Charlotte is a vibrant and bustling city known for its rich history, modern skyline, and Southern charm, located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
As the largest city in the state, Charlotte combines a thriving business community with a vibrant arts scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a diverse culinary landscape.
Charlotte’s history dates back to 1768 when it was founded and named in honor of Queen Charlotte of England. The city played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War and later became a hub for gold mining during the Carolina Gold Rush.
Over the years, Charlotte evolved into a major financial center, earning the nickname “Wall Street of the South” due to the presence of numerous banking and financial institutions.
Charlotte stands as the second-largest banking center in the United States, housing the headquarters of major financial institutions. Despite its modernity, the city has managed to preserve its historical roots, with many landmarks and neighborhoods offering glimpses into its storied past.
Let’s have a look at the best 20 best things to do in Charlotte, NC.
Things to Do in Charlotte, NC
1. Explore Uptown Charlotte
Uptown Charlotte, also known as the city’s central business district, offers a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. It is home to numerous skyscrapers, corporate headquarters, dining establishments, cultural venues, and entertainment options.
Uptown Charlotte is best explored on foot, allowing you to take in the city’s energy and architectural diversity.
Uptown is also home to attractions like the Levine Center for the Arts, which houses the Mint Museum, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.
2. Visit the Mint Museum
The Mint Museum is a renowned cultural institution located in Uptown Charlotte. It is housed in two locations: the Mint Museum Uptown and the Mint Museum Randolph. The Mint Museum Randolph, located in a historic building, focuses on European art, ancient American art, and ceramics.
The Mint Museum Uptown showcases American art, contemporary art, and craft and design collections.
The entrance fee is $15 for adult, $10 for children and $6 for children between 5-17 years old. Their website is well documented and you can even buy your ticket online.
3. Discover the Historic Fourth Ward
The Historic Fourth Ward is a charming neighborhood located just west of Uptown Charlotte. It is known for its beautiful tree-lined streets, restored Victorian homes, and historic architecture.
The Historic Fourth Ward Park is a serene oasis with a picturesque lake, walking trails, and a playground. This neighborhood offers a glimpse into Charlotte’s past, showcasing its architectural heritage and inviting ambiance.
4. Experience NASCAR at the Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Charlotte Motor Speedway is a must-visit destination for motorsports enthusiasts. Located just outside of Charlotte, it is a legendary racetrack that hosts various NASCAR events, including the Coca-Cola 600, the Bank of America ROVAL 400, and the NASCAR All-Star Race.
Attending a race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway allows you to witness the adrenaline-pumping action of stock car racing firsthand.
The atmosphere is electrifying as fans gather to cheer on their favorite drivers and experience the thrilling speeds and intense competition. Make sure you check their events page in advance.
5. Relax at Freedom Park
Located near the heart of Charlotte, Freedom Park is a picturesque urban park that offers a tranquil escape from the city’s bustling atmosphere. The park spans over 98 acres and features lush green spaces, walking trails, a large pond, and recreational facilities.
It is a perfect spot for picnicking, jogging, biking, or simply unwinding amidst nature. Freedom Park also hosts various community events and festivals throughout the year, making it a vibrant gathering place for locals and visitors alike.
6. Explore the Levine Museum of the New South
The Levine Museum of the New South provides a fascinating glimpse into the history, culture, and challenges of the American South from the end of the Civil War to the present day.
Through engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations, the museum examines topics such as race relations, immigration, industry, and social change.
7. Discover the NASCAR Hall of Fame
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is a must-visit destination for racing enthusiasts and fans of the sport. Located in Uptown Charlotte, this interactive museum celebrates the history and achievements of NASCAR.
The museum showcases a vast collection of memorabilia, iconic race cars, and exhibits that highlight the legends, innovations, and pivotal moments in NASCAR’s history.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame provides an immersive and educational experience for both avid fans and those new to the world of motorsports.
8. Enjoy the Epicentre Entertainment Complex
The Epicentre is the place to be for entertainment and fun in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. This vibrant complex offers a plethora of options for a fantastic night out.
From trendy bars and lively nightclubs to delicious restaurants and live music venues, the Epicentre has it all.
Dance the night away, savor a delicious meal, catch a movie, or simply soak up the lively atmosphere. It’s a one-stop destination for a memorable evening with friends or loved ones.
9. Visit the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Art enthusiasts will find their haven at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
Located in Uptown Charlotte, this modern art museum boasts an impressive collection of works from renowned artists like Picasso, Warhol, and Matisse.
10. Indulge in the Culinary Delights of Charlotte’s Diverse Food Scene
Prepare your taste buds for a culinary adventure through Charlotte’s diverse food scene. The city is a melting pot of flavors, offering a wide range of culinary delights to satisfy every palate.
From Southern comfort food to international cuisines and innovative farm-to-table creations, Charlotte has it all.
11. Take a Stroll Through the Beautiful Gardens of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
If you’re in the mood for a tranquil and scenic experience, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is the perfect escape.
