If you’re a sports fan or an outdoor adventurist, Charlotte is the place for you. Forget asking about the weather, Queen City residents want to know who’s winning. Not only is Charlotte known for NASCAR, which was the biggest and only major sport in Charlotte in 1987, it’s now known for its major league teams.
Move over NASCAR, in 1988 the Charlotte’s NBA team the Charlotte Hornets made their debut. The Hornet’s home court can be found at the Spectrum Center located in the heart of Charlotte. The Hornets just finished up the 2019 season, sitting in ninth place overall in the Eastern Conference having lost their final game last night to Orlando Magic.
Soon after the Hornets debuted, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers took over in 1995, now five-time NFC South champions! You can catch a Panther’s game at the Bank of America Stadium, located just off I-277.
NASCAR might have been surpassed by football but when the season is over, NASCAR fans are everywhere! The NACAR Hall of Fame is situated in the heart of Charlotte and the Charlotte Motor Speedway sits just outside the Queen City hosting a few races per year.
Charlotte is also the home of the Charlotte 49ers, the University of North Carolina’s Division I NCAA athletics team. Take a two hour drive north of Charlotte to watch the famous Tobacco Road rivalry between Duke University and North Carolina Chapel Hill.
When Charlotte’s sport’s seasons are over, or maybe not doing so well, residents take some time to enjoy the great outdoors. Charlotte is situated just a few hours from beaches and mountains.
Even closer though, just west of Charlotte-Douglass International Airport is the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC). Originally built as part of the U.S. Olympic Training Center, the center is located on 1300 acres on the Catawba River and offers white water rafting, mountain biking on more than 30 miles of trails, and plenty of scenic walking trails.
USNWC also offers plenty of things to do on dry-land. At the center, you can boulder, wall climb, zip line, enjoy rope courses and high jump. If you’re looking to combine water and land, try out the world’s first permanent Deep Water Solo Climbing complex. The complex offers 25 to 45 foot walls that arch over a 20-foot-deep pool, allowing climbers to jump once they’ve completed their climb.
After your adventures, the River Jam event at the center runs May through September and features live music, food, and drink!
Just an hour north of Charlotte, Queen City residents can escape to Lake Norway for some relaxation or water sport excitement.
Lake Norman offers a 34 mile-long body of water where visitors can boat, Jet Ski, paddleboard, kayak and even fish! The lake is also situated near beaches in the State Park where sunbathers can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Lake Norman State Park encompasses 13 miles of shoreline with 125-yards of long sand beach that rims the swimming area.
Check out all that Charlotte has to offer today while the weather is warming up!