Charlotte NC Attractions
Do you ever wonder what life was like for the residents of Charlotte in the last few centuries and try to make a mental picture? Well, there is no need to do that anymore when you can know about it in person at the Charlotte Museum of History! Located 5 miles away from Uptown Charlotte, the museum showcases the culture and living of various peoples who have settled in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region through the ages.
The museum, which is a steward of the ca. 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Home Site, portrays the development of the Queen City and the way of living throughout the centuries – from the Catawba tribes to the European settlers to African immigrants – through exhibits, artifacts, maps and meticulously made replicas of houses. They also host activities such as storytelling sessions, screenings, workshops and programs that portray the rich history of the Queen City.
The main attraction of the Charlotte Museum of History, however the 18th-century Hezekiah Alexander Homesite – a 240-year-old structure that stands as the oldest in all of Mecklenburg County. The site contains a log barn, a two-story springhouse that has been reconstructed, a reproduction log kitchen, and of course the Alexander House itself. Guided tours are available on the hour, and upon request (for groups and institutions).
Address: 3500 SHAMROCK DRIVE, CHARLOTTE, NC 28215
Looking for a place where you can take your younger children for a fun-filled, yet educative day? Look no further than Discovery Place Nature. Formerly known as Charlotte Nature Museum, the museum is located adjacent to Freedom Park, and is aimed to entertain and educate children between the ages of 3 and 7.
The hands-on, easily navigable museum has several opportunities for kids to explore the natural world around them. For instance, they can visit the science center, explore the outdoors, have fun on the outdoor stage. They can also visit the lab, which features a virtual “walk in the woods.” There is also an actual forest where kids can examine specimens or just stroll through and enjoy the natural beauty.
Just like every other museum under the Discovery Place banner, Discovery Place nature too organizes regular interactive nature exhibits and live shows. Live shows include butterfly displays, insect displays, live species and animal displays. The museum also hosts educational programs both independently and in collaboration with other educational institutions for parents, schools and the public. There is also a daily program slot that features hands-on activities and puppet shows.
Discovery Place Nature operates under Discovery Place, a private 501c (3) not-for-profit education organization in North Carolina that manages hands-on museum throughout Charlotte, Huntersville, and Rockingham.
Address: 1658 Sterling Rd, Charlotte, NC 2820
If you’re looking to explore and know more about plants and flowers, then UNC Botanical Gardens is the ideal place to be. Located within the premises of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the UNC Botanical Gardens is famous all over the country (and even internationally) for its gigantic collection of plant life and high-profile and large number of visitors.
Also called the Charlotte Botanical Gardens, the UNC Botanical Gardens has a rich collection of plants – both flowering and non-flowering. Their massive collections include everything – from common plants and flowers in and around Charlotte to some of the most exotic and rare species of orchids, perennials bulbs, vines, creepers, and even carnivorous plants. They also have several notable exhibits – these include the McMillan Greenhouse (specializing in housing orchids, violets and tropical plants belonging to the American and African desert environments), the Dinosaur’s Garden (which showcases primitive plants), the 3-acre-wide Susie Harwood Garden (which mainly showcases plants of Asian origin), and Ralph Van Landingham Glen (which houses over 900 species of wildflowers, shrubs and trees. There is no dearth of activity here either – they regularly host plant sales and exhibitions.
They are a respected member of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), and act as the final resting place for Bonnie Cone – founder of UNC Charlotte.
Address: 9090 Craver Rd, Charlotte, NC 28262
Looking for a place where your kids can enjoy, learn and know more about the world around them in a fun-filled and laid-back environment? Then head over to Discovery Place Science, a hands-on museum that allows kids (and even adults) who are enthusiastic about all things science and are eager to know how stuff works.
Located in Uptown Charlotte, the museum is actually meant for kids (especially those between the ages of 7 to 15), but is a treat for all ages, thanks to its engaging content and hands-on methods. The place is rife with all kinds science-y things to discover and learn from and is filled with various kinds of exhibits, live shows, workshops and activities. The museum has several interesting features the bed of nails, 3D laser printers, an indoor rainforest, various optical illusions and a vacuum-powered Air Chair, among others. Themes for exhibits include chemistry, anatomy, natural science, physics, as well as fun topics like the science behind Ripley’s Believe It or Not. It also organizes birthday parties and summer camps subject to request and booking in advance.
Discovery Place Science operates under Discovery Place, a private 501c (3) not-for-profit education organization in North Carolina that manages hands-on museum throughout Charlotte, Huntersville, and Rockingham.
