Disclosure: Town & Tourist may receive a commission for purchases made through links in this article, at no additional cost to you.
When considering where to travel next, add Charlotte, NC, to your list. Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city and has plenty of southern charm. Millions of visitors flock to this city each year for its thriving art scene, award-winning restaurants, and historical museums.
Charlotte’s cosmopolitan spirit will draw you in and make you want to visit again and again. You can explore the beautiful green spaces and a variety of museums. You may also enjoy visiting one of the nearby beaches and lakes.
Below you will find unforgettable experiences that you can’t miss in Charlotte. Keep reading to discover what you should do on your next trip to this exciting city.
- 1. Charlotte Museum of History
- 2. Reed Gold Mine
- 3. Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours
- 4. 7th Street Public Market
- 5. Camp North End
- 6. U.S. National Whitewater Center
- 7. Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary
- 8. Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve
- 9. Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
- 10. Discovery Place Science
- 11. Great Wolf Lodge
- 12. SEA LIFE Charlotte Concord Aquarium
- 13. NASCAR Hall of Fame
- 14. Carowinds
- 15. Mint Museum of Art
- 16. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
- 17. Charlotte Motor Speedway
- 18. Billy Graham Library
- 19. AvidXchange Music Factory
- 20. Carolina Raptor Center
- 21. Charlotte Douglas Airport Overlook
- 22. Levine Museum of the New South
- 23. Freedom Park
- 24. Lunchbox Records
- 25. Sleepy Poet Antique Mall
- 26. Hendrick Motorsports Museum
- 27. Harvey B. Gantt Center
- 28. McDowell Nature Preserve
- 29. Lake Norman State Park
- 30. Frankie’s of Charlotte
- 31. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
- 32. Rocky River Vineyard
- 33. Big Rock Nature Preserve
- 34. Carolina Harbor Water Park
- 35. Children’s Theater of Charlotte
- 36. Zootastic Park
- 37. Tiger World
- 38. Charlotte Rail Trail
- 39. ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
- 40. Badin Road Drive-In Theater
- 41. Light Factory Photo Arts Center
- 42. Pins Mechanical Company
- 43. Metalmorphosis
- 44. Wells Fargo History Museum
- 45. Funny Bus
- 46. Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen
- 47. Codescape
- 48. EnergyExplorium
- 49. Bank of America Stadium
- 50. Botanical Gardens at UNC
- 51. Spectrum Arena
- 52. Inner Peaks
- 53. 10 Park Lanes
- 54. Darby Acres Farms
- 55. Great Wagon Road Distillery
- 56. The Coin Bar
- 57. Hodges Family Farm
- 58. Portal Charlotte
- 59. Knight Theater
- 60. Carl J McEwen Historic Village
- 61. Bojangles Coliseum
- 62. Another Round Disc Golf and Taproom
- 63. Lazy 5 Ranch
- 64. Historic Brattonsville
- 65. Little Sugar Creek Greenway
- 66. Good Food on Montford
- 67. NoDa Brewing Company
- 68. iFLY Charlotte
- 69. Carolinas Aviation Museum
- 70. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery & Biergarten
- 71. Historic Latta Plantation
- 72. Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium
- 73. Optimist Hall
- 74. Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park
- 75. Mr. Putty’s Fun Park
1. Charlotte Museum of History
Learn Charlotte’s history through the interactive exhibits at the Charlotte Museum of History. The museum sits on eight acres of forest and is the site of the famous 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Rock House.
Tours include stories of how people lived during the Revolutionary period and how Charlotte came to be built. You will also see reproductions of a barn, log kitchen, and a springhouse from this time.
What you’ll need to know: To take a guided tour, you must book your tickets in advance online.
2. Reed Gold Mine
The first documented gold found in the United States was in the Reed Gold Mine. The mine is still open today for visitors to walk through. You and your family can pan for gold and try to strike it rich!
There is also an early 20th-century steam locomotive and a mock Civil War battle to watch. All the programs and tours are family-friendly and free.
What you’ll need to know: It’s a self-guided tour that goes down 50 feet. There are dim lights, but it may not be best for the claustrophobic.
Related Read: Best Hiking Trails in Charlotte, NC
3. Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours
Enjoy the sights of Uptown Charlotte from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours has guided tourists through the city’s historic neighborhoods since 1999.
