Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

Named after Queen Charlotte by King Edward III (some husbands will do anything to get in good with their wives), this North Carolina city was founded at the crossroads of two Native American trading paths in 1768. It’s now the state’s biggest city, the nation’s second largest banking center and the headquarters of such  Fortune 500 Companies as Lowe’s, Duke Energy and Goodrich. Charlotte’s remarkable growth — its population has nearly doubled since 1990 — has also been a boon for visitors, ushering in a bounty of dining, cultural and entertainment opportunities.

If you’re a racing fan, you’re in luck. Charlotte is a serious NASCAR town and is home to the gargantuan Charlotte Motor Speedway which seats 140,000. The NASCAR Hall of Fame features exhibits, theaters and race car simulators and is located in Uptown.

Takin’ It Uptown

Uptown Charlotte is the hub of the city, and from here you can take a walking tour of the city’s most notable cultural attractions. Start at the Mint Museum Uptown, known for its impressive collection of craft, design and American art. Stroll down to the architecturally striking Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, featuring works by 20th century masters like Miró, Warhol and Picasso. Keep going and you’ll find the EpiCentre, a multi-level entertainment destination where you can shop, eat, see a movie, bowl a few frames — or just take in the great city views.

For foodies, Charlotte doesn’t disappoint. There’s almost no cuisine you can’t enjoy here, whether you're in the mood for French, Thai, Southern or Sushi—or just crave a good steak. No matter what your tastes, rest assured: when you visit the Queen City, you’ll be able to find it.

It’s hard to resist the southern hospitality. Explore more of the warmth of the south in Savannah and Nashville.