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Charlotte offers shopping, dining options for conference goers.

Delegates attending the 82nd annual Congress of Cities and Exposition will be delighted by all there is to do in Charlotte during non-conference hours. Whether it is enjoying a nice meal at a fine restaurant or shopping for bargains there is something for everyone.

Out of the Southeast rises a city that is "quietly making a name for itself, with its to-die-for dining and acclaimed shopping."

The new "Shhhhhharlotte" campaign is definitely catching the eyes of people and has the local visitor information center's phone lines constantly ringing with callers anxiously waiting to hear the buzz about Charlotte; a progressing shopping and dinning Mecca.

Charlotte, affectionately known to many as the Queen City and the nation's second-largest financial district, has grown into a sophisticated and casually cosmopolitan city that is bursting with flavor.

Named one of the "Top 50 Cities That Sizzle" by Restaurant News magazine, Charlotte has a culinary resume that ranges from local, classical southern cuisine to international, exquisite meals with a unique flair. No matter what you choose, you can always count on Charlotte's culinary experts to stimulate your senses and satisfy your palate.

Enjoy tapas, fresh seafood, sushi, steaks, soul food or some Carolina BBQ. Whether you prefer your food to go or would rather relax in the ambience of one of Charlotte's many great restaurants, your every bite will be as delightful and enjoyable as the southern hospitality you will be greeted with at the door.

Adding to the culinary scene is the new Johnson & Wales University. Johnson & Wales is an institution that is known for its culinary and hospitality education.

Charlotte has greeted the university with open arms and with that same southern hospitality. Since it opened its doors in 2004, it has consistently played a major role in helping to spotlight Charlotte as a culinary hotspot sizzling with flavor and variety.

If you couple Charlotte's to-die-for dining with its endless shopping you understand why it's a city that is becoming more popular by the day. Pick and choose from specialty shops, upscale boutiques, art galleries, retail outlets, antique villages and several shopping malls; one of which happens to be the #1 tourist attraction in North Carolina (Concord Mills Mall).

Concord Mills is filled with discount and outlet name brand stores. What adds even more to your shopping experience is Jillian's, a nice, quaint place to take a break from shopping and grab a bite to eat, play a game, bowl or boogey in the Love Shack. Also eye-catching is Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and NASCAR Speedpark; a racing and game wonderland for kids.

Aside from outlet shopping Charlotte has even more to offer for the shopping enthusiast. For the sophisticated there is Louis Vuitton, Tommy Bahama, Nordstrom's and soon Neiman Marcus at SouthPark Mall as well as more upscale shopping at Phillip's Place.

For the artsy there is North Davidson (NoDa), where you can find eclectic shops and a plethora of art galleries.

For antique lovers and furniture shoppers there is the Historic Southend, Historic Waxhaw, Pineville and Metrolina Expo. The list of diverse shopping for diverse tastes is steadily growing.

As more and more people race to savor the tastes of Charlotte and shop endlessly for the best deals, the secret about the Queen City will be surely be let out of the bag. With so much to choose from, whether resident or visitor, you just keep coming back for the 5-star experience.

For more information about the city of Charlotte or the 82nd Annual Congress of Cities and Exposition visit the Conference and Events section of the NLC website at www.nlc.org.
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Title Annotation:Congress of Cities and Exposition
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1U5NC
Date:Sep 26, 2005
Words:603
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