There are three different tour options to suit different budgets. You can also choose from a 20-minute, 40-minute, or one-hour tour. No matter your selection, you’re sure to enjoy this memorable experience.
What you’ll need to know: The carriage tours are first come first serve. No reservations required.
4. 7th Street Public Market
The 7th Street Public Market is a busy, modern marketplace in the heart of Charlotte. It’s an urban food destination that celebrates the culinary culture of the Carolinas. You can find fresh ingredients and organic dishes from regional farmers and food artisans.
The market is open seven days a week and offers affordable food and local, handmade products. Many successful chefs and entrepreneurs have started in this inclusive, supportive environment. It’s a unique and fun place to visit.
What you’ll need to know: You can get 90 minutes of free parking with a purchase from any of the market businesses.
5. Camp North End
Located in the North End Smart District, Camp North End is a hot spot for innovative businesses. This 76-acre property has over 40 vendors, and it continues to grow. It’s an open-air market that dazzles in the evenings when it’s all lit up.
Camp North Ends has everything from coffee shops and breakfast joints to bookstores and art galleries. After a little retail therapy, you can wind down your day at one of the many bars.
What you’ll need to know: Keep an eye out for the mobile bar cart that comes out after 5 p.m.
Related Read: 50 Romantic Things To Do In Charlotte, NC
6. U.S. National Whitewater Center
Map It: 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28214 | Phone: (704) 391-3900 | Website | Hours: Open 24 hours | Admission Fee: Adults $75 and children $65
If you’re looking for an exciting outdoor adventure, you won’t want to miss the U.S. National Whitewater Center. This recreational park features whitewater rafting on one of the largest manufactured rivers. Even if you’re a beginner, there are guides to instruct you and activities for all skill levels.
You can also kayak or paddleboard if you prefer a calmer experience on the water. Kids will love the rope courses, rock climbing walls, and biking trails.
What you’ll need to know: Everyone in your travel party will have to sign a waiver before participating in activities. Save time by printing it out from the website beforehand!
7. Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary
One of the most serene spots in all of Charlotte is the Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary. Its 3-acres of land are full of different species of trees, flowers, and plants. The gardens attract over 150 species of birds each year.
Throughout the year, the sanctuary offers nearly 50 educational programs and special events. Even younger ones will enjoy visiting. There are many hands-on learning activities for children provided by SEED Wildlife.
What you’ll need to know: Check the events calendar for children’s program dates.
Related Read: 20 Outstanding Black-Owned Restaurants in Charlotte
8. Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve
The Reedy Creek Nature Center preserves over 700 acres of forested habitat. There are over 10 miles of hiking trails. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll love the variety of park terrains here.
Besides hiking, you can also relax and enjoy the scenic views of streams, lakes, and wildlife. There are several playgrounds, including the NFL 60 playground, which the Panthers funded.
What you’ll need to know: Read signage for information on trails’ difficulty.
9. Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is one of Charlotte’s newest museums. It offers a very relaxing environment compared to big city museums and makes for the perfect day trip.
The 36,500 square-foot space is dedicated to mid-20th-century modern art. The collection contains over 1500 artworks created by prominent figures of 20th-century modernism. With over four stories to explore, you can lose track of time taking in all the artistic wonder.
What you’ll need to know: Check the museum’s website for special program dates.
10. Discovery Place Science
Discovery Place is a hands-on science museum that is great for the entire family. You’ll find interactive exhibits on various scientific concepts like earth science and physics. You can conduct lab experiments, build mock structures, and design an ecosystem.
If you have toddler-aged children, there is also a KidScience section for little ones. The early childhood area features soft building blocks, a sound wall, and a water table.
What you’ll need to know: We recommend visiting in the morning to avoid the afternoon crowds.
Related Read: 30 Best Romantic Getaways In North Carolina
11. Great Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf Lodge has several locations in the U.S. and is known as America’s best indoor water park. Great Wolf Lodge Concord is much more than a water park. There are arcade games, fun attractions, and extraordinary eateries.
If you don’t plan to stay at the lodge, you can still visit for the day and access to all of the attractions. Buying the “Wolf Pass” will give you time in the water park, credits at the arcade, and access to the bowling alley and mini golf course.
What you’ll need to know: Sign up on their website to receive special deals and offers.
12. SEA LIFE Charlotte Concord Aquarium
Go on an underwater adventure at the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium. You will get astonishingly close views of more than 5,000 creatures, including jellyfish, sea horses, and schools of fish.
