What Travel Writers Say

Charlotte, North Carolina, a vibrant city on the move!

© By Adam Southwood
US Airways Magazine depicts Charlotte as 'a growing cityscape that delivers "cultural distractions and attractions," dining and nightlife for every persuasion and a Southern ambiance all its own that appeals to both NASCAR heroes and financial leaders.'
     Here, you can experience a new rip-roaring coaster at Carowinds, some of the best retail therapy this side of Manhattan or white-water rafting at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. You may pan for gold at the site of the nation's very first gold rush at Reed Gold Mine, relive a civil rights era sit-in at a lunch counter at Levine Museum of the New South, or learn about the lasting legacy of icons like Billy Graham at the Billy Graham Library.
     "Down-home charm," "phenomenal arts and culture," and "urban icon" are just some of the rave reviews Charlotte's been receiving from national and regional media. NASCAR attracts more than one million people annually to races such as the Banking 500, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, and Coca-Cola 600. Lowe's Motor Speedway is a favourite track for drivers and 80% of Sprint Cup drivers call the region home.

Charlotte, North Carolina
     Charlotte also hosts one of the state's most culture-laden months of the year in September: The Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival, "Cultural Free-for-All" and the Charlotte Shout "Culinary Experience" bring fans from throughout the Carolinas and beyond.
     Take in ballets by NC Dance Theatre, operas by Carolina Opera, and a wide variety of scintillating stage shows at Belk Theater or Ovens Auditorium, a sampling of city happenings thanks to the Arts & Science Council. Renowned for its support of 62 cultural partners throughout the region, the organization ranks right up there with the best arts and culture infrastructure in the nation - second only to New York in
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revenue dollars.
     There is construction frenzy in Charlotte. The Wachovia First Street Project will add to the Center City cultural corridor. The Bechtler Museum of Contemporary Art, a new additional facility for the Mint Museum, the Harvey B. Gantt African-American Art and Cultural Center, and a 1,200-seat Knight Theatre will be among the ground-breaking facilities.
     Neighborhoods like NoDa and South End embrace the arts with off-the-beaten-path venues that tout musical genres ranging from jazz to
alt-rock and gallery crawls that show off masterpieces by local artists. Charlotte's light rail system connects entertainment, retail, museums, dining, and more.
     Charlotte is home to culinary leader Johnson & Wales University, which has had a flavorful impact on the city's culinary scene. Named one of the "Top 50 Cities that Sizzle" by Restaurant News Magazine, Charlotte's menus burst with invigorating restaurant concepts, regional favorites done right like BBQ and fried pickles, and countless hotspots serving upscale elegance and local flavor. Visit a Bon Appétit Magazine pick for the best fried chicken around at Price's Chicken Coop or one of Esquire Magazine's best bars in America at Thomas Street Tavern.
     Charlotte is also family friendly. Banking may have helped shape this city, but its ways to play add unforgettable appeal. A new coaster at Carowinds, the rousing May and October races at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the Stanford Broadway Lights performances at NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center reveal Charlotte's myriad attractions. Featuring everything from firework-filled minor league baseball games to adrenaline-rushing adventures at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte's family-friendly attractions engage, excite, and exhilarate. Cheering for the Carolina Panthers can be followed up by tubing along the shores of Lake Norman. And where a day of white-water rafting is best complemented by a stroll through an oak-shaded park. With over 14,000 acres of parks and 19 recreational centers, green space almost outweighs the pavement in and around the city. This is a city that will keep you busy, entertained and well-fed.

Charlotte Skyline  Time Warner Cable Arena  US National Whitewater Center

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of both McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history. He has produced several educational programs for TV.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Charlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Visit Charlotte: http://www.charlottesgotalot.com/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_nc
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Charlotte
About.com: http://charlotte.about.com/b/2010/10/11/bank-of-america-500-week.htm
Churches & Synagogues: http://jewishtourofthecarolinas.org/worship.html
Fiction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lizmall/Bill_Henderson_%28author%29
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