Nicknamed “the Queen City” in honor of Queen Charlotte—who had become the Queen of England several years before the city’s inception—Charlotte holds a host of attractions for those passing through. For those planning a trip to North Carolina in near future, here is a brief preview of all the fun in store.
• NASCAR Hall of Fame: For racing fans, taking a trip to the 150,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Hall of Fame venue should be high on the itinerary. This modern site, dedicated to entertain race fans, includes awesome interactive exhibits such as racing simulators, artifacts and an amazing theater that holds 278 people. There is also the popular Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant and NASCAR Gear Shop to explore. It has successfully created a lasting tribute to all the drivers, team owners and crew member of the sport.
• BB&T Ballpark: This is a top-notch baseball stadium hosting the Charlotte Knights, a Triple A International League minor league baseball team. The well-laid-out ballpark is a very popular venue with families, offering terrific skyline views from its two-level tier seating. There are plenty of local food vendors here too (especially between home plate and first base) and easy parking. The experience of being seated in the suites or in the Home Plate Club are definitely worth the price.
• Discovery Place: A visit here is a fun and fantastic experience. There is something of interest for all ages, and where visitors will be able to see how science can be brought to life by amazing interactive exhibits as well as larger-than-life IMAX Dome films. See the human body’s life cycle, launch objects into the air, crush a garbage can or even lie on a bed of nails. And don’t miss World’s Alive, where guests will learn all about the amazing lives of many diverse species, including hands on labs and dramatic photography.
• Carolina’s Aviation Museum: A fun attraction for aviation and history fans of all ages. Charlotte Airport hangar was erected in 1936-37 and the airport opened its doors in 1938 with Eastern Airlines flying the first commercial flight into Charlotte. There are lots of other civilian and military planes in the hangar. Of great interest is being able to see the actual aircraft known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”—the plane that landed in the Hudson River in 2009—together with reading matter and videos explaining all about the event.
• Blumenthal Performing Arts Center: Opened in 1992, this modern theater is a terrific venue to watch a play or musical when visiting the city. The venue prides itself on its comfortable seating and facilities, not to mention its awesome acoustics. Every seat offers a great view of the stage. From symphony to jazz, a show here will make for a great night out. There is no restaurant on the premises but if you present tickets before or after the performance you will be given a 10 percent discount from their restaurant partners.
• Little Sugar Creek Greenway: This is a lovely area to stroll through, consisting of about 20 miles of paved walkways and trails. The path switches back and forth over the creek and visitors can either carry on and end up behind uptown Charlotte, or stop and enjoy a picnic. Along the way they will pass through swampland, ponds and under bridges. It’s a very safe walk and a lovely area to rest and relax.
• Levine Museum of the New South: The Levine Museum is a great place to learn about the South and its rich contribution to the U.S. The museum’s mission is to engage an audience into the diverse history of the South from 1865 until today through materials, sights and sounds, and has very cleverly developed a fascinating interactive history giving a wonderful opportunity to learn all about post Civil War southern society. Featuring all peoples who have helped shape the South, the family can learn about all the topic of slavery together with other important issues.
Charlotte has all of this to offer and much more besides—making it the perfect place to spend a vacation of any length.
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