All around Charlotte
Whether you’re looking for the full arena experience (holler at the Spectrum Center) or a more intimate space that lets you get close enough to the musician to see their every facial expression (like the Evening Muse), the Queen City delivers a diverse array of concert venues. Other spots to try include the Fillmore at the AvidxChange Music Factory and the Neighborhood Theatre.
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a breathtakingly beautiful oasis. During the holidays, the place becomes even more of a magical (extremely lit up) wonderland, so add it to your list. Make sure to scope out Downtown Belmont while you’re in the area. It’s postcard-worthy. Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, owned by Denise and Kevin Jonas (one of those Jonas brothers), provides delicious fuel pre- or post-garden visit.
Kings Mountain, NC
Just a 45-minute drive from Charlotte, Crowders Mountain offers trails of all difficulty levels. Make sure you pack good sneakers, and plan to spend time working hard to enjoy a view that makes it worthwhile.
All around Charlotte
Of course your pals are going to want brunch. It's boozy, delicious, fun, and you can wake up at 10 or 11 and still get a great table. Lucky for you, there's no shortage of spots around town that'll keep your Bloody's fresh, mimosas topped off, and eggs made to order. To wit: Charlotte's best brunches.
Anyone who’s spent at least a little time in a bar has thrown a round of darts before. But if you really want to impress your guest, put a beer in their hand and an axe and a target in front of them. Trainers get you comfortable, and before you know it, you’re unleashing primal instincts and hurling axes at targets like it's second nature.
On a nice day, there are few better places to be than Freedom Park. Bring a picnic, grab a bike, relax with a book, or just take a walk. This September (the 21st through the 23rd), Festival in the Park returns, which features dozens of local artists displaying their wares, plus food and music.
Charlotte has plenty of museums for when you’re looking for a dose of culture during a visitor’s stay. The Mint and Bechtler museums are unbeatable when you want to ogle art, but the Levine Museum of the New South provides a unique perspective on life in the region post-Civil War. The exhibits rotate frequently, and the building itself is gorgeous.
Near Pineville and the North/South Carolina border
Have you really lived a full day if you haven’t felt like you might puke after having your body whipped around at top speed? No. No, you haven’t. If you’re feeling brave, hop on Fury 325, one of the park’s most notorious rides. Standing at 325-feet tall and traveling up to 95 miles per hour, it’s the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster. When you need a break, musical performances happen throughout the day, so you can catch your breath and let your guts settle.
The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center consistently brings top-tier shows and notable figures to the area, so check the schedule to see who’s going to be around when you’ve got visitors joining you. Upcoming performances include Bright Star (written and composed by Steve Martin) as well as The Lion King, the cultural phenomenon Hamilton, plus an appearance from former Vice President Joe Biden.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
A NASCAR race is worth seeing live and in the flesh, even if you’re not familiar with the sport. Pick a favorite driver, and grab tickets to the Coca Cola 600. Make sure to arrive early and give yourself time to walk the grounds. There are tons of activities and attractions to scope out, and you can bring in coolers, as long as they don’t have glass. You’ll also want to rent a scanner so you can get a good sense of what’s going on during the race.
Speaking of NASCAR, while you’re at it, a trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame located in uptown is worth a pit stop (get it?! I'm so sorry.). Anyways, the highly-interactive experience is entertaining for NASCAR newbies and die-hards alike. Check out artifacts and explore hands-on exhibits.