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City Life Readers’ Pick Winners: Best in the Nest 2023

Best of Charlotte's city life chosen by the readers of Queen City Nerve

Best in the Nest Readers’ Picks were chosen exclusively by readers through a one-month nomination process followed by a one-month voting process. The nominations were not tampered with by Queen City Nerve staff at all — save for removing ourselves from a few categories to proactively dispel any notions of favoritism. In other words, if you disagree with these ones, that’s on your fellow reader, not us. 2023 saw over 25,000 ballots cast between the nomination and final rounds of voting.

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Winners: Download your award graphics here


CITY LIVING

BEST APARTMENT COMPLEX

Winner: The Villages Apartments
Runner Up: Mercury NoDa

 

BEST AREA TO LIVE

Winner: Plaza Midwood
Runner Up: NoDa

Little Sugar Creek Greenway
This portion of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway is located at Cordelia Park in Villa Heights, but following Route 7 from the greenway will bring you to Plaza Midwood. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

BEST BUILDING

Winner: Optimist Hall
Runner Up: Historic Ford Factory – Camp North End

 

BEST CART RIDE/SHUTTLE SERVICE

Winner: Lyft
Runner Up: Just Her Rideshare

 

BEST CHURCH

Winner: Wedgewood Community Church
Runner Up: Myers Park Baptist Church

 

BEST CITY IMPROVEMENT

Winner: Eastway Regional Recreation Center
Runner Up: Vision Zero Action Plan – Safer Streets for Charlotte

 

BEST CITY TOUR

Winner: Funny Bus Charlotte

 

BEST CO-WORKING SPACE

Winner: Hygge Coworking
Runner Up: beSocial

Hygge Coworking
Hygge Coworking (All photos courtesy of Hygge Coworking)

BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACE

Winner: Discovery Place
Runner Up: Camp North End

 

BEST HOTEL

Winner: The Dunhill Hotel
Runner Up: Hotel Refuge

 

BEST LOCAL COLLEGE

Winner: University of North Carolina Charlotte
Runner Up: Central Piedmont Community College

UNC Charlotte, Omicron variant
UNC Charlotte (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

 

 

BEST NEW CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

Winner: New Main Library – Uptown
Runner Up: The Line – Southend

 

BEST PARK IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY

Winner: Freedom Park
Runner Up: Reedy Creek Park

 

BEST PLACE FOR A STAYCATION

Winner: Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte
Runner Up: The Ivey’s Hotel

BEST PLACE TO GET HITCHED

Winner: VanLandingham Estate
Runner Up: Charlotte Museum of History

 

BEST PLACE TO HOLD AN EVENT

Winner: The Artisan’s Palate
Runner Up: Carolina Esports Hub

The Artisan's Palate
The dining room at The Artisan’s Palate. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH

Winner: Optimist Hall
Runner Up: Common Market – Plaza Midwood

 

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN VISITORS

Winner: U.S. National Whitewater Center
Runner Up: Optimist Hall

 

BEST PLACE TO WORK (REMOTE)

Winner: South End
Runner Up: Hygge Coworking

 

BEST WAY TO GET AROUND WITHOUT A CAR

Winner: Lynx Blue Line
Runner Up: Scooters

A LYNX Gold Line Streetcar travels along Elizabeth Avenue
Phase 2 of the Gold Line opened in August 2021. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

SPORTS & LEISURE

BEST BIKE CLUB

Winner: Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride (PMTNR)
Runner Up: Charlotte Mountain Bikers

 

BEST CAMPING SPOT (IN-STATE)

Winner: Pisgah National Forest
Runner Up: Uwharrie National Forest

 

BEST DISC GOLF COURSE

Winner: Reedy Creek Park
Runner Up: Kilborne Park

 

BEST GOLF COURSE

Winner: Charlotte Country Club
Runner Up: Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course

BEST HIKING TRAIL

Winner: Stone Mountain Park (Roaring Gap, NC)
Runner Up: Little Sugar Creek Greenway

 

BEST LOCAL MASCOT

Winner: Sir Purr – Carolina Panthers
Runner Up: Chubby – Charlotte Checkers

 

BEST LOCAL SPORTS FIGURE

Winner: LaMelo Ball
Runner Up: Brandt Bronico

 

BEST LOCAL SPORTS TEAM

Winner: Charlotte FC
Runner Up: Charlotte Roller Derby

 

BEST LOCAL TEAM FAN BASE

Winner: Charlotte FC
Runner Up: Carolina Panthers

Players get in position as a ball floats overhead during a match
Front-of-goal action in the Charlotte FC-Nashville match. (Photo by Sam Spencer)

BEST MINI GOLF COURSE

Winner: Stroke Putt
Runner Up: Monster Mini Golf – Charlotte

 

BEST PLACE TO GET BACK TO NATURE

Winner: U.S. National Whitewater Center
Runner Up: Reedy Creek Park

 

