S Tryon St 

Charlotte, NC 28202  

The innovative program, “ArtBreak,” at Levine Center for the Arts is a guided 30-minute tour of either The Mint Museum Uptown, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, or the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture, designed to give you a break during your lunch hour. It’s held at noon on the third Thursday of each month.  

 

Admission is free to both the Uptown and Randolph Rd locations. 

 

ImaginOn / The Joe & Joan Martin Center  

300 E 7th St 

Charlotte, NC 28202 

This collaborative effort between the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a 102,000-square-foot space that is a dedicated library space for kids 11 years old and under, four multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library, a multi-media production studio, and an interactive exhibit space. 

 

Hours:  

Monday to Thursday 9:00am – 8:00pm 

Friday to Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm 

Sunday 1:00pm – 5:00pm 

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

Elizabeth

Combing the small town, front porch life the south is known for with the vibrancy of Uptown living, Elizabeth is the best of both worlds—and affordable! This neighborhood also boasts Charlotte’s first ever movie theater, The Visulite, which is still open as a live music venue. The continued legacy of this historical business sums up everything you need to know about this neighborhood.

Name: Elizabeth
In a Word: Vibrant
Location: Southeast, bordering Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Ashley Park, Dilworth
  • Middle: Alexander Graham, Ashley Park
  • High: Myers Park, West Charlotte
  • Private: Trinity Episcopal School

Average home price: Homes: $300k- $800k
Condos: $130k- $150k

Types of homes: A wide variety, including charming bungalows, brick single-family homes, and new condos and town-homes.

Pros:

  • Great restaurants and entertainment
  • Easy access to Uptown
  • Undergoing a revitalization

Cons:

  • Can be expensive for family living
  • Houses and condos on the smaller end

Representative Sample:

Best for: Anyone looking to settle down without giving up city life.

This is just a general glimpse into Elizabeth, for more information or specifics please contact

Selling a City Home

 

The art of selling a quirky home, especially one in the city where real estate can be…extra quirky…is more than writing an adjective laden listing. After all, everyone knows cute means small. Instead, here are a few real solutions for common real estate quirks.

 

Low Ceilings—make sure your ceilings are white and the walls are light to draw the eye upward. The finish on molding should be matte and the same color as the ceiling. If you don’t have molding, add cove molding to elongate the wall. Floor to ceiling sheers over the windows also give a tall illusion. Low profile, minimalist furniture tops off a clean, bright look.

 

Windows that face another building (or no windows!)—if a window faces a brick or otherwise dark wall, one solution is to place a high-wattage daylight bulb behind the curtains, giving the illusion of sunlight. Another solution is the old standby of bright pops of color or white venation blinds to reflect light and obscure an unattractive view. Another option is a stained glass window or window film.

 

An awkward layout- the only solution is to rework the layout. This doesn’t mean you have to do the construction, by having your real estate agent show the potential buyers a vision of the space potential, you can sell an awkward floor plan.

 

A ground floor facing the street—The key to selling ground floor units is live plants in window boxes. The color and greenery add a garden feel to a city space. Combine with bottom up curtains that are sheer at the top and opaque at the floor, and you are covered inside and out.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

Eastover

Eastover was the first true “suburb” in Charlotte—where sedate homes were built with a mind towards bankers and business owners with room for their china cabinet and their cars. This historic neighborhood has only increased its value and it’s retained its Original Gangster feel. Just look at who used to live here: John Belk, yeah that Belk.

Name: Eastover
In a Word: O.G.
Location: Southeast of Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Eastover, Billingsville
  • Middle: Alexander Graham
  • High: Myers Park
  • Private: New Performance Learning Center, Metro School, Presbyterian Academy, Bethune Mays Classical Academy

Average home price: Condos can be found starting at $100k.
Single Family Homes begin at $500k and only go up from there.

Types of homes: Some luxury condos, stately single-family homes and treasured historic homes.

Pros:

  • Close to Uptown
  • Easy access to restaurants and entertainment
  • Parks and Arts & Culture within walking distance

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Limited condos

Representative Sample:

Best for: The individual who wants everything.

This is just a general glimpse into Eastover, for more information or specifics please contact

SouthEnd

If city living is your speed, but you want to feel like you’re living in a distinct city and not any city, SouthEnd is where you want to be. The Lynx light rail and preservation efforts really brought life back into this historic community. It’s got all the feel of where Charlotte has been, plus the vision of where Charlotte is going. The subdivisions of Atherton Mill and Camden Road offer easy commuting, bike paths, farmers markets, and new specialty stores and restaurants.

Name: SouthEnd
In a Word: Modern
Location: South West of Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Dillworth
  • Middle: Alexander Graham, Sedgefield
  • High:West Charlotte
  • Private: Metro School, New Performance Learning Center, Oasis Preforming Arts, St. Patrick
    Catholic

Average home price: Upper $100k to $2 million

Types of homes: Condos and lofts

Pros:

  • Up and coming modern living
  • Easy access to Uptown
  • No car needed

Cons:

  • High rise living

Representative Sample:

Best for: Modern professionals looking for the good life.

This is just a general glimpse into South End, for more information or specifics please contact

NoDa

When you haven’t seen someone since high school and all of a sudden, they turn up looking all hot? Yeah, that’s Charlotte’s neighborhood of NoDa. Just a few years ago, this wasn’t a sought-after neighborhood, but boy has that changed. Now, NoDa is one of the hippest, growing communities in Charlotte with arts community, boutiques and restaurants and a planned light rail extension currently under construction.

Name: NoDa
In a Word: Artsy
Location: Northeast of Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Highland Hill Montessori, Charlotte Choice Charter, Sugar Creek Charter,
  • Middle: Martin Luther King, Jr., Sugar Creek Charter
  • High: Garinger, Hawthorne
  • Private: One7 Academy, Trinity Episcopal

Average home price:

  • Condos begin at $200k
  • Fixers uppers at $100k
  • Homes at $225k

Types of homes: Everything from condos, to renovated mill homes, and everything in between.

Pros:

  • Arts community
  • Diverse
  • Great restaurants

Cons:

  • Hipster

Representative Sample:

Best for: If you work hard and play hard.

This is just a general glimpse into NoDa, for more information or specifics please contact

Midwood

The French girl of Charlotte, Midwood is both classic and cool, and whenever you see her you can’t help but want to be there. This neighborhood was originally designed around a trolley line, for the families in the early 1900’s, and this history permeates it’s walkable and friendly streets. Now, this neighborhood retains the classic feel, but with the addition of trendy restaurants and hip bars.

Name: Midwood
In a Word: Cool
Location: East Charlotte
School district:

  • Elementary: Shamrock Gardens
  • Middle: Eastway, Piedmont Open
  • High: Garinger, Hawthorne
  • Private: Chantilly Montessori, Charlotte United Christian Academy, Bethune Mays Classical
    Academy

Average home price: $150k and upwards

Types of homes: Craftsman bungalows and post-war cottages.

Pros:

  • Great restaurants, bars, and shops
  • Nice sized homes
  • Close to Uptown

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Limited

Representative Sample:

Best for:

This is just a general glimpse into Midwood, for more information or specifics please contact