Charlotte City Guide

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Moving to Charlotte?  You’re entering a locale rich in history and culture! Here is a little bit of everything you need to know to explore your new digs.

Museums & the Arts

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art features the most significant and impressionistic art of 20th century European and American artists. They also have various exhibitions that alternate throughout the year.

Blumenthal Performing Arts

Both children and adults alike will find a world of fun and exciting educational activities at the Discovery Place.  Explore different ecosystems from across the globe and become an innovator in the Think It Up area.  Don’t forget to check out what’s playing in their IMAX theater, where you can experience 3D tornadoes and butterflies firsthand.

Or if  you’re looking for something more along the lines of Broadway shows, comedy acts, dance, music or something for the kiddos, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center has it all! Check out their packed schedule of entertainment here.

Food & Dining:

From hole-in-the-wall dives to fine French cuisine, Charlotte has what you seek! If you want a local fave, check out Queen City Q, named after the city’s nickname, the “Queen City.” Your sense of smell will alert you to the savory barbeque even before you get to the door!

Attractions & Entertainment:

A great place to start looking for Charlotte area entertainment is CharlottesGotaLot.com. For a bit of old-school fun, Park Lanes provides not only bowling lanes but also an outside deck for dining, including a Moonshine bar.  Keep it casual or join one of the leagues if you’re a bit more competitive!

For thrill seekers, the “thrill capital of the southeast” is located only 15 minutes from uptown Charlotte. Carowinds is home to the longest, fastest roller coaster in the southeast United States. In addition to their thriller rides, they have Planet Snoopy with kiddy rides and Boomerang Bay, which has water rides and attractions. With live entertainment, dinosaur digs and delicious food vendors, Carowinds is a great getaway for the whole family.

NASCAR

NASCAR requires its own section for Charlotte entertainment! If you’re going to live in Charlotte, NASCAR races are one thing you’ll need to partake in at least once. Though NASCAR is an international sport, 90% of NASCAR race teams are based out of the Charlotte area. The sport of NASCAR, boasting 75 million fans, is ranked second in the nation, topped only by the National Football League (NFL).  The Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts three major NASCAR races – the Coca-Cola 600, the Sprint All-Star Race and the Bank of America 500. However there are many alternative events you may attend, as they hold over 380 events annually!

NASCAR

In the NASCAR Hall of Fame, take a stroll down NASCAR memory lane. See the drivers who started it all and made history or rent a viewing room for the greatest races of all time.

If you want the “real deal” experience of driving an actual racecar, the NASCAR Racing Experience is where you need to go. You’re allowed to purchase packages that put you in the driver’s seat of a real racecar and zoom around the track without a lead car! This is for the ultimate NASCAR fans.

Sites to See

Looking for the world’s largest man-made whitewater river? Look no further, the US National Whitewater Center is where it’s at.  Not only can you raft the rapids but you can also enjoy dining events like microbrew tasting and fireside dinners!

For the green thumbs out there, Charlotte offers a beautiful botanical garden. At the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, you can wander through the different areas and pavilions or take a class on photography. The Garden even hosts children’s birthday parties where young guests can pot their own plant and take part in a scavenger hunt!

If you’re looking for more of a full-day or overnight trip, consider the Biltmore Estate. Vanderbilt’s estate covers 8,000 acres located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to the beautiful château, the location contains a winery, unique shopping, dining options and a beautiful garden designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead, who also designed New York City’s Central Park.

bobcats

Sports Center

For sports fans, you won’t be disappointed! Charlotte is home to several professional teams. Avid football fans can cheer on the NFL Carolina Panthers at the Bank of America Stadium.  Those who follow the NBA (National Basketball Association) will remember Muggsy Bogues, shortest player ever in the NBA, who played for the Charlotte Hornets back in the 80s and 90s. Charlotte’s team is currently called the Bobcats but will retain the Hornets’ name again, beginning in 2014! The Major League Lacrosse (MLL) has a team based here called the Charlotte Hounds.

Pet Lovers

One thing you’ll need after moving is a place for your four-legged children to be pampered. Pet Paradise Resort offers grooming, daycare, training and even boarding! The Charlotte location is only one mile from the Charlotte International Airport, which makes dropping off your beloved pet before your flight quick and easy!

Faith-Centered

Billy Graham

Explore the 40,000 square-foot library and learn about the life and legacy of “America’s Pastor,” at the Billy Graham Library. On site is the Graham family homeplace, bookstore, prayer garden and dairy bar.

By Victoria Volkman

(Photo courtesy of Cal Dellinger, Broadway Tour, David Berkowitz, and Keith Allison.)

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