Known as the “Queen City,” Charlotte is North Carolina’s biggest city and hub of economic growth. The downtown area is full of great bars and restaurants, and the city’s parks give visitors a chance to soak up the beautiful southern sunshine. Check out a concert at the Fillmore, where the biggest bands play to sold-out crowds in a converted textile mill. For a sportier experience, join the droves of Carolina Panthers fans heading to a game at the Bank of America Stadium. The locals are immensely proud of their team, and everyone is just a part of the family on game day.

Some of Charlotte’s most thrilling attractions actually lay just outside the city. A short drive will bring you to the US National Whitewater Center, where you can go rafting, kayaking, take a zipline canopy tour, or bike down the great nature trails. For an all-day adventure, make your way to Carowinds, an incredible theme park featuring the Fury 325, the tallest and fastest “giga coaster” in the world.

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