If you should happen to find yourself in Charlotte, North Carolina at any time during football season, then the opening and closing of any conversation should be, “Go Panthers!” Although the locals do love their Panthers as a visitor to Charlotte, you’ll find that this “International Gateway to the South” (as they like to be called) has a lot going on.

Start with the History

As a state, North Carolina was one of the original thirteen colonies. In fact, back in 1775 the good people of Charlotte got together and signed the Mecklenburg Resolves. This was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence. This was such a big deal that every May 20th, MecDec is celebrated with reenactors and cannon fire. It’s always a good day when you can muster up some reenactors and cannon fire. You can find out a lot more about Charlotte’s history at the Levine Museum of the New South.

Charlotte is also home to the 11th President of the United States. Any guess? That would be James Polk and his boyhood home has been preserved for viewing. What did James Polk ever do for us? He annexed a little plot of land known as California. Gotta give props to Polk.

You can also experience what life was like back in the 19th century with a visit to Latta Plantation. This was once a thriving cotton plantation that has now become a kind of working history farm.

Have Fun the Charlotte Way

Planning out your day might depend a lot on the weather. When it’s warm, you’ll definitely want to head over to Carowinds. This is a terrific amusement park that features the Fury 325 a.k.a. the tallest rollercoaster in the world. There is also a NASCAR museum and a replica of a Mississippi River Paddle Wheeler, the Catawba Queen. Perfect for a lazy afternoon float.

Epic Fun at EpiCentre

When the sun goes down, you might want to head over to EpiCentre to start your evening of merriment. As the title implies, EpiCentre is at the epicenter of downtown Charlotte (see what they did there?). It’s a vibrant combination of cafes, shops, restaurants and late night venues that is sure to have something for everyone in your group. There is always a great music act to catch the PNC Music Pavilion or the NC Music Factory. Sounds like Charlotte has a lot going on for sure!