Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell at the DNC

Photograph by Oliver Cox

Think you need a VIP ticket to enjoy Charlotte during DNC week? Not really. In democratic style, travelers can see and be seen in the company of major politicos and media celebrities, all in town for the week. You just need to know where to go. Check out these prime spots in uptown Charlotte during DNC week.

Start at Charlotte’s EpiCentre
Your first stop is Charlotte’s EpiCentre. The outdoor mall, which opened in 2010, is the hub of activity during DNC week. If you can get your name on the list, stop by the CNN Grill, which opened the other night — actors Rosario Dawson and Jeff Bridges were there, so was The Daily Show’s Jason Jones. If you’re a media junkie, flag down Wolf or Anderson. Or head upstairs to MSNBC, broadcasting “Street Smart” out of a converted Gold’s Gym. (MediaBistro has the details.) Be sure to pick up a free “iced morning joe” or a “Mika latte” at the impressive MSNBC Experience lounge, and if you’re an early riser, visit BlackFinn Saloon to watch the Morning Joe panel airing live.

See the Google Tent
Swing by the corner of Tryon and Third streets in uptown Charlotte — you can’t miss Google’s huge tent (with its trademark blue-green-yellow-reds). The massive, air-conditioned space includes interactive exhibits and charging stations, as well as a Google Bytes refreshment bar. Nice shots here.

NC Music Factory
The DNC kicked off with a major media event here (with 15,000 people in attendance), but the party’s not over. Check out the week’s roster of events. And if you want to escape the DNC crowds, head to VBGB Beer Hall & Garden behind the Music Factory, where you can enjoy Wednesday night’s cornhole challenge.

See Live Art – Quasimodo Project
For more downtime check out the Quasimodo Project, a large-scale collaboration among Charlotte-area artists, musicians and other creative professionals. Look for their pop-up performances throughout uptown, in public venues, through Thursday.

The American Presidential Experience
Red or blue, this traveling presidential exhibit has something of interest. See a full-size replica of the Oval Office, presidential limousines and a full-size replica of a Boeing 707. The exhibit is located at West 3rd Street — details here. Also, when you ride into town via Charlotte transit, you’ll get 30% off the Presidential Experience ticket.

Getting Around Charlotte
There’s no denying that it’s difficult to get around Charlotte this week – the road closures change daily, and there seem to be an endless number of security checkpoints. If driving around Charlotte  proves to be too difficult, make use of Charlotte’s bike share program or opt for a pedicab.

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Lisa SinghLisa Singh is an Interactive Producer at TravelChannel.com. Her multimedia career has spanned print and online publications. One of her first stories involved following a convicted felon into the Mexican...

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