Much like SoHo, NoDa (North Davidson Street) is a bustling area in the city of Charlotte. There is lots to see and do in this famous arts district, for both visitors and locals. Restaurants, theatres, bars, shops and galleries abound here. Visit during the annual Gallery Crawl to check out the area's fascinating art scene. An amalgamation of culture and cuisine, this district is cloaked in an air of enjoyment, making it a must-visit. Check the website for what's happening at various venues in the area.
Even after having done whitewater rafting, kayaking, flat-water paddling, hiking, climbing, or biking at Charlotte's National Whitewater Center, the place is sure to keep you wanting more. An initiative that contributes to the preservation of the Catawba River and its natural surroundings, the activities organized by the center require a certain level of fitness, but are memorable nevertheless.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is one of the important and well known venues of Charlotte. Spread across an area of 150,000-square-feet (13,935 square meter), this sprawling facility boasts ultra modern equipment and sophisticated amenities. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to NASCAR, and is a perfect starting point for all those who are unaware about auto racing. The Hall of Fame has a special exhibition hall that displays artifacts that give you detailed information on car racing. It also has specialized simulator rides and interactive displays that further add to the experience. Apart from that, the on-site venues like Belk High Octane Theater, Great Hall and Legends Room can be hired for private functions.
This 98-acre (40 hectare) public park is a slice of nature at its best, right in the middle of the city. Complete with four baseball diamonds, two batting cages, a dozen tennis courts, four soccer fields, a basketball court, a pair of volleyball courts, a pair of playgrounds, a seven-acre (two hectare) lake, an amphitheater, a number of sheltered picnic areas, and miles of trails and paths, Freedom Park has something for everyone. There's even a concession stand for joggers in need of water or sun bathers in need of ice cream. Many of the picnic shelters are reservable, as are the Freedom Park Bandshell and the Mahlon Adams Pavilion, a banquet hall that seats 70 people.
The heart of this museum lies in an exploration of the people who have changed and shaped the social landscape of the South since the end of the Civil War. The exhibit addresses controversial issues like race relations and immigration, providing a forum for discussion and contemplation. The facility is newly renovated and many of the pieces contain modern multimedia displays and virtual tours that make the learning experience fun for all ages. Be sure to explore the 'Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers' exhibit, one of the permanent collections that focuses on the changing face of Charlotte and the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the Children's Theatre of Charlotte have come together to create this awesome complex that houses the McColl Family Theatre, the Spangler Library, the Wachovia Playhouse, a Scene and Paint Shop, several studios, rehearsal rooms and a costume shop. A veritable entertainment center, this is the hub of family amusement activities in the area. A comprehensive collection of books and videos fills the library, while a number of educational programs for kids takes place at regular intervals.
Located on the grounds of the Discovery Place science museum, this IMAX dome theater screens both science-oriented documentary features and first-run Hollywood blockbusters. Unlike other IMAX theaters, IMAX Dome theaters are in the form of a dome with stadium-style seating with the projector situated at a certain angle from a booth below the seats for best effects. This type of theater best shows off the special effects in science-oriented films. The Discovery Place theater is one of the only such theaters in the entire state.
Discovery Place is a paradise of kid-friendly interactive science exhibits and presentations. Visit the Cool Stuff exhibit which, true to its name, is full of interesting interactive activities like lying on a bed of nails that help making learning physics fun. Next, experience a rainforest by crossing a rope bridge and looking down at exotic plant life and animals. See aquatic life at the large aquarium and take a unique guided feeding tour of the aquarium. Children 7 and under need to stop by KidScience with hands-on fun geared towards the younger kids. Make sure you save time to see a short movie at the Discovery 3D Theatre or get immersed in the action at the IMAX Dome Theatre. The museum also offers a number of live programs, plus there are seasonal attractions so there's always something new to see!
Romare Bearden Park is a community facility great for some recreation and relaxation. Named after the renowned Charlotte resident and artist, this 5.4-acre (2.19-hectare) park is located a short distance from the Mint Museum. It is replete with gardens, courtyards, children's playgrounds and picnic spots. The manicured lawns feature waterfalls and over 10,000 varieties of flora that are inspired by Bearden's work. The gazebo is used to host an array of cultural programs like workshops, exhibitions, the RomareFest, Party in the Park and Music Box Lunch Series.
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at the Belk Theater, the largest auditorium at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The theater is constructed so that there are no seats more than 135 feet away from the stage, providing an intimate setting even with over 2,000 people in the audience. In addition, a fiber-optic network with thousands of multi-colored pinpoints of light is placed throughout the audience chamber for spectacular light displays. Call or visit the Blumenthal Center's website for information on upcoming events and tickets.
The Foundation for the Carolinas is a hub of philanthropy. This foundation brings many different people from the community together and encourages all to do good and to pay it forward. The Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy is home to an art gallery on the first floor that features works from local artists. Admission to the gallery is free.
The Light Factory is one of only four establishments in the country to be solely dedicated to photography and film-making. Founded in 1972, this institution has since been a platform for contemporary artists with creative leanings to light-based media. Visit thought-provoking photography exhibitions, attend documentary screenings and indie film events, and take a class in digital video art to experience the magic of capturing images and the power of visuals.