Explore the one-of-a-kind riches the Queen City is best known for beyond the Convention action taking place September 3 – 6
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 8, 2012) – As the Queen City prepares to throw a party fit for the record books; there’s plenty of destinations here that illustrate why the Democratic National Convention (DNC) Committee chose Charlotte. Visitors making the journey should save some room on their itineraries to explore the one-of-a-kind assets that make Charlotte too alluring to resist. Here’s a sneak peek of highlights from the city’s must-see attractions.
− As the centerpiece of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Glory Road is a fitting tribute to the sport’s past, present and future. With zero to 33-degree banking representative of the tracks found across the country and 18 historic cars ranging from the 1940s to 2000s, this landmark’s focal point tells a rich story. Test your motorsports agility at interactive experiences like the racing simulators and pit crew challenge.
− Home to the nation’s only manmade whitewater rapids, the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s two re-circulating channels train Olympic champions alongside adventure-seeking beginners. The facility offers more than 15 activities ranging from mountain biking to zip-lining to stand-up paddle boarding.
− Almost a billion dollar commitment to culture, the Levine Center for the Arts inspires with four facilities. Three have welcomed new exhibits just in time for the DNC. Read My Pins: The Madeline Albright Collection at the Mint Museum Uptown showcases the former Secretary of State’s most recognizable accessory and the stories and anecdotes that made them famous. Tavis Smiley’s “American I Am” at the Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture displays more than 200 artifacts chronicling African-American history including an Emancipation Proclamation copy and Prince’s “Purple Rain” guitar. Last but not least, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art reveals a rare look at prized and never-before-seen Alberto Giacometti paintings and sculptures. All three venues were selected for the delegate welcome parties to be held Sunday, September 3.
− Looking for the best view of the Queen City? 501 feet in the air, spinning at speeds of 30mph makes for an unforgettable panorama. Carowinds’ new Windseeker opened this season joining other daredevil feats like The Intimadator, named for Dale Earnhardt and serving as the Southeast’s tallest, longest and fastest coaster. Delegates can choose from open weekends before or after the DNC.
− The four statues by sculptor Raymond Kaskey at Trade and Tryon (once a Native American trading path) have become a long-standing tribute to the city’s origins. Representing commerce, a miner pours gold into the head of Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Industry depicts a female millworker recalling Charlotte’s early textile days. An African-American portrays the railroad builder, which was constructed in the 1850s and sparked the textile industry boom. Meanwhile, the focal point of the four-cornered composition that all statues are angled to is the future, illustrated by a mother and child.
− Charlotte’s economy may be bolstered by its heavy finance sector with banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, but the city first struck it rich when it became the site of the nation’s first gold rush in the early 1800s. Today, groups can explore Reed Gold Mine’s restored mine tunnels and pan for their own treasure. Or, head to the Wells Fargo History Museum in Center City, which lets visitors try their hand at panning electronically, learn mining methods or test gold’s purity.
− Discovery Place’s wondrous halls are full of science and technology exhibits sure to engage young and old alike. Look a moray eel in the eye in World Alive, lie on a bed of nails in Cool Stuff or meet the millions of unseen visitors that call the human body home in Them. The latest exhibit addition, Crittercam, sees the world through animal eyes with help from National Geographic.
− Charlotte’s stealing some of Hollywood’s thunder as it becomes a go-to destination in North Carolina for well-known movies and television productions. President Obama’s favorite Showtime hit “Homeland” uses Charlotte to double as the show’s backdrop of Washington, D.C. The Queen City also starred as Panem in “The Hunger Games,” shooting at venues like the Knight Theater and Bank of America Urban Garden. Other recent productions include “The Bachelorette” with Emily Maynard, Alan Ball’s “Banshee” for Cinemax and J.J. Abrams’ new pilot “Shelter.”
Looking to learn more? Log on to www.charlottesgotalot.com for more visitor ideas on ways to explore Charlotte beyond the DNC’s events.
About the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) works to ensure the visitors and events that choose Charlotte have a positive experience. Our responsibilities include destination marketing through Visit Charlotte and management of Charlotte’s public assembly facilities, which include the Charlotte Convention Center, Time Warner Cable Arena, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. CRVA’s mission seeks to leverage its hospitality marketing and management expertise to maximize the impact of the Charlotte region’s economy, creating opportunities and jobs for the community.