One of the aquarium’s best features is the 180-degree underwater tunnel you can walk through. Be amazed as sting rays, sea turtles, and tropical sharks swim overhead.
What you’ll need to know: Save time and money by booking your visit online.
13. NASCAR Hall of Fame
Conveniently located in Charlotte’s uptown district, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive attraction that honors the heritage of sports racing. The venue is high-tech and designed to educate racing fans.
You can see Herb Thomas’ 1955 Chevrolet in person, along with other winning vehicles. The museum also contains artifacts, hands-on exhibits, a restaurant, a radio studio, and a state-of-the-art theater.
What you’ll need to know: Combo admission packages can be bought online to get more out of your experience.
Carowinds has been the meeting place of the Carolinas for over 40 years. This amusement park captures the heart of Carolina culture and features over 100 rides and attractions.
Visit the 12-acre children’s area to see the Peanuts Gang at Camp Snoopy. Or, if you’re looking for a thrill, hop on one of the park’s 13 world-class rollercoasters. After lunch, you can relax at one of the many live shows.
What you’ll need to know: If you don’t want to get wet, bring a towel and poncho for the water attractions!
15. Mint Museum of Art
One of the quintessential things to do in Charlotte is visiting the Mint Museum of Art. The museum is an art lover’s delight as it features a world-renowned collection that spans from ancient to contemporary times.
The Mint has two locations, one uptown and the other on Randolph Road. Both feature permanent and rotating exhibits that explore American art, European ceramics, and more. The buildings include working art studios where classes are held and gift shops.
What you’ll need to know: You’ll find the cheapest entry tickets for the Mint online.
16. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Nestled in the historic Belmont neighborhood, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden sits on a stunning 380 acres. It offers visitors a peaceful escape with thousands of plants, flowers, and forests.
What you’ll need to know: Check the calendar of events for fun activities like “Yoga in the Garden.”
17. Charlotte Motor Speedway
You’ll want to check out the auto racing at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for high speed thrills. The energy of the crowd is contagious as everyone cheers the racers on.
Besides the races, the venue hosts events like auto fairs, cars and coffee, and even music festivals.
What you’ll need to know: Tickets to the races sell out fast. Book yours online to lock in your spot.
18. Billy Graham Library
Charlotte-born Billy Graham established one of North Carolina’s most fascinating libraries. The evangelical pastor collected thousands of books on the Bible and evangelism. And he housed them in a library modeled after a dairy barn.
The grounds are beautiful and covered in rows of flowers. The property is North Carolina’s countryside staple. After getting your reading fix, you can take a guided tour of Graham’s home to learn more about his legacy.
What you’ll need to know: Arrive upon the library’s opening to avoid the afternoon crowds.
19. AvidXchange Music Factory
Map It: 1000 North Caroline Music Factory Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28206 | Phone: (704) 916-8970 | Website | Hours:Open 24 hours | Admission Fee: Varies by event
The Factory is Charlotte’s hub for music and nightlife. This entertainment complex consists of multiple concert venues and several restaurants and bars.
Catch an act at The Comedy Zone and hop over to see a music performance at The Fillmore.
What you’ll need to know: Hours vary by venue and some shows require pre-purchased tickets.
20. Carolina Raptor Center
Committed to the conservation of raptors, the center features over 30 species. Get an up-close view of eagles, falcons, owls, hawks, and more in their aviaries.
Take a self-guided tour on the nature trail, or catch a flight presentation. Children and adults alike will be captivated by the magnificence of these creatures.
What you’ll need to know: Register online if you’d like to attend a Raptor Academy Class.
21. Charlotte Douglas Airport Overlook
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of the few airports in the U.S. that maintains a public viewing area. Watching planes take off and land is a low-key activity that the entire family will enjoy.
Bring a picnic blanket and an appetite because there are food trucks and carts you can purchase from.
What you’ll need to know: Check the website for the Airport Overlook’s food truck schedule.
22. Levine Museum of the New South
The 6,000-square-foot museum hosts community dialogues, gatherings, field trips, and more. The museum features exhibits that tell the untold stories of Charlotte’s history.
This museum provides visitors with an insight into how Charlotte became the city it is today.
What you’ll need to know: Visit the museum’s website for virtual exhibits.
