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For those craving sweets, check out Amelie’s, a French bakery on South Tryon. And if your sweet tooth is acting up after business hours, drive to the original Amelie’s in the NoDa section of Charlotte, which is open 24/7, a rarity in the South. For ethnic food, Mr. Hanchett recommends Central Avenue.

Delegates looking for culture alongside their politics will find at least three museums not far from the convention center: the Mint Museum (housed in a former U.S. Mint); the Levine Museum of the New South; and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

All in all, while there’s enough in Charlotte to satisfy history buffs and sightseers alike, those seeking comparisons between Barack Obama and Polk, the native son who grew up to be president, might be hard-pressed. Polk, a proponent of “Manifest Destiny” who helped expand the nation’s boundaries, kept a campaign promise that is completely at odds with Mr. Obama’s reason for coming here: He stepped down after just one term.