In the heart of the southern Piedmont between the mountains and the coast lies Charlotte, the "Queen City" of the South. A big banking center and one of the powerhouses of the region, Charlotte, has almost completely rebuilt their downtown with steel and glass towers.
To better understand this city visit the Levine Museum of the New South, an interactive history museum of the region's socio-economic transformation. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has a collection of mid-20th-century modern art, and The Harvey B Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture has significant collections of African-American art. For some theater and performance venues see below.
The gay community isn't that large, but it’s lively and incredibly diverse. The Gay Charlotte Film Festival takes place in April, and come August, locals pour out into the streets for Charlotte Pride. A presentation of the Queer Arts Consortium, Flourish: A Celebration of LGBT Arts & Culture, also takes place in August. See the GayCharlotteFilmSeries website for more screenings of interest throughout the year.
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is due west of Charlotte. Approved Airport Taxis cost $25 to most downtown Charlotte destinations. Sprinter bus service provides direct connections between the airport and Center City Charlotte for a $2 fare --look for "Route 5-Airport."
Amtrak trains also pull into Charlotte (Station Building, 1914 N Tryon St) on the Crescent Line between New York and New Orleans; also with stops in Washington DC and Atlanta.
A car of your own will allow you to explore Charlotte and its beautiful countryside. CATS operates the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail, the Gold Rush Trolleys, the Charlotte Trolley, and city bus services with 40 routes.
Local Media & resources
Charlotte’s Lesbian and Gay Community Center has social groups, support groups, and info about the local scene. Visit Gay Charlotte is another useful online resource with a directory, events listings and blog.
For businesses listed below, and more, see our gay Charlotte map & listings pages.
As in all of North Carolina, the bars are membership clubs to comply with NC State ABC law. Members can sponsor guests at the door, otherwise new memberships take 3 days. Locals are used to this, and often help visitors. Call ahead or check the bar website for the fine print.
Bar at 316 (316 Rensselaer Ave), gay/lesbian cocktail lounge, DJs, karaoke, trivia games, comedy drag shows, Sunday brunch.
Cathode Azure Club (1820 S Blvd, suite 106), azure lighting, white leather seating, lounge/ DJ dance club, patio, drag shows, pool and darts.
Central Station (2131 Central Ave), neighborhood cocktail bar, drag shows and pool tables.
Chasers (3217 The Plaza) men-only nightclub, young male strippers dance in brief thongs, open seven nights.
Club Myxx (421 E Sugar Creek) young, mixed dance crowd, hip hop and reggaeton.
Hartigan's Irish Pub & Restaurant (601 S Cedar St) gay /straight mixed neighborhood hang-out, two floors, patio, Wi-Fi, live music, karaoke, line dancing.
L4 Lounge (2906 Central Ave), lesbian and gay mixed cocktail bar in Plaza Midwood; dancing, terrace, bar food.
Marigny Dance Club (1440 S Tryon St) Thursday through Saturday gay dance club in South End, New Orleans theme, open mic nights, special parties.
Nickel Bar (2817 Rozzelles Ferry Rd), Thursday-Sunday African American gay bar, everyone welcome.
Petra’s Piano Bar & Cabaret (1919 Commonwealth Ave), cabaret bar drag shows, live music, silent movies, performers, bear nights.
The Scorpio (2301 Freedom), longtime local favorite dance and show club, Wednesdays plus Fridays through Sundays; diverse gay crowd, men/women, older/younger; urban and college nights, special/theme nights.
Sidelines Bar (4544 South Blvd), HDTV sports bar, internet jukebox, WiFi, darts, pool games and tournaments, bear nights.
Snug Harbor (1228 Gordon St), gay-friendly eclectic mix in Plaza Midwood; 18+ live music concerts, Thursday Shiprocked gay nights with hot go-go dancers and drag burlesque.
Soul Gastrolounge (1500 Central Ave), global tapas and cocktails lounge; small plates and sushi, dinner and late-night menus, Sunday brunch, patio seatings. DJs after 10pm play classic RnB, soul, and house.
Woodshed Lounge (4000 Queen City Dr), men's leather and bear bar, patio, drag pageants, karaoke, underwear and blackout nights.
Theater & Performance
Actor's Theatre of Charlotte (650 E Stonewall St), professional theater company, plays for mature audiences, cult movie screenings, annual nuVoices Play Festival.
CAST - Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (2424 N Davidson St), independent non-profit theatre company productions; includes the recent Angels in America.
Theatre Charlotte (501 Queens Rd), non-profit community theater stage productions; classic plays, regional premieres, musicals, films.
Tremont Music Hall (400 W Tremont Ave. SouthEnd), live music all-ages concert venue, national and international acts.
Uptage (3306 N Davidson St), performing arts and creative events; theater plays, one-man shows, readings, improv and sketch comedy, spoken-word/poetry, live music, burlesque, cabaret and dance.
Warner Cable Arena (333 E Trade St), entertainment and sports venue, NBA Charlotte Bobcats games.
Restaurants & Hotels