Can't Miss at Carowinds
Arts & Entertainment
> AvidXchange Music Factory (Charlotte, 15 mi.) - An entertainment district of Uptown Charlotte that includes various restaurants and bars, a comedy club, and the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater, which hosts some of the biggest names in music
> Mint Museum (Charlotte, 13-16 mi.) - This art museum offers two locations with large collections of art to view. The uptown location is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, and the Randolph location is housed in the former U.S. Mint of Charlotte, and was North Carolina's first art museum. Both offer a wide selection of pieces on display from various disciplines from around the world.
> NoDa (Charlotte, 17 mi.) - The NoDa neighborhood (Short for North Davidson) is one of the most popular arts districts of Charlotte, located in the presences of former textile mills, and filled with art galleries, performance spaces and large murals throughout the neighborhood. Enjoy even more time here with a stop at one of their cafes or bars while visiting.
Festivals & Events
> Carolina Renaissance Festival (Huntersville, 32 mi.) - Listed as one of the best Renaissance Festivals by Travel Channel, this one features many of the staples of such an event, like games and jousting tournaments, along with some unique features including rides like the Largest Rocking Horse, Da Vinci’s Flying Machine and Voyage to the New World.
> Rich & Bennett's Pub Crawl (Charlotte, 14 mi.) - One of the largest pub crawls in Charlotte, each with a special theme, whether it's wearing anything green for St. Patty's Day, or creating your best costume for Halloween. Admission to the crawl includes drink specials and commemorative koozies, and costume contests are a regular feature. (The itinerary varies with each event, so the directions linked on this page are to the city center, for specific location details, check the website for the specific event)
> Tuck Fest (Charlotte 19 mi.) - A three-day outdoor lifestyle festival hosted by the U.S. National Whitewater, featuring classes, clinic and workshops as well as competitions and concerts. Admission, the concerts and many of the demos and classes are free, while there is a charge to participate in the competitions.
> Midwood Smokehouse (Charlotte 10 mi.) - A Charlotte-area chain that can satisfy many different tastes of barbecue, whether you prefer the chicken with mustard-based sauce of South Carolina, a Texas-style brisket, or a personal favorite, the Eastern North Carolina-style pulled pork.
> Moo & Brew (Charlotte, 15 mi.) - A burger and beer spot that wants to keep it simple. Good burgers, good beer and good times. They also host the annual Moo & Brew festival where visitors can enjoy trying beers of over 50 breweries, and multiple burger restaurants compete for the title of best burger around.
> Pinky's Westside Grill (Charlotte, 12 mi.) - Featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, This restaurant offers a collection of fascinating combinations that is sure to entice the most curious of appetites for trying new combinations, such as their Crab Puppies, a Hush Puppy made with crab meat and served with tartar sauce; or the Corn Dog Shrimp, where the shrimp is dipped in a corn dog batter before being cooked up.
Landmarks & History
> Historic Latta Plantation (Huntersville, 28 mi.) - A living history museum where visitors are able to get a glimpse back in time to plantation life of the 1700's & 1800's. The facility also hosts special events including battle reenactments.
> Levine Museum of the New South (Charlotte, 15 mi.) - A museum that looks at the diverse background of the Piedmont region of North Carolina as it came out of the Civil War and moved into a new era.
> NASCAR Hall of Fame (Charlotte, 13 mi.) - A place where fans of the popular racing league can take a look back in time to learn about the legends of the sport, and see some of the machines that they drove to victory over the years in some of the most memorable races.
> Carrigan Farms (Mooresville, 44 mi.) - A local farm found near scenic Lake Norman, with a "pick your own" fruits and vegetables, and the former rock quarry that was allowed to fill with water from a spring that has become a picturesque swimming spot with beautiful cascading waterfalls.
> Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve (Charlotte, 27 mi.) - A chance to enjoy the outdoors with 10 miles of hiking trails through various terrains with lakes, forests and fields to enjoy. It also has the remains of an 18th century stone dwelling from the time of Colonial America.
> U.S. National Whitewater Center (Charlotte, 9 mi.) - A recreational facility that offers whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking on 1,300 acres of land. It has the world's largest and most complex artificial whitewater river, and is the official training facility for the U.S. Olympic whitewater slalom training.
> Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, 12 mi.) - The home field of the National Football League's Carolina Panthers. The large stadium also regularly hosts special early season college football games between area universities. In 2021, it will serve as home to Charlotte's Major League Soccer expansion team.
> BB&T Ballpark (Charlotte, 13 mi.) - Home of the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Chicago While Sox. The stadium offers incredible views of Uptown Charlotte as you enjoy a day at the ballgame.
> Charlotte Motor Speedway (Concord, 28 mi.) - Home to some of the biggest races of NASCAR including the All-Star race, the Memorial Day Weekend tradition and longest race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600, and a new fall road-course race that combines parts of the main 1.5 mile oval and the infield roadways.
> Spectrum Center (Charlotte, 14 mi.) - The arena serves as home of the National Basketball Association's Charlotte Hornets, and often hosts college basketball games, along with a number of concerts and other events.
Thank you to the guest contributors for this Coasting with Culture Guide:
- Brandon Nichols
- Hank Harawood
- Wes Connell