Experience Charlotte like a local with our list of 101 (or maybe a few more) fun things to do in and around the Queen City.
Whether you’re looking for unique culinary or brewery experiences, museums, live music, shopping, sports, outdoor adventure or family fun, Charlotte’s got it going on. Check out our ultimate list of fun things to do around town.
History & Tours
1. Peek into Charlotte’s past at the Levine Museum of the New South, The Charlotte Museum of History (home to the county’s oldest-surviving structure, Hezekiah Alexander Homesite).
2. Retrace Charlotte native and Christian evangelist Billy Graham’s dynamic journey from a North Carolina dairy farm to stadiums across the globe at The Billy Graham Library. Admission is free (closed on Sundays).
3. Learn about the nation’s 11th U.S. president on a tour of his birthplace, the President James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville.
4. Explore circa 1800s Charlotte at Historic Rosedale, offering guided tours and educational programming, or dive into the region’s Revolutionary War roots at Historic Brattonsville.
5. Experience Gilded Age glam at turn-of-the-century stays such as The Duke Mansion (of James Buchanan Duke fame), The Dunhill Hotel or The Morehead Inn.
6. Follow Uptown’s Charlotte Liberty Walk, a series of bronze plaques and monuments that detail the city’s vital importance during the American Revolution, or the Trail of History on Little Sugar Creek Greenway, which highlights the key people who’ve contributed to the area’s growth. Don’t miss the Captain James Jack statue. Legend has it, he carried the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to the 1775 Continental Congress. The city still celebrates every year on May 20, aka Meck Dec Day.
7. Tour Center City and neighboring historic districts your way: in a horse-drawn carriage with Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours , on a Segway or bike with Charlotte NC Tours , by lantern with Carolina History & Haunts , during Funny Bus Comedy City Tour’s BYOB stand-up routine or during an adventure with C-Charlotte Tours or Queen City Rides.
8. Pan for gold at Reed Gold Mine, the location of the nation’s first gold discovery in 1799. Admission and tours are free; panning for gold is $3 (plus tax).
Food & Drink
9. Order popular plates from the kitchens of James Beard-nominated chefs, including Joe Kindred ofKindred Restaurant in Davidson and Hello, Sailor in Cornelius, Gregory Collier of Leah & Louise at Camp North End, Paul Verica of The Stanley, or Bruce Moffett of Stagioni , Good Food on Montford and Barrington’s in Charlotte.
10. Experience the flavors of the region’s bounty by stocking up on locally grown produce and goods at popular area farmers markets, like the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, Uptown Farmers Market, North End Farmers Market, South End Market at Atherton Mill, Kings Drive Farmers Market, Davidson Farmers Market and more.
11. Enjoy community vibes and http://www.hookupdate.net/grindr-vs-scruff/ culinary craftsmanship at the region’s food halls, including 7th Street Public Market (the state’s first food hall) and Optimist Hall.
12. Feast on authentic Southern cuisine like fried chicken, flavor-packed down-home sides and desserts, and savory meat-and-threes at local favorites like at La’Wan’s Soul Food Restaurant, Mert’s Heart and Soul and Soul Central.
13. Try North Carolina’s varied barbecue styles at institutions like Bar-B-Q King, Midwood Smokehouse, Sweet Lew’s BBQ or Mac’s Speed Shop .
14. Celebrate a special occasion at a beloved Charlotte treasure like Beef ‘N Bottle, McNinch House Restaurant or The Fig Tree Restaurant .
15. Taste innovative cuisine from the kitchen of “Top Chef” alum Jamie Lynch at La Belle Helene and 5Church; experience seasonal, sustainable fare from chef William Dissen at Haymaker, who beat Gordon Ramsay on an episode of “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” on National Geographic; or order what Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” host Guy Fieri did at spots like JJ’s Red Hots, Cabo Fish Taco, Bang Bang Burgers, Pinky’s Westside Grill and more.