Researching a location before visiting is always recommended but have you ever considered looking at the trending hashtags in a particular destination? This is exactly what we did before heading to Charlotte and the main one we found currently going viral was #CharlottesGotALot. It’s a bold marketing statement for a destination to advertise and I am sure most places will claim this but all too often we see destinations failing to deliver what they promise.
However, after experiencing two days in Charlotte, I can definitely concur that Charlotte’s Got A Lot and I have no problem tagging all of our experiences with this hashtag to hopefully spread the word and encourage folks to visit this part of North Carolina!
Regardless of your interests, I am convinced that Charlotte has something that will intrigue you to make this a location worth visiting. Even though our time in the Queen City was relatively short lived, we were able to participate in three really cool experiences that supports my argument that Charlotte’s Got A Lot.
However, Charlotte is much more than just the Hornets, NASCAR Hall of Fame and Bechtler Art Museum as you will find out later in this post but more importantly when you visit Charlotte for yourself.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Charlotte is home to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art which offers three distinct levels of art exhibits. Heather and I have visited several art galleries over the last 12 months and although neither of us appreciate art the way we probably should, it is an interesting and fulfilling experience to see the varying works ranging from historic artists to modern day design and how the different eras have changed.
During our visit, we were able to see the British Invasion special exhibit on the third floor that featured some of the iconic works of leading British artists . It’s no surprise when you see quality of exhbits on display that people around the world are inspired to create their own pieces of art, though art was never a strong point for myself throughout my school years.
Of course, the highlight at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is outside the entrance and that is the Firebird statue that was designed in 1991 and installed in this location in 2009. Undoubtedly one of the most photographed spots throughout Charlotte, this iconic sculpture is covered in mirrored glass with a variety of colors shining through.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Following our journey through art history, we headed over to the nearby NASCAR Hall of Fame for an action-packed adventure that included a race-day simulation where Heather and I were able to race against each other for family bragging rights! I won’t say any more on this topic, rather you can read all about our experience at the Hall of Fame to find out who won this thrilling encounter.
The Hall of Fame however is a great spot to take all the family as there is something for everyone here with so many hands-on experiences along with a plethora of history on stock car racing. Buffalo Wild Wings is located next door, so you can grab a bite to eat while watching one of your favorite sports to extend the sporting experience.
Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte is home to a variety of sporting teams including the Carolina Panthers and of course Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets. Returning home following a short stint in New Orleans, the Hornets play at the Time Warner Cable Arena and we were fortunate to have tickets to a Monday night game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The first thing worth noting about our experience was the quality of our seats – they were awesome. Situated directly over where the Hornets players emerged, our view was unobstructed and almost at courtside level. We were even sat pretty close to Michael Jordan himself, though credit to Heather on this one as she was the one who spotted him!
If you have never been to a NBA game, you really need to experience one. Of course it’s usually better when the home team are winning and unfortunately for the Hornets this was not the case, as the Clippers ran away to a comfortable victory. However, nothing takes away from the atmosphere and experience, even the half-time show was pretty cool though I sometimes wonder where they find these random acts!
Other Attractions in Charlotte
As I mentioned earlier, even though our time in Charlotte only allowed us to experience the above three attractions, there is so much more here that we would both love to explore the next time we visit North Carolina. Here are some of the other top attractions you should consider when you head to Charlotte.
The Mint Museum is another option if you have a keen interest in arts and crafts. Whereas the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art mainly comprises of paintings the Mint Museum offers a more craftsy approach with ceramic, glass and other materialistic designs. There are actually two different Mint Museums that collaborate to form the cultural institution in Charlotte.
Discovery Place is a science and technology museum in the Uptown area of Charlotte, offering visitors of all ages an abundance of fun-filled activities.
If adventure is what you are looking for and you haven’t had enough after exploring Discovery Place, why not head over to Carowinds and experience an amusement park that is dubbed the “thrill capital of the southeast”.
However, one attraction that really does appeal is the Reed Gold Mine where you can test your skills at panning for gold. Maybe you could stumble upon a 17 pound nugget of gold like some other person did, but be sure to hold on to it rather than selling it for a lame $3.50!
Charlotte has all of this and much, much more. Another really cool aspect is being able to walk around the downtown area and feel really comfortable and relaxed with the surroundings. With the development of a variety of ‘green spaces’ that really makes Charlotte stand out from other rival cities in this part of the States, I was certainly impressed by the natural beauty present here.
Disclaimer – We would like to thank Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism for providing us with a media pass to visit the three attractions we highlighted above. The content of this post are solely our personal opinions/experiences and we were not financially compensated for this post.
We live in Hong Kong now but we lived in Charlotte for many years and still have our house there. It’s funny to hear of our town listed as a tourist destination. We always told people, “It’s a great place to live but you wouldn’t want to visit there.” Now we have the beautiful Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Knights and the Uptown Amphitheater at NC Music Factory, a great music venue in the shadow of the uptown skyscrapers. Charlotte’s come a long way since we got there and it’s still a great place to live. Happy New Year!