Charlotte Travel Guide

USA  
Credit

Courtesy of digidreamgrafix/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Charlotte

You don't need to be a NASCAR aficionado to enjoy Charlotte's top to-dos; the Queen City is much more than its reputation for high-octane racing may let on. The Uptown district plays host to some of the city's most popular museums, including Discovery Place and the Mint Museum Uptown, along with some of the area's best restaurants. When you're ready to explore outside of Uptown take a spin through NoDa's (North Davidson) art displays. Sports fans have a crop of newly minted frachises to root for, including the NFL's Panthers, the NBA's Hornets and the AHL's Checkers. For some, a Charlotte visit feels incomplete without experiencing the fervor of NASCAR at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. If you can't make it to Concord, North Carolina, for a race, stick around town and make a pit stop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame instead.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated April 10, 2019

  • #1
    Things to do in Charlotte
    View all Photos
    #1 in Charlotte
    Recreation, Sports, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sports, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Take your pick between more than 30 different land and water activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a1,300-acre facility northwest of downtown Charlotte along theCatawba River. 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

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Mint Museum Uptown
    View all Photos
    #2 in Charlotte
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of the many museums representing Charlotte's exploding art scene, the Mint Museum Uptown is home to a wide variety of American and European art. This is the second Mint Museum location; the first– Mint Museum Randolph –occupies the original branch of the United States Mint on Randolph Road (in the city's

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Discovery Place
    View all Photos
    #3 in Charlotte
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Discovery Place is Charlotte's science museum. Past visitors say this kid-friendly playtopia is a great place to spend a day with the family. Here you'll find interactive, hands-on exhibits that cover a variety of scientific concepts like physics and earth science. You can design and conduct lab experiments, build mock

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Billy Graham Library
    View all Photos
    #4 in Charlotte
    Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    An ode to "America's Pastor," the Billy Graham Library sits just a few miles from where Graham grew up. Sprawling across 20 acres about 10 minutes southwest of Uptown, the site allows visitors to explore the Graham family home (restored using 80 percent of its orginal materials), a Christian bookstore,

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    7th Street Public Market
    View all Photos
    #5 in Charlotte
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a taste of Charlotte's home-grown produce, head to 7th Street Public Market, located about half a mile west of the city center. 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

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    BB&T Ballpark
    View all Photos
    #6 in Charlotte
    Sports, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sports, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Home field for the Charlotte Knights –the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox –BB&T Ballpark is a hit with locals and visitors for its incredible skyline views, delicious food and affordable seats. Situated in Uptown, the ballpark is easily accessible from any of the city's Uptownhotels. 

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Levine Museum of the New South
    View all Photos
    #7 in Charlotte
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The term "New South" relates to the people, places and a period of time –from 1865 to today. The Levine Museum of the New South is one of the most comprehensive post-Civil War history museums in the country. Permanent exhibits like the 8,000-square-foot "Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers" focuses on history specific

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Freedom Park
    View all Photos
    #8 in Charlotte
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Boasting nearly 100 acres, Freedom Park is a refreshing (free) escape from the Uptown hustle and bustle. Situated on the east edge of the Myers Park neighborhood (about 3 miles north of the city center), the "Central Park of Charlotte" is popular year-round thanks to the various walking and biking

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    NASCAR Hall of Fame
    View all Photos
    #9 in Charlotte
    Museums, Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you think the NASCAR Hall of Fame is just a museum full of plaques dedicated to drivers gone by, think again. This 150,000-square-foot site keeps things buzzing with high-tech exhibits, racing simulators and a 278-seat theater, among other features. Travelers say visitors new to the high-octane sport will appreciate

    ...Read More »
  • Carolina Raptor Center
    View all Photos
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Situated about 14 miles northwest of Charlotte in Huntersville, North Carolina, the Carolina Raptor Center operates largely as a rehabilitation center for injured, sick and orphaned raptors. The facility also serves as an education and conservation center where visitors can see these fascinating creatures up close. The center hosts more

    ...Read More »
  • Carowinds
    View all Photos
    Amusement Parks
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Carowinds is one of North Carolina's favorite local amusement parks. You'll have your pick of family and thrill rides, including Fury 325 (and also the world's tallest and fastest giga coaster). If you need to cool off, Carowinds also boasts its own water park, Carolina Harbor. The park includes a27,000 square-foot wave pool,

    ...Read More »
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway
    View all Photos
    Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're hungry for a taste of NASCAR culture at its finest, take the 16-mile drive northeast of downtown Charlotte to Concord, where you can catch a race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Keep in mind that a visit here is more of an experience– it's nomral for die-hard fans to

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Charlotte

Recommended

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019