12 of the Most Fun Things to Do in Charlotte

August 17, 2019

Is a trip to North Carolina in your future? If so, make sure to stop in Charlotte! 

With so many fun things to do in Charlotte, from outdoor adventures to art museums, your entire family will love exploring this southern city. Check out these exciting activities during your trip.

1. Carowinds Theme Park

All travelers agree. One of the most fun things to do in Charlotte is ride the roller coasters and attractions at Carowinds!

Home to record-breaking roller coasters such as Fury 325 and splash-worthy thrills at the Carolina Harbor water park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this theme park. Best of all, the park offers delicious southern comfort cuisine throughout. Don’t forget to take in a show or two while you’re there for more fun!

Pro Tip: Buy your Carowinds tickets online and save big while skipping the long ticket lines!

Copperhead Strike at Carowinds on a sunny day in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

photo credit: American Coaster Enthusiasts via Facebook

2. SEA Life Charlotte-Concord

Get ready to dive under the sea (sort of) for an educational underwater adventure at Charlotte’s aquarium, SEA Life Charlotte-Concord. Guests can browse the 10 interactive exhibits with in-depth information about ocean life, watch feeding times, and learn more about the aquarium’s rescue efforts.

This aquarium is the perfect destination for families, couples, and travelers interested in our underwater friends!

3. U.S. National Whitewater Center

Interested in outdoor adventures in Charlotte, NC? If so, plan a trip to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Boasting 30+ outdoor adventures and activities, visitors can experience everything from whitewater rafting to mountain biking.

This destination is ideal for those who love the great outdoors but seek an adrenaline rush only activities like ziplining, rock climbing, and rope bridges can provide. With so much to do, it’s easy to spend your entire day having fun in the sun. Of course, by the end of your experience, you might find yourself purchasing passes for the next day, too!

4. NASCAR Hall of Fame

For die-hard NASCAR fans, a trip to Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame is a must. Pay tribute to legendary drivers, learn more about the sport, and discover NASCAR’s intriguing history through engaging exhibits and interactive experiences.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to sit behind the wheel of a race car, check out the museum’s racing simulators! Using the latest simulation technology and NASCAR stock car replicas, you’ll climb inside and get behind the wheel for one unforgettable racing experience.

With all this excitement, it’s not hard to see why families consider the NASCAR Hall of Fame among the most fun things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina.

View of plants and flowers at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Charlotte North Carolina

Photo Credit: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden / Facebook

5. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Situated on 380 acres of land along the banks of Lake Wylie, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a sight to behold. Between the blooming gardens, nature trails, and stunning fountains and sculptures, you’ll feel whisked away from Charlotte and into a natural oasis.

As you roam the gardens and trails, take note of the tropical flowers, rotating exhibits, and pristine landscaping. Depending on the timing of your visit, you may have the opportunity to experience the garden’s Butterfly Bungalow as well!

6. Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Do you enjoy strolling through museums? If so, a trip to the Bechtler Museum of Art in Charlotte is a must. Featuring works of art from mid-20th-century artists and beyond, the museum itself is a work of art. Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, you’ll find yourself marveling at the museum’s layout, materials, and overall interior design.

Be sure to take your time when roaming through the Bechtler Museum of Art. You don’t want to miss the iconic works of art by Picasso, Warhol, and other significant artists.

7. Walking Food Tours

Charlotte boasts a deep history and a thriving culinary community. As a result, one of the most fun things to do in Charlotte is to go on a walking food tour. Hosted by FEAST Food Tours, these delicious walking tours bring you to the hottest spots in the city and teach you a thing or two about the area’s history along the way.

Come hungry! Guests have the opportunity to choose from tours of the Dilworth Neighborhood, Uptown, the Historic South End, and other areas of Charlotte, NC.

8.  Charlotte Brews Cruise

Or, if you’re more interested in beverages, hop on a Charlotte Brews Cruise! These boozy tours feature Charlotte’s best breweries, along with plenty of samples. Plus, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, learn more about craft beer, and meet some of the city’s top brewers.

Best of all, these tours provide transportation, offering a safe experience for all who join.

Drone Aerial of Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, NC, USA Skyline.9. Charlotte Professional Sports Teams

Sports fans have several games to choose from when they visit Charlotte, NC. The city is home to several professional sports teams, including:

Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as games sell out fast!

10. Charlotte Rail Trail

The Charlotte Rail Trail is a bit of a hidden gem in the city. This 3.5-mile trail connects multiple neighborhoods from South End to Uptown. Along the way, you’ll discover public artwork, catch live music, grab a bite to eat at a cafe or bar, and simply enjoy magnificent views of the city.

Walking along the trail is a great way to get out of your Charlotte hotel and explore all that the city has to offer. Lace up your walking shoes and get outside!

11. Richard Petty Driving Experience

You already know one of the most fun things to do in Charlotte is to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. But have you ever had the chance to drive a race car?

At the Richard Petty Driving Experience, you can either drive a race car or sit alongside a pro as you zoom around the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Even those who aren’t NASCAR fans will appreciate the adrenaline rush you get from 3+ laps around a professional track at top speeds!

night view of downtown skyline in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA12. Discovery Place

Are you traveling to Charlotte with curious kids? If so, be sure to visit Discovery Place. Discovery Place offers three different museums: Science, Nature, and Kids.

At the Science museum, visitors will learn about everything from human health and DNA to engineering fundamentals. Over at the Nature museum, you’ll explore a Butterfly Pavillion, come face-to-face with critters, and walk along nature trails. Lastly, at the Kids museum, guests have the chance to put their imagination to work through hands-on exhibits and activities.

Don’t Miss the Most Fun Things to Do in Charlotte, NC

With these exciting destinations and activities on your Charlotte itinerary, you’re in for one memorable trip!

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