1. NASCAR HALL OF FAME
With reverence and humor, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertains serious fans and curious observers. At Brevard Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the Ceremonial Plaza honors drivers with commemorative bricks. Catch a glimpse of Glory Road, which displays 18 historic cars. The ascending grading conveys the incline of 46 historic and current tracks. Inside the hall, enjoy simulators and exhibits about the science of racing and the poignant history and heritage of NASCAR. 400 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
2. THE GREEN
Giant books, storybook pages and a walkway of magical sounds enliven this literary-themed wonderland of a park. Colorful benches and the fantasy Fish Fountain offer areas to relax. Dine alfresco or indoors at restaurants along the park. 435 S. Tryon St.
3. HARVEY B. GANTT CENTER FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTS + CULTURE
The Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is named for Charlotte's first African-American mayor. This 45 x 400 ft. building showcases a glass mural by North Carolina artist David Wilson at Stonewall and College streets. Three galleries display permanent collections and rotating exhibits of African-American visual art and expressive culture. 551 S. Tryon St.
4. MINT MUSEUM UPTOWN
This Mint Museum‚Äôs name deserves an explanation. After gold was discovered northeast of town in 1799 and identified in 1802 at Reed's farm, a gold rush began. From 1837 to 1861, the first branch of the U.S. Mint operated on the corner of West Trade Street and Mint Street Uptown.¬† In 1936, the building was moved and became The Mint Museum ‚Äď the first art museum in North Carolina. The Mint Museum Uptown houses the world-renowned Craft + Design, American and Contemporary collections. 500 S. Tryon St.,
5. BECHTLER MUSEUM OF MODERN ART AND "THE FIREBIRD"
Created by Nikki de Saint Phalle, the whimsical ‚ÄúFirebird‚ÄĚ (‚ÄúL'Oiseau de Feu sur L'Arche‚ÄĚ) offers a bright welcome to the Levine Center for the Arts. The Bechtler Museum, which was designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, features mid-20th-century modern art. Next door, the Knight Theater¬†is the primary venue for NC Dance Theatre and other performers. 420 S. Tryon St.
6. VISITOR INFO CENTER
Buy souvenirs and learn about all of the fun things to see and do in Charlotte by browsing brochures or talking with an information specialist at the Visitor Center. 330 S. Tryon St., Suite 100
7. LATTA ARCADE
Built in 1914 by developer Edward Dilworth Latta, this lovely building adjoining Brevard Court housed offices and space for grading cotton under the natural light of the glass ceiling. Now, restaurants, salons, and businesses fill its quaint interior. 320 S. Tryon St.
8. THE PLAZA
Celebrate the exuberance of childhood with the bronze likenesses of children playing in the cascading fountain, created by Dennis Smith and David Wagner. 301 S. Tryon St.
9. "THE SQUARE," CORNER OF TRADE AND TRYON STREETS
This has been the heartbeat of Charlotte since Thomas Polk built the first courthouse here. On the southwest corner, read about this town founder at Thomas Polk Park. According to tradition, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was read here on May 20, 1775. Raymond Kaskey's bronze statues depict themes that are significant to Charlotte: Commerce, Transportation, Industry and The Future.¬†On the northeast corner, enjoy the shops at Founders Hall and the frescoes by Ben Long in the lobby of Bank of America Corporate Center ‚Äď at 60 stories, it‚Äôs Charlotte's tallest building. Corner of Trade and Tryon streets
10. FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Built on the site of Charlotte's interdenominational town church, this Gothic-revival church built in 1857 was modified in the late 1800s. Ben Long‚Äôs fresco ‚ÄúThe Good Samaritan‚ÄĚ is on display in the fellowship building. 200 W. Trade St.
