Bank of America Stadium -- Charlotte

Get into town a day early and take part in the revelry that is sure to be the street festival and rally. Paul Spinelli/Getty Images

Photo gallery: A visual tour of our bowl-trip itinerary | Ultimate Bowl Trip homepage


• Stadium name: Bank of America Stadium
• Address: 800 S. Mint St., Charlotte, NC 28202
• Home team: Carolina Panthers
• Capacity: 73,298
• Opened: 1996
• Surface: Grass
• Tickets: Purchase Meineke Car Care Bowl ducats from StubHub!
• Distance from downtown Charlotte: The stadium is located in the city center
• Driving distance to Music City Bowl in Nashville: 415 miles, 7 hours
• Web sites: Bowl site | Stadium | Seating chart | Directions and parking | Twitter
• Payout: $1 million

• City Guide: Charlotte

• RBC Bank Tailgate Party, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 26, stadium.
Interactive games, rides, performances by both school bands and entertainment by dance band Liquid Pleasure will be provided. George Foreman, Meineke spokesman and former heavyweight champion, also is scheduled to appear.

Southern (Regional)
Mert's Heart and Soul
214 N. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-342-4222 | Web site
The assessment from the restaurant's Web site is understandably delicious: "From the award-winning macaroni and cheese to the sweet, buttery cornbread to the shrimp and grits (Mert's Southern, Low Country and Gullah varieties), inspired favorites leave guests with an unforgettable, 'home cooked' experience."

Fuel Pizza
1501 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-376-3835 | Web site
One of eight locations in the Charlotte area, this funky neighborhood hangout used to be a gas station. It has retained the service-station theme in name and decor; outside seating is where the gas pumps once were located. Patrons can order by the slice or create their own combinations from the menu.

Sports bar
Stool Pigeons
214 N. Church St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-358-3788 | Web site
Just a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium, the drinkery offers 21 beers on tap, in addition to other specialty brews. The menu offers many house favorites, as well as burgers, sandwiches and comfort food.

Discovery Place

301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-372-6261 | Web site
Offers a three-story rain forest, aquariums and a space capsule motion simulator. Other features include a ham-radio room, a puppet theater and a 10-foot model of an eyeball that patrons can walk right through. Check the schedule for special exhibits.

Lowe's Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway South

Concord, NC 28027
704-455-3200 | Web site
The Feel The Thrill Tour is just the ticket here. Check out the Web site's description: "Visit the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, travel down pit road and take a picture in Victory Circle. The highlight of this half-hour tour is a comfortable van ride around the superspeedway where you will feel the full-tilt force of the 24-degree banking."