Charlotte in North Carolina is brimming with southern charm and packed with things to do. From the 60-floor sky scrapers of the banking district to the pretty parks and walking trails, there are many great features worth exploring. Uptown offers pedestrianised streets lined with restaurants and bars. Downtown has Independence Square and the history of the city's founder, Thomas Polk.
Charlotte is the biggest city in the state of North Carolina, but it began as a small Native Indian settlement. In the 1750s, European travellers moved in and named it after a German Princess. Today it is bursting with museums, craft breweries, a theatre, an aquarium and five shopping malls. Carowinds theme park has rollercoasters and a splash park. NASCAR is big here too, so a tour of the Hall of Fame is a must for racing fans.
Parades feature in the city's diary -- the St Patrick's Day Parade is huge -- but the best is reserved for Thanks Giving in November. Floats, balloons and marching bands make the event unforgettable. In June, there's a festival that celebrates the great food and drink of the area. Entertainment of all kinds are showcased during the Festival in the Park each September.
Things to Do
People come to the area to enjoy the mountains and lakes, but the city of Charlotte has a long list of great things to do and see.
Race to the NASCAR Hall of Fame
This high-tech attraction gives visitors a behind-the-scenes experience of racing, with cars and racing suits on display, a race simulator and lots of interesting facts to learn. The Pit-Stop Café is available for racing-themed snacks.
Ride the rollercoasters of Carowinds
With names like 'Intimidator' and 'Ricochet', the rides at this amusement park are not for the faint-hearted. Fortunately, there's a selection for the little ones too. And when you want a change, there's also a waterpark to explore.
Take a stroll back in time
The Fourth Ward is an area of charming old wooden homes surrounding a pretty park. Take a walk around the neighbourhood to see the preserved architecture and stop by the Settlers' Cemetery. It's nice and shady on a hot day.
Calendar of Events
Every year Charlotte hosts memorable events that are fun to be part of. Food and drink festivals, spectacular parades and back-to-back shows are just some of what's on offer.
Thanks Giving Day parade. On the fourth Thursday of every November, America celebrates Thanks Giving. In Charlotte, this is done with an incredible parade that dates back to 1947. Expect marching bands, large floats, balloons and dancing.
Festival in the Park. Freedom Park is filled with entertainers of every genre each September. Stages are set up for clowns, magicians, singers, instrumentalists and circus performers.
A Taste of Charlotte. This 3-day June festival features 100 different street-food stalls set up by local restaurants. To add to the fun, there are street performers and live music to entertain the crowds.