23. Freedom Park
Freedom Park is Charlotte’s primary public park, with 98 acres to explore. Children can play on one of the many playgrounds. Or the family can feed the ducks that surround the lakes on-site.
Enjoy the facilities for tennis, volleyball, basketball, baseball, and soccer. There are plenty of nice patches of grass for a picnic. And if you don’t feel like packing your lunch, there are vendors and food trucks who sell meals throughout the day.
What you’ll need to know: The park is easy to navigate and there is an abundance of parking.
24. Lunchbox Records
Lunchbox Records is a neat little hole in the wall that keeps the industry of vinyl records alive. Not only do they sell records that will have you feeling nostalgic, but they also carry the music of local artists that you can’t find anywhere else.
What you’ll need to know: If you’re not into records, they also sell CDs, LPs, DVDs, stickers, patches, magazines, and more pop-culture items.
25. Sleepy Poet Antique Mall
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall is a place to explore and get lost in. The mall features dozens of antique vendors with different themed booths.
From retro furniture to vintage clothes and trinkets, so many hidden pieces of history are waiting to be discovered.
What you’ll need to know: You can check out all of the vendors on the website before visiting.
26. Hendrick Motorsports Museum
Map It: 4425-4471 Papa Joe Hendrick Blvd., Concord, NC 28027 | Phone: (877) 467-4890 | Website | Hours: Check website calendar for event times | Admission Fee: Varies
Hendrick Motorsports is only one mile away from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. You can see Hendrick Motorsports’ most famous stock cars and winning trophies. You can also go behind the scenes to see how cares are prepared for racing.
What you’ll need to know: Periodically, the museum will close for vacations and holidays so call ahead to confirm hours before visiting.
27. Harvey B. Gantt Center
The Harvey B. Gantt Center is in the heart of Charlotte’s central business district. The center is dedicated to preserving and celebrating African American art, culture, and history. The building’s exterior design is just as striking as the programs and exhibits on the inside.
What you’ll need to know: Check the events calendar for current exhibits and program offerings.
28. McDowell Nature Preserve
McDowell Nature Preserve is home to 120 species of birds, 21 species of reptiles, 21 species of mammals, and 14 species of amphibians. Explore looping trails that will give you an up-close view of these creatures in their natural habitat.
What you’ll need to know: Stop at the visitor’s center for maps of the preserve and scavenger hunt activities for kids.
29. Lake Norman State Park
Lake Norman is the largest manmade lake in North Carolina. The surrounding park offers the region’s best mountain biking network. Rent a bike and explore the 30.5-mile track. After, you can visit the lake’s beach to cool off.
What you’ll need to know: Campsites and cabins are available for rental.
30. Frankie’s of Charlotte
Map It: 10621 Bryton Corporate Center Dr., Huntersville, NC 28078 | Phone: (704) 875-7888 | Website | Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Pay per attraction
The attractions at Frankie’s will keep your family busy for a least a full day. The theme park features indoor and outdoor rides, and many arcade games for players of all ages.
What you’ll need to know: There is no all-day pass option. You pay as you play.
31. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center brings the world’s best shows to its stage. From Broadway productions and plays to musical acts, if you have the chance to see any show, take it.
You may also be able to catch a local performance as the center is home to the North Carolina Dance Theater, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Carolina.
What you’ll need to know: Visit the center’s website to see performance dates and purchase tickets.
32. Rocky River Vineyard
Rocky River is a family-owned vineyard known for its award-winning signature wines. Attend a tasting to sample eight wines and two wine slushies.
Located in the peaceful countryside, guests can tour the property and enjoy stunning views. Visit the gift shop before leaving to purchase souvenirs and your favorite wine.
What you’ll need to know: Check the events calendar online for activities like music performances, grape stomping, and art festivals.
33. Big Rock Nature Preserve
This Charlotte Nature Preserve is historically significant as archaeologists have unearthed American Indian artifacts from 7,000 years ago.
Roam the 22 acres where Indians once lived and enjoy the sight of larger-than-life granite boulders.
What you’ll need to know: The entrance to the preserve is through a neighborhood. Visit the website for specific directions.
34. Carolina Harbor Water Park
Connected to Carowinds, Carolina Harbor Water Park is a massive water wonderland. There are giant water slides, wave pools for older guests, and a three-acre kid’s area for little ones.
