Charlotte is a vibrant city brimming with activity. Whether you love the excitement of an amusement park, an afternoon of shopping and great food, enjoying diverse local art, or simply dipping your toes in the water at the city’s biggest lake community, there’s undoubtedly something for everyone here.
We’ve collected a few of the highlights from around the city you may want to visit.
Things to Do In and Around Charlotte, NC
Levine Center for the Arts
Located right in the heart of the city, Levine Center for the Arts, offers a variety of museums and art exhibits. However, that’s not all! Its diverse performing arts venue is known for its dance and music theater, outdoor concerts, movie screenings, festivals, family events, speakers, and so much more.
If shopping is your thing, you can’t go wrong with a visit to SouthPark Mall, one of Charlotte’s biggest shopping destinations. Home to over 175 specialty retailers, SouthPark Mall is not only the biggest shopping mall in Charlotte, it’s also the 10th largest on the entire east coast! Whatever you need to find, it’s sure to be here.
US National Whitewater Center
The US National Whitewater Center is not just a facility for training Olympic whitewater slalom racers. If you’re the kind of person who loves the outdoors and enjoying the weather, this venue has a variety of activities to offer. Enjoy features such as rafting, biking, rock climbing, and exploring the Catawba River via paddleboard, canoe, or kayak.
You can also enjoy various scheduled art installation exhibits on display throughout the year in various parts of the site.
7th Street Public Market
Even if the weather isn’t ideal, enjoy shopping and great food at Charlotte’s 7th Street Public Market. This shopping hall is indoors, offers free parking for the first 90 minutes, and is accessible via the Lynx Light Rail Blue Line.
The market’s primary focus is to celebrate the food culture of the Carolinas and to support local and regional farmers, food artisans, and entrepreneurs. In addition to shopping, the market also offers various public events.
History lovers will want to take a look at the Historic Latta Plantation in Huntersville, right on the banks of Mountain Island Lake. A farm that’s been in operation since around 1800, Latta Plantation offers year-round tours featuring animals, workshops and reenactments.
You can also visit the Ezekiel Alexander Log Home which is part of the grounds – a log building that was built back in 1760!
Why drive for hours for a lakeside experience when Lake Norman is right outside of Charlotte? Get on the water with activities such as wake-boarding, rowing, fishing, and sailing. Boat rentals are available or charter a cruise if you would prefer someone else to drive.
Lake Norman offers hiking and biking trails, plenty of parks and greenspace, and public golf courses. However, if you are looking for a quieter lake experience, there is plenty of shopping and food at Birkdale Village, which hosts over 60 retail locations, a movie theatre and local farmers’ markets.
There’s plenty of nightlife, arts and culture centers, and even a spa to pamper yourself.
If you live a little further south of the city, you can also visit Lake Wylie. As with Lake Norman, you can do some fishing, go tubing on the Catawba River, or rent a boat and relax on the open waterways around the lake.
If you prefer to stay on land you can take a walk around the city and check out the great selection of restaurants and boutique stores, or have a wander around Field Day Park.
If moving fast and having loads of fun attracts you, you should check out Carowinds, Charlotte’s exciting amusement park! Home to the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster, Carowinds is a one-stop-shop for ride enthusiasts and families. Try out their 14 world-class roller coasters, or take the kids to Camp Snoopy.
Probably the most unique ride is the Boogie Board Racer, the longest mat racing slide in the Southeast. Race up to five friends or try for a personal speed record. Zip through multiple passes and into a 360-degree loop before you drop to a wet, fun finish.
It’s not all rides and speed, though! If you prefer to enjoy shows and food, Carowinds offers a variety of performances for both adults and families.
A former streetcar suburb just to the east of uptown Charlotte, Plaza Midwood is one of the best spots in the city for dining and nightlife. You’ll find a dazzling array of upscale restaurants, small intimate taverns, breweries and BBQ spots.
If you’re in the mood for something quieter, you can stroll through this historic district’s tree-lined streets, or visit Veterans Memorial Park to take in some nature.
If you’re looking for a family day out in the south of the city, Ballantyne Village is the place for you! With a great selection of restaurants, a movie theatre and lots of boutique stores, this area has something for everyone.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Located in Uptown Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive entertainment attraction showcasing the history of NASCAR. This high-tech experience offers hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art theater, artifacts, racing simulators, and a massive exhibit of classic and present-day racing cars.
Opt for a guided tour or choose your own unique experience.
Charlotte Scavenger Hunts
If you’re really unsure about what to do in Charlotte and what parts of the city to explore, take it all in at once with one of Charlotte’s epic, city-wide scavenger hunts. These hunts take you through historic landmarks and various parts of Charlotte to solve puzzles, complete challenges, and have fun with friends.
There’s certainly no shortage of mind-blowing and inspirational things to do in Charlotte. The Queen City is vibrant and active, and whether you’re into lights and music or a quiet dip in the lake, there will always be just the right amenities and experiences for you here in Charlotte. Learn more about why people love living in Charlotte, NC!