There are plenty of things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina. This city is located close to the South Carolina border and is serviced by a major international airport. This city will delight you with various activities, from adventure to sporting events, great food experiences, and museums.
Whether you’re there for a day, a weekend, or an extended vacation, you won’t run out of ideas for exploring the city and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase, at no cost to you. We truly only recommend hotels, products, and services we personally use. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Adventurous Things to Do in Charlotte
Charlotte is home to scenic nature and exhilarating activities that will get anyone’s heart pumping.
The Whitewater Center, located in Charlotte, NC, has more than just whitewater rafting. It features hiking trails, ziplines, a ropes course, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and even yoga classes. It’s a mecca for people who love to stay active.
Carowinds Amusement Park
Theme park fans in search of roller coasters and rides will appreciate Carowinds. It is the perfect place to visit in Charlotte.
It provides hours of fun and entertainment for families and couples. Carowinds features live entertainment (like their busker band) in addition to its rides, so keep an eye out for the performance schedule during a visit.
Be sure to check their website for the park’s operating hours because they are not open year-round.
UNC Botanical Garden Charlotte
Take a walk in a beautiful botanical garden for a low-key adventure in Charlotte. Flowers and plants bloom here during every season of the year, making this a wonderful thing to do in Charlotte during any month.
Sports Activities in Charlotte
This North Carolina city is a haven for minor and major league sports enthusiasts!
Cheer on the Players during a Football Game
You can walk to Bank of America Stadium from most areas of downtown Charlotte and catch a Panthers football game.
(Alternatively, if it’s not football season, check their schedule to see what bands or entertainers are in town. They hold concerts here too, inviting anyone from Billy Joel to Kenny Chesney to perform.)
See a Basketball Game
Suppose basketball is your sport: head to the Spectrum Arena to watch a Hornets game. This venue doubles as a concert venue and hosts other sporting events, like WWE matches.
Check out the Minor League Baseball Scene
If you’ve never been to a Minor League Baseball game, get tickets to attend one in Charlotte if you’re there during baseball season. Tickets are very affordable, and BB&T Stadium is entertaining to visit.
Being surrounded by baseball fans cheering on the teams (whether the home team of the Charlotte Knights or the visiting team) and all the stadium food and drinks that go along with the experience (hot dogs, nachos, beer, and sodas) is a blast.
Practice Your Swing at Topgolf
Head to Charlotte’s Topgolf to enjoy some time working on that golf form, whether solo or with friends. This twist on a driving range stacks bays for golfers (new and experienced), so they can hit some golf balls while socializing over food and beverages.
Listen to the Engines Roar at Charlotte Motor Speedway
The unmistakable sound of an engine revving can be heard throughout a racing day at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the cars whiz around the track. They have events throughout spring, summer, and fall. Their annual NASCAR Cup Series race is held on Memorial Day Weekend.
If you’re not in town during a race, this is still a great thing to do in Charlotte because they offer speedway tours. The tours take visitors behind the scenes of the track, garages, and interior of the speedway.
Food Things to Do in Charlotte
There’s no shortage of great restaurants, food halls, and breweries to choose from in Charlotte to accommodate any palate and preference. Here are just a few.
Who wouldn’t want to go to such a happy dining hall and destination in Charlotte? Enjoy ramen, Italian-style pizzas, Indian street food, dumplings, sushi, Asian noodles, tacos, gelato, pastries, beer, and craft cocktails here. There’s truly something for everyone!
Optimist Hall is open daily from 10:30am past dinner time, making it a popular lunch and dinner destination.
In addition to trying their food, stop by the plant and stationery stores inside. It’s the perfect spot to buy a Charlotte souvenir or gift for a friend to bring back from your trip.
The Market at 7th Street
This popular Charlotte food hall is near the light rail train station and Lynx bus stop at 7th Street. The indoor vendors sell food and beverages. They also have a great selection of Charlotte-themed souvenirs.
James Beard Award-nominated chef, Greg Collier, has a spot named Uptown Yolk at The Market at 7th Street.
Try a latte or pressed juice, dine on pizza, dumplings, or popcorn, and pick up some cheese for a picnic in the adjacent First Ward Park. Then, at night, join a programming event, from wine tastings to Raclette cheese nights.
Old Mecklenburg Brewery
This brewery offers beer and food to its visitors. Anyone can find an appetizer or entree to order from their German-inspired menu, and their award-winning beers are crafted onsite. They have outdoor and indoor seating and offer brewery tours as well.
Museums in Charlotte
If one of the appealing things to do in Charlotte is visiting museums, there are plenty to choose from. It’s not only a great thing to do if the weather is inclement but also when it’s nice outside; even the architecture of these notable museums will lure you inside.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
NASCAR enthusiasts will love this museum because of its exhibits and interactive experiences. In addition, this museum provides plenty of options, whether enjoying an iRacing simulator, grabbing a bite at the Pit Cafe, taking a guided tour, or stepping back in time to learn about dozens of Hall of Famers.
They are closed on Tuesdays.
Mint Museum Uptown
This art gallery displays notable craft and design pieces and American, European, and contemporary art. Its central location in downtown Charlotte makes it easy to get to, and the building’s unique architecture makes it easy to spot.
The Mint Museum Uptown is closed on Mondays.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Swiss architect Mario Botta designed this fascinating building located in downtown Charlotte. The exterior of the Bechtler Museum of Modern art beckons visitors.
Inside are four stories of modern art meant to inform, inspire and enhance the lives of all who visit.
The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
This museum educates its visitors about the area’s history from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to today. It aims to connect the past and the present and provide insight into the people, places, and cultural movements that have shaped the south.
They are closed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Exploring Parks in and near Charlotte NC
Various urban parks within Charlotte are worth a visit.
Romare Bearden Park
This park is off of Church Street and provides over 5-acres of greenery with impressive views of Charlotte’s skyscrapers. It is also near BB&T Stadium.
West 4th Street extends through the city’s northwest side and runs through Frazier Park. There are recreational facilities here, like sports fields, a basketball court, and pretty gardens.
Head to southeast Charlotte to walk through this park with an attractive reflection pool and a view of Charlotte’s skyline. In addition, the 19-acre park contains sports facilities and gardens.
Exploring Nearby areas of Charlotte
Charlotte is in a prime location to take day trips and weekend getaways. There are plenty of towns just a drive away where you can experience even more beautiful attractions that the area has to offer.
If you want to know what it’s like to race around a bit of a smaller track than the NASCAR celebrities, K1 Speed is the perfect thing to do in the Charlotte area. Drive to Cabarrus to race go-kart-like electric vehicles around a track and race against others or simply achieve a personal-best time.
You’ll also find plenty of Instagram-worthy spots in Cabarrus, like a donut shop where you can customize your toppings, a raw cookie dough bar, and a colorful mural.
Lake Norman is a popular place in North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte. Year-round, it’s a fantastic destination with plenty of waterfront dining opportunities, and come October and November, it is home to the North Carolina Renaissance Festival.
This county is just south of the North Carolina/South Carolina border. However, the area is less than 30 minutes from Charlotte by car. The two towns to note here are Rock Hill and Fort Mill. There are plenty of things to do in York County, adding to the things to do in Charlotte.
Rock Hill is known for Glencairn Gardens, Catawba Riverwalk, and downtown. There, visitors can find Kounter, a modern restaurant with historic roots.
Fort Mill has a well-known greenway (Anne Springs Close Greenway) with its York County Swinging Bridge within it. Kingsley Town Center provides seemingly endless restaurant options.