What you’ll need to know: Purchase tickets online for a discount.
35. Children’s Theater of Charlotte
Map It: 300 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Phone: (704) 973-2828 | Website | Hours: Check website calendar for event times | Admission Fee: Varies
Children’s Theater of Charlotte is one of the U.S.’s top theaters for families. Not only does the theater offer imaginative productions to be enjoyed, but it also offers educational programs and classes.
What you’ll need to know: Check the website for upcoming shows and to purchase tickets.
36. Zootastic Park
Zootastic Park is just 35 miles north of downtown Charlotte and is one of North Carolina’s most exciting attractions. The park hosts an array of animal encounters, where you can safely touch and feed furry animals.
Hang out with lemurs, armadillos, spider monkeys, kangaroos, and many more friends. This family-friendly attraction offers both walk-thru and safari-style drive-thru experiences.
What you’ll need to know: Check the prices for walk-thru and drive-thru tours online.
37. Tiger World
Tiger World is very different from your typical zoo. It’s a non-profit sanctuary with acres of habitats for international animals. You’ll get the opportunity to see tigers, lions, black jaguars, arctic wolves, and anacondas.
Take an expert-led tour to learn about the importance of conservation and preservation of wild animals.
What you’ll need to know: The terrain is a natural wilderness hike that can be difficult to maneuver with strollers or wheelchairs.
38. Charlotte Rail Trail
Spending a day along the Charlotte Rail Trail will lead you to everything you need. This 3.5-mile trail is a gateway to food, entertainment, art, and shopping.
Whether you rent a bicycle or choose to walk and get a workout, the Rail Trail is the perfect way to explore Charlotte’s South End.
What you’ll need to know: Don’t miss snapping an Insta-worthy picture at the Magic Carpet Murals.
39. ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
ImaginOn is a library and children’s museum mixed into one. The center brings stories to life through experiences and hands-on exhibits.
Enjoy the play areas with your kiddos, and let them explore the educational games on the touch screen computers.
What you’ll need to know: Check the website for special event dates.
40. Badin Road Drive-In Theater
The Badin Road Drive-In Theater is a historical gem that has been open since 1948. While many drive-ins across the country have closed their doors forever, Badin Road is still fully operational.
This venue can host 700 cars! The site features Wi-Fi access, concessions, and a playground.
What you’ll need to know: Many people bring folding chairs to sit outside and enjoy the movies under the stars.
41. Light Factory Photo Arts Center
Whether photography is your passion or a casual hobby, the Light Factory Photo Arts Center is a neat place to check out. This inclusive photographic center allows locals and tourists to share in photography classes.
There are shared studios, tools, and dark rooms for everyone to use. There are also special exhibitions held every month.
What you’ll need to know: You must register for classes or to use any of the tools available online.
42. Pins Mechanical Company
Map It: 307 W Tremont Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203 | Phone: (980) 556-7746 | Website | Hours: Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 12:30 a.m., Saturday – Sunday – 12 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. | Admission Fee: Pay per attraction
A night at Pins Mechanical Company will be fun for the family. You can bowl and play pinball, foosball, ping pong, and pinball.
What you’ll need to know: Make sure to visit the rooftop bar for great views and great drinks.
Metalmorphosis is a fascinating structure by Czech artist David Cerny. The creation is comprised of 40 steel pieces that are grouped into seven sections that rotate 360 degrees.
When you stand far enough away, and the segments align, the sculpture appears as a giant head that spits water into a fountain from its mouth.
What you’ll need to know: Check out the structure up close and from far away to marvel at the artistic talent behind it.
44. Wells Fargo History Museum
Learn about Wells Fargo’s beginning and evolution over the last several centuries. Museum displays include some of their original stagecoaches, gold nuggets, mining artifacts, and photographs.
What you’ll need to know: The museum is located in the Three Wells Fargo Center.
45. Funny Bus
The Funny Bus offers tourists a 90-minute interactive comedy tour through Charlotte. Guests can even bring beer or wine for the ride.
The comedian tour guide will relay Charlotte’s history through improv, stand-up, music games, and more. There are two tour options, a PG-13 version and an R-rated version for adults.
What you’ll need to know: The PG-13 tour option is only offered on Sunday afternoons.
46. Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen
Take a hands-on cooking class from one of Charlotte’s best chefs, Chef Alyssa. Even young chefs can attend these classes.
