For the outdoor sports enthusiast, there’s no place better than the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The 400-acre recreational facility draws Olympic-caliber athletes and novices alike with rafting and kayaking on class III-IV rapids, hiking and biking trails, rock climbing, activity courses and a 1,100 ft. Mega Zip line.
If you’re more of a spectator, there is no shortage of professional sports in the Queen City. Football fanatics can catch a Carolina Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium, or enjoy America’s favorite pastime with the AAA Charlotte Knights. Head to Time Warner Cable Arena to cheer on the AHL Charlotte Checkers and catch all the hoops action in the same arena with the Charlotte Hornets, owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan.
End the day at the EpiCentre with a beer and a bull ride at Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s bar, Whisky River, or break out your bowling shoes and grab a lane at the chic bowling lounge StrikeCity. You won’t miss the big game here with plenty of big screens showcasing any and all types of sports no matter the season.
As NASCAR nation’s hometown, a trip to Charlotte wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Amp up the excitement with an exhilarating 160mph ride in an authentic NASCAR stock car at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, then go behind the scenes for a tour of the Speedway. Get extra track time by burning some rubber in high-speed go carts at Victory Lane Karting, and race for the fastest lap time.
Cheer on speed demons as they burn rubber at zMax Dragway or get behind the wheel yourself at the Dirt Track Racing School, where four different types of cars are available for an exhilarating spin around the track.
Get an up-close look at what it takes to be in the business of racing at one of many working race shops in the region, home to 80% of Sprint Cup drivers. Hendrick Motorsports Museum, Michael Waltrip Racing Shop Tour, and Dale Earnhardt Inc are a few of the shops you can tour, with a behind-the-scenes perspective and historical memorabilia.
For the ultimate in NASCAR appreciation, make your way to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where interactive exhibits, simulators and a state-of-the-art theatre will make a race fan out of every visitor. You won’t see pieces like their impressive lineup of original NASCAR stock cars and Junior Johnson’s moonshine still anywhere else.