Things to Do in Charlotte
The Hornet's Nest
Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the largest banking-center in the whole country. Although primarily known as a bustling business hub, Charlotte is now developing as a tourist spot and offers visitors a significant modicum of museums, historic neighborhoods and excellent dining options. After two decades of growth, Charlotte is one of the most prosperous cities in the South. The city has witnessed the birth of the first gold rush in the country, which was sparked by the discovery of a gold nugget in what is now ‘Reed’s Gold Mine’. At one point, low grade gold from the mines was used for the street paving programs, giving rise to the saying that Charlotte’s streets were literally paved in gold. Since then, Charlotte has gained prominence for its mint for currency production, as well as for its status as a prominent railroad hub. If you’re planning a trip to this bustling, yet unmistakably Southern city, make sure to first check out our list of the best things to do in Charlotte.
Billy Graham Library
America’s most famous pastor – Billy Graham was a spiritual advisor to several American presidents, including Dwight D Eisenhower, Lyndon B Johnson and Richard Nixon. His large indoor and outdoor rallies inspired thousands and are still re-broadcast today. The Billy Graham Library captures the minister’s journey and life’s work through 40,000 sq. ft. of interpretative exhibits. You can visit Billy Graham’s boyhood home that still has 80 percent of its original materials, as well as the second home that his family moved into – which has been recreated on the same campus. The ‘A Journey of Faith’ tour will guide you through immersive multimedia presentations, interactive kiosks, to give you a firsthand look into the minister’s life and times. Stop for refreshments at the Dairy Bar and shop for souvenirs at the Ruth’s Attic Bookstore. The barn-shaped building is an unmistakable Charlotte landmark, and a tour of this place is definitely one of the best things to do in Charlotte.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
If you like fast cars, you'll definitely love this interesting museum that honors NASCAR stalwarts. Begin your tour of the museum at 'The Belk High Octane Theater', where you can catch a primer movie geared towards first-time visitors. Move on to Glory Road that has different cars and the Great Hall that features rotating exhibits. Don't miss the "Hall of Honor' that celebrates racing legends and the racecar simulators that allow you to experience the rush of life in the fast lane. The exhibits cover six generations of race cars and also narrate the history of this American-born sport. A day at the museum is a day well-spent for adrenaline junkies and is one of the coolest things to do in Charlotte - a city with a strong NASCAR tradition.
Levine's Museum of the New South
Explore the history of the state of North Carolina post The Civil War at this acclaimed museum that has a number of temporary and permanent exhibits. The most expansive and popular exhibit is the permanent 'Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers' collection, which has a one-room tenant farmer's house, a cotton mill, and an African-American hospital among others. The collection has more than 1,000 artifacts, images, video clips and oral histories that recount the history of America's South. The museum store has several informative books pertaining to Charlotte's history and Southern cuisine, as well as jewelry and souvenir items. Also available for purchase are locally-made chocolates, soap and lotion, candles and gourmet popcorn.
Romare Bearden Park
A sprawling public park that occupies an area of 5.4 acres, The Romare Bearden Park is named for the local artist - Romare Bearden. The park has several paintings and offers fitness and cultural programs. Stop by the two landscaped gardens, the play area that has interactive digital chimes and the park's many waterfalls. The Romare Bearden Park is an excellent place to end a day full of sightseeing and to watch the sun set over Charlotte.
The Mint Museum
The museum is located in the building that once housed the 'Charlotte Mint'. The museum was established in 1936, making it the first art museum is North Carolina. The museum's collection focuses on American and Ancient American art, ceramics, decorative art, pottery and historic costumes. It has the largest public collection of Charlotte-born artist - Romare Bearden's works. The neighboring Museum of Craft and Design has more than 2,500 works in glass, metal, wood, fiber, mixed media and clay.
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