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.
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.