While in Charlotte…
Charlotte attractions are incredibly diverse– you’re sure to find something (or a lot of things) that are just your speed. For action-packed fun, there’s NASCAR, thrill rides and whitewater adventures. For more relaxing diversions, there’s art, culture, gardens, parks and more. Below is a sample of some of the places you can visit, or you can see a comprehensive list of options at:
Love stock car racing? Know nothing about it? Whether you are a NASCAR fan or not you can do it all at the Hall. Have the time of your life trying to win the Pit Crew Challenge or watch your family members glow with pride when figuring out the engine puzzle. More than 50 interactive attractions and nearly 1,000 artifacts The NASCAR Hall of Fame is one of the most interactive and high-tech halls of fame in the world.
Home to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river, the USNWC invites outdoor enthusiasts to play, relax and learn on the 400 acres that make up the facility. With more than 24 activities, the USNWC creates an outdoor playground for all ages. Activities that include whitewater rafting and kayaking, flat water kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines and ropes courses are available to all ages and skill levels.
This Carolinas’ Garden for All Seasons, located within 380 acres on the banks of Lake Wylie, provides guests a chance to reconnect with nature. Spectacular gardens, sparkling fountains, a conservatory dedicated to the display of tropical plants and orchids, and a visitor pavilion, gift shop and nature walk await the visitor. The USA TODAY says the Garden is one of the nation’s best places to “welcome fall with a flourish.” Committed to horticultural excellence, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a must-see for all ages.
Concord Mills is a nearly 1.4-million-square-foot shopping mall located in Concord, North Carolina. It is North Carolina’s largest tourist attraction. Concord Mills is composed mainly of outlet stores, big box stores, and entertainment venues. Anchor stores include AMC Theaters, Bass Pro Shops, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Books-A-Million, Burlington Coat Factory and NASCAR Speedpark.
While in Asheville…
There are many things to do in Asheville, NC, named a must-see destination by Frommer’s. Asheville boasts a thriving arts community, diverse outdoor adventures, a vibrant and inviting downtown, numerous historic and architectural attractions, and unique shopping options. Below are a few of the activities you can do while in town, or visit http://www.exploreasheville.com/ for more information.
The Asheville Art Museum’s outstanding collection showcases the very best of 20th and 21st century American art and the cultural heritage and contemporary art of Western North Carolina. The collection, containing more than 3,500 works in all media, is the only such resource in the region. This award-winning Museum annually presents 12-16 exhibitions drawing from the permanent collection and borrowed works, and offers a wide variety of public programs for adults, children, and visitors of all ages. Located on the first floor of the Museum, the Holden Community Gallery, Biltmore Gallery, Atrium art installations and Museum Shop are always open free of charge for visitors to enjoy.
The 250-room Biltmore House — America’s largest home® — offers breathtaking beauty and interior design and century-old gardens. Explore the 8,000-acre backyard through a variety of activities from horseback riding to rafting. Experience Antler Hill Village that connects the estate’s present and past, providing a relaxing place for dining, shopping, historical exhibits, and new ways to enjoy Biltmore’s hospitality. In anticipation of this meeting, NCSU established a raspberry variety trial at the Biltmore Estate.
YMI is a national historic landmark. Commissioned by George Vanderbilt and originally the Young Men’s Institute, established in 1893, the YMI building has now become the YMI Cultural Center. The center’s main focus is on three program areas: the Cultural Arts, Economic Development and Community Education. Some of the biggest events include the Goombay Festival, a Kwanzaa Celebration, and a Soul Food Dinner Theater. Today the refurbished center houses art galleries, classes and performances in African-American cultural art and history.
For the more adventurous types
Hike the Appalachian Trail or go whitewater rafting with one of the many local operations.