You will learn how to make flavorful meals that you get to eat after the class.
What you’ll need to know: You must book the class you wish to attend online.
Codescape is Charlotte’s most popular escape room. It features real-life adventures where you can race to find a supernatural relic or investigate a terrifying haunting.
You only have one hour to beat the clock! Make the most of every minute and have fun.
What you’ll need to know: Check out the different game options online before you go.
Map It: 13339 McGuire Nuclear Station Road, Huntersville, NC 28078 | Phone: (980) 875-5600 | Website | Hours:Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free
Duke Energy created the EnergyExplorium to offer educational and fun activities for visitors. You can learn about electricity generation and North Carolina’s Lake Norman.
Check out the exhibits on tracking weather and saving energy. You can also watch a film on the lake’s history and nuclear power.
What you’ll need to know: You must be in a group of 10 to book a tour.
49. Bank of America Stadium
If you’re in Charlotte during football season, you won’t want to miss seeing a Panthers game at the Bank of America Stadium.
If you visit outside of football season, you can attend a concert. Only the most famous artists have the chance to perform at this venue.
What you’ll need to know: Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend any event at the stadium.
50. Botanical Gardens at UNC
The Botanical Gardens at the University of North Carolina campus were created as a living classroom for students. What started as small garden space and greenhouse has evolved into something much bigger.
Today, you can explore the 10 acres of gardens, a new 4,500-square-foot glasshouse, and a botanical and horticultural library with 2,000 books.
What you’ll need to know: The gardens are closed for university holidays and closures.
51. Spectrum Arena
If you’re in Charlotte, you don’t want to miss a Hornets game. The Spectrum Arena can hold up to 20,000 visitors and is a Charlotte staple.
What you’ll need to know: Find out game dates and ticket pricing online before visiting.
52. Inner Peaks
Right in the heart of historic South End is a 17,000-square-foot indoor climbing gym. Reach new heights trying to scale the 40-feet high rock-climbing walls at Inner Peaks.
There are 45 rope stations to accommodate everyone in your traveling party. And there are bouldering levels for beginners and experienced alike.
What you’ll need to know: Check out the events calendar for beginner classes to help you get the hang of it.
53. 10 Park Lanes
Challenge the family to a bowling competition at the hippest bowling alley on the east coast. 10 Park Lanes features 32 bowling lanes.
There’s also corn hole, ping pong, bocce, and a sports bar. Their restaurant includes tacos, burgers, and pizzas.
What you’ll need to know: Check out the website calendar for daily pricing specials.
54. Darby Acres Farms
At Darby Acres Farm, you can do a farm tour or a safari tour. The farm tour includes pony rides and a petting zoo. Get the chance to feed horses, llamas, goats, pigs, and sheep.
The safari tour includes a one-hour guided tour through the safari zoo where you will learn about exotic animals up-close. It’s a fun, educational outing for the whole family to experience.
What you’ll need to know: A prepaid reservation is required to visit the property.
55. Great Wagon Road Distillery
The Great Wagon Road Distillery’s reputation proceeds itself. Its history is rooted in whisker makers from centuries ago who preserved their recipes and passed on their skills.
You can grab a bite to eat in the popular restaurant or peruse the gift shop. There are plenty of in-house brews to try, and bottles are available to purchase to take home for later.
What you’ll need to know: Call ahead to book a reservation. The restaurant fills up quick.
56. The Coin Bar
If you’re looking for a relaxing, adult-only hangout spot, the Coin Bar at the Omni Charlotte Hotel is perfect. It’s a contemporary urban oasis with a bar and grill.
You can enjoy cocktails from the pool and watch sports events on one of the many giant LED screens. Located on one of the hotel’s high-rise roofs, you can also take in Charlotte’s gorgeous skyline.
What you’ll need to know: Admission is complimentary for guests, but day passes can be purchased on the hotel website.
57. Hodges Family Farm
Hodges Family Farm is recognized as a “Century Farm” since it has been in operation for over 100 years. The original farmhouse from 1908 still stands in all of its glory. There are multiple barns to tour and pastures of livestock to view.
Hodges Family Farm is always hosting a family-friendly event. Popular events include pumpkin patches, obstacle races, concert series, and more.
What you’ll need to know: Book special tours, like the Homegrown Food Tour, online.
