8 Best Things To Do In Charlotte, North Carolina - things to do in north carolina charlotte

8 Best Things To Do In Charlotte, North Carolina

By Olivia Williams

From botanical whispers to adrenaline rushes at the speedway, the Queen City invites you with a wink to explore its myriad treasures.

Rich in history, Charlotte, North Carolina, was dubbed the “Queen City” at its foundation in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of British King George III. The city of Charlotte ignited the Carolina Gold Rush after a 12-year-old kid found the country’s first gold nugget, even though it was also the epicenter of the first gold rush, which started in 1799. 

And while this beautiful city has a long and distinguished past, it is also well-known for many other things. Many travelers admit that the first time they visited Charlotte, North Carolina, they were pleasantly surprised. Charlotte is a beautiful city full of trees, delicious restaurants, and plenty of fun things to do. 

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If you are planning your first trip to Charlotte, you are in for a treat! Charlotte is home to an amazing theme park, the biggest man-made whitewater rafting center, and enough museums to keep history lovers content for days.

Things To Do In Charlotte, North Carolina

With so many great things to do, how do you make the most of your time in Charlotte? Keep reading to learn about the best things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina!

Editor’s note: We ensure the accuracy of our guides through thorough fact-checking. The information in this guide reflects the most current details available as of Feb 2024.

Let’s Dive into the List of Best Things to Do in Charlotte, North Carolina

#1 Carowinds

Are you someone who loves adventure? Does the thought of getting on a roller coaster fill you with excitement? If so, be sure to check out Carowinds while you are visiting Charlotte.

Carowinds is home to the largest, longest, and fastest Giga coaster in the United States, Fury 325. This roller coaster features an 81-degree drop, a height of 325 feet, and speeds of 95 MPH! This roller coaster isn’t for the fate of the heart.

If that sounds too thrilling for you, Carowinds also has a massive waterpark with waterslides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. Carowinds Waterpark, Carolina Harbor, is the perfect way to spend a sunny day relaxing.

Where: 4325+XF Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
Who: +17045882600
Web: www.carowinds.com
Find On: Google Maps

#2 US National Whitewater Center

Of all the things travelers do in Charlotte, the US National Whitewater Center surprised them the most. Who knew you could place a large, man-made whitewater rafting center near a city!?

The US National Whitewater Center is over 1300 acres big. They have over 50 miles of hiking trails, the world’s largest man-made river with class III and IV rapids, and massive zipline courses.

Here are all the things you can do a the US National Whitewater Rafting Center:

  • Whitewater rafting (family or adventure)
  • Ziplining
  • Yoga
  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Ropes courses
  • Rock climbing
  • Ice skating
  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddle boarding

Before you go, make sure you pack closed-toe water shoes and sunscreen. Many of the activities, such as ropes courses and whitewater rafting, require closed-toe shoes.

Choose shoes that are quick-drying and comfortable. Many travelers forget to bring water shoes and end up wearing sneakers with memory foam. Sneakers shoes squish for hours after rafting, so don’t make that mistake!

Sunscreen is essential when visiting the US National Whitewater Center. There is limited shade, and you will get sunburnt if you don’t wear sunscreen. While they do offer sunscreen in the outfitter, it is expensive, so buy it before you go.

Where: 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28214, United States
Who: +17043913900
Web: www.whitewater.org
Find On: Google Maps

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#3 Nascar Hall of Fame

Are you a NASCAR fan? Even if you aren’t, the Nascar Hall of Fame is an exciting place to visit. The NASCAR Hall Of Fame, situated in Uptown Charlotte, pays tribute to the legacy and history of the sport. This high-tech complex, which includes a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, is housed in a privately created 19-story office tower and serves as an interactive entertainment destination.

The 278-seat state-of-the-art theater, connected parking garage, artifacts, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, interactive displays, broadcast studio run by NASCAR Productions, and NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop are all aspects of the 2010-opened Hall of Fame. You get to learn all about the legends that made NASCAR what it is today, attempt to change a tire, and even try a racing simulator.

Nascar is an important part of Charlotte’s history, so a trip to Charlotte wouldn’t be complete without visiting the museum. If you want to experience a NASCAR race while in Charlotte, you can visit the Charlotte Speedway.

Where: 400 E M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28202, United States
Who: +17046544400
Web: www.nascarhall.com
Find On: Google Maps

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#4 Blumenthal Performing Arts

Another one of the best things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina is visiting Blumenthal Performing Arts. This is the best place to go for theater productions, comedy, dance, and musicals. The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, named for the people of North Carolina, has three performance venues. These consist of Stage Door Theater, Belk Theater, and Booth Playhouse.

