15 Things to Do in Charlotte NC

By Janet Benoir – October 9, 2023

Charlotte, North Carolina, often referred to as the Queen City, boasts a diverse range of activities and experiences for visitors and locals alike. From historic tours and delectable cuisine to family-friendly outings and exhilarating sports events, the city truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting or a taste of the local culture at a food truck festival, Charlotte is an ideal destination for unforgettable experiences.

Venture into the heart of Uptown for a unique Segway tour, get your adrenaline pumping at a NASCAR race, or unwind with a stay at an indoor water park. The possibilities for memorable adventures are endless in Charlotte, North Carolina. Embark on the perfect getaway and uncover all the excitement and charm this captivating city has to offer.

Charlotte Motor Speedway

When visiting Charlotte, one exciting destination you should consider exploring is the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This iconic racing complex has brought motorsports enthusiasts together since 1960. It is a thrilling place to experience adrenaline-pumping NASCAR races, drag racing events, and even driving experiences where you can take the wheel.

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The Speedway hosts several prominent events throughout the year, such as the Coca-Cola 600, the Bank of America ROVAL 400, and the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Even outside of racing season, you can take a guided tour of the facility or attend car shows and auto fairs.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

If you’re looking for an adventurous activity in Charlotte, pay a visit to the US National Whitewater Center. This premier outdoor recreation facility offers a variety of water sports and land-based activities that cater to all skill levels. You can challenge yourself with whitewater rafting, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding on the man-made whitewater river, all in a safe and controlled environment.

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On land, explore over 50 miles of trails perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running. As you traverse the scenic landscapes, don’t miss the opportunity to try out the climbing walls, zip lines, or rope courses to add more excitement to your experience. With so many options available, the US National Whitewater Center is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Charlotte, NC.

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

You can immerse yourself in the captivating world of modern art at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. This distinctive institution boasts a remarkable collection of 20th-century art, offering you a unique opportunity to witness influential works from Europe and the United States. As you explore the museum, you’ll discover masterpieces from renowned artists like Picasso, Calder, and Warhol.

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The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art not only houses exceptional artwork but also engages you with interactive events and tours. You can participate in programs such as Music and Museum, which combines classical compositions with inspiring visual arts, or take advantage of guided tours to deepen your understanding of the exhibits. While visiting Charlotte, don’t miss the chance to connect with the rich cultural experience awaiting you at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.

Lake Norman

Lake Norman, located just a short drive from Charlotte, offers a wide range of activities for you to enjoy. You can partake in various water sports, such as boating, fishing, and paddleboarding, or take a more leisurely approach by strolling along the shoreline. The lake’s picturesque surroundings provide an excellent setting for a picnic, and with numerous parks and nature trails, there’s plenty of opportunities for hiking and wildlife observation.

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While you’re at Lake Norman, ensure to explore the nearby towns, each boasting its unique charm. Among these towns are Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville, where you can indulge in local eateries, shopping, and cultural attractions. So take a break from the hustle and bustle of Charlotte and immerse yourself in the serene beauty and outdoor activities offered by Lake Norman – your visit is sure to be memorable.

Freedom Park

As you explore Charlotte, NC, make sure to visit Freedom Park, a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. This 98-acre park has something for everyone to enjoy. With its sprawling fields, sports facilities, and scenic walking trails, you’ll find plenty of activities that suit your interests.

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Freedom Park is also equipped with playgrounds, volleyball, and basketball courts, as well as tennis courts for active visitors. Additionally, you can relax by the beautiful seven-acre lake, have a picnic with family and friends, or even attend one of the park’s many events, such as outdoor movie nights or festival celebrations.

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is a cultural gem in the heart of Charlotte. This center offers a wide variety of performances throughout the year, from Broadway shows to concerts and comedy acts. Step into a world of entertainment and immerse yourself in the enthralling experiences the center has to offer.

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When planning your visit, be sure to check their schedule for upcoming events and purchase tickets in advance. Don’t hesitate to treat yourself with an unforgettable evening of world-class entertainment, right in Charlotte, North Carolina.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

For a thrilling experience that the whole family can enjoy, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte is a must-visit destination. This attraction offers over 50 interactive experiences, allowing you to immerse yourself into the world of NASCAR.

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Test your skills with an iRacing simulator or take on the Pit Crew Challenge. Explore the museum to learn about the history and future of the sport and design your own race car in the Virtual Painting Booth. Additional excitement awaits at the nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Speedpark at Concord Mills.