Address: 301 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Stuck with the hustle and bustle of everyday life and looking for a way to reconnect with nature? Look no further than Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Located in Belmont on the banks of Lake Wylie, the botanical garden is a rich collection of natural wonders spread across 1.5 km2 (380 acres) of woodlands, meadows, and grasslands, along with a lakefront property.
A must-see for any and all ages, Daniel Stowe is a picturesque botanical garden with a very rich history. Originally used by the Cherokee and Catawba tribes for living, fishing and hunting, the area turned into home for early European settlers. Later, it was notably used by André Michaux, the famed French botanist who founded new brands in Gaston County, such as the Bigleaf Magnolia. In the later years, it was used as pasture for farm animals, with a large portion of the site being covered in forests. It was only in 1999 that the now 110-acre garden was opened in a grand public gesture.
The Botanical Garden itself is a gorgeous estate with beautiful features such as sparkling fountains, manicured gardens, woodland trails, and an orchid conservatoire. The garden is still partially in construction, with its future plans including a rose garden, an Asian garden, a children’s garden, a restaurant, a lakeside visitor center, and more.
Address: 6500 S New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012
Whether you want to rediscover (or explore) your own city or show it off to visitors, taking the Charlotte Segway Tours is a great way to view the Queen City. As the name implies, Charlotte Segway Tours offers, well, segway tours.
Available 7 days a week, segway tours start at 9am and start their last tour starting at 7pm, and some of Charlotte’s best destinations with the help of an experienced guide. Tour stops of Charlotte Segway Tours include the Panthers Stadium, the Historic Fourth Ward, the Elmwood cemetery, among others, as well as some less-taken roads that can surprise even the most well-versed locals.
Address: 101 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28280, USA
Phone: +1 704-962-4548
If you’re tired of your oh-so-ordinary and busy life, and are looking for a nice little time to spend away from it all, you’d love the Biltmore Estate. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II of the prominent Vanderbilt family, the Biltmore Estate is the largest privately-owned home in the US, and is also one of the most gorgeous places you can ever go to.
Spread across an area of 10.86 square miles, this Château-style mansion has 250 rooms, and stands as a shining example of the Gilded Age. There are plenty of things to do here: You can go on any of the guided tours of the estate, or do some exploration of your own in the grounds, the estate garden and the mansion itself.
The Biltmore Estate has something to suit every taste and need, and every age. For instance, if you’re a connoisseur of good food, you can dine on the wide variety of eateries, ranging from upscale restaurants to cafes to snack on. You can also visit the state-of-the-art winery. Animal lovers can spend their time on the estate farm, while outdoor enthusiasts can pursue a variety of activities, from walks to drives and much more. History buffs (or the naturally curious) can go on the audio tour which shows the history of the estate. The Biltmore Estate also hosts seasonal events, such as the Festival of Flowers, as well as major festivals such as Christmas.
Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
Do you love animals? If the answer is yes, you’ll love Darby Acres Farm. A fun, family-run mobile petting zoo, Darby Acres Farm was started by Dwayne and Jennifer, a couple who named their farm after Darby, their dear daughter. What’s really interesting about it however, is the fact that entertaining visitors is not their only aim – Dwayne and Jennifer consider their animals a part of their family as well, and in fact many of the animals on their property have been rescued, restored to health and adopted by them, or have been raised since birth.
Darby Acres Farm offers the company of their animals for both educational and entertainment purposes. Besides offering mobile petting zoo and pony rides, Darby Acres also hosts a wide range of events (from birthday parties and bridal showers to luaus and Bar Mitzvahs, and much more) and bring out a variety of animals, based on the package chosen. They extend their services to wherever you’d like to hold your event, and also host a variety of activities, and take care of food and decorations, if needed.
Address: 9395 Hutchinson Ln, Charlotte, NC 28216, USA
Phone: +1 704-930-3048
If you love the outdoors, you’d love to visit the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC). Located about 15 minutes away from uptown Charlotte, the USNWC, which opened in 2006, is a non-profit facility for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Spread across 700 acres, the USNWC offers visitors to pursue several different outdoor activities, by air, land and water.
There are a wide variety of activities that can be done at the USNWC (not just whitewater rafting!), from hiking and mountain biking, to canoeing and whitewater rafting, to going on zip lines and rope courses for all ages and skill levels. And in case you’re the quiet type, you can simply take your computer and do your work in the Pump House Biergarten! You can even take your dog(s) along with you on the exclusive dog-walking paths.
The UNNWC also has a lot of scope for having a good time, especially in the company of family and friends. It features the River’s Edge Bar & Grill, which features a wide variety of foods, good wine and craft beer. The center also acts as a host to various adventures, music as well as food events like such as the Whitewater River Jam, Zipline & Dine, and the Microbrews Cruise.
