You Know You're in Charlotte When...

By Google Arts & Culture

By Charlotte writer Jessica Swannie

Charlotte Skyline by Cody HughesCharlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)

Charlotte, North Carolina truly glitters with rich history. The Southern city marked its spot on the map when a young boy unearthed what would become the first piece of gold discovered in North America.

Now you, too, can find treasure in Charlotte when…

You visit the site of one of the first U.S. Mints

Upon the dawn of the gold rush in Charlotte, Congress passed legislation to establish three new mints to process gold. Today, you can visit the site of the original Charlotte Mint in the historic Eastover neighborhood, where the Mint Museum Randolph celebrates 4,500 years of art, fashion and history (this is the Mint's "Uptown" location).

Sycamore Brewing by Kyo H NamCharlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)

You dine in a former factory

The gold rush gave way to railroads and textile factories that made the city a hub for industrial activity. Feel the pulse of the past as it gives new life to the future when you enjoy a meal in now-defunct railyards and factories, like Optimist Hall, a textile-mill-turned-food-hall. The building housed the mill that first produced Spanx. Now, it’s a social gathering space to enjoy everything from craft coffee to steamed baos and cold-pressed juices.

Bill Spoon's Barbecue by Kyo H NamCharlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)

You can taste the history of doughnuts and soft drinks

From buttermilk fried chicken to creamy grits and true smokehouse barbecue, Charlotte holds its own in the Southern food scene. But the city is also just a short drive from the birthplace of two iconic comfort food staples: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Cheerwine. Less than an hour outside of Charlotte, L.D. Peeler created a cherry-flavored soft drink amid a sugar shortage in 1917 and coined the fizzy soda “Cheerwine” for the drink’s bright red hue.

Twenty years later, North Carolina first tasted what later became the iconic Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut when founder Vernon Rudolph sold his earliest batches to a grocery store and hungry passerby.

Craft Beer by Kyo H NamCharlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)

You order a craft beer

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, a German biergarten, gave Charlotte its first taste of craft beer in 2009. Since then, over 30 breweries have contributed to the growth of the city’s craft beer scene. Now, you’ll find everything from German-style lagers to hop-forward IPAs.

You climb a rock wall over a 20-foot-deep pool

Raft, hike and zip over 1,300 acres of protected land at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, home to the world’s first Deep Water Solo Climbing Complex and the largest man-made recirculating whitewater river. Designed as an official U.S. Olympics training site, the center also hosts international competitions and festivals throughout the year.

CLT Hornets by UnknownCharlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)

You join the “hornets nest”

During the American Revolution, British General Cornwallis coined Charlotte as a “hornets nest of rebellion.” The namesake lives on through the Charlotte Hornets NBA team — just one of the professional sports teams in the city. You can also catch NFL games when the Carolina Panthers play in the nearby stadium.

CLT Motor Speedway by Kyo H NamCharlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)

You experience NASCAR on and off the track

Race to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for all things NASCAR. The speedway boasts the only all- concrete, four-lane drag strip in the United States and is home to events like the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR All-Star Race. Can’t get enough at the track? See the history and heritage of the sport through exhibits at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

CLT Knights Fireworks by Patrick SchneiderCharlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)

From Southern bites to thrilling sports and lush outdoor spaces, Charlotte is the ideal destination to feed your wanderlust. 

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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