58. Portal Charlotte
If you want to visit an art museum where you’re allowed to touch the art pieces, Portal Charlotte lets you do just that. This hands-on art collection was built in the underground vault of a bank, making it even cooler.
You enter through a giant safe door, and there are a dozen rooms to explore. Each room showcases a different artist’s work. Showcases rotate every three months. Current rooms include an upside-down room, a room based on urban hieroglyphics with an interactive decoder.
What you’ll need to know: Visit the museum in the morning to avoid afternoon and late-evening crowds.
59. Knight Theater
The Knight Theater connects to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. It seats 1,200 guests and features an orchestra, grand tier, and mezzanine levels.
The theater hosts various shows, including music performances, comedians, and even kid’s plays. You can try to catch a performance on the day you plan to visit the Bechtler Museum.
What you’ll need to know: Purchase event tickets online prior to visiting the venue.
60. Carl J McEwen Historic Village
Map It: 7601 Matthews Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill, NC, 28227 | Phone: (704) 573-0726 | Website | Hours: Tours available by appointment | Admission Fee: Adults $5 and children 6-18 $4
The Mint Hill Historical Society was formed in 1985 to protect the town’s history. The village includes a Country Doctor’s Museum, the Ashcraft one-room schoolhouse, the Ferguson Country Store, and the Gold Assay office, where miners would bring their ore.
It’s a neat place to spend the day exploring. You can see how Carolinians lived before the era of technology and modern medicine. Other buildings include a blacksmith shop, carpentry shop, a gristmill, a butcher shop, and a corn crib.
What you’ll need to know: You must call to schedule a tour and secure your spot.
61. Bojangles Coliseum
The Bojangles Coliseum has been an entertainment venue since 1955. This historic venue has hosted over 19,000 different events collectively.
From top-touring concerts to sporting events and family shows, the coliseum offers a diverse range of entertainment. If there are any events going on while you’re in town, don’t miss the chance to visit this impressive venue.
What you’ll need to know: Sign up for email updates on the website to be notified of upcoming events.
62. Another Round Disc Golf and Taproom
Map It: 1200 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Phone: (704) 561-1242 | Website | Hours: 12 – 7 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free
If you want to get into disc golf, Another Round is the place to begin your new hobby. This superstore features all the disc golf products you can imagine and knowledgeable staff to educate you on the different disc styles.
Not to mention, there’s a bar of local beers on tap. While you’re here, you can get maps and information on the local disc golf courses.
What you’ll need to know: You can trade in your old discs to get a discount on your purchase.
63. Lazy 5 Ranch
The Lazy 5 Ranch is home to nearly 800 animals from 6 different continents. It’s also a refuge for several endangered species, including the Ring-tailed Lemur, the Grevy Zebra, and horned oryx.
You can choose to do a drive-thru safari in your vehicle, or park and take a wagon ride with a tour guide. Either way, you can purchase buckets of animal feed, and the animals will walk right up to you to eat.
What you’ll need to know: If you choose to do a wagon ride, you must call ahead for reservations.
64. Historic Brattonsville
Learn all about the history of African Americans and the Scots-Irish in the Carolinas. There are more than 30 historic structures from the 1760s to the 19th century.
The tour reveals to visitors the evolution of the Carolina’s southern architecture and cultural traditions. You also get to walk on the American Revolutionary War battlefield and watch a documentary film on the events of July 1780.
What you’ll need to know: Check the website calendar for special event dates and programs.
65. Little Sugar Creek Greenway
The greenway features over 19 miles of trails. It’s perfect for walking, hiking, and biking. It goes through Charlotte’s uptown, Toby Creek, and Cordelia Park.
Stop in Cordelia Park to enjoy the basketball courts, splash pad, swimming pool, and playgrounds. Or visit the many shops and eateries along the uptown route.
What you’ll need to know: Visit the website to download a full map of the trail.
66. Good Food on Montford
This restaurant is a social gathering place perfect for mingling and nibbling on small plates. The menu is a unique mash-up of a variety of cuisines and cooking styles. Good Food is tapas-style, where dishes are meant to be shared!
What you’ll need to know: The restaurant only serves small plates, so if you’re a big eater you will need to order several.
67. NoDa Brewing Company
NoDa Brewing Co. is one of Charlotte’s first breweries. Situated on the popular greenway, you can easily bike here and enjoy a cold one on the outdoor patio.
