15 Best Things To Do in Charlotte

Charlotte is a great tourist destination to visit any time of the year, as the city offers endless possibilities of leisure and adventure. From sprawling lush green spaces to modern art and science museums, to theatres to children's center to amazing food tours, Charlotte can be a tourist's dream city. From among such a vast tourist attraction in Charlotte, here are our handpicked best places to visit in Charlotte.

altImage Source: wikipedia.org

Let's explore Charlotte points of interest and the 15 best things to do in Charlotte:

1. Visit a National State History Site

An almost well kept secret site, the James K. Polk House is where once  James K. Polk, the Eleventh president of United States lived.

This is a National State Historic Site that celebrates the significant history and life events from Polk administration. The site offers historical information, tour and exhibits related to the Mexican-American War, the annexation of California and the Oregon boundary dispute settlement. The Polk visitor center shows a film on Polk's life. They also have a Vendor Village where visitors can shop.The center administration also regularly hosts interesting events such as Dance, n' Que Festival, live rock n' roll evenings, local BBQ and brewery dates, educational events and field trips as  unique as "Gathering Gourmet, An Introduction to Wild Edibles" where visitors are taught how to pick safe edibles from the wild.

2. Soak in local history at The Charlotte Museum of History

The Charlotte Museum of History houses the famous Hezekiah Alexander House, a massive, archaic, 5 000 square foot of rock house from 1774, rightfully listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The greater museum situated in an 8 -acre of a thickly wooded area in east Charlotte hosts several historic buildings. The Alexander House is the oldest of all the standing archaic houses in Mecklenburg County, and it showcases a replica of a log kitchen, a barn, and a newly reconstructed springhouse. The museum also exhibits three galleries full of the history and heritage of Mecklenburg and Charlotte right from the early 18th century. Visitors are offered daily guided tours of the museum.

3. See the historic aircraft at Carolinas Aviation Museum 

The Carolinas Aviation Museum was founded in 1992, by Floyd and Lois Wilson with the objective of preserving and promoting the history and heritage of aviation. Today it houses a huge exhibit, over 50 aircraft and other historic displays relayed to the world of aviation. The museum also houses the Dolph Overton Aviation Library, hosting frequent educational programs, resources and fun activities for learning. Visitors flock to this museum to also catch a glimpse of some of the still-operational, rare and historic aircrafts such as the Berlin Airlift C-54, the B-17, B-24, and B-29.

They also host the Bat Cave Storage and Restoration Facility. Altogether, this unique aviation museum pulls intrigued tourists all round the year.

4. Relish great modern art at the Bechtler Museum

Named after the family of Andreas Bechtler, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, just as the name suggests, is dedicated to the celebration of modern art. Housed inside the Levine Center for Arts, it is a stunning and huge museum designed by the famous Mario Botta. The gateway itself draws enchanted tourists to witness a huge and awe-inspiring, 17 feet tall  Firebird, a stunning work of mosaics, made out of more than seven thousand mirrors, by the famous artist Niki de Saint Phalle.  The museum prides itself on a rich collection of 1,400 plus modern art works.Bechtler had originally assembled this gorgeous collection of works which include works by masters such as Picasso, Warhol, Matisse, Léger, Le Corbusier, Degas, Mirò and more.

5. Learn about Latin American Contemporary Art at LaCa

An exciting new platform to develop Latin American Contemporary Art and to revive and promote dialogues between varied Latin American artists and their art -- that is precisely what Latin American Contemporary Art Projects is. The LaCa as it's alternatively called, is situated in FreeMoreWest and hosts thought-provoking and promising new works of art by both emerging and also mid-career Latin American artists.The permanent gallery of LaCa showcases work of local and new artists. Another gallery regularly hosts several exhibitions of artworks by already established names from Latin America. Visitors to Charlotte love to visit this quaint art museum to catch an artist at work in their studios or to take a leisurely tour of the two galleries.

6. Learn about Plantation History at the Latta Plantation

The Latta Nature Preserve in Huntersville, a stone throw distance from downtown Charlotte, houses the historic Latta Plantation, a huge 552-acre plantation site. The in-house tours offer a fantastic glimpse of life, history and culture of  North Carolina from 1800 to 1865.Surrounded by the ethereal Mountain Island Lake in the north, south, and west, the Latta House also serves as an educational center and hosts various fun learning events such as the guided tour of the farm animals, creative workshops, camps and more.

7. Explore the Scenic Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary

In the year 1927, Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson founded Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary and later donated it to the Wing Haven Foundation, and that's how this garden gets its name.This sanctuary resembles a unique shape -- the Cross of Lorraine, and the patron saint of all gardeners, Saint Fiacre, stands tall amidst this landscape as a huge statue.The garden is interspersed with crisscrossed pathways and houses a huge variety of trees, plants and flowers. It is also full of ornamental fountains, pools, sculptures and an antic and well-preserved English sundial as old as 1705.

