The 17th largest city in the U.S. and the largest in North Carolina is Charlotte. Just over ¾ million people call this 300 square mile city home, and with good reason. An average high temperature of 72 and low of 51 provide a very comfortable range of temps. The 43.5 inches of rain and 5.5 days with snow are insignificant when compared to the nearly 3,000 hours of beautiful Carolina sunshine. Charlotte is home to several respected universities, a wide variety of museums, and plenty of places to eat and sleep.
We’re here to discuss things to do while you’re awake though, so, let’s get to it.
Discovery Place is a place, well, a place of discovery. Visitors can trek through the rainforest, build monuments, experience an explosion, or watch a movie on the biggest screen in the Carolinas. No matter the age, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Discovery Place. Recent renovations, totaling over $31.6 million, have made Discovery Place one of the leading science hands-on centers in the country and the most visited attraction in either North or South Carolina.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center features, among other attractions, the Canopy Tour. This 4 hour guided treetop experience goes along, and 60 feet above, the Catawba River and includes portions of the historic Tuckaseegee Ford and Trail. Other adventures include kid’s camp, kayak instruction, survival school, climbing instruction, CPR classes, and team development exercises.
Our eleventh President, James K. Polk called North Carolina, specifically the Charlotte area, home. Located on land once owned by his parents, the James K. Polk State Historic Site commemorates the life and presidency of Polk. The Mexican-American War, the Oregon boundary dispute and the annexation of California are some of the growing points attributed to Polk’s tumultuous term as president. This reconstruction of Polk’s childhood home features a log house, separate kitchen, and a barn. It’s a history lesson that can be seen and heard in the visitor center which features a film on Polk’s life and presidency.
Maybe all of this educational stuff isn’t really your speed. If speed is more your speed, check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Opened on May 11, 2010, this 150,000 square foot facility features more than 40,000 square feet of exhibit space with hands-on displays, interactive videos, memorials, and authentic NASCAR artifacts telling the story of the sport. See and learn about cars, history, sport rules, and race technology.
Fast or slow, Charlotte has something to match your interests. This is a direct flight from Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, FL from the Northwest Florida Regional Airport aboard US Airways. They provide 3 daily non-stop flights to the Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT).