Charlotte vs. Tampa Bay: Presidential Conventions

With election year in full swing, Republicans are heading to Tampa Bay, and Democrats to Charlotte. Which city has the most to offer travelers of all stripes? You decide with our City vs. City guide.

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Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Heat things up with an amazing trip! Lay out on Miami Beach to relax and to soak in some Vitamin D. 960 1280

Manakin / iStock / Thinkstock  

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road

Go shopping on Lincoln Road. This pedestrian walkway is lined with dozens of stores, including designer boutiques like Astoria Couture, Guess by Marciano, Scotch & Soda, U-Rock Couture and Vogue Italia. And while on your shopping spree, grab a bite to eat from one of the many restaurants along the way. 960 1280

Vanessa Mack  

Yardbird Southern Table and Bar

Yardbird Southern Table and Bar

Eat local at this farm-to-table restaurant located on Lenox Avenue in Miami. Yardbird Southern Table and Bar offers patrons classic Southern cooking with farm-fresh ingredients. We recommend guests try their brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with tasty food like the macaroni & cheese, fried green tomato BLT, fresh fruit with homemade granola, shrimp n’ grits and the big ol’ waffle with fresh Florida strawberries, whipped cream and Bourbon maple syrup. 960 1280

Tracey-Ann Jarrett  

Jet Skiing

Jet Skiing

Enjoy the great outdoors and go jet skiing along Miami’s beautiful white-sand coastline. Hop on a wave runner to catch a glimpse of dolphins playing or go bayside sightseeing to gaze at Star Island, home to Miami’s rich and famous. 960 1280

Peter Bischoff / PB Archive / Getty Images  

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Fishing

Go fish! Serious anglers know that Miami fishing is some of the best in the world. Go deep-sea fishing off the coast of this warm weather destination where anglers have been known to catch a variety of fish, including grouper, red snapper and amberjacks, weighing more than 50 pounds. 960 1280

Getty Images  

South Beach

South Beach

South Beach in known for its vibrant nightlife. And after the sun sets, dozens of people flock to Ocean Drive to grab a drink and socialize at popular bars and enjoy the nightlife along this vibrant street. Some hot spots include the bars at the Clevelander Hotel, Mango’s Tropical Café, Nikki Beach Club and the GLBT-favorite, Palace Bar. 960 1280

iStock  

Four Seasons Miami

Four Seasons Miami

Relax and rejuvenate at the Four Seasons Miami, equipped with 2 outdoor pools and a 50,000-square-foot workout space. Get a massage or relaxing spa treatment poolside in a luxe cabana or in the sanctuary of your room or suite. Guests will definitely enjoy the amazing hotel views of beautiful Biscayne Bay. 960 1280

Four Season Hotel Miami  

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

At Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the menu changes daily based on the food and ingredients that arrive from local farmers, fishermen, ranchers and artisans. Head here for dinner; we recommend the beet & heirloom tomato salad (pictured), wood oven pizza, roasted zucchini or wood oven roasted whole snapper. 960 1280

Muy Yum, Flickr  

Windsurfing

Windsurfing

It’s not surprising that windsurfing is a popular watersport in Miami. Throw caution to the wind and let a professional instructor teach you a few windsurfing techniques in an hour lesson. 960 1280

Epic Stock Media / iStock / Thinkstock  

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Joe’s Stone Crab has served Miami natives and tourists alongside celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Dan Marino and Jennifer Lopez. Although a variety of seafood is available, we recommend ordering Joe’s tasty Stone Crab Claws. 960 1280

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant  

Jungle Island

Jungle Island

Explore Miami’s tropical landscape and visit Jungle Island to see animals from around the globe. Thousands of people visit this 75-year-old, contemporary theme park each year, which features rare twin orangutans, the liger (the world’s largest cat), and more than 300 birds. 960 1280

Richard, Flickr  

Parasailing

Parasailing

Get a bird’s-eye view of Miami. Go parasailing and soar high above the Atlantic Ocean to get a unique perspective of the city. 960 1280

iStock  

Henry River Mill Village
Look familiar? The house on the left served as Katniss Everdeen’s family shack in The Hunger Games. Journey 70 miles northwest of Charlotte, NC, to see it in an abandoned textile village (Henry River Mill Village), in the town of Hildebran.
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VisitNC.com  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway
Follow this path: Craggy Gardens, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, leads you to Craggy Pinnacle -- a nearly 6,000-foot elevation from which you can see North Fork Reservoir, where The Hunger Games’ Cornucopia scenes were filmed.
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mricon, flickr  

Asheville’s Hotel Indigo

Asheville’s Hotel Indigo

Asheville’s Hotel Indigo
During filming, Hunger Games’ actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth stayed in condos atop this chic boutique hotel.
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Hotel Indigo   

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls
During the film’s flame fight, Katniss races toward a pool of water -- in real life, it’s at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls at DuPont State Recreational Forest.
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VisitNC.com   

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala Outdoor Center
Hone your survival skills at Nantahala Outdoor Center, near the Great Smoky Mountains. Go whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River -- first, with a practice run along 8 miles of easy Class 2 rapids, then a Class 3 whitewater run toward Nantahala Falls.
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VisitNC.com  

Navitat Canopy Adventures

Navitat Canopy Adventures

Navitat Canopy Adventures
In tribute to Rue -- District 11’s competitor -- soar above the treetops near Pisgah National Forest. The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutchinson and then-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens zip-lined in the area during some downtime.
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Navitat Canopy Adventures  

Asheville’s Troy & Sons

Asheville’s Troy & Sons

Asheville’s Troy & Sons
And when you’ve conquered North Carolina’s rivers and treetops, try some moonshine -- legal, of course -- from Asheville’s Troy & Sons, made just the way Haymitch would have liked it.
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Troy & Sons   

US National Whitewater Center

US National Whitewater Center

US National Whitewater Center
When he wasn’t training Jennifer Lawrence’s character to kill or be killed, Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy) visited the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. Woody climbed the outdoor recreation center’s 46-foot rock wall.
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VisitNC.com  

Amelies French Bakery

Amelies French Bakery

Amelies French Bakery
During filming, Woody Harrelson also dropped by this 24-hour café -- in Charlotte’s NoDa (North of Davidson Street) neighborhood -- to play chess with the regulars. Here’s a look at the café’s signature style: handmade light fixtures.
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VisitNC.com  

Knight Theater in Charlotte

Knight Theater in Charlotte

Knight Theater in Charlotte
The Knight Theater was where creepy Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) interviews each Tribute. Head to the 1,191-seat performing arts venue in Charlotte, NC, for concerts, theater … and a look at where Caesar talks “lamb stew” with Katniss.
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VisitNC.com  

Shelby, North Carolina

Shelby, North Carolina

Shelby, North Carolina
Much of film's Reaping and Hob scenes took place in private warehouses like this, in Shelby, NC. Soak up the local atmosphere at shops and restaurants at the intersection of Lafayette and Marion streets.
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VisitNC.com