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15 Best Things to Do in Charlotte, NC

Guest Post by Anna of Gift Ideas Cafe

Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city and a very popular city with Millenials. Of course, there are tons of things to do in Charlotte so it can be hard to decide how to spend your time in the city.

This list has 15 of the best things to do in Charlotte so you don’t miss out on any of the must-see activities. From outdoor adventure to arts & culture, Charlotte has it all.

You definitely won’t be bored on a trip to this city and you’ll be in foodie heaven with all the delicious restaurants.

With so many things to see and do, you’ll want to spend at least three days in the city. A weekend in the city is the perfect place to meet up with girlfriends or it’s a great gift idea for your significant other.

US National Whitewater Center

The Whitewater Center was built in 2001 and its mission is to promote healthy outdoor lifestyles. It has the world’s largest manmade whitewater river where you’ll encounter Class II-IV rapids.

Whitewater isn’t the only thing it has though. You can also hike, mountain bike, climb, kayak, and so much more. They have over 30 activities that you can try.

Check their events calendar for daily activities as well as the schedule for the outdoor concert series they hold – River Jam.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Even if you aren’t interested in NASCAR, this is a pretty neat museum. Walk along Glory Road first thing and check out some of the cars driven by NASCAR’s best.

You’ll also find a room dedicated to the Hall of Famers, their lives, and their contribution to the sport. Finally, you’ll learn the history of how it all came to be – its bootlegging past and all.

There are even some interactive exhibits where you learn about how the cars are made and what the pit crew does.

Liberty Walk

This interesting walk around Uptown (what everyone calls downtown Charlotte) takes you through the origins of Charlotte and how the town participated in the Revolutionary War.

You’ll need to download the Charlotte Liberty Walk App so you can hear the stories of the various sites. None of the original structures are still here so this does require a bit of imagination.

Brewery Hop

There are over 40 breweries in the Charlotte area so you’re sure to find one you love. Each brewery has a unique vibe and of course, unique beer.

A few popular ones are NoDa Brewing, Sycamore Brewing, Catawba Brewing, and The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.

You can tour a few different breweries on the Charlotte Brews Cruise or the Brew Ha-Ha tour. You peddle a trolley pub on the Brews Cruise and ride in a motorcoach for Brew Ha-Ha.

Levine Museum of the New South

This unique museum tells the history of Charlotte and the surrounding area from the end of the Civil War until now. It celebrates the diverse people who make up the communities.

The exhibits are interactive so even if history isn’t your favorite thing, you might just have fun here. They currently have five exhibits that you can browse.

Visit Lake Norman

One of the most popular lakes in the area, you really shouldn’t miss this if you love days spent on the water. Rent a boat, kayak, or SUP and relax with a gorgeous view.

You can also enjoy some of the incredible waterfront restaurants. Explore Lake Norman State Park which has mountain biking trails and a beach with a bathhouse.

A few of the fish you can catch in the lake are Bass, Crappie, and Catfish. You can charter a fishing boat if you don’t have your own.

Crowders Mountain State Park

You’ll find incredible views of downtown Charlotte from Crowders Mountain. There are eleven hiking trails that vary in difficulty and two mountain peaks to climb.

On a clear day, you can see for 25 miles. The park is very popular for rock climbing and bouldering as well.

If you want to escape the city for a few hours, then this is the perfect place to do it.

The Billy Graham Library

Billy Graham was a popular worldwide evangelist of the Christian faith. The library explains his message and how God worked in his life.

If you are a Christian or curious about the Christian faith then this is one of the best things to do in Charlotte. You’ll learn about Billy Graham’s life, be able to tour the Graham Family homeplace and sit in the tranquil gardens.

They also have a bookstore and Dairy Bar for snacks.


The EpiCentre houses multiple restaurants, bars, and popular stores for shopping. It’s very popular for its nightlife scene as well.

AC Hotels and Aloft both have hotels connected to the EpiCentre so you’ll be in the middle of all the action.

Go to a Concert

Charlotte has multiple great concert venues where you can hear a show indoors or outdoors. The PNC Music Pavilion is the largest outdoor arena in the area.

You can also catch outdoor shows at the US Whitewater Center and The Metropolitan. If indoor is more your style then be sure to go to The Fillmore Charlotte or The Underground.

There is really a great music scene in this city and you’ll find multiple great performers that you may not have ever heard of.


This theme park is a thrill-seeker’s dream. Fury 325 was voted the top steel coaster in the world and for good reason. It’s one of the best roller coasters you will ever ride!

They have over 50 rides to choose from so you better get there early. That doesn’t include all the water rides at Carolina Harbor.

They also have fun carnival games to play and pretty good food for a theme park. This is a can’t miss for the adventurous ones.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens borders Lake Wylie and features multiple different gardens that you can walk through.

The complex is 110-acres and there are walking trails so you can explore from the gardens to the banks of Lake Wylie. These gardens boast something beautiful in every season so don’t worry about when you’ll be visiting.

NoDa Arts District

If you are an art lover and connoisseur then a walk through the NoDa Arts District is a must. You’ll find galleries featuring local artists and multiple murals.

The murals really steal the show around here. They even have a street art map that you can follow.

Art Museums

You don’t have to venture out to NoDa to find a bustling art scene. Two of the most popular museums in Uptown Charlotte are the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and The Mint Museum.

The Bechtler Museum is a collection of mid 20th-century paintings from artists like Picasso, Miró, and Warhol. The pieces on display are from the Bechtler family of Switzerland.

The motto for the Mint Museum is “Art is for everyone.” This was the first art museum in North Carolina and they now have one of the largest collections in the Southeast.

Go to the Spa

Who doesn’t love a spa day? Charlotte has plenty of award-winning spas where you’ll feel like a queen (or king) after a day there.

A few of the best in the area are The Spa at the Ballantyne, The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton, or Spa Botanica. No matter which one you choose, your treatment will be relaxing and rejuvenating.

About the Author

Anna is a content creator for giftideascafe.com where you can find fun gift ideas for anyone in your life. If you need to find a unique gift then this is the resource for you.

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