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Welcome to the south, welcome to Charlotte! This thriving city is the largest in North Carolina and everyone who books a flight to Charlotte falls for the charm of that true ‘southern hospitality’ from the moment they arrive.
It is one of America’s major financial centres, but also has plenty of history and culture to offer visitors who fly to Charlotte, looking for a location that’s a little off the beaten track and away from the usual Eastern US tourist destinations of New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston.
To learn more about the history of the city and the region in general during your trip to Charlotte, head for the Levine Museum of the New South. This interesting museum focuses not on the usual Civil War period, but on the later days of North Carolina, from sharecropping to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
One of the most popular and unusual attractions is Discovery Palace on N Tryon Street. This eclectic science emporium allows visitors to get up close and personal with a giant eyeball, wander through a rainforest, or try liquid nitrogen ice cream! If you prefer something a little more refined, then the Mint Museum of Art is a must see, with a collection of historic maps and American art.
The Afro-American Cultural Centre plays host to everything from Jazz evenings to poetry readings, and also has interesting exhibitions charting the history of African-Americans in the South.
If there’s one thing that’s ‘big’ in the southern states, it’s NASCAR! Races take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, just outside Charlotte. If you want to get a true taste of the south then a visit to a race is the best way to immerse yourself in southern culture. If you’re not there during a race, then you can check out the Hendrick Motorsports Complex, a free museum where you can learn about one of the most successful racing teams in NASCAR history.
Other major sports teams include the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League and the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball League.
Those who feel a little more adventurous during their trip to Charlotte can try white water rafting at the US National Whitewater Center – a 400-acre site custom-built to provide adrenaline seekers with a thrilling rafting experience.
Music is important to Carolinians, and the city has plenty of venues to check out, offering everything from jazz and blues to modern American folk.
You’ll discover during your travels to Charlotte that the food is similar to the rest of the southern states, with ‘grits’ (ground corn that’s similar to porridge), yams (sweet potatoes) and greens featuring on most menus. One strange anomaly of Charlotte dining is that you will find a disproportionately high number of Greek dishes on the menus, as many of the older restaurants in the city are owned by Greek families who emigrated to Charlotte over the past few generations.
One of the most interesting ways to experience Charlotte’s rich culinary offerings (and to burn off a few calories on the way) is to take a cycling food tour!
As with most American cities, there are plenty of Malls to choose from, including the Metropolitan Midtown, which is the redeveloped Charlottetown Mall.
If you fancy getting away from the ubiquitous malls during your travels to Charlotte, then head for the districts of Dilworth and Plaza-Midwood for a more eclectic mix of boutique shopping and independent retailers. East Blvd is good for high-end goods, while Thomas Street is the place to hunt out a few bargains.
Flights to Charlotte arrive at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, on the west side of the town. Special bus services (Sprinters) run into the city centre.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Charlotte please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
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