The Duke Mansion Review + Travel Guide

A review of The Duke Mansion in Charlotte, NC + things to do while visiting the southern bed and breakfast! 

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Just before the Christmas weekend began, Joshua and I escaped for a little staycation at The Duke Mansion right here in Charlotte, NC. We had both heard great things about the local bed and breakfast but neither of us had ever visited the property or actually seen if before. Tucked back into one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Myers Park, the gorgeous southern bed and breakfast is very unexpected. When passing, you may simply believe it is another beautiful home. While it is just that, it is one you can actually explore, visit, and have the luxury of staying in. Once you turned into the tree lined driveway {including a 300 year old tree}, you escape back in time and leave behind the hustle and bustle of the busy city. 

Joshua and I were on cloud nine during our visit and truly cannot say enough about the beauty of the home, exquisite grounds, and the sweet staff. Also, both of us were drawn into the history of the home and wanted to know everything. Which isn’t surprising for Joshua but I for one, am not typically into history. However, I found myself enthralled with knowing everything about the home and the past owners. It is all so fascinating and the journey of the home is pretty incredible! 

The History

Since we both found the history to be so interesting and the fact that it is such a huge piece of the home, I thought I would share some of the most captivating facts. 

The home was originally built by Zebulon V. Taylor in 1915, who was the President of Southern Public Utilities {now Duke Power Company}. The home is then called Lynnwood and consisted of what is now the east wing of the current home. In 1919, the home was purchased by James B. “Buck” Duke founder of The American Tobacco Company and Duke Power Company. He goes on to TRIPLE the size of the home to 32,000 square feet! While also expanding the grounds to more than 14 acres. A sweet part of him buying and transforming the home is that he was doing so as a way to introduce his daughter, Doris, to her Southern roots. 

The mansion is then sold from one family to another over the next 58 years until a developer purchases the home in 1977. William Allan coverts the mansion into condominiums. Thankfully, Rick and Dee Ray, founders of Raycom Sports {a sports marketing company} buy the property and restore the home back to it’s proper status {a single family home}. Praise! They then go on to sell the home to the nonprofit established by Duke Power Company. In 1998, the mansion opens as an Historic Inn and Meeting Place. 

There is lots of intriguing facts in between but those are the big moments for the home. You can read more on the history of the home here

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Where To Stay

Obviously, The Duke Mansion, and I couldn’t possibly recommend it enough! Joshua and I stayed on the second floor with a room that lead out a beautiful sleeping porch overlooking the property gardens. Both of us were blown away by the size of our suite and all of the timeless furniture that decorated the room. The mansion offers 20 suites including king, queen, and double bed options. Each as beautiful as the next with unique decor in each room. There are also rooms with sleeping porches, like ours, that give you the ability to spend time overlooking the gardens from the comfort of your room. These rooms are extra special during the spring and fall seasons when you can leave your French doors open and enjoy the fresh air. These sleeping porches are shared, which is great for meeting others staying at the mansion. Also great, if you have them to yourself! 

The bathrooms within the suites will also blow you away! White floor, walls, tiling in the shower, and if you stay in Dowd Suite, a roman spa tube that is to die for! 

Aside from the room, you have the whole property to explore! Including a guest library and book collection, gardens on all sides of the home {four and half acres}, and several different spots throughout the home {and outside} to sit, relax, and enjoy! I personally, adored the rocking chairs on the front “porch” so relaxing and charming. 

Lastly, there is a full breakfast included in you stay and it is a tasty one! You can have your breakfast delivered to your room each morning or dine downstairs with others staying at the mansion. We opted to eat downstairs to have the full experience and enjoy the dining room. The breakfast was delicious, both of us went back for seconds! There is a wide array of food including oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit, pastries, grits {the best}, pancakes, sausage, biscuits, and more! You will not leave hungry! 

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Where To Eat + Drink {Coffee, too

While Breakfast is included at The Duke Mansion, you’ll need to leave the property for lunch and dinner. No worries though if you aren’t wanting to venture far. There are several amazing options just steps away from the property. From super casual all the way to dressed up and snazzy! For dinner, Joshua and I opted to try somewhere new, Fenwick’s. Which you can truly walk to from The Duke Mansion. Here they offer a wide variety of food and are open for both lunch and dinner. 

Napa on Providence is my favorite restaurant in close proximity to The Duke Mansion. I love dining here for both brunch and dinner. Napa on Providence has a comfortable atmosphere and dished inspired by fresh ingredients. My recommendation, go there hungry! You’ll want a small plate or charcuterie board to start, entree, and at least a taste of one of their desserts. My personal favorite item of theirs is their fall squash pizza. Truly to die for! 

Ru Ru’s Tacos + Tequila is a great spot to go for a laid back, casual and fun atmosphere. Plus, you cannot beat their margaritas! Definitely the best in Charlotte, in my opinion. If you want to go light with your margarita, The Magic Mike is the perfect option. If you’re in the mood to go all out, you must try the Pineapple Express. Obviously, chips + salsa and guacamole are a must! And for dinner, I recommend going with their mix and match tacos. You cannot go wrong there! 

Fenwick’s is again, where we dined while staying at The Duke Mansion. While it wasn’t quite what we were expecting {for some reason we were thinking it was on the fancier side}, the food was incredible! I opted for chicken salad on a croissant, one of the best I’ve ever had! For Joshua, it was the freshwater trout. Which he could not say enough good things about. One thing I will say, is they do kind of hurry you, due to the restaurant being so small I believe, so be sure you take your time and order at your own pace. Otherwise, you’ll be in and out in no time.

