NASCAR Hall of Fame#9 in Best Things To Do in Charlotte
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 the Heritage Speedway exhibit, which details NASCAR's six-decade history using authentic artifacts and educational films. Meanwhile, the Race Week exhibit provides visitors a more intimate and interactive view into how a NASCAR team preps for race day. Here, visitors can practice a pit stop, walk through a full-size NASCAR Lowe's hauler, call a race and get behind the wheel of one of eight racing simulators.
If you don't consider yourself much of a car aficionado, you shouldn't be deterred from making a pit stop here, according to past visitors.
However, casual fans could be discouraged by the admission price: Tickets for adults costs $25; kids (ages 8 to 12) get in for $18; admission for children 3 to 7 costs $12. Pricing for the High Octane Combo Packages – which can include everything from unlimited simulator rides to a NASCAR Hall of Fame lanyard – vary, so check the museum's website for more details. You'll find the NASCAR Hall of Fame a little more than half a mile south of downtown Charlotte. The museum is open Monday and Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Tuesdays. During the summer, the museum stays open until 6 p.m.
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#1 U.S. National Whitewater Center
Take your pick between more than 30 different land and water activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a 1,300-acre facility northwest of downtown Charlotte along the Catawba 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 paddle boarding, and, of course, whitewater rafting. If you'd prefer to stay dry, the center 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 travelers said the center is a great place to take your family for the day – though visitors admit tickets can get pricey.
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