Charlotte is North Carolina's largest city and a hotbed of contrasts, with an eclectic arts district, a bustling financial center, local breweries and theme parks all drawing in tourists of different persuasions. As the home of the Charlotte Speedway race and a big sports destination, it's only fitting that the NASCAR Hall of Fame is based here, but there are also numerous attractions for the more cultural crowd, whether it's a tour of the Mint Museum of Art or a family session at the Discovery Place science exhibits.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center is not all about whitewater rafting, though this artificial water course is the largest of its kind. Guests can try all manner of variations on the water sport, including a paddle standing up! Dry off with a bike ride or zip -line through the trees.
Discovery Place is a science museum with inspiring exhibits, 3D film shows, and hands-on displays that will keep everyone occupied. The complex also features the Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place KIDS, if you’ve got little ones of varying ages.
Fancy a ride on the Intimidator or the Nighthawk? Carowinds park has both traditional rides and a water park, themed areas from dinosaurs to Snoopy, as well as numerous live-entertainment venues and dining options.
Freedom Park lives up to its name, with nearly 100 sprawling acres of greenery, sports courts and playgrounds right on the border of the Myers Park neighborhood. A popular venue for special events, including movie showings, live music and festivals, the city's famous Festival in the Park also happens here.
Multiple sports teams are based in Charlotte, including the Carolina Panthers professional football team and the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. Don't miss the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where you can take a joyride through exhibitions and surround-sound movies about historic motors, racetracks and drivers.
Charlotte Center City is where to come for the city's highest concentration of museums, restaurants and good standard hotels, though the location of the Bank of America and other Fortune 500 entries also make it a good pick for business visitors.
North Davidson, or NoDa, is Charlotte's Historic Arts District. The cultural charms include independent art galleries, wineries and concert spaces. The hotels in this area offer a delightful blend of the city's rich mill history and the neighborhood's modern bars, diverse eateries and food markets.
The upscale neighborhood of Myers Park is home to luxurious hotels and charming guesthouses, set among the prestigious homesteads and broad avenues of trees. Fine dining and designer retail set the tone, while
In March, the city hosts an impressive St. Patrick's Day Parade where visitors can enjoy a whole day of revelry and celebrations. Spring weather and a diverse schedule of special events make this a good time to come to Charlotte with temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. September can still raise averages of above 80 degrees as well as being an optimum time to see the fall foliage turning.
Winter temperatures are relatively mild, and snow and ice storms are rare. Hotel rates are very low during the winter months, and you will not encounter large crowds, but the annual events for holiday season like the ice skating at NASCAR Hall of Fame plaza, and the ‘First Night’ New Year celebrations at Romare Beaden Park are worth catching.