Not Just Coffee a must stop spot, again just walking distance from The Duke Mansion. Stop in to grab your morning or afternoon latte then explore Tabor, a local men’s boutique attached to the coffee shop. Along with the boutique, there is also an art studio in the same space. If art isn’t your thing, they also offer a wide variety of books. It’s a one stop spot! 

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

What To Do

Outdoors: When the weather is a bit warmer, there are so many outdoor activities to do in Charlotte. Including renting city bikes and taking a cruise around the city to explore. I would also recommend biking around Myers Park, where The Duke Mansion is located. There are so many beautiful southern homes to look at. There are also several parks to explore in the area including Freedom Park, Midtown Park, and Edgehill Park. Additionally, if you’re up for a bit of a drive {26 minutes}, there’s the U.S. National Whitewater Center. You could easily spend a full day there, so many activities! Plus, a restaurant and beer garden on property.  

Shop: Charlotte has so many amazing boutiques and one fabulous mall, Southpark, located just 10-15 minutes from The Duke Mansion. However, there are a couple of boutiques within walking distance from the property. Including Tabor {men’s boutique}, Isabella {interior design, home decor}, Splurge {women’s clothing + jewelry}, and The Buttercup {stationery + gift shop}. 

Brewery Hop: The brewery scene in Charlotte has really exploded! There are 22 breweries within the city proper and another 11 in the Charlotte area. Therefore, you. have lots of options! My personal favorites include Sugar Creek Brewing, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery {great atmosphere and outdoor section}, and Triple C Brewing. You can find a list of the top 10 breweries in Charlotte here

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC | NC Bed & Breakfast | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Neither of us were ready {or wanting} to leave when we handed in our key. The Duke Mansion was the perfect spot for a little pre-holiday staycation. If you’re in the Charlotte area, I could not recommend making a reservation here for a night or two “away” more. If you’re from out of town and visiting the Charlotte area, The Duke Mansion is sure to provide you with a beautiful southern getaway + a relaxing stay. 

A little pro tip: book as far in advance as you can! Their rooms fill up very quickly, especially during wedding and holiday seasons. If you want to plan extra far in advance, I highly recommend visiting the mansion during the Christmas season. The house feels even more special decorated in Christmas decor. 

P.S. I made a little video from the Instagram stories I posted by visiting the Duke Mansion. You can find the video here and see a tour of our room! 

Thank you to The Duke Mansion for providing our stay + meals on property! All views and opinions are of course my own. 


  1. Jessica Camerata
    January 5, 2018 / 9:53 am

    This place looks so charming! Also I need that emerald velvet blazer!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  2. January 5, 2018 / 10:56 am

    Oh my gosh you were able to stay there?! The Mansion looks so beautiful I love seeing them and learning about the history. I love that white/cream scarf!

    • January 5, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Yes ma’am, it’s amazing! Could not recommend staying there more. Thanks so much! That was a Christmas present to myself haha.

      xo Laura Leigh

  3. January 5, 2018 / 11:08 am

    I have never been to NC but I really want to go! This mansion looks beautiful, you’ve inspired me to plan a trip there!


    • January 5, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Yay! You should totally stay there, you’ll completely fall in love. Let me know if you need any recommendations when you visit.

      xo Laura Leigh

  4. Shelby Back
    January 5, 2018 / 11:35 am

    this place looks dreamy & the mr. is killing the photo game!


  5. January 5, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    WoW! I love a place with history!! This mansion looked divine!! Love the photos!!

  6. January 5, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    Such a beautiful property & so many great tips! If I ever get over to Charlotte, I’ll have to check it out!

    • January 5, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      Isn’t it? I was truly blown away. You should definitely make a trip here happen!

      xo Laura Leigh

  7. January 5, 2018 / 3:06 pm

    Can’t believe this gorgeous place is right around the corner from us! It’s such a hidden gem! Love all the photos you got!

    How 2 Wear It []

    • January 5, 2018 / 4:35 pm

      Me either! It’s so crazy to me how it’s tucked back in this neighborhood. Thanks Morgan!

      xo Laura Leigh

  8. January 5, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    What a charming B&B! It looks like y’all had the perfect weekend staycation.


  9. January 6, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    charlotte is on my bucket list! this masion is gorgeous!

    xo megan

    • January 6, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      You definitely need to make it happen gal! Isn’t it? Truly blown away by it’s beauty.

      xo Laura Leigh

  10. Stephanie
    January 6, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    This would be such a great weekend trip for me and my fiancé! Charlotte is not that far of a drive from me, so it would be such fun to take a jaunt for a weekend and enjoy all the goodness that it has to offer. IT sounds like you had an incredible time!

    • January 6, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Aw y’all should do it! The mansion is such a romantic spot. Would be such a sweet getaway!!

      xo Laura Leigh

  11. January 7, 2018 / 9:11 pm

    What a pretty place! So classy and cozy. Beautiful photos <3

  12. January 8, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    This place looks so pretty and charming. I’ve never been to charlotte before, but this will definitely be on my list of places to see.


    • January 8, 2018 / 4:36 pm

      It truly is! You should absolutely make a trip to Charlotte happen and put The Duke Mansion on your must stay list.

      xo Laura Leigh

  13. January 8, 2018 / 9:38 pm

    This looks so amazing. I pinned it for later! Would love to visit.

    @trendyinindy ||

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.