Renowned architect Cesar Pelli created the complex, which houses these three major performance rooms and hosts the largest Broadway season in the Carolinas every year, with over eighteen weeks of Broadway productions along with other distinctive festivals.

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, which inspires children and shapes the future of the arts, has contributed more than $50 million to the local economy, won 10 Tony Awards, and influenced every Broadway season in New York by investing in new musicals. 

No matter what type of live entertainment you prefer, there is always something for everyone. Whether you would prefer to watch a comedy geared towards adults or a family-friendly Spongebob performance, this theater has it all.

Where: 130 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202, United States
Who: +17043721000
Web: www.blumenthalarts.org
Find On: Google Maps

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#5 Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

If you are someone who loves nature and plants, you should visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden while in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This 380-acre beautiful botanical garden offers nature trails, fountains, many different types of tropical plants, and a garden store. This is the perfect place to spend a morning in Charlotte, away from the bustle of downtown.

The 13,500 Visitor Pavilion’s 100-year-old stained glass dome welcomes visitors to 30 acres of exquisite gardens, including a children’s garden and a conservatory devoted to tropical and orchid species.

When visiting Charlotte, be sure to check out the walking paths with their glittering fountains, statues, and other breathtaking exhibits of exceptional natural features. 

Where: 6500 S New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012, United States
Who: +17048254490
Web: www.dsbg.org
Find On: Google Maps

#6 Attend a Panther’s Game

Did you know that Charlotte is home to an NFL team? If you are someone who enjoys football, you should go watch the Carolina Panthers play at the Bank of America Stadium.

Considering that the Carolina Panthers were founded in 1995, they have achieved remarkable success. In 21 seasons, the Panthers have been in four NFC Championship games and won six division titles. Such success would be the dream of many other franchises.

The Panthers, one of only two professional sports teams in Charlotte, have a strong local fan base that contributes to one of the best NFL gameday environments.

The Bank of America Stadium was built specifically for the Carolina Panthers. The stadium holds up to 75,000 and features fancy box offices, great hotdogs, and good times.

Where: Bank of America Stadium – 800 S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Who: +17043587000
Web: Carolina Panthers Schedule
Find On: Google Maps

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#7 Lake Norman

One of the most popular things to do in Charlotte is visit Lake Norman, the largest artificial freshwater body in North Carolina, which was created in 1959. Residents and visitors alike can wander down Lake Norman’s historic main streets, which are home to a refreshing blend of boutique stores, welcoming eateries, and art galleries. Lake Norman is a well-liked retreat throughout the year. 

If you need a break from downtown Charlotte, you should consider spending a day on Lake Norman. Located just 20 miles from downtown Charlotte, Lake Normal is the perfect place to go boating, swimming, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding.

North Carolina is hot during the summer, and a trip to Lake Norman is a fun way to cool off!

Where: 19900 W Catawba Ave, Cornelius, NC 28031, USA
Who: (704) 987-3300
Web: www.visitlakenorman.org
Find On: Google Maps

#8 Freedom Park

The Original Steam Engine was built in 1920 and ran on the Gainesville Midland Railroad in Georgia – Freedom Park Charlotte, North Carolina

Of all the parks in Charlotte, Freedom Park is one of the best. Freedom Park is 98 acres and is where people go to play, have picnics, take a walk, or feed ducks.

With its almost 100 acres, Freedom Park offers a free and refreshing break from the bustle of Uptown. Located approximately 3 miles north of the city center, between the residential communities of Dilworth and Myers Park, Freedom Park is a year-round favorite because of its numerous walking and bike pathways as well as its ample open green space. Baseball fields, tennis courts, and a basketball court are among the recreational amenities that can be found among runners, families, and dog walkers. This site hosts a number of events all year long, such as the September Festival in the Park, which offers regional cuisine, entertainment, and handicrafts.  

No matter what your age, Freedom park has something great for you. It has a playground, basketball courts, tennis, volleyball, soccer, and a 7-acre lake to go kayaking on.

Where: Freedom Park, Charlotte, NC 28209, USA
Who: N/A
Web: Freedom Park Charlotte, North Carolina
Find On: Google Maps

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Are You Ready To Try Out These Best Things To Do In Charlotte, North Carolina?

Charlotte, North Carolina, is a fun city that we suggest you visit right away. While you are in Charlotte, be sure to try out these best things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina! From Carowinds to Freedom Park, you are sure to have a fun and relaxing time in Charlotte.

So, are you ready to embark on a journey of exploration and enjoyment in the Queen City? Pack your curiosity and enthusiasm, for Charlotte awaits, promising an unforgettable experience for all who seek its delights.

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