The Duke Mansion hosts an evening of cocktails and snacks 5:30-7 p.m. Aug. 17, and you can stroll the gardens or stay cool inside the mansion. Snacks are free; drinks are from a cash bar (which takes credit cards). Reservations: 704-714-4445 or email email@example.com. 400 Hermitage Road.
Tapas to tacos, foie gras to fries, Helen Schwab has written about food in and around Charlotte for more than 20 years. Her related experience includes traveling (pizza in Naples to pizza in New York), waitressing (she understands about tipping from both sides), journalism (a B.S. from Northwestern University), and cooking at home, the less said about which the better.