North Carolina Zoological Park
4401 Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, N.C. 27205
About an hour from Charlotte, the N.C. Zoological Park is a fascinating place for adults and families. Plenty of walking paths on its more than 500 acres offer visitors an up-close view of life as it would be in the wild. Animals include lemurs, polar bears, elephants, elk, birds, giraffes and many, many more. One of the best features of this zoo is its renowned natural habitats. Instead of watching elephants interact from within a cage, for example, they live in a scenic section of the outdoors. You’ll also find many educational resources about endangered animals and learn ways you can help protect them. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Saturday (March 29-October); 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday through Saturday (November-March 28).
Cane Creek Park
5213 Harkey Road
Waxhaw, N.C. 28173
Cane Creek Lake features a 350-acre lake that is a popular destination for bass fishing with the family. Located only about 20 miles from Charlotte, this park offers visitors a plethora of scenic beauty and activities from which to choose. Among the offerings in Cane Creek Park’s more than 1,000 acres are hiking trails, horseback riding trails and plenty of space to have a picnic. Hours: Vary.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Charlotte, N.C. 28202
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is not only a great place to learn about North Carolina’s native sport, but families can plan memorable field trips that include math and science lessons inherent to auto racing. The 150,000-square-foot hall on five acres in Uptown Charlotte celebrates all aspects of auto racing. Visitors can enjoy racing simulators, memorabilia, celebrated cars, a pit crew challenge, theater, artifacts, exhibits, interactive activities, and more. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday through Saturday.
200 West Avenue
Kannapolis, N.C. 28081
If you are looking to experience some local history, Cannon Village is the place. This colonial settlement is located just 25 miles from Charlotte in Kannapolis. Adults and children will love the completely restored village that resembles life in colonial times. Antiques, “old world food,” shops, and even handmade furniture for sale highlight a trip to Cannon Village. Hours: Call.