8. Meander in the Mint Museum

The Mint Museum is internationally famous for being the city of Charlotte's own icon for arts and culture.

Being the oldest art museum in all of North Carolina, the Mint houses an internationally acclaimed collection of art, displayed in two different sites, namely the Mint Museum Randolph and the Mint Museum Uptown.Mint Museum Randolph is the original site and showcases a breathtaking collection of artworks from all over Europe, Africa and ancient America. The Mint Museum Uptown houses a stunning collection ranging from contemporary American, European, and other International arts. It also hosts a globally acclaimed craft and design exhibition.

9. Discover the Discovery Place

Dedicated to the exploration of the natural world, The Discovery Place remains is one of most loved Charlotte attractions, especially among visitors with family.

The Center showcases a wide range of interactive educational displays, dynamic exhibits and real-life observational areas. It also runs the Charlotte Nature Museum, where visitors are brought up close to Nature and given opportunities to observe live wildlife, some of them as unique as free-flying butterflies. Their newer wing, the Discovery Place KIDS museum is situated in Huntersville. This wing hosts an unique and enriching play experience through an interactive and imaginative platform, engaging and challenging children’s minds and imaginations,  to facilitate learning.

10. Be like a child and ImaginOn

Charlotte owns an one of a kind children’s library and theater, ImaginOn, which is extremely popular among tourists of all age groups. ImaginOn houses two state-of-the-art theaters, two huge children's libraries (one for the under 11s and another teens-only), four multi-use classrooms and one fullfledged multimedia production studio.What's stunning is that these ImaginOn library services and drop-in pprogras are available to children free of cost. Only the special library events have tickets and the children’s theatre classes need pre-registrations.

11. Ride the giant coaster in Carowinds

Carowinds the 400 acre of an amusement park in Charlotte, run by Cedar Fair, features a 27 acre water park too, named Carolina Harbor.Carowinds houses Charlotte's oldest rides and roller coasters and the newest too. The Carolina Goldrusher is a famed and old steel and wood mine train from 1973. On the other hand, the giant rollercoaster Fury 325 inside this park is the tallest and fastest coaster in all of the world. This amusement park also hosts a very popular Halloween event, SCarowinds and a special WinterFest.

This place, since its inaugural in 1973 remains one of Charlotte's topmost family tourism attractions.

12. Relive the NASCAR glory 

Visitors to Charlotte interested in cars and history of NASCAR inevitably land up at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a huge state-of-the-art venue showcasing several vintage documents, displays and hands-on interactive exhibits about all the history and cultural heritage of NASCAR, its cars, races, the fandom and more.

The Center also houses a premium 278 seater High Octane Theater that showcases an informative film on the history and heritage of NASCAR. The racing simulators present at the Hall of Fame lures visitors to take the prizes NASCAR racing driver’s seat. The Great Hall displaying  rotating exhibits, The  Glory Road showcasing some of the dazzling historic cars, the open air Ceremonial Plaza hosting Induction ceremonies and the Race Week, an interactive area for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into NASCAR teams prepping for race week - all remain hugely popular among visitors of all age groups.

13. Take a culinary tour with Tour De Food

A unique walking culinary tours around the city Charlotte, Tour De Food is much popular among all kinds of national and international tourists. This special food trail explores Charlotte's Uptown and NoDa areas, the North Davidson Arts District and some of the premium local restaurants.Visitors are given the opportunity to interact with chefs, learn about their culinary techniques, watch live cooking and sample the mouthwatering specialties.

14. Go shopping at The Athertons Mill and Market

The Athertons Mill and Market is a hot favorite spot among both the locals and the tourists to Charlotte.

Filled with  unique shops and local sellers, a Farmer's Market to buy farm fresh products from, amazing coffee shops and innumerable local restaurants offering mouthwatering local gourmet, this Market is constantly bustling with visitors.The Spice Shop there is a huge favorite among buyers. Luna's Living Kitchen is one restaurant in this market that offers an incredible variety of food for all the vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus.

15. Participate in some of the coolest Annual City Events

Depending on when one is touring Charlotte, visitors have almost endless opportunities to hop into any of the colorful, festive and vibrant annual city events going on in Charlotte all round the year.The UNC Charlotte International Festival happening in Fall offers visitors the taste of history, traditions and cuisine of more than fifty nations.  Other International events of Charlotte are the Yiasou Greek Festival, the Latin American Festival or Festa Italiana, the Greater Charlotte Asian Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Festival of India and many more. The Carolina Renaissance Festival happening each Fall celebrates some of the  ancient medieval customs. The Charlotte Black Gay Pride’s Annual Summer Event and the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade allow visitors to support and celebrate the city’s LGBTQ community. If one is in the city around July 4, they can relish the US Independence Day in Charlotte attractions U.S. National Whitewater Center along with fireworks at BB&T Ballpark and some of the great Symphony performances of the city.