You’re never going to get bored visiting this place. That’s for sure.
Address: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28214
If you’re the kind of person who loves to go through an exciting experience, then you should definitely make Paramount’s Carowinds part of your travel calendar! Popularly called the “Thrill Capital of the Southeast,” this one-of-a-kind amusement park.
There’s certainly no dearth of what you can do at Carowinds: from watching splendidly entertaining stage shows to interesting exhibits, and some of the best rides in the entire southeast. There are some great attractions here, from the dinosaur exhibit which allows visitors to walk through a Mesozoic set fitted with detailed animatronics, to a one-of-a-kind water park called the Boomerang Bay. The best thing about the park, however, is the fact that you can take your pets along too, for the place has a pet kennel facility to house your four-legged friends.
Address: 14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273, USA
If you’re a Charlotte Knights fan, then this should most definitely be at the top of your list, whether its game season or not. For those who are still ignorant, this is the stadium that hosted 2016’s Triple-A All-Star Game, where the Pacific Coast League All-Stars were defeated by the International League All-Stars, 4–2.
This state-of-the-art facility in uptown Charlotte is the new home of the Triple-A minor league baseball team, the Charlotte Knights. Worth over $55 Million, this baseball stadium, which opened in April 2014, has sold our all of its impressive 10,200 seats for each of its games. Not only is the stadium a marvel when it comes to security features (with intrusion detection systems and unified video surveillance, among others), it also has some of the best features that spectators could ever enjoy – from the club seats and luxury suites, to stunning view of the Charlotte skyline that is offered by the outfield opening.
Address: 324 S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA
Phone: +1 704-274-8300
If football is your game, then this one should definitely be on your list! Opened in 1996, this stadium may be known by many different names (from Carolina Stadium to Ericsson Stadium to the currently-used Bank of America Stadium after the Bank of America purchased naming rights in 2004; not to mention popular names such as “The BOA,” “The Bank” and “Panthers Stadium”), but it’s legacy remains the same.
Located in uptown Charlotte, this 75,525-seater stadium houses the headquarters and facility of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers (hence the name “Panthers Stadium”). In addition to hosting NFL games, the Panthers Stadium also hosts NCAA games, as well as the yearly Belk Bowl, which features teams from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). This is also the stadium to hold the record for the largest crowd to attend any football game (Clemson Tigers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels; December 5, 2015).
Address: 800 S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA
Phone: +1 704-358-7000
Whether you’re a techno-buff looking for some details on the evolution aviation systems, or a history-buff looking to take a closer look at the evolution of air travel, if aviation’s your passion or hobby, then this is one place you must definitely visit. Founded in 1992 by Floyd and Lois Wilson in 1992, the Carolinas Aviation Museum, which is located on the grounds of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, documents, preserves and displays in-depth information on the history, evolution, and technological developments of air travel. The museum houses over 50 stationary aircrafts (which includes a replica of the Wright Flyer) and thousands of historic items and gadgets related to aviation. Other than private aircrafts, the museum has several; military crafts and other flying machines on display, including (but certainly not limited to) the epic British World War I plane Sopwith Camel biplane, Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat, the Vietnam-era CH-46D Sea Knight copter, the Berlin Airlift C-54 and the QH-50 Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH). The museum also houses the Dolph Overton Aviation Library, an extensive 9,000-volume research library, as well as the Bat Cave Storage and Restoration Facility. The museum is known for its educational programs, activities and exhibits, which highlight the value of aviation and its relevance to the wider society.
Address: 4672 1st Flight Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208, USA
Phone: +1 704-997-3770
If you’re a NASCAR enthusiast looking for something motorsport-related, then Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame is just the place for you! Located in the city’s uptown area, the NASCAR museum, as it is popularly called, is the one place where you can get to know about everything NASCAR. Housed in a state-of-the-art 150,000-square-foot area, this popular city attraction maintains, honors and celebrates NASCAR’s rich history and heritage.
There’s definitely a lot to do here: Besides seeing historical and iconic race cars such as the Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2008 Chevy Impala SS, the 1952 Hudson Hornet, and a 1967 Chevelle on the banked ramp of Glory Road (which is made to look like a racetrack), you can also visit the Hall of Honor, which pays a tribute to every inductee at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. There’s also Race Week, which is basically an interactive space where people get a behind-the-scenes view of how NASCAR as well as individual teams prepare themselves for racing. The best highlight of this place, however, is the High Octane Theater. This modern-yet-grand 278-seat theater with a 64-foot-wide projection screen features several informative displays, interactive exhibits, and active presentations about different car races, cars, and fans.
Address: 400 E M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: +1 704-654-4400