BEST REC CENTER

Winner: Eastway Regional Recreation Center
Runner Up: YWCA Central Carolinas

 

BEST RUN CLUB

Winner: Mad Miles Run Club
Runner Up: Barn Burners Run Club (Tied)
Runner Up: Triple C Beer Runners (Tied)

 

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY

Winner: Asheville
Runner Up: Blue Ridge Parkway


NEWS, POLITICS & ENTERTAINMENT

BEST HERO

Winner: Jeff Jackson
Runner Up: Candelario Saldana

NC Sen. Jeff Jackson
NC Sen. Jeff Jackson appears on Nooze Hounds about a year before announcing his campaign for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

BEST HEROINE

Winner: RC Cola
Runner Up: Vi Lyles

 

BEST JOURNALIST

Winner: Joe Bruno
Runner Up: Steve Crump

 

BEST LOCAL FESTIVAL

Winner: Charlotte Pride
Runner Up: Charlotte SHOUT!

Charlotte Pride Festival And Parade in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Pride)

BEST LOCAL MEDIA OUTLET

Winner: Axios Charlotte
Runner Up: Queen City News

 

BEST LOCAL PODCAST

Winner: Dishing with Buff Faye and Funsize
Runner Up: Charlotte Soccer Show

 

MOST IMPORTANT NEWS STORY OF THE LAST 12 MONTHS

Winner: Tricia Cotham’s Party Switch
Runner Up: Anton Walkes death

 

BEST RADIO PERSONALITY

Winner: Jessica Charman
Runner Up: Mike Collins

 

BEST TV PERSONALITY

Winner: Brad Panovich
Runner Up: Joe Bruno

 

BEST TV NEWS STATION

Winner: Queen City News
Runner Up: WBTV (Tied)
Runner Up: WSOC (Tied)

 

BEST TV SPORTSCASTER

Winner: Ashley Stroehlein
Runner Up: Lloyd Sam

 

BEST NEWS ANCHOR

Winner: Alicia Barnes
Runner Up: Molly Grantham

 

BEST USE OF LOCAL TAX MONEY

Winner: Greenways & Cross Charlotte Trail
Runner Up: Public Parks

View of a dock on the water at Blue Star Trail
Blue Star Trail, Anne Springs Close Greenway – Lake Haigler (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

WHAT WE NEED MORE OF

Winner: Affordable housing
Runner Up: LGBTQ+ acceptance

 

LOCAL ISSUE THAT NEEDS MORE ATTENTION

Winner: Affordable housing
Runner Up: Lightrail not extending to the airport


SOCIAL MEDIA

BEST FACEBOOK PAGE

Winner: Charlotte Gaymers Network
Runner Up: Queen City News

A group of men stand outside of an LGBTQ bar holding signs with slogans such as "Shut Down 316" and "All Drag Is Valid."
Shelby Savage supporters protest outside of The Bar at 316 on Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Gaymers Network)

BEST INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT

Winner: @charlottegaymersnetwork
Runner Up: @fox46charlotte

 

BEST INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER

Winner: @jensensavannah
Runner Up: @candelario_saldana

 

BEST LOCAL FACEBOOK GROUP

Winner: Charlotte Gaymers Network
Runner Up: CHARLOTTE N.C. THE PAST and PRESENT

 

BEST LOCAL TIKTOK ACCOUNT

Winner: @jeffjacksonnc
Runner Up: @jensensavannah

 

BEST TWITTER ACCOUNT

Winner: @JoeBrunoWSOC9
Runner Up: @Queen_City_News

 

BEST TWITTER ACCOUNT FOR LOCAL NEWS

Winner: @CLTpetpeeves

 

BEST TWITTER ACCOUNT FOR LOCAL NEWS

Winner: @JoeBrunoWSOC9
Runner Up: @AliciaBarnesTV

 

BEST WEB BLOG

Winner: Y’all Weekly
Runner Up: John Hartness: I Drink & I Write Things


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & SOCIAL JUSTICE

BEST LOCAL ACTIVIST

Winner: Cameron Pruette
Runner Up: Candelario Saldana

BEST LOCAL ACTIVIST GROUP

Winner: Charlotte for Choice (Tied)
Winner: Charlotte Gaymers Network (Tied)
Runner Up: Sustain Charlotte

An anti-abortion protester argues with Charlotte for Choice volunteers in front of an east Charlotte clinic. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

BEST EVENT FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Winner: Charity Drag Brunch at The Artisan’s Palate
Runner Up: Charlotte Gaymer Network’s Gaymer Gathering

 

BEST SUPPORT GROUP

Winner: Transcend Charlotte
Runner Up: Charlotte Gaymers Network

 

BEST NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

Winner: Charlotte Gaymers Network
Runner Up: Carolina Breast Friends


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