11. SETTLERS' CEMETERY
This was the town cemetery from 1776 to 1867. Those interred here include town founder Thomas Polk, Revolutionary War officer Maj. Gen. George Graham, the hero who helped hold back Cornwallis' troops at McIntire's Farm, and Dr. Nathaniel Alexander, a surgeon in the NC Regiment of the Continental Line and governor of North Carolina. 5th, Poplar and Church streets
12. FOURTH WARD
Charlotte was organized in political wards from the mid-1800s until 1945, with the original four wards forming quadrants around The Square. The northwest blocks comprise the Fourth Ward, bounded by Trade, Tryon, Pine and 10th streets.¬†Because of the concentration of stately Victorian-era homes along Poplar Street and Pine Street between 7th and 9th streets, the area is often referred to as the Historic Fourth Ward.
13. THE DUNHILL HOTEL
Built in 1929, the elegant 10-story Dunhill Hotel with neoclassical features is the last historic hotel in Uptown. 237 N. Tryon St.
14. DISCOVERY PLACE
At Discovery Place, a hands-on museum, science comes alive through interactive experiments, changing exhibits, a rain forest, saltwater aquariums totaling 24,000 gallons and the IMAX Dome Theatre. 301 N. Tryon St.
15. MAIN CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG LIBRARY
Read quotes by famous people about the importance of libraries and learning ‚Äď they‚Äôre on the library‚Äôs columns. The Carolina Room offers reference materials about local history. 310 N. Tryon St.
16. SPIRIT SQUARE
This complex was inspired by the former sanctuary of First Baptist Church (1908), now called McGlohon Theater, after composer Loonis McGlohon of Charlotte. From College Street, enter the Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film, one of only four such museums in the U.S. 345 N. Tryon St.
17. TRANSAMERICA SQUARE
In the middle of the building's domed arched walkway, Ben Long's open-air fresco ‚ÄúContinuum‚ÄĚ includes North Carolina symbols and a self-portrait ‚Äď an artist at an easel. 401 N. Tryon St.
18. PATRICIA MCBRIDE AND JEAN-PIERRE BONNEFOUX CENTER FOR DANCE
This center is named for two former New York City Ballet stars who are now N.C. Dance Theatre's artistic directors. Pli√©s and pirouettes in these N.C. Dance Theatre rehearsal studios are visible to passers-by on Tryon Street. 701 N. Tryon St.
19. McCOLL CENTER FOR VISUAL ART
Built in 1927 as an Associate Reformed Presbyterian church and repurposed after a fire as a sanctuary for artists in 1999, the McColl Center has an exposed brick and vaulted ceiling that provides the perfect canvas for galleries and studios. 721 N. Tryon St.
20. LEVINE MUSEUM OF THE NEW SOUTH
Through interactive exhibits, the Levine Museum of the New South captures moments in the history of the South and the Charlotte area in particular, from the end of the Civil War to the present.¬†Feel the texture of cotton before processing, walk through a tenant farmer's cabin and sit at a lunch counter to learn about civil rights. In addition, the museum offers various events to explore the history and contemporary issues of the New South. 200 E. 7th St.
21. SEVENTH STREET STATION
This LYNX stop, also home to restaurants and parking, sports 30-foot fins that chime and light up when touched. Solve a riddle on the building for a fun sound-and-light show as part of Christopher Janney's "Touch My Building" interactive art.¬† Along the LYNX Light Rail track between 6th and 7th streets
22. IMAGINON: THE JOE AND JOAN MARTIN CENTER
Designed to excite all ages from toddlers through teens, ImaginOn is an extraordinary combination of high-tech "green" library and children's theater. Enjoy the large outdoor sculptures of ‚ÄúThe Writer's Desk‚ÄĚ by Larry Kirkland. 300 E. 7th St.
23. TIME WARNER CABLE ARENA
Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena is home to the NBA Charlotte Bobcats and AHL Charlotte Checkers and is a venue for top entertainers.¬†On the plaza between Trade and Fifth streets, see J. Paul Sires' benches crafted from North Carolina granite. The leaf forms represent teamwork.¬†Andrew Leicester's colorful cylindrical art recalls Charlotte's past mill industry with his 23-foot bobbins and 6-foot textile shuttles. 333 E. Trade St.
The EpiCentre is a multi-level entertainment facility home to a variety of¬†restaurants, nightlife, shops, modern bowling lanes, a movie theater with cushy amenities and great views of the city. 201 E. Trade St.