The brewery is always coming up with new seasonal beers, and the atmosphere is fun and inviting. There are event nights, with games like trivia and cornhole. It’s a great way to meet and hang out with the locals.
What you’ll need to know: If you don’t know what kind of beer to order, ask for a sample first. The crew is happy to share their knowledge of the craft.
68. iFLY Charlotte
Map It: 7840 Lyles Ln NW, Concord, NC 28027 | Phone: (704) 851-4359 | Website | Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Admission Fee: 1 flight per person $84.99
If you’re interested in feeling the sensation of skydiving without having to jump out of a plane, iFLY in Charlotte will give you the experience. Their state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnels are safe for even children to fly in.
People of all experience levels and abilities are welcome to fly. An experienced flyer will guide you in the tunnel and assist you in keeping your balance. You can also check out the hands-on physics lab when your fly time is up.
What you’ll need to know: Book your fly appointment and sign the waiver online before
69. Carolinas Aviation Museum
The Carolinas Aviation Museum has been a staple in Charlotte for over 30 years. It is going through a major renovation this year and is set for its re-grand opening in 2023.
The museum is home to a full-sized replica of the Wright Flyer, which amazes all visitors, young and old. The programs aim to provide guests with aviation history, STEM education, and career information in the field of aviation.
What you’ll need to know: Sign-up for email updates on the museum’s website to be alerted about grand opening dates.
70. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery & Biergarten
The OMB, as locals call it, adheres to the oldest purity guidelines in the world, the German Reinheitsgebot. The brewery only uses four ingredients in their beer – water, hops, yeast, and barley or wheat malt.
It’s the perfect spot to unwind in the evenings. The open-air patio is lit with dozens of string lights that create a relaxing atmosphere. Sit back and enjoy live music performances while drinking the freshest beer in the Carolinas.
What you’ll need to know: You can ask to sample beers for buying.
71. Historic Latta Plantation
The Historic Latta Plantation is an antebellum plantation that has been fully restored. Tour guides dress in period costumes and offer historical insight about the property as they guide you through the grounds.
The tour provides an insightful look at the people who lived on this cotton plantation in the early 19th century.
What you’ll need to know: There are special programs and folk craft demonstrations every weekend.
72. Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium
Map It: 1500 E Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054 | Phone: (704) 866-6908 | Website | Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $7 and children 4-18 $6
The Schiele Museum is one of 70 museums in the country designated as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. It features prestigious educational programs about prehistoric animals and the rise of civilizations. At three-quarters of a mile long, the museum has many displays and exhibits to explore.
Snap some pictures with the full-bodied dinosaur models, or dig for fossils in the hands-on exploration lab. Walk through the Stone Age Heritage Site or the 18th-Century Backcountry Farm.
What you’ll need to know: Don’t miss visiting the Planetarium attached to the museum. They offer spectacular shows on the wonders of the universe.
73. Optimist Hall
Optimist Hall is one of the neatest places in Charlotte to visit, and it has a fascinating history. What was once a textile mill at the turn of the century was renovated into a food hall with more than 30 tenants.
From ethnic to comfort foods, bao buns and cocktails, this market-style hub offers delicious food and lots of charm. No matter what vendor you order from, you can’t go wrong. But you may have a hard time choosing between the variety of options.
What you’ll need to know: Taking an Uber is highly recommended as parking can be hard to come by.
74. Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park
If you’re looking for the best place for exciting, affordable activities, the Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park is your top choice. It’s been voted “Best Gym in America for Kids” by Shape Magazine for a good reason.
There are attractions for every age level, from toddlers to adults. Practice your balance up in the air on the ropes course, or challenge the entire family to 360-degree spinning bumper cars. Other attractions include rock climbing, dodgeball, runway trampoline track, trampoline basketball, and an indoor playground.
What you’ll need to know: Fill out the waiver online before visiting to save time.
75. Mr. Putty’s Fun Park
If you want to play putt-putt on the largest mini golf course in the Carolinas, you need to visit Mr. Putty’s Fun Park. The course features hidden pipe shots, waterfall jumps, and the longest mini golf hole in the Carolina’s.
Other attractions include axe-throwing, a ropes course, ziplining, rock climbing, and more. You can even get a colorful wax mold made of your hand to take home! Mr. Putty’s will keep the whole family entertained.
What you’ll need to know: Save time by filling out the online waiver prior to your visit.