Best Attractions & Activities

With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Charlotte to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.


Situated in uptown Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame offers 150,000 square feet of interactive entertainment that everyone is sure to love, whether you're fan, car enthusiast or just a visitor. The museum features room after room of interesting hands-on exhibits, including tire-changing stations, race simulators and broadcast booths. The Hall of Honor highlights the careers of famous inductees, and there's even a special Kids Zone where little racers can take the wheel.

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F-U-N! The 100-acre park offers all the usual amusement park adventures, including Ferris wheels, roller coasters, special effects shows, and a water park. The Afterburn roller coaster gives riders the impression of actually flying a fighter jet. For cooling down, check out the attached Boomerang Bay waterpark. The park straddles the NC-SC border, just 15 minutes south of Uptown Charlotte and 12 miles north of Rock Hill, SC.

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Several thematic gardens arranged in a succession of outdoor rooms makes this complex a plant-lover's paradise. The Cottage Garden has many hard-to-find heirloom plants, the Four Seasons Garden highlights form and foliage for year-round appeal, and the Canal Garden features color in changing displays of perennials and annuals. The garden's location on Lake Wylie includes 100 developed acres and some 300 more acres under development.

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Thanks to a fascinating, thought-provoking collaboration between organizations devoted to theater and to libraries, this facility offers a range of learning opportunities and a way for the city's young people to explore the arts. In fact, Charlotte's children find creatively-conceived teen programs, theater performances, technology classes, scavenger hunts, and more that can easily keep the attention of any youngster.

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Put the throttle down and let 'er rip! At this informative, hands-on experience, you'll learn the ins-and-outs of professional race car driving as you get tips and instruction from real drivers and pit crews. And there's certain to be fun and excitement for both race car enthusiasts and novices. For serious drivers (or people who crave high-octane thrills!), more involved driving packages are available that include everything from individual driving sessions to 30 – even 40 – trips around the track.

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Outdoor concerts are a big part of Charlotte's entertainment scene. Acts ranging from Faith Hill to Dave Matthews to Linkin Park are scheduled to take the stage on summer nights at this North Charlotte venue. Great sightlines, a friendly staff, awesome sound, and easy access to I-485 and I-85 make Verizon Wireless Amphitheater a fantastic place to catch a concert.

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Discovery Place
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Discovery Place is a great way to spend a day, whether you're by yourself or with a group, young or old. Indeed, it's a safe bet that everybody will walk away from a day at Discovery Place knowing a few things they hadn't known before. The facility features exhibits on anatomy, physics, natural science, machines, and much more. If you're alone, browse the halls listening to some of your favorite music. Be sure to take in the aquarium, rain forest, planetarium, and various activity rooms.

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Tiger World is a rehabilitation and conservation center offering tours featuring numerous animal species and habitats. Great getaway for families and animal lovers of all ages. Everyone loves the animals, and this facility never fails to please. With hundreds of residents, there's an attraction for everyone, whether it's farm animals or creatures of more exotic backgrounds. The habitats mimic each animal's natural environment, so kids can see how they live in the wild.

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If plants, flowers and gardens are your forte, you are in for an amazing treat. There are exceptional varieties of horticulture represented at the gardens. Visitors will find a great many rare species, as well. Don't miss the two-story rain forest. Located on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Highway 49 North. Groups of over 10 must schedule a visit.

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US National Whitewater Center

Home to the world's largest man-made recirculating river, the US National Whitewater Center is the place for adventure in Charlotte. The facility features nearly 400 acres of play space, including mountain-biking and running trails, a climbing center and a challenge course, but the most popular activity is, of course, rafting on the Class II, III and IV whitewater rapids. Professional guides teach visitors all the basics of rafting before leading them down the Catawba River.

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