Charlotte offers a never ending array of events, activities and fun to everyone who comes to visit this amazing city.

Author: Ketki Hanamshet
Usually lost in a reverie, Ketki is someone who absolutely refuses to live in the practical world. While she has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, she should be honored mastery in procrastination. If you see her slouching on a couch, ask...

Must see places in Charlotte ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Charlotte and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 485 times in trip plans
    Freedom Park

    Tags: Sport, Park, Lake

    Address: 1900 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The freedom park is located by a beautiful lake with tennis courts, fields for soccer, running and cycling paths. It also features a pond. The park is an ideal spot for families and people who enjoy b...Read more

  2. # 2 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 434 times in trip plans
    Carolinas Aviation Museum

    Tags: Museum, Exhibition

    Address: 4672 1st Flight Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    The Carolinas Aviation Museum is home to an extensive range of aircrafts, helicopters, equipment, gadgets and printed material that talks about the rich history of the aviation sector. The attractive ...Read more

  3. # 3 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 646 times in trip plans
    BB&T Ballpark

    Tags: Park, Games

    Address: 324 South Mint St., Charlotte, NC 28202

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    A wonderful park with gorgeous views of the skyline and surroundings. The park hosts shows, games, fares and more. BB&T Ballpark is a lovely place to spend the evening with family and enjoy their ...Read more

  4. # 4 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 284 times in trip plans
    Hendrick Motorsports Complex

    Tags: Specialty Museum

    Address: 4400 Papa Joe Hendrick Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28262, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 03:00 pm Details

    Located in North Carolina, a mile away from Charlotte Motor Speedway, the complex features state-of-the-art facilities and technology. The complex is home to the Hendrick Motorsports Museum & Team...Read more

  5. # 5 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 142 times in trip plans
    Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

    Tags: Park

    Address: 6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont, NC 28012

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Being here would feel like being kissed by nature. The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a charming space you can unwind at. The garden is home to a tunnel fountain, stone work, orchids, and plants whi...Read more

  6. # 6 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 281 times in trip plans
    Time Warner Cable Arena

    Tags: Arena, Games

    Address: 333 E Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

    The arena hosts exciting events and games that would interest most people. There are plenty of food stations you can grab a bite from during these events. You could spend an entire day of fun here. Th...Read more

  7. # 7 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 258 times in trip plans
    Bechtler Museum Of Modern Art

    Tags: Art Museum, Museum

    Address: 420 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is an impressive museum housing extensive collections of commendable exhibits relevant to history and gives out information about the city and the art. The museum als...Read more

  8. # 8 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 260 times in trip plans
    'ImaginOn' The Joe And Joan Martin Center

    Tags: Library, Entertainment, Theatre

    Address: 300 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    A Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children's Theatre of Charlotte is today recognized as ImaginOn in the city of Charlotte. This place is both educative and entertaining at the same time. It is an i...Read more

  9. # 9 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 216 times in trip plans
    South Park Mall

    Tags: Mall, Shopping Center

    Address: 4400 Sharon Road Charlotte, NC 28211

    Timings: 10:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    Shop till you drop here at the South Park mall in Charlotte. The mall is a luxury shopping center with expensive brands like Burberry, Cole Haan, St. John, Hermes, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Louis Vuit...Read more

  10. # 10 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 363 times in trip plans
    Little Sugar Creek Greenway

    Tags: Scenic Drive, Biking Trail, Walking Area

    Address: East 7th Street to East Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Initially named ‘Sugare Creek’ by the red Indians, the Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a lovely path surrounded by scenic beauty ideal for walking or jogging. The path is also good for biki...Read more

  11. # 11 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 99 times in trip plans
    Mint Museum Randolph

    Tags: Art Museum, Museum

    Address: 2730 Randolph Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The Mint Museum Randolph is a sister concern to the Mint Museum Uptown. Museum Randolph is home to a spectacular collection art and design from different parts of the world. The exquisite art collecti...Read more

  12. # 12 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 242 times in trip plans
    North Carolina Music Factory

    Tags: Outdoors, Performance, Concert

    Address: 1000 North Carolina Music Factory Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28206, United States

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 11:59 pm Details

    North Carolina Music Factory is a unique and beautiful amphitheater sharing space with plenty of restaurants and bars. The amphitheater hosts ample of shows, live music performances and more. Outdoor ...Read more

