U.S. National Whitewater Center#1 in Best Things To Do in Charlotte
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.
If you'd like to try your hand at whitewater, flatwater and land activities at the center, buy a Day Pass. Anyone 10 and older pays $59; admission for children 9 years old or younger costs $49. You can also purchase single-activity passes (such as mountain biking or whitewater rafting), which cost between $25 and $89, depending on the activity. Along with admission fees, you should also budget for the cost of food. The center does not allow outside food anywhere on the premises, meaning you'll need to refuel at one of the eateries available on site. Find the U.S. National Whitewater Center about 12 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte. Parking is $6 per day. The main gate and trails are open daily – weather permitting – from dawn until dusk. Certain activities have different operating hours; check the center's website for the most up-to-date information on opening and closing times and news about special events, like concerts and competition trials.
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#2 Mint Museum Uptown
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 Eastover neighborhood). The building in Uptown houses many contemporary exhibits, including a traveler-approved collection of costumes and textiles. There's also the world-renowned Craft + Design Collection, a special collection of international studio glass, fiber, jewelry, furniture, wood and clay art (recent visitors said this section is a must-see).
The museum floor is larger than the map lets on, according to reviewers, so set aside a good chunk of time to explore all the mediums the Mint has to offer.
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