This garden located just outside of Charlotte has a stunning garden oasis that showcases a variety of beautiful landscapes, including themed gardens, sparkling fountains, and peaceful walking trails.
12. Catch a Game or Concert at the Spectrum Center
Are you a sports fan or a live music enthusiast? Then the Spectrum Center is the place to be.
This state-of-the-art arena hosts a variety of sporting events and concerts that will have you on the edge of your seat. From thrilling basketball games featuring the Charlotte Hornets to high-energy concerts by world-renowned artists, the Spectrum Center offers an electrifying atmosphere that brings the magic of live entertainment to life.
The venue offers excellent sightlines and top-notch audiovisual technology, ensuring that you have the best view and immersive experience.
13. Learn About Aviation History at the Carolinas Aviation Museum
At the Carolinas Aviation Museum, you can learn about significant moments in aviation, such as the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” where US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing on the Hudson River.
Located near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, it offers a captivating journey through aviation history.
Get up close to iconic aircraft like the Airbus A320 and understand the engineering marvels that enable us to soar through the skies.
14. Explore the Interactive Exhibits at Discovery Place Science
From exploring the wonders of space and the human body to experimenting with physics and technology, Discovery Place Science sparks creativity and learning through interactive displays and demonstrations.
If you’re looking for a hands-on, educational experience, Discovery Place Science is the place to go. This interactive science museum offers a world of exploration and discovery for visitors of all ages.
15. Attend a Live Performance at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
If you’re into more experimental or contemporary works, the Booth Playhouse is the place to be. This intimate venue hosts a variety of performances, from off-Broadway shows to innovative theatrical productions and emerging artists’ showcases
The Belk Theater is the largest venue within the Blumenthal, known for its grand stage and stunning architecture. It’s where you can catch major Broadway productions, renowned musicians, and orchestral performances that will leave you in awe.
16. Discover the History of Charlotte at the Charlotte Museum of History
What better way to delve into history if not at The Charlotte Museum of History. This is a fantastic place to explore the rich heritage and stories that have shaped Charlotte into the vibrant city it is today.
Located in the east part of the city, the museum offers a captivating journey through time. The museum brings to life the stories of the people, events, and cultures that have shaped Charlotte’s identity over the years.
17. Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Lake Norman, Just North of Charlotte
Lake Norman is a massive man-made lake with over 520 miles of shoreline, making it the largest lake in North Carolina. It’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts like me! The sparkling waters of the lake invite you to dive in and have a blast.
One of the best things to do at Lake Norman is boating. Rent a boat or bring your own if you have one. Imagine cruising along the calm waters, feeling the wind in your hair, and enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
If you’re into water sports, Lake Norman has got you covered.
18. Take a Scenic Walk Along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway
A scenic walk along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway offers an opportunity to connect with nature and discover nearby attractions. One such attraction is the Mint Museum Randolph, located near the greenway.
The museum houses an impressive collection of American, European, and African art, providing a cultural experience that complements the natural beauty of the greenway.
Additionally, you can explore the Historic Dilworth neighborhood adjacent to the greenway, known for its charming historic homes, tree-lined streets, and local eateries.
19. Experience the Vibrant Nightlife and Live Music Scene in the NoDa (North Davidson) Neighborhood
NoDa is famous for its craft beer scene. Exploring breweries like NoDa Brewing Company, Heist Brewery, or Divine Barrel Brewing, you can enjoy a variety of locally brewed beers and the spirit of the city.
If interested in attending live music performances, NoDa is the perfect place for live music venues. Check out The Neighborhood Theatre or The Evening Muse for an evening of live music, featuring local and touring artists.
For some art, make sure you take a stroll through the neighborhood to admire vibrant murals and visit art galleries such as The Goodyear Arts or The Gallery C3.
20. Enjoy a Leisurely Day of Shopping and Dining at SouthPark Mall
Located adjacent to SouthPark Mall, Phillips Place features boutique shops, delightful dining options, and even a theater for movie enthusiasts.
For a break from shopping, you can head to the Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary, situated near SouthPark Mall. This serene garden and bird sanctuary offers beautiful landscapes, diverse plant life, and bird-watching opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there anything fun to do in Charlotte NC?
Yes, Charlotte, NC, offers a wide range of fun activities, including exploring museums, visiting parks, enjoying local cuisine, and attending cultural events.
What is Charlotte North Carolina famous for?
Charlotte, North Carolina, is famous for its financial district, NASCAR Hall of Fame, and as the home of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team and the Carolina Panthers NFL team.
Is Charlotte NC worth visiting?
Charlotte, NC, is definitely worth visiting, with its vibrant cultural scene, diverse dining options, and attractions like the U.S. National Whitewater Center and Discovery Place Science.
How do people spend 3 days in Charlotte?
Over three days in Charlotte, visitors can explore the city’s museums, dine at local restaurants, attend sporting events, and take in the natural beauty of nearby parks like Freedom Park and the McDowell Nature Center.