Charlotte in North Carolina is a sleek banking hub, and one of the fastest-growing cities in the US. With a renewed focus on green, urban planning, and an inspiring cultural scene the Queen City offers a range of activities and venues. Wandering the streetcar suburb of Dilworth, sampling the breweries of NoDa, or taking to water sports on Lake Norman, here are 24 of the best things to do in the blossoming city of Charlotte.
If you’re in Charlotte in the fall, Lake Wylie should be at the top of your list. This area has stunning fall foliage, and the forest looks as if it’s been painted red, gold and brown, made doubly striking by its reflection in the surface of the water. The man-made lake is perfect for boating, paddleboarding, swimming, and any other water-based activity you can think of. A beautiful lakeshore, plenty of hiking paths, and play areas for the kids make this a hit with all the family.
A funky food hall offering delicious fare of all kinds, the Optimist Hall is a great hangout. Previously called Highland Park Gingham Mill, Optimist Hall used to be Charlotte’s largest textile mill, and was also the birthplace of Spanx. Now it offers boutique stationery and cute pet products, as well as every kind of delicious food under the sun, including dumplings, gelato, hamburgers, and grilled cheese. Truly the happiest place on earth.
Sometimes, no matter what the question, art is the answer – and nowhere is this more true than at Metalmorphosis. Commissioned by Count Arco and conceived by Czech artist David Černý (whose weird and wonderful sculptures are dotted all over Prague) its home is the Whitehall Corporate Center. Consisting of stainless steel plates, it’s a rotating, morphing, spitting masterpiece. The entire head (split into seven segments) rotates seemingly at random. Sometimes the sculpture looks like a head, or like a huge amorphous blob of metal – and then at other times like something else entirely.
Additional reporting by Alice Johnston.