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Charlotte Road Trip: Discover the Best of NC

Charlotte Road Trip: Discover the Best of NC

Ah, Charlotte—the “Queen City,” a name bestowed in tribute to Queen Charlotte in 1768. In the heart of North Carolina, Charlotte is an explorer’s paradise, blessed with a vibrancy that draws adventure-seekers from every corner. When the spirit of travel beckons for a weekend of exploration, a Charlotte road trip beckons you to uncover its hidden jewels and the best of NC.


Indulge in Active Adventures

Nestled in Charlotte’s welcoming arms is the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a second-to-none playground for the outdoor enthusiast. Spanning 1,300 acres, it beckons visitors to challenge the rapids on an artificial river, skyscraping zip lines, and mountain biking trails that tempt the bold. 

And for those who prefer the chill of ice underfoot, ice skating awaits. With a myriad of activities available (yes, they’re fee-based, but just wandering the grounds is free), it’s a haven for the active spirit.


A Botanical Wonderland

For those yearning for a serene escape, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a living tapestry that changes with the seasons. Wander its 110-acre splendor, revel in the conservatory’s tropical plants and orchids, and leave with a souvenir from the gift shop—each visit here is a rejuvenation of the soul.

It is a bit of a drive outside the Charlotte uptown area, but well worth it.


About thirty minutes away is the darling community of Lake Norman. You’ll definitely want to find time to enjoy a few moments here.

Immerse in Culture

Art and design receive a standing ovation at the Mint Museum Uptown, where American Art and craft find sanctuary. A short tour through Uptown Charlotte leads to a trove of attractions easily explored on foot, weaving through the city’s canvas.

Kids and adults will enjoy visiting the Levine Museum of the New South. This hands-on history museum features intriguing displays of Southern life throughout the years. 

Launched in 2015, the OG Funny Bus offers enjoy an evening of rib-tickling laughs onboard. Bring your own drinks and be entertained by top-notch comedians during this 90-minute interactive $35 per ticket comedy and city tour.

Music enthusiasts will want to check out The Fillmore’s schedule for musical performances and delight in its kitschy decor and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.

NASCAR’s Heartbeat

Then there’s the NASCAR Hall of Fame—an ode to those who live for the roar of the engine but also a fascinating exploration for even the most casual fan. Here, the track legends become tangible through interactive exhibits and theatrical storytelling.

Hands-on fun awaits with the Pit Crew Challenge, and the High Octane Theater brings the thrill of the race to life.

A stone’s throw away, Charlotte Motor Speedway offers the chance to witness the thunder, with events like the Coca-Cola 600 carving memories that last a lifetime. You can also put yourself in the driver’s seat in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Here, you complete laps around the track with your own skill set. You can also enjoy the ride with a pro driver, hitting laps well over 150 mph.


Shop in Style

Imagine a place where luxury not only whispers but sings. SouthPark Mall is Charlotte’s temple to high-end retail, with gleaming storefronts such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co calling to your inner fashionista. But fear not, it’s not all about exclusivity; there’s a store for every shopper, a style for every wardrobe.

A Swanky Swing

Fancy a night of fun? Puttery welcomes the 21+ adult crowd to putt with panache. Sip a crafted cocktail, and select between the Library or Conservatory course. It’s mini-golf with a touch of glam—one where reservations come highly recommended.


Fun Fact: In 2022, the prestigious Presidents Cup occurred at the Quail Hollow Club, attracting the best golfers worldwide. Watch for more special events like this in the Queen City. 


The Culinary Crossroads

Step into Optimist Hall and be swept away in a culinary whirlwind. The choice becomes a deliciously tricky affair as you juggle ramen, bao buns, and empanadas. A buzzing epicenter of flavors, it’s a hive of activity that tantalizes with every bite.

Savor Charlotte’s Flavor

Join Feast Food Tours in the NoDa district for a gastronomic odyssey that pairs local culture with irresistible fare—every bite, every story, every flavor, an adventure. My tour featured six food stops, five of which are guaranteed. Besides great bites and sips, you’ll also learn some fun and educational things along the way.


Goal-Scoring Atmosphere

When the chants of sports fans ring through the air, you know you’ve arrived at Bank of America Stadium. Here, gridiron action unfolds with the Carolina Panthers, while Charlotte FC ignites the passion of soccer fans.

And keep an eye out—this stadium hosts a symphony of events, with concerts and collegiate showdowns like the Duke’s Mayo Bowl crafting an unmissable calendar.

A Family Haven

For family getaways, peek into Great Wolf Lodge, where holiday spirit radiates through themed suites, water slides, and adventure games that promise endless excitement for the young and young at heart.


A visit to Charlotte would not be complete without spending a day at Carowinds amusement park. Known as the Thrill capital of the Southeast, Carowinds is home to many supreme roller coasters and thrill rides.

Sleep in Elegance

For restful nights imbued with Southern grace, the Duke Mansion B&B crafts an experience unique to each visitor. Alternatively, the Hyatt Centric in SouthPark in Charlotte’s premier retail district swathes guests in modernity with waterfall showers and panoramic views.


Southern Charm Defined

At the Hampton Inn & Suites Charlotte SouthPark at Phillips Place, expect resort luxury polished with stunning furnishings and impeccable service—a respite where every detail sings of comfort.


Adventures Await in Queen City

Pack your bags, fuel your curiosity, and set your compass to Charlotte—a city embodying the tagline, “Charlottes got a lot.” Whether action or relaxation, shopping sprees, or cultural deep dives, the Queen City makes every road trip memorable; discover why this North Carolina gem continues to capture hearts and inspire stories.

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