AQUA Live is coming to Charlotte this year. Take in the city with these activities!
With AQUA Live scheduled for October 5-7, there is still plenty of time to plan your trip. Why not stay through the weekend and see all that “The Queen City” has to offer? From vibrant art neighborhoods, haunted walking tours, outdoor activities, and plenty to eat and drink, there’s something for everyone.
HISTORICAL CITY TOUR
Dive into Charlotte’s rich history on a guided ride around the city, sure to appeal to history buffs and casual sightseers alike. Locally owned and operated, Queen City Rides offers 90-minute tours year round, seven days a week.
With Halloween right around the corner, what could be more festive than a haunted walking tour? Carolina History and Haunts offers excursions most nights of the week, year round. Wander, if you dare, through some of Charlotte’s spookiest sites as your lantern-toting guide spins the chilling tales of Charlotte’s local history. Goosebumps guaranteed.
If you’re craving more spooky fun, head to the Carowinds theme park for the largest Halloween event in the Carolinas. On select nights between Sept. 16 - Oct. 30, 2022, the annual “SCarowinds” attraction will feature haunted mazes, live entertainment and more, in addition to its range of thrill rides.
CAMP NORTH END
This 76-acre hangout is packed with history: Camp North End was once a Model T factory, a Charlotte Quartermaster Corps base during World War II, and a Cold War-era Army base that made Nike Hercules missiles. Today, it’s a place for visitors to eat, shop and relax. Grab a cold one to-go from Free Range Brewing and see where your stroll around the grounds takes you. You might end up sampling Latin street food at La Caseta, savoring farm-to-table American fusion at Bleu Barn Bistro, or trying Southern comfort food with a twist at Leah and Louise. If you happen to be around on a Wednesday, catch the farmer’s market that runs through the end of October.
CHARLOTTE'S RAIL TRAIL
Take a break outside and run, bike or walk down the 11-mile Blue Line Rail Trail. Running parallel to Charlotte’s LYNX Blue Line light rail, this stretch connects to 15 different bike routes and a number of popular spots. There’s a lot to see along its different sections: choose between bustling and busy or slow and peaceful.
Part of a medley of neighborhoods in Charlotte’s Mill District, NoDa — short for North Davidson — is the place to be for arts and entertainment seekers. Lined with vibrant murals, galleries, shops, breweries and plenty of places to grab a bite, there’s a lot to explore. (Craft connoisseurs, target NoDa Brewing Company.) Later on, settle in for some live music or stand-up comedy at The Neighborhood Theatre or The Evening Muse.
If you’re an art lover, you won’t want to miss the Mint Museum Uptown, North Carolina’s first art museum. Right in the heart of the city, this 5-story facility displays American, contemporary and European art, as well as a Craft + Design collection. The Mint’s other location — Mint Museum Randolph, in Eastover — was the original branch of the United States Mint.
CROWDERS MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Two peaks — The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain — await the adventurous in this stunning state park, less than an hour outside the city. Eleven trail choices vary in difficulty, but a sure bet is the 4.3 mile, family friendly trek beginning at the visitors center and ending with a sweet view from the 1,705-foot summit of Kings Pinnacle. The braver can boulder and rock climb (with a permit) along the rugged terrain.
This article first appeared in the July 2022 issue of AQUA Magazine — the top resource for retailers, builders and service pros in the pool and spa industry. Subscriptions to the print magazine are free to all industry professionals. Click here to subscribe.