Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

WRITTEN BY: Jessica Lynn-Lato

Charlotte is known for its big banks and professional sports teams, but the Queen City has so much more to offer. Any time of year is a beautiful time to visit Charlotte. The mild weather and changing seasons make getting outside easy and enjoyable. As an active adult living with T1D, I enjoy adventures like exploring uptown on a Segway or, if weather permits, spending the day cruising around Lake Norman. I love to eat and therefore am thankful that deliciousness can be found all around town. Price’s Chicken Coop, a local institution, is known far and wide for its ridiculously good fried chicken. It’s takeout and cash only, so grab a bag of chicken and some hushpuppies and hit the trail to explore all that Charlotte has to offer!


One of the coolest experiences in town is the U.S. National Whitewater Center just west of the city. This place is like an outdoor enthusiast’s fantasy land with so many options like whitewater rapids rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, zip lines, rock climbing and mountain biking. Check out their calendar and see if they are hosting any live bands or festivals. Be sure to visit the bar and grill or the biergarten to refuel with fresh food and local craft beer.

Charlotte has one of the fastest growing beer scenes in the country right now. The area has over 40 breweries around town and more opening up all the time. Popular breweries here include NoDa, Birdsong, Triple C and Wooden Robot. A good time and safe way to get around to visit several breweries would be to book a tour with Charlotte Brews Cruise.

If walking around an eclectic neighborhood is more your speed, head over to the NoDa Arts District. Home to local art galleries, small music venues and great pubs and restaurants, NoDa is easily walkable to shop, linger, eat and drink. If you’re lucky you can catch the King of Pops cart at the corner of Davidson & 36th Streets for a delectable frozen treat. Their popsicles come in wacky flavors like grapefruit mint or coconut cream pie, and are always sure to please.


North Carolina is home to some of the best barbecue the south has to offer. Whether you are partial to Eastern-style (vinegar based sauce) or Lexington/ Western style (tomato based sauce) both sides agree- smoke that meat over wood! For some of the finest ‘cue in town head over to Midwood Smokehouse on Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood. Fill up on all the brisket or pulled pork you can eat.

If you would like a more relaxed and refined dining experience, my hands-down favorite eatery is Customshop on Elizabeth Street. Chef Trey Wilson serves up French, Spanish, and Italian inspired dishes make with fresh, local ingredients. His chicken liver pâté served with house made breads is guaranteed to make you do a little chair dance. The seasonal menus always feature fresh fish, hand-made pastas and veggies harvested from trey’s own garden. Their wines and crafted cocktails are great too.


What most people call downtown, we like to call Uptown, just to be different. Uptown Charlotte is home to some impressive art and cultural museums with collections that rotate often.  The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum Uptown and The Levine Museum of The New South are all within walking distance of one another. If you have kiddos with you, be certain to visit Discovery Place and ImaginOn, both of which cater to children, small and big.

Of course we are a sports-loving city too and we proudly support our Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte Knights. Regardless of the time of year, there is always a sporting event to experience.


Near center city is Levine Children’s Hospital located at 1000 Blythe Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28203 (704) 381-2000.

Right next door is Carolinas Medical Center- Main (CMC Main). 1000 Blythe Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28203 (704) 355-2000.

CMC Main also has a southern location called CMC Pineville which is located at 10628 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28210. (704) 667-1000.

24 Hour Pharmacies include both CVS and Walgreens, and both have multiple locations. Check the websites to find the closest to you.

Jessica Lynn-Lato

Jessica Lynn-Lato and her husband Kevin relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina 20 years ago from Pennsylvania. She is a stay-at-home mom of two teenage kids and has embraced working out so that she can eat delicious food, drink wine, and have fun. She is an active volunteer at JDRF of Greater Western Carolinas where she chairs their ACT1 Committee (Adults Conquering T1). ACT1 has been a successful outreach group that connects the adult T1D community through special events, casual meet-ups, mentoring the newly diagnosed, and volunteering. In addition to her work with ACT1, she also serves on the Marketing and Kids Walk committees. Diagnosed as an adult at 28 while pregnant with her first child, she has focused on tight management of her disease and is committed to helping others. Jessica has always felt inspired by the fearlessness and determination of the T1D community and she is hopeful that groundbreaking treatments and a cure are just around the corner!