Coming from NYC, I was a bit nervous that Charlotte mayyy not have enough things to do. But even 5 years later, I fall more in love with this city every single day. Check out my listicle of favorite CLT activities for any occasion or season!
(Yes, I’m aware some of these are obvious to Charlotteans, but helpful to my friends who may be planning to travel here for the 1st time post-pandemic)! There are so many other great places to tag - I’d love to know your favorites and let me know what you think if you visit!
🏁The Charlotte Motor Speedway Lights & Drive-In movie offers guests the experience of a movie in front of the 16,000-square-foot HDVT. Guests can tune their car radio to a dedicated low-frequency FM station to dial in the audio from the comfort of their vehicle.
🎄 The Charlotte Christmas Village has unique shopping, the usual European menu, tens of thousands of lights, trees, and displays to enjoy.
⛵️At Lake Norman, you can rent a boat, go sailing, visit Jetton Park, swim with the family, or even kayak!
🌴If you want some good food while you're there, check out Hello, Sailor - a bright, sunny, casual waterfront restaurant and bar, open all day Wednesday - Sunday.
☀️The Blue Parrot Grill (a bit more casual) offers great food, drinks, music and a dog friendly environment for the perfect outdoor dining next to the lake. They even have a little beach with a huge beach chair!
🧗♀️SPRING ACTIVITY: U.S. National Whitewater Center Rafting, Rock Climbing, & Ziplining
🚣♂️USNWC is one of THE best (and most unique) attractions in not just Charlotte, but the south. The Whitewater Center is designed and operated as an outdoor center offering over 30 different recreational activities. They also have a restaurant and drinks when you're not doing activities!
🎢Every corner at Scarowinds at Carowinds is cursed afresh with haunted mazes, scare zones and live (or maybe not live) entertainment.
🎃If you are looking for a new and out of the ordinary way to get your heart pumping and adrenaline rushing this October, Scarrigan Farms is the place for you.
🔎The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome has a three-story tall dome-shaped screen, 12,000 watts of surround-sound and a projection lamp that can be seen from space.
🌳Freedom Park is a 98-acre park in Charlotte, North Carolina and is about 3 miles from the heart of Charlotte's downtown area.
ART: The Mint Museum
🖼The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design.
🎨NoDa is Charlotte’s historic arts and entertainment district. Whether you are looking for Craft beer, award-winning food, custom gifts, or tattoos you’ll find what you need in NoDa.
THEATRE: Blumenthal Arts
🎭Blumenthal Arts presents the largest Broadway season in the Carolinas, hosting more than 18 weeks of Broadway shows annually, along with a large array of special attractions and festivals, from concerts to comedy to dance to the Charlotte Jazz Festival and much more. The Oh Show was also hosted here!
COMEDY: The Comedy Zone
🎤The Comedy Zone is is a full service Comedy Theater, Conference Center and Special Event facility. It is known as Charlotte's home for comedy - I saw Bob Saget here a few years ago!
AQUARIUM: Sea Life Charlotte
🐠Sea Life Charlotte-Concord provides immersive marine experiences and aims to share their passion for the creatures of the oceans.
🎸Charlotte SHOUT! presents a creative, inclusive, and innovative arts experience through a series of coordinated festival events designed to bring people together. Think SXSW but for Charlotte!
✨Breakaway Music Festival is an event hosted in Charlotte known for booking big names in hip-hop and EDM. I went to the first one ever hosted and it was such a blast!
CONCERT VENUE: The Fillmore
💥The Fillmore Charlotte features the iconic music venue's trademark decor, including red oak hardwood floors, red painted interior, vintage posters of legendary live music performances, magnificent chandeliers throughout, state-of-the-art lighting and sound, as well as, stadium style tiers that create great sight lines from anywhere in the venue, a VIP area and more. The Underground is the standing-room-only venue at the Fillmore Charlotte that stages high-energy shows like Trap Choir (one of my favorite shows to date)!
DRIVE-IN CONCERT: The Music Yard
⭐️ The Music Yard is Charlotte's newest live music venue – and your new favorite place to eat, drink and jam. Love the guys behind this and had the time of my life at the socially-distanced emo night show - talk about some throw backs!
🥾 HIKE: Crowders Mountain
⛰Companion peaks at Crowders Mountain State Park—The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain—offer challenging hikes, towering cliffs and 25-mile views of the surrounding piedmont.
KARAOKE: NoDa 101
🎶NoDa 101 features karaoke seven nights a week. This place is always a bit crowded and you'll definitely put on a show. Jeff's Bucket Shop is a classic karaoke staple in CLT and Seoul Karaoke allows you to have private karaoke rooms.
🧺 DATE: Picnic at Romare Bearden
🏞Romare Bearden Park is across the street from BB&T Ballpark, the home of the International League's Charlotte Knights. This is where Amir and I love to come to throw the frisbee and have a cheese/charcuterie board in the spring!! (It's also where he asked me to be his girlfriend, so it has a special place in my heart!)
BASEBALL: Charlotte Knights (AAA) at Truist Field
⚾️Truist Field hosts the Charlotte Knights, a Triple-A Minor League Baseball team in the Triple-A East. In my opinion, the best baseball stadium of all time and of course, the best mascot of all time.... HOMER THE DRAGON!!!! They support Levine Children's Hospital immensely :)
LACROSSE: Charlotte Hounds at American Legion Memorial Stadium
🥅 The Charlotte Hounds are a Major League Lacrosse franchise that plays games at American Legion Memorial Stadium.
SOCCER: Charlotte Football Club at Bank of America Stadium
⚽️The Charlotte Football Club is a planned Major League Soccer expansion team that is expected to begin play in 2022.
FOOTBALL: Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium
🏈No explanation needed. This NFL team also supports our kids at Levine Children's and have been the best guys/staff to work with!! They also have been hosting all of the major vaccination events at the stadium.
🏀Spectrum Arena hosts the NBA's Charlotte Hornets which seats 19,077 for NBA games but can be expanded to 20,200 for college basketball games. Spectrum is operated by its main tenant, the Hornets, but also hosts major concerts. I've been to Fall Out Boy, Halsey, Imagine Dragons, and more here (thanks Kristen Cella!) I also got to vote in the last election here!
HOCKEY: Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles Coliseum
🏒The Charlotte Checkers are a minor-league professional ice hockey team based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
⛳️ Stroke Putt is an urban Golf Club : Miniature Golf, Lounge, & Snack House. A quick round with great cocktails!!
🏌️♀️Topgolf features dozens of climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort with HDTVs in every bay and throughout our sports bar & restaurant. Have loved going to the location in University!
BRING YOUR PETS: Skiptown
🐶Skiptown offers a private, indoor/outdoor, off leash dog park and bar meant for dogs and their people to socialize and have fun. The CEO, Meggie, is an absolute boss and I've loved going here just to dog watch!
Hope this Charlotte guide will help you on your next trip to one of the best cities in the US!
*disclaimer: this is just my opinion/nothing sponsored.