Often times when you live somewhere it’s easy to get complacent and not take advantage of everything that location has to offer. And this list proves that for sure. I’ve lived in Charlotte for most of my life and still haven’t checked off everything on this list. And some of them I haven’t done since the school field trip days. This list, the 13 best things to do in Charlotte, was compiled by US News and World Report. It contains what their experts perceive as the best attractions in Charlotte. The heavy hitter tourist attractions of course made the list, though not all in the spots I would have guessed. Popular shopping areas Southpark Mall and Concord Mills mall were noticeably (at least to this shopping addict) missing.

And it also includes a few “under the radar” places that you may not have thought of as the best things to do in Charlotte. This includes a park, several museums, and even a food hall. So they next you find yourself bored and not sure what to do, give this list a look over and explore your city. You may just find your new favorite spot. Or be reminded of an old favorite you’d forgotten about. After all #CharlottesGotALot.

  • 13. Carolina Raptor Center

    Location: 6000 Sample Rd, Huntersville

    Website

    The Carolina Raptor Center is a nonprofit bird sanctuary just north of Charlotte. The main attraction is the Raptor Trail. It is a three-quarter mile walking trail and zoological facility that permanently houses and displays more than thirty birds of prey. The birds act as ambassadors for their species and serve an important role in connecting people with wildlife in a safe and respectful manner. Guests can enjoy learning about birds of prey from across the globe during their walk on the Raptor Trail.​

  • 12. Carowinds

    Location: 300 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte

    Website

    The Carolina’s premier themepark is Carowinds. This Cedar Fair owned property boasts both a theme park and a water park and is known for its roller coasters. There are also plenty of kid-friendly rides, as well as shows and events such as Winterfest and SCarowinds. And as of 2023, the park is open year-round!

     

  • 11. Charlotte Motor Speedway

    Address: 5555 Concord Parkway South, Concord

    Website

    The home of NASCAR in the Carolinas Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts a variety of events year round. From the Coca Cola 600 and the ROVAL, to auto fairs, Speedway Christmas, and more. There is also racing experiences where you can ride along at full speed on the track. A must for any racing fan!

     

  • 10. Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

    Location: 551 South Tryon Street, Charlotte

    Website

    The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte at Levine Center for the Arts. The Gantt is the epicenter for the best in visual, performing and literary arts reflecting the African diaspora.

  • 9. NASCAR Hall of Fame

    Location: 400 East Martin Luther King Blvd, Charlotte

    Website

    At the NASCAR Hall of Fame guests have the opportunity to explore the legacies of the legends of the sport while immersing themselves in the excitement, passion, and history of NASCAR through ever-evolving exhibits and interactive experiences.

  • 8. Truist Field

    Location: 234 S Mint Street, Charlotte

    Website 

    The home of the Charlotte Knights, Truist Field is always looking to expand its reach in the Charlotte community. From hosting the Light The Knights Christmas event, to baseball games, college games, and the addition of a new year-round pub Truist Field is making itself a year-round destination in Charlotte.

  • 7. Freedom Park

    Location: 1908 East Blvd, Charlotte

    Website 

    One of the most beautiful parks in Charlotte, Freedom Park has it all. Numbers sports fields, a playground, a duck pond, walking trails, the nature museum, a pavilion stage, and more. The park also hosts events including the popular Festival In The Park each September.

  • 6. Levine Museum of The New South

    Location: 200 East Seventh Street, Charlotte

    Website 

    The Levine Museum of the New South was founded as a history museum that would tell everyone’s story. It was founded as a place that would use exhibits and programs to confront some of the most difficult issues facing society today in the historical context that deepens understanding, fosters empathy, and inspires action toward a better future.

  • 5. Billy Graham Library

    Location: 4330 Westmont Drive, Charlotte

    Website

    The Billy Graham Library is a 40,000-square-foot experience where you’ll discover the life and legacy of America’s pastor. Designed to reflect Billy Graham’s journey from a humble farm boy to an international ambassador of God’s love, the barn-shaped building is situated on 20 landscaped acres, only miles from where Billy Graham grew up in Charlotte, N.C.

  • 4. 7th Street Public Market

    Location: 224 East 7th Street, Charlotte

    Website

    The Market at 7th Street is a non-profit food hall, retail space, and meeting place unlike any seen in this town. They are proud to be Charlotte’s original food hall and a beloved part of the Uptown community.

  • 3. Mint Museum Uptown

    Location: 500 S Tryon Street, Charlotte

    Website 

    Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning city center, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum store.

  • 2. Discovery Place

    Location: 301 N. Tryon Street

    Website

    Discovery Place Science is an innovative, hands-on Museum in Uptown Charlotte that encourages scientific exploration and creativity. Its diverse aquariums will captivate your senses as you learn about the fascinating world of underwater creatures; our state-of-the-art lab spaces provide space to design, create and innovate; and don’t forget about the indoor rainforest where you can experience the sights and sounds of the jungle up close.

     

  • 1. US National White Water Center

    Location: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway

    Website

    The Whitewater Center is designed and operated as an outdoor center offering over 30 different recreational activities. Every element and activity is focused on supporting an all-encompassing experience around the outdoor lifestyle. Additionally, the Whitewater Center hosts international competitions in a variety of sports along with numerous festivals and events on a recurring basis.

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