Charlotte may not be the largest city in the southeast, but it’s considered one of the region’s gems and an excellent place for an affordable and fun vacation. If you’re looking for things in the Queen City, here’s a fun list of 5 must-try experiences in Charlotte, North Carolina!
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of visiting Charlotte, NC,(for reference, it’s 30. minutes southwest of Cabarrus County, NC) several times when I’m road tripping down the East Coast and I never get tired of its beauty, attractions, and food. It’s a haven for folks that like a big city vibe but still love being close to historically-beautiful neighborhoods. If you’re anywhere in the area, and want some fun things to do in Charlotte the next time you’re in town, here’s a great jumping off point to let you dive right into the fun.
Must-Try Experiences in Charlotte – NASCAR Hall of Fame
One of the defining characteristics of Charlotte is that it’s considered the home of NASCAR. Charlotte has been integral to the growth and success of the sport, so it’s only natural that the NASCAR Hall of Fame resides in The Queen City.
Even if you know nothing about stock car racing, the Hall of Fame is an excellent experience as the museum also includes numerous interactive entertainment attractions, hands-on exhibits, and even a restaurant! The Hall of Fame Museum is a must-try experience in Charlotte, North Carolina if you love NASCAR.
Must-Try Experiences in Charlotte – Charlotte AutoFair
One of the biggest events Charlotte hosts yearly is auto racing related—the biannual Charlotte AutoFair. Since 1978, Charlotte has hosted one of the biggest and best classic car shows across America, with thousands of cars and patrons descending upon the Queen City every spring and fall.
The event occurs twice a year over a four-day weekend. Even if you’re not a car enthusiast or classic car lover, witnessing the thousands of cars and visitors packing the Charlotte Motor Speedway is an experience!
Must-Try Experiences in Charlotte – U.S. National Whitewater Center
If you prefer a more nature-related attraction, don’t worry, Charlotte has outdoor adventure-seekers covered. The U.S. National Whitewater Center is the world’s premier outdoor recreational site with incredible facilities like the world’s largest manmade whitewater river!
Some of the outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy at the Whitewater Center include:
- Whitewater rafting
- Whitewater kayaking
- Rock climbing
- Hiking & mountain biking
- Ice skating
However you like to have fun outdoors, you can do it at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte!
Must-Try Experiences in Charlotte – Catch a Football, Basketball, or Baseball Game
If you love watching sports in new cities, Charlotte is an excellent sports town and home to many professional and collegiate teams. If you visit Charlotte in the fall, you may be lucky to catch a Carolina Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium.
Additionally, the Charlotte Hornets play 41 games at the Spectrum Center every season and always feature a fun atmosphere if you visit during the winter. Charlotte doesn’t have an MLB team, but it does have the Charlotte Knights, a Minor League Baseball affiliate that plays in Truist Park near the downtown Charlotte area and features gorgeous views of the Charlotte skyline if you prefer our national pastime.
Must-Try Experiences in Charlotte – Visit Carowinds Theme Park
Carowinds (a sister property of one of my favorite theme parks, Cedar Point) is one of the best amusement parks in the country for thrill-seekers and daredevils. Featuring over 60 world-class rides and rollercoasters, along with a waterpark for the summer and a dedicated kid’s area for families, Carowinds is an excellent way to spend a day or weekend in Charlotte.