While on my travel blogging tour, I had the opportunity to finally visit my longtime friend, Demereo and also meet with music/TV producer, Adeolu AB’fresh Belo in Charlotte.
Charlotte is the largest city and commercial hub in the state of North Carolina. So, whether you’re looking for art, music, dining, shopping, sports, nature or you just want to have fun with your family, Charlotte’s got it going on.
Check out my list of 10 fun things to do while in the city.
Charlotte NC Tours
Charlotte NC Tours is a full-service tour company that offers a variety of adventures from walking, cycling and Segway tours to ghost tours, family reunion adventures and relocation tours for those new to the city. The tours are guided by friendly staff with a broad knowledge of Charlotte and its rich history.
They’re a fun way to see the city and will leave you feeling like a local by the end.Charlotte NC Tours has suitable vehicles, from vans to buses, for groups of every size. The company also offers bicycle rentals and customized tours for special events such as team building and birthday celebrations.
Racing and NASCAR Hall of Fame
If you’ve never been to a race, you’re not doing life right. Charlotte Motor Speedway packs in 134,000 NASCAR fans during race weekend, and many people camp around the stadium for the weekend in order to take advantage of qualifying, dirt track racing and other fan experiences.
Injecting some high-octane energy into Charlotte’s already substantial auto racing roots, the NASCAR Hall of Fame touts a feast for the senses to honor its heroes. Look for interactive exhibits like racing simulators and pit crew experiences in addition to unforgettable tributes to NASCAR’s legends. Also be sure to check out the Racing Insiders Tour, which begins at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and will provide you with an all-access, in-depth tour in and around Charlotte’s racing community.
U.S. National Whitewater Centre
Take your pick between 24 different land and water activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a 500 acre facility northwest of downtown Charlotte. At the world’s largest man-made whitewater river, you’ll have your choice of a variety of activities, including kayaking (both flatwater and whitewater), stand-up paddle boarding, and, of course, whitewater rafting. If you’d prefer to stay dry, the centre can accommmodate you there, too: land activities include mountain biking, rock climbing and zip-lining, with plenty of running trails and obstacle courses for those with a competitive edge. Past travellers say the centre is a great place to take your family for the day — though visitors admit tickets can get pricey.
The Mint Museum
Dedicated to craft, design and all things artistic, The Mint Museum programs include “Taste of the Mint,” a small plate and beverage pairing plus a tour, art classes for families and bilingual storytime for kids. With it’s plentiful collection, there’s an exhibit for everyone there.
Explore the 7th Street Public Market
Taste all of Charlotte’s home-grown produce at 7th Street Public Market, located about half a mile west of the city centre. At this indoor marketplace, you’ll find a selection of local produce, wines, flowers and sweet and savory treats. Among the vendors hawking local goods is one of the city’s favorite pizza joints, Pure Pizza, known for using ingredients sold right in the market. If you make your market stop in the morning, trade in your usual Starbucks drink for the freshly brewed java available at Not Just Coffee, another vendor permanently stationed at the market. Pair your caffeine jolt with a breakfast sandwich from Local Loaf and enjoy the bustling scene.
Go see an NBA game
Owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan, don’t miss the excitement of the NBA Charlotte Hornets as they host the league’s brightest stars at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Have fun at Carowinds
Carowinds is one of North Carolina’s favorite local amusement parks. You’ll have your pick of family and thrill rides, including the Intimidator, a roller coaster inspired by Dale Earnhardt (and also the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in the southeast). If you need to cool off, Carowinds also boasts its own water park, Boomerang Bay. This 20-acre park includes a 34,000-square-foot pool, a 1,000-foot-long lazy river and 11 water slides. Plus, entrance to Boomerang Bay is included with your Carowinds admission.
See history at it’s best at the Carolinas Aviation Museum
Located at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the importance of aviation to society. Founded by Floyd and Lois Wilson in 1992, the museum aims to preserve aviation heritage with a collection of more than 50 stationary aircraft and smaller historic aviation-related items. The museum also boasts an array of still-operational historic aircraft such as the B-17, B-24, B-29 and Berlin Airlift C-54.
The Carolinas Aviation Museum is home to an extensive research library – the 9,000-volume Dolph Overton Aviation Library– and the Bat Cave Storage and Restoration Facility. The museum also presents a variety of educational exhibits, programs, and activities and resources for classroom learning. More: North Carolina destinations, beaches and lighthouses.
Shopping & Spa
Find some of the most sought-after, luxurious brands around at SouthPark Mall and Concord Mills. Highlights include department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus in addition to cult favorites like Michael Kors, Burberry, Tory Burch and Louis Vuitton. Also check out Charlotte Premium Outlets, where you can save anywhere from 25%-65% at stores like Kate Spade, J. Crew, Michael Kors and more. With 100 outlet stores, you will be sure to satisfy your inner savvy shopper.
The Spa & Wellness Centre at The Ritz-Carlton and Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, is a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Centre City. Besides a full menu of rejuvenating spa services, there’s also a fitness center, pool and separate men’s and women’s lounges. This luxurious urban escape is good for the environment, too – the building is LEED-certified and offers “green” perks like free parking for hybrids.
Come alive with the best of music
Rock out with your favorite musical performers at PNC Music Pavillion, Charlotte’s open-air music venue attracting the nation’s hottest stars for amazing shows under the stars.
Two powerhouse venues in City Centre put the ‘music’ in the AvidXchange Music Factory. The chandelier and red velvet-adorned Fillmore draws shows like Blues Traveler and BB King. Next door, the Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre features elevated lawn seating and a dramatic backdrop of the city skyline.
There’s no shortage of things to do while visiting in Charlotte, so all I can advice you to do is explore the city!
Next on my #AsuquoTravelsTheUSA tour is the city of Indianapolis, Indiana.