Things to do in Charlotte, NC
More About Charlotte
Charlotte is a place with many faces. First and foremost, it's a city setting the pace for economic development in the Southeast. It has 325 Fortune 500 companies, over 300 international firms and a banking center second only to New York's in size – no one disputes the fact that the Queen City is running on all cylinders. As corporate growth has exploded, the city has transformed itself to accommodate the growing numbers of employees, travelers and families arriving each day. Cutting edge restaurants and tasteful, contemporary shopping centers have cropped up from Trade Street to Ballantyne. All the while, great care has been taken to nurture and preserve the sites and traditions that are distinctively Charlotte.
Combining Carolina charm with cosmopolitan flair, Charlotte offers plenty of terrific ways to pass the time. The city is a sports mecca that hosts its fair share of big-time collegiate sports events, from NCAA hoops tourneys to bowl games. It's also home to the NFL's Carolina Panthers and the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, both of whom enjoy loyal followings. Of course, it's what happens just north of the city at Lowe's Motor Speedway that draws the biggest, loudest crowds: NASCAR.
On race days, particularly Memorial Day's Coca-Cola 600, you can see Carolinians from all walks of life ignited by their passion for high speed and close calls. When there's not a race, devotees may try their hand at the wheel on the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the speedway or visit the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in nearby Mooresville.
Beyond sports, Charlotte's Southern heritage is evident in the succulent flavor of Carolina BBQ and the stately facades of fine old homes and churches. To catch a glimpse of the area's character, visit the Historic Rosedale Plantation or stroll down the streets of the Fourth Ward, lined with restored Victorians. Just down the street, where the neighborhood transitions into Uptown, yesterday and today meet. Here, you'll find swanky new bistros, cocktail bars and such that help define Charlotte as a place with a young, stylish vibe.
For folks looking for other big city attractions, they're here. Vast shopping centers, like SouthPark Mall and Concord Mills, the mega-mall off I-85, guarantee access to a full selection of national retailers. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre and Charlotte Bobcats Arena attract big-name concerts. A vibrant arts scene is also on the rise in the "NoDa" Arts District (north of Uptown), where you'll find an assortment of cool galleries and a hot lineup of live bands performing almost every evening. Whatever you discover about this booming, cosmopolitan city, you can bet there's always more to see and do, so plan to return.