Charlotte Museum of History

While visiting Charlotte, North Carolina, you should definitely take the time to explore the Charlotte Museum of History. This museum offers a rich and captivating glimpse into the city’s past, from its early beginnings to the present day. In this fascinating cultural institution, you can uncover a variety of engaging exhibits that feature the region’s history, as well as architectural artifacts and interactive displays to pique your curiosity.

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Not only will you have the opportunity to learn about Charlotte’s growth and development, but you’ll also encounter various historical structures, such as the Hezekiah Alexander Homesite – a significant 18th-century historic site. Soak in the atmosphere of another era while you walk through these well-preserved buildings and immerse yourself in local lore. Your journey through the Charlotte Museum of History will surely prove to be an enlightening and enjoyable experience.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Looking for a peaceful escape and enjoyment of nature’s beauty in North Carolina? You should visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. This enchanting location offers an array of flora and natural landscapes that will surely captivate and inspire you. As you wander through the garden, take in the breathtaking views of various themed gardens, picturesque fountains, and remarkable conservatories.

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Discover the stunning Orchid Conservatory, which showcases thousands of orchids and other exotic plants, housed in a magnificent glass structure. Furthermore, attend seasonal events such as illuminated winter garden walks and spring butterflies that provide unique experiences for visitors.

The Billy Graham Library

While visiting Charlotte, North Carolina, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Billy Graham Library. This unique attraction offers an insightful look into the life and career of one of America’s most renowned evangelists, the late Rev. Billy Graham. Dive into the history of his extraordinary ministry and learn about the impact he made on countless lives worldwide through various displays and exhibits.

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Step into the barn-shaped library and experience what made Billy Graham such a remarkable figure. You’ll be moved as you walk through the Journey of Faith, an interactive tour that retraces his incredible journey. Make time to visit the Memorial Prayer Garden, where Billy and Ruth Graham are laid to rest. This serene outdoor space provides a place of reflection and contemplation.

Rocky River Vineyards

While visiting NC, one must-see destination is the Rocky River Vineyards. Set amidst a picturesque landscape, this renowned winery offers you a unique experience filled with memorable moments. As you venture through the beautiful vineyards, you’ll get a glimpse into the wine-making process and have the chance to savor their exquisite, locally produced wines.

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The vineyards offer tastings and tours, allowing you to indulge in their diverse selection of wines. Additionally, various events, such as live music performances and yoga sessions, take place here throughout the year. Be sure to make the most of your visit and create lasting memories at the enchanting Rocky River Vineyards.

Charlotte Regional Farmers Market

Charlotte has a thriving local agriculture scene, and one way you can experience it is by visiting the area’s farmers markets. These markets provide an opportunity to support local farmers while discovering fresh produce, artisanal goods, and unique crafts.

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One standout option is the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. Here, you’ll find an extensive selection of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products. As you stroll through the aisles of colorful fresh produce, you can chat with the farmers, learn about their sustainable practices, and even receive helpful cooking tips.

SEA LIFE Aquarium

This fantastic attraction in North Carolina offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the underwater world, providing a unique experience to witness the beauty and complexity of marine life.

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As you walk through the aquarium, you’ll marvel at colorful fish, elegant rays, and fascinating sharks. The aquarium also features a breathtaking jellyfish exhibit and an interactive touchpool, where you can gently touch some amazing sea creatures.

Great Wolf Lodge

If you’re looking for a family-friendly attraction, check out the Great Wolf Lodge. This resort offers a massive indoor water park that will keep you entertained for hours. There are thrilling water slides, a wave pool, and even a lazy river to relax in. Younger children will love the splash pad area designed specifically for them. You can also participate in activities outside the water park, such as arcade games, mini-golf, and a ropes course.

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When it’s time for a break, refuel at one of the on-site dining options, like Hungry as a Wolf with delicious pizza and pasta dishes, or Buckets Incredible Craveables for a quick bite. Remember to browse through the shops to find the perfect souvenir or gift. Great Wolf Lodge offers a unique experience that will create lasting memories for the entire family while visiting Charlotte, NC.

Reed Gold Mine

When exploring NC, you should definitely pay a visit to the Reed Gold Mine. This historic site is where the first documented discovery of gold in the United States took place. As you wander through the mine, you’ll learn about the significance of this location in shaping the early 19th-century gold rush.

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Feel free to take a guided tour through the underground tunnels and witness the well-preserved gold mining artifacts on display. You can also try your hand at gold panning for an authentic, interactive experience. A trip to Reed Gold Mine allows you to delve into the rich history of Charlotte while enjoying a unique, hands-on adventure.