  13. # 13 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 12 times in trip plans
    Wing Haven Garden And Bird Sanctuary

    Tags: Wildlife Sanctuary , Garden

    Address: 248 Ridgewood Ave, Charlotte, NC 28209

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary is a lovely garden that’s very well maintained although small. It is a fun place for kids and pretty relaxing for adults. The garden is home to different kin...Read more

  14. # 14 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 31 times in trip plans
    The Fillmore

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Entertainment, Concert

    Address: 1000 North Carolina Music Factory Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28206, United States

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 05:00 pm Details

    The Fillmore is an ideal place to enjoy live music, delicious food, and hit the dance floor. There are concerts held outside this venue that are pretty interesting. On a visit to the NC music factory,...Read more

  15. # 15 of 2167 Things To Do in Charlotte | Added 143 times in trip plans

    Tags: Outdoors, Landmark, Monument, Statue

    Address: Charlotte, NC 28273, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a humongous statue that stands in the middle of an industrial park. The highlight of the statue is not only its size but also the beautiful fountain it features. The statue is in fact a rotati...Read more

Explore the best things to do in Charlotte. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

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  • Historic Rosedale Plantation

    3427 N Tryon St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • The Square

    Trade Street and Tryon

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Eugene Wilson Hodges Farm

    3900 Rocky River Rd

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Elizabeth Lawrence House And Garden

    348 Ridgewood Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Charles R. Jonas Federal Building

    401 W Trade St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Hotel Charlotte

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Sandbar At Lake Wylie

  • Delta Lake

    Mary Jo Helms Drive

  • Lake Wylie Boat Yacht Sales

    16310 York Rd

  • Vances Twin Lakes

  • Lake Wylie Paddle Boarding

  • Tega Cay Homes

    Tega Cay Dr

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  • Carolinas Aviation Museum

    4672 First Flight Dr

  • The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

    551 S Tryon St

  • Charlotte Museum of History

    3500 Shamrock Dr

  • Charlotte Trolley

    1507 Camden Rd

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame

    400 E Martin Luther King Blvd

  • Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

    420 S Tryon St

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  • Sports Connection

    11611 Ardrey Kell Rd

    Amusement Parks Restaurants
  • Lost Duffer Miniature Golf

    110 Barton Creek Dr

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Escape Kings

    11333 Granite St

    Amusement Parks
  • BounceU

    10624 Metromont Pkwy

    Amusement Parks
  • Cheshunt Recreation Facility

    4200 Brownes Ferry Rd

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Paradise Valley Golf Course

    110 Barton Creek Dr

    Amusement Parks Arcades
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  • Tupelo Honey

    1820 South Blvd

    Bars American
  • Dandelion Market

    118 W 5th St

    American Bars
  • East Boulevard Bar & Grill

    1315 East Blvd

    American Bars Barbecue
  • Chili's Grill & Bar

    9730 Rea Rd

    American Bars
  • Sugar Creek Brewing Company

    215 Southside Dr

    Breweries Bars Night Clubs
  • The Local Charlotte

    105 E 5th St

    Bars American
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  • Eastway Beach Bingo

    2835 Eastway Dr

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Top Dawg Sweepstakes

    6316 Old Sugar Creek Rd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Under The Rainbow

    7014 Coble Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Big Lucky's Sweepstakes

    4548 Old Pineville Rd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Little Las Vegas

    2734 Freedom Dr

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Double Deuce

    3805 Concord Pkwy S

    Casinos and Gaming
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  • Mecklenburg County William R Davie Park

    4635 Pineville Matthews Rd

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Mc Alpine Creek Park

    8711 Monroe Rd

    Dog Parks
  • Independence Park

    300 Hawthorne Ln

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Shuffletown Dog Park

    9500 Bellhaven Blvd

    Dog Parks
  • Pet Palooza

    300 Hawthorne Ln

    Dog Parks
  • 4th Ward Neighborhood Park

    Dog Parks
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  • Mil Sandbar

View On Map
  • McAlpine Creek & Four Mile Creek Greenway

    11823 Johnston Rd

  • Sherman Branch Recreational Area

    Rocky River Church Rd/State Rd 2810

  • Six Mile Creek Greenway

  • Four Mile Creek Greenway

  • McAlpine Creek Greenway midpoint

  • The Boardwalk

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  • Catawba Cricket Hatchery

    104 Dupree St

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Flymen Fishing Company

    10612 Providence Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Jim's Bait & Tackle Shop

    4354 S Tryon St

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Jerry's Bait and Tackle Shop

    4354 S Tryon St

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Securityproducts4less.com

    1001E W W T Harris Blvd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Deer Track Farms

    Hunting and Fishing
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