In Charlotte, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of attractions like the U.S. National Whitewater Center, Carowinds and the Charlotte Motor Speedway that bring in guests from all over the world. But, if you’re the type of traveler who’s looking to experience the side streets and hidden gems of Charlotte in addition to the main street draws, we’ve got you covered.
In our “Live Like a Local” series, we’ll take a look at a new ZIP code that makes up a unique Charlotte neighborhood full of life and culture.
So make your way over to Wesley Heights, Westerly Hills, or the Airport and experience Charlotte like a local in 28208:
Admire aircraft wonders at Carolina’s Aviation Museum
In a fascinating display of past meets present, Carolina’s Aviation Museum takes residence near the city’s modern-day hub for flight, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The expansive aircraft hangar houses commercial and civil aircraft relics whose places in the annals of aircraft history are chronicled on informational placards. It’s also home to retired military jets, including a D-558-1 Skystreak—one of only two in existence. The museum’s pièce de résistance is the “Miracle on the Hudson” exhibit, which features the actual A320 Airbus that Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger heroically landed on the Hudson River following engine failure in 2009. This impressive museum pays beautiful tribute to North Carolina’s first-in-flight legacy.
Feast on family recipes at The Open Kitchen Restaurant
For the past 65 years, The Open Kitchen Restaurant has been bringing authentic Italian and Greek cuisine along with the smells of old country nostalgia to West Charlotte. Opened by brothers Steve and Speros Kokenes in 1952, the restaurant takes pride in serving only homemade sauces, marinades, salad dressings and desserts, which are all lovingly recreated from lasting family recipes. In fact, it’s believed that the Open Kitchen brought the first “pizza pie” to Charlotte (yes, there’s a difference between regular pizza and pizza pie). So make it a point to order a pie and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
Neighborhood: Wesley Heights
Get a little bit country at Coyote Joe’s
With a reputation as the Queen City’s premier country nightclub, Coyote Joe’s has the largest dance floor in the area and has hosted some of country’s biggest names. Think: Garth Brooks, The Bellamy Brothers and Travis Tritt—to name a few. Coyote Joe’s is only open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and doesn’t serve food, but what the unique spot lacks in fare and hours, it makes up for in live music and fun-filled offerings on open nights. Check out 1-2-3 Night at Coyote Joe’s, where specials include $1 domestic beers and sodas, $2 well drinks and $3 call drinks.
Neighborhood: Westerly Hills