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Best Road Trip Destinations: Charlotte, North Carolina

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Charlotte, NC

Photo: Ricky W.

Charlotte, North Carolina is home to a lot of things: NASCAR, the Gold Rush, and the Carolina Panthers, to name a few. As the second-largest city in the southeast, Charlotte has plenty to offer its visitors. Whether you are road tripping through or it’s the final destination on your cruise down the East Coast, Charlotte is a must-see.

What You’ll See

Depending on which season you decide to visit Charlotte, you will see all kinds of greenery. If you decide to drive into town in the fall, the beautiful foliage in the surrounding mountains will decorate your view. In addition, the Charlotte skyline will let you know when you’ve reached the city limits.

Where to Stop

Charlotte has a lot to do. If you’re running short on time and need some quick guidance, we’ve put together a list of a select few places for you to check out during your stop. Once you’ve decided where you’re going, we can also help you find out the best ways to navigate the city.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Opened in 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is home to a variety of artifacts, exhibits, and entertainment. The museum is interactive, so visitors are able to have hands-on experiences with many of the exhibits. Located in Uptown, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is at the center of the action in Charlotte.


If you’re up for thrills, Carowinds is a perfect stop during your summer road trip. With plenty of roller coasters, kids’ rides, a waterpark, and more, Carowinds is the perfect way to cool down during the warmer months. Plus, the park offers entertainment and dining options as well as some more relaxed coasters and activities for those less inclined to jump on the thrill rides.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

True to its three-part slogan, ‘Play, Relax, Learn,” the U.S. National Whitewater Center has something to offer for all age levels. With everything from rock climbing and zip lines to live entertainment and hands-on learning experiences, it’s impossible to be bored. In addition to its daily activity list, the U.S. National Whitewater Center hosts events throughout the year, celebrating holidays, holding fitness classes, and more.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

The University of North Carolina – Charlotte has created a home for nature in the heart of Charlotte. With three botanical gardens and sixteen collections, the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens are a beautiful sight to see. Take your time strolling through the beautiful greenery, or plan your trip to coincide with an event on their calendar. Either way, the gardens are bound to be beautiful.

About the City

Charlotte, North Carolina, located in Mecklenburg County, is the second largest city in the southeastern United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Charlotte has a population of approximately 842,000, as of 2016, with a land space of 298 square miles.