Named after the wife of King George II, Charlotte of Mecklenburg, Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. If you haven’t experienced life down South, this is a great place to get to know what Southern living is like. Whether you’re looking for history, sports, culinary experiences or family fun, read on for the best things to do in Charlotte!
1. NASCAR Hall of Fame
Especially for racing fans, the NASCAR Hall of Fame should be high on your list. And if you don’t know much about racing, this is a great place to learn how it came to be and why it continues to captivate fans around the world. There are also many interesting exhibits such as racing simulators that replicate the track experience, historic race cars on display, as well as a surround sound theater. Of course, the Hall of Fame pays tribute to NASCAR icons, including drivers, crew members and team owners.
2. U.S. National Whitewater Center
The Whitewater Center is an outdoor center offering over 30 different recreational activities, and they are also home to the largest man made river in the world. Here, guests can pick up rafting skills and experience class II-IV whitewater under the guidance of professional guides. Other than whitewater rafting, there are also tons of other activities like zip lining, climbing, mountain biking and hiking. It’s the perfect place for an activity-filled day, especially if you’re looking for sports-related things to do in Charlotte.
3. Feast Food Tours
Eating is a big part of travelling and learning about other cultures. And given the excellent reputation of Southern cooking, you can be sure that you’ll get excellent food in Charlotte. Join a culinary tour with Feast Food Tours, where you go around town to try Charlotte’s food and get to know the local food culture. Take your pick from options such as Soul of the South Uptown Food Tour, Old Favorites, New Flavors Plaza Midwood Food Tour and more. The food tours are also a walking tour, so you get to see different parts of town too!
Covid-19 update: Food tours are currently on hold.
4. BB&T Ballpark
One of the best things to do in Charlotte is catching a baseball game! BB&T BallPark is a baseball stadium hosting the Charlotte Knights. The ballpark is a very popular spot amongst baseball fans and families, and it also offers prime views of the city skyline. There are two tier of seats here, so you can choose whether you wanna be closer to the action or higher up. There are plenty of food vendors here too!
5. Charlotte Museum of History
Not sure about you, but wherever I go, I like to learn about the history of the place I’m in. In Charlotte, visit the Charlotte Museum of History to get a sense of its past and how it’s shaped its present. You’ll find a wealth of information here, not just about the city, but also about civic themes such as ideals of freedom, liberty, justice, democracy and citizenship. Museum tours and programs highlight how people lived during the Revolutionary period, and it tells of the different cultures that came together to build Charlotte, including the Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities.
6. Paramount’s Carowinds
If you’re looking for some excitement and family fun, head over to Paramount’s Carowinds. An amusement park known as the ‘Thrill Capital of the Southeast’, get ready for a day of games, shows and rollercoaster rides. There are 15 rollercoasters here, including the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster, the Fury 325. Carowinds is also home to a waterpark, so make sure to bring along your bathing suit!
7. Carolina History & Haunts
For a different sort of thrill, join a haunted tour at Carolina History & Haunts and learn about the eerie and paranormal side of Charlotte. You’ll be guided by a lantern light, listening to the tales and hauntings of the local history. Visit the sites where some of the dearly departed inhabitants are said to still linger. See some of Charlotte’s famous (and infamous) landmarks, and learn how its ghostly past has shaped Charlotte today.