Have you ever been to the Duke Mansion? Chances are, you've driven right by it (and perhaps, didn't even know... like me!) I, like many folks use Ardsley Road as a cut through from Providence to Queens to East Blvd. Little did I know I was driving past the Duke Mansion all the time. I literally thought it was just another home nestled in prime Myers Park neighborhood perfection. Love this part of town as it's simply stunning.
The Duke Mansion was built in 1915 and it's most well known owner was James Buchanan Duke (you know, Duke University, Duke Energy...) The home changed hands many a time over the years but was lovingly restored and preserved by Rick and Dee Ray in the late 1980s. Now over 100 years later, the home is operated by a non-profit and all proceeds benefit and protect the mansion.
Kevin and I visited for a tour of the home and grounds over the Summer. But did you know that you can visit the mansion and wander the grounds on your own time? You just have to make sure there isn't a wedding/event booked when you go. If you want to see the inside of the home (and you should, it's gorgeous!) you can stay overnight as a guest of the inn or you can keep tabs on when the home is opened up to the public for events, cocktail hours, and parties.
During July and August of this year, the Duke Mansion held happy hour during the week in their magical and oh so manicured gardens. And this holiday season, happy hour was reinstated (December 21 - 30 from 5-8pm!) If you've been itching to see the home, what better time than when it's decked out for the holidays?!
Here are some snaps from our visit in August... I wouldn't mind a courtyard like this!
^^^about as Downton Abbey as we can get here in North Carolina ;)
If you are new to Charlotte, want to dazzle out of town guests, or if you just want to up your happy hour game, don't miss the hidden gem right in our backyard.