Attractions

Charlotte, North Carolina in 24 Hours: 1 Day Itinerary!

Charlotte Travel Guide 1 day Itinerary
Written by Town & Tourist

24 hours in Charlotte, North Carolina: 1 day Itinerary 


Charlotte, is a beautiful city known as “the Queen City”. It perfectly marries the vibrancy of a large city with the charm of small town!

It’s the birthplace of NASCAR and home to the NASCAR Hall of fame Museum.  Charlotte is also a city known for documenting post civil war history in the south, at the popular, Levine Museum of the New South. Whereas, Uptown Charlotte has a modern Commercial hub.

If you have just 24 hours in Charlotte, then this 1 day itinerary should help you alot! Here I detail a variety attractions, food vendors, shopping areas and places to stay. All to help you get the most out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte North Carolina Road trip from NEW YORK CITY

Charlotte North Carolina. www.milecorp.com

Fun Facts: Charlotte is home to the the world’s tallest & fastest giga coaster and the largest man-made whitewater river!

Top 3 Attractions to visit in Charlotte:

Step 1 – Choose an attraction: As your here for just 24 hours choose at least one popular attraction to visit from the list below!

NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum:

If your into NASCAR, car racing or just curious about the sport, then this is place for you. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, is a Museum dedicated to the great legends of NASCAR & the sport as a whole.

Including Legendary drivers, crew members and even commentators. The facility is laid out over three floors and includes simulators at the end.

NASCAR hall of fame charlotte north Carolina

NASCAR hall of fame charlotte north Carolina. Source: nascarhall.com

Highlights:

  • Interactive Exhibits
  • Pit Stop Competition
  • Artifacts, trophies & Memorabilia.
  • Replica Cars
  • Driving Simulators
  • High Octane Theatre

Pit Stop Competition:

The Pit Stop Competition is a real highlight for many, especially for groups. Time yourself & see how fast you can change those tires!

Charlotte-auto-fair

Charlotte-auto-fair is a popular annual car show,for more info see: 21 BEST Car Shows/Auto Shows USA: Sickest!

Hungry? 

After a whirlwind of activity you must be hungry? Head to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Café or the Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant.

How much is it?

General Admission is $25 , seniors $22 and youth between (4-12) is $18.

Is it worth the price?

Absolutely! Although it may seem pricey you do get alot of tire screeching entertainment for your buck. For example, our family entered at 10AM and didn’t leave till 4pm!

Where is it?

400 E Martin Luther King BlvdCharlotte, NC 28202-2343

Levine Museum of the New South

The Levine Museum of the new south is dedicated to life in North Carolina & surrounding areas post the American civil war.  This is arguably the most comprehensive post Civil War Museum in the U.S.A.

Exhibits include 8,000 square foot cotton fields and 6 diverse “Environments” which show how the south changed after the Civil War.

levine museum of new south, Charlotte north carolina

levine museum of new south, Charlotte north carolina. Source: Outstate.com

How to get there?

If your using Charlottes Lynx system, take the short walk from 7th Street Station.

Driving? If your driving the Museum will validate your parking for visits less then 2 hours, on week days. On Weekends there is free parking with no restrictions.

Opening Hours?

The Museum is open 10 a.m to 5 p.m on weekdays, Saturdays 10 a.m till 4p.m and Sundays 12 till 5p.m.

How much does it cost?

Admission for adults costs $10; senior and student admission costs $8 and children (ages 6 to 18) get in for $6. Children younger than 5 enjoy FREE admission.

Top Tip: If you have young children, you may be better taking them to Discovery Place just 5 mins walk away as it offers a more hands on experience!

Where is it?

200 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202, United States

 +1 704-333-1887

Discovery Place Science:

Discovery Place Science is an interactive  science and technology centre. In addition to it’s interactive exhibitions, it also features a larger-than-life IMAX Dome Theatre, an aquarium and even a rainforest!

The educational displays and interactive activities are suitable for all ages and many locals choose to go multiple times a year as the exhibits rotate.

Levine Museum of north

Levine Museum of north. Source: travelexperta.com

How much is it?

General admission for adults costs up to $15 and $12 for children.

Where is it?

301 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202, United States

 +1 704-372-6261

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Re connect with Nature at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is the perfect place to visit no matter what the season! Located on 380 acres of rolling meadows, woodlands and lakefront property. They offer a variety of events throughout the year from Music festivals to Tea Parties. See there website for more details or call on: +1 704-825-4490.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden 1

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Source: www.dsbg.org

How much is it?

  • Adult:  $14.95
  • Senior (60+):  $12.95
  • Child 2-12:  $7.95
  • Child Under 2:  Free

Insider Tip:

Members have FREE Entry.

Opening Hours?

February 1 – October 31:  Daily* 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 1 – January 31:  Daily* 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where is it?

6500 S New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012, United States

Art Museums in Charlotte:

Activities:

Step 2: As you have just 24 hours choose at least one activity from this list below!

U.S. National Whitewater Center:

Are you an adventurer?  Then head down to the U.S National Whitewater Center! Here you will find the largest man made whitewater rafting river the perfect place to learn & get that adrenaline boost!

In addition, to whitewater rafting you can also try out Kayaking, Canoeing & even rock climbing.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

U.S. National Whitewater Center. Source: trip advisor.

 Climbing Adventure: 

If you head to the National Whitewater Center you won’t miss it’s gigantic Deep Water Solo climbing complex!

This climbing wall offers a 25-45 feet climbing wall which arches over a 20 foot deep pool! Although it may look intimidating, you will see many climbers of all levels.

Events at the Whitewater Center:

The Whitewater center includes a variety of unique events throughout the year such as FREE outdoor yoga beneath the trees! See further down for details on special Festivals!

