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Charlotte, N.C., a city you can't get enough of

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Wilson Jone |
Charlotte N.C.
United States   The California of the East Coast

Charlotte, North Carolina, or The Queen City, is regularly placed among the best places to live in the U.S. and it is, visitors say, one of the friendliest cities in the nation. It is a blend of Southern charm and cosmopolitan energy, a place you can't get enough of.

Trade & Tryon intersectionCharlotte was named after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, when if was founded in 1768. It was built at the crossroads of two trading paths Native-Americans used and those pats are now two major streets, Trade & Tryon, the heart of the city. After agriculture and tobacco, and then textile, Charlotte in the modern time got the streetcar system, skyscrapers and - banks. North Carolina National Bank became Bank of America and deal with Wachovia made Charlotte the second banking center the U.S., with just New York City ahead of it.

History tourOne of the best ways to explore Charlotte is the horse-drawn Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours through city streets and its Victorian homes. If you are lucky enough to be there in June, the Taste of Charlotte food festival is food heaven: More than 150,000 people are enjoying a wide array of activities, live music and great food. And something we must mention: North Carolina is home to more than 100 good wineries. So, there's no doubt one of them will be exactly what you are looking for.

National Whitewater CenterIf you come in mid-October when Race Week rolls out, you can enjoy some high-octane fun, race shops, and tours, along with the NASCAR Hall of Fame as one of the area’s most popular attractions. In the U.S. National Whitewater Center you can take part in whitewater rafting or you can ride the coasters at Carowinds - which will be fun because they are known as "the thrill capital of the Southeast." Fury 325 is the tallest and fastest gigacoaster in the world - enough said.

Uptown Charlotte on ThursdaysFor culture fans, Uptown Charlotte has a lot to offer. Charlotte is a culture city that loves art in all its forms - it hosts more than 65,000 events annually. From the latest Broadway productions at NC Blumenthal Performing Arts to jazz festivals and laid back places to listen to live music, you can enjoy shows in a range of venues, from small neighborhood space to 20,000-seat arenas. Head to the EpiCentre where you can join singing and enjoy global cuisine and cocktails.

Mint Museum UptownIts outstanding museums and attractions tell powerful stories with their history and beauty, showcasing the city’s spirit as well as the world’s wonders. The Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph guide you through really outstanding exhibits featuring some of the world’s finest collections. The Levine Museum of the New South exhibits fascinating collections of post-Civil War Southern history, including a must see Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers.

Daniel Stowe Botanical GardenYou can get inspired at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and its collection that, among others, hosts Picasso pieces. To refresh and catch some peace after that, a look at elegant orchids and other wonderful flowers at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden will do. The gardens and exhibits of the Billy Graham Library are something you shouldn't miss and for your small family member they came up with Charlotte NC Tours to show you around, a great way to see the city and surrounding area.

HistoryNoDa Historic Art DistrictTake a drive along Queens Road West in Myers Park district to get to know the city's most affluent neighborhood and its Colonial Revival homes. Spend a few hours in Dilworth, the oldest suburb in Charlotte, have a pleasant time in vibrant South End's Atherton Market, and then visit SouthPark and its mall, the city's retail nirvana. In the NoDa neighborhood, enjoy mood music or visit a pet-friendly bar if you happen to arrive with your dog.

Discovery PlaceFor some romance, board the Catawba Queen, a replica of a Mississippi River Paddle Wheeler, or the Lady of the Lake at Queen’s Landing to watch a sunset, or enjoy a dinner cruise on Lake Norman. Have fun at Discovery Place, one of the Carolinas’ most visited attractions, that features interactive science lab stations, deep sea aquariums, a digital 3-D theater and other wonder-inspiring elements. In short: That's the place you'll have hard time to say your kid "We gotta go." And that's the point when we say "Have a nice time, we gotta go, too."

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