10 Fun and Free Things To Do in Charlotte, North Carolina

Crowder's State Park, Charlotte, North Carolina

10 Fun and Free Things To Do in Charlotte, North Carolina

A Guide by Alexis Craft

10 Fun And Free Things To Do In Charlotte

Charlotte is North Carolina’s biggest city, a major financial hub, and a great place to visit for a few days! If you’re looking to explore Queen City on a budget, here are a few fun and free things to do while you’re here!

1. Crowders National State Park

If you’re looking for beautiful views of Charlotte, hiking or climbing trails, or just for a day spent outdoors, Crowder National State Park has it all! It may not be the largest mountain in the U.S., but it does have 11 trails, multiple spots to rock climb and boulder, and a lake where you can fish and canoe!

 Crowder's State Park View

Crowder's State Park View

2. Mint Museum Wednesdays 

For art lovers, art collectors, artists, or anyone who wants to explore a museum, the Mint Museum of Charlotte offers free admission to their permanent collections on Wednesday nights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. There are 2 locations: Uptown and Randolph, and both participate in Mint Museum Wednesdays! This is a great opportunity to see the museum and its amazing work for free!

3. U.S. National Whitewater Center River Jam 

The U.S. National Whitewater Center has much more going on than just whitewater, including their River Jam, which runs from May through September. This event brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue! It happens every Thursday and Saturday and includes a variety of performers that vary weekly. The concerts start at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. If you come a bit earlier, there’s yoga, the River Jam Run, and Open Water Swim!

4. Bechtler By Night

Another museum night is hosted by the Bechtler Museum of Art, which is called Bechtler By Night. This is the perfect opportunity for locals and tourists alike to explore this amazing museum with works from influential artists such as Miró, Giacometti, Picasso, Calder, Ernst, Nicholson, and Warhol. All four floors of the museum are open for viewing, free of charge, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m  on the third Friday of each month (unless another event gets in the way). So check out their website for schedules of the upcoming dates.

 Bechtler Museum

Bechtler Museum

5. South End Gallery Crawl

On the first Friday of every month, Historic South End’s creative district opens its doors at night to showcase new art exhibitions with music, food and drink, and an opportunity to meet the artists. So from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., you are able to check out 10 local galleries and take a self-guided tour of each. Keep in mind, the crawl is free but if you see anything you like, the art is for sale. And if you are looking for date night ideas, South End Gallery Crawl has been named the “Best Artsy Place to Take a Date” in Charlotte!

 Check out sculptures all around the city!

Check out sculptures all around the city!

6. Reed Gold Mine

Historically, Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. Now, it is a National Historic Landmark and includes a glimpse to the history of gold mining in North Carolina. There is no fee for admission or tours of the mine, and you will be able to go underground, walk the trails, see the museum, and see the stamp mill operate all for free. And gold panning is available from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm from April 1 through October 31, if the weather permits. The fee is $3 plus tax per pan, but it is fairly inexpensive and a fun way to spend an afternoon!

7. Brewery Tours

Just like any large city, Charlotte has a few brewery tours available for locals/tourists who want to explore the city a bit more. But you do not have to break out a wallet to go to one, so check out these local breweries who usually give a weekly tour: NoDa Brewing, D9 Brewing Company, Unknown Brewing Company, Legion Brewing, and more! For a list of more breweries, check out this link!

8. The Green

If you’re looking for a spot to picnic or to take a break from the downtown area, The Green is the perfect place! It is a prominent landmark in Uptown Charlotte, where you can read facts about the area and see a unique blend of landscaping and artwork.

 The Green

The Green

9. Visit a Charlotte Festival!

No matter what season it is, it’s always easy to find a festival or event happening in Charlotte. Whether it is Paws in the Park, Festival in the Park at, the Speed Street Festival, Taste of Charlotte Uptown, The Charlotte Jazz Festival, or Oktoberfest, Charlotte does a great job at hosting a multitude of festivals. Plus, most of Charlotte’s festivals are free to attend! So if you’re looking to experience something new and have a fun time, check out whatever festival is happening in town this month for some fun and great entertainment!

 One of the concerts I visited

One of the concerts I visited

10. Explore the City 

This one seems like a no-brainer, but when you walk around the city, you will be able to find something that sparks your interest. And if you don’t feel like walking throughout the city, you can rent a bike or electric scooter for pretty cheap; all you have to do is download the app and put in the information it asks for. For Mobike biking, its $1 every 30 minutes and for an electric scooter, it's $1 to unlock and 15 cents/minute after that.

 Exploring this beautiful City

Exploring this beautiful City

Charlotte has a lot to do if you’re here for one day or for a few days, so come explore Queen City! Have any of you been to Charlotte, and if so, what were your favorite things to do?

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We are a team of four feminist travelers coming together from different parts of the world to share with you what we have learned from traveling, living, loving, and exploring all over the world. Join us and tell your story about female solo travel, relationships, mental health, city guides, or whatever else comes to your mind.

 Author of this post is Alexis Craft, a photographer in Tuscaloosa, AL and Pensacola, FL and an intersectional feminist who is about to set off on her first big solo trip across Europe! Follow her journey on her  Instagram !

Author of this post is Alexis Craft, a photographer in Tuscaloosa, AL and Pensacola, FL and an intersectional feminist who is about to set off on her first big solo trip across Europe! Follow her journey on her Instagram!

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