Carowinds Theme Park:

Carowinds Theme Park  features the worlds tallest & fastest giga rollercoaster amongst many other rides over the 407 acres!

Carol winds theme park

Carol winds theme park. Source: slickdeals.net

Fun Fact: Although it’s considered North Carolina it’s actually, on the North/South Carolina state line. Thus a portion of the park is in South Carolina.

Top 3 coasters here are Afterburn, Intimidator, and Fury 325.

Winterfest?

If you attend during the winter, you will be greeted with magical Winterfest! The Amusement park transforms itself into a winter wonderland with 5 million lights, live shows and interactive exhibits.

Other events include, the great pumpkin fest in October.

How much does it cost?

Any day admission passes purchased online cost $52.00 for adults, $29.99 for Juniors and $19.99 for seniors. Gate prices are higher at $70 for adults and $49.99 for Juniors.

Insider Tip:

To Save money purchase a multi day pass, or Sunday only pass at jut $29.99 includes free parking. See their website for further details or call on:  +1 704-588-2600

Where is it?

300 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273, United States

10 Park Lanes:

10 Park Lanes offers traditional bowling with a unique twist! 10 Park Lanes offers a 32 lane bowling alley with sports bar and on site restaurant. In addition to South BBQ foods and 32 beers on tap! This is a great place for large group booking & family events.

They also offer unqiue events throughout the year such as BBQ & bluegrass and Yoga & Bowl.

ten park lanes charlotte north carolina

Ten park lanes charlotte north carolina. Source: 10 Park Lanes

TopGolf

Topgolf  is large entertainment facility which offers a variety of golf activities. From a driving range to other interactive games. The food is good and they have a fully stocked bar on site. This place is perfect for groups of friends, family and even work groups.

Insider Tip: 
Visit on a Saturday night when they have a live DJ and people are dancing like crazy!

Nightlife in Charlotte:

Charlotte is one of the most underrated places to party in the U.S.A! Here are a few great places to check out.

Craft City Social Club – Summer Pick! 

Craft City Social Club is one of the best kept secrets in Charlotte.  With an outdoor pool, bar and vibrant atmosphere, Craft city is popular with pool parties.

Location: Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, Charlotte, NC 28204,
Tel: (704) 372-4100
craft-city-social-club

craft-city-social-club. Source: www.charlotteonthecheap.com

Tin Roof – Live Music! 

Tin Roof acts as a community hub for great musicians, they can come here hang out and Jam! In addition, to the live music they have a cool Green Room which has Arcade games, Ping Pop, SkeeBall and more!

Hungry? 

South inspired “Better then bar food” is served daily, for lunch or dinner.

Tin roof live music charlotte

Tin roof live music charlotte. Source: Charlottenightlife.com

Where is it?

210 E Trade St Suite 286, Charlotte, NC 28202, United States

Insider Tip:

Head down on the weekend for full bands playing live music and a DJ in the Green Room.

Unique Nightlife Spots:

 Rooftop Clubs:

Unique Clubs:

Shopping in Charlotte:

For shopping head to  Selwyn Avenue, which is filled with many trend boutiques, such as:

  •  Doll A Boutique,
  • KK Bloom,
  • Traveling Chic Boutique,
  • and many more.

Also head to South Park Mall  for a variety of shops.

Festivals & Events:

If you time your trip correctly you good visit one of the great festivals or events in Charlotte.

Tuck Fest at the U.S. National Whitewater Center – April

This 4 day event attracts over 50,000 visitors who come to see outdoor competitions and demonstrations from rock climbing to kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. They even offer live music and dogs are welcome.

Tuck Fest at the U.S. National Whitewater Center - April

Tuck Fest at the U.S. National Whitewater Center – April

Insider Tip:

The Tuck festival is completely FREE to attend!

600 Festival/Speed Street – May

The 600 festival is a spring festival for Motoring fans! Thousands of visitors come to charlotte for a 3 day festival celebrating NASCAR, here you can check out the cars & meet some of the famous drivers all in an atmosphere of live music and entertainment.

Charlotte-Auto-fair

Charlotte-auto-fair

North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival – May 

North Carolina Brewers is an annual craft beer festival located at the Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville. Here you can sample of 40 craft beers with an atmosphere of live music and even fun kids activities.

Taste of Charlotte – June

Taste of Charlotte is a 3 day food festival which offers gourmet food vendors from over 100 local restaurants! This is also live music, live cooking demonstrations from professional chefs and even beer and wine tasting activities.

Taste of charlotte food festival guide

Taste of charlotte food festival guide

Festival in the Park – September

 Festival in the Park is one of Charlotte’s oldest annual art festivals, this festival has been around since 1964 and offers visitors the chance to check out a variety of arts & crafts made by the locals. In addition, there is live music, food vendors and a family fun zone with clown stages and kids art.

Carolina Balloonfest – October

The annual Carolina Balloonfest, is held  in Statesville, annually. It is the 2nd longest consecutively held hot air balloon festival in the Country!

Highlights:

  • Creative Hot Air Balloons
  • Pilot meet & greets
  • Kids Zone
  • Live Entertainment
  • Nighttime Balloon Glow!
Family Friendly Cartoon Hot Air Balloons charlotte north carolina

Family Friendly Cartoon Hot Air Balloons

For details on the WORLDS LARGEST hot air balloon festival check out: 20 Golden Reasons to go Albuquerque Balloon Festival?

Conclusion: 

24 hours hours in Charlotte, North Carolina is not long but using the helpful & extensive itinerary above you can choose which attractions & activities are best for you & your group! You can even extend the Itinerary to 2 days, 3 days or even 1 week!

Charlotte was actually a stop off on our: